The Sea Around Us

Published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most remarkably successful books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson’s rare ability to combine scientific insight with moving, poetic prose catapulted her book to first place on The New York Times best-seller list, where it enjoyed wide attention for thirty-one consecutive weeks. Quite simply, she captures the mystery and allure of the ocean with a compelling blend of imagination and expertise.

Published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most remarkably successful books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson’s rare ability to combine scientific insight with moving, poetic prose catapulted her book to first place on The New York Times best-seller list, where it enjoyed wide attention for thirty-one consecutive weeks. It remained on the list for more than a year and a half and ultimately sold well over a million copies, has been translated into 28 languages, inspired an Academy Award-winning documentary, and won both the 1952 National Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal.

This classic work remains as fresh today as when it first appeared. Carson’s writing teems with stunning, memorable images–the newly formed Earth cooling beneath an endlessly overcast sky; the centuries of nonstop rain that created the oceans; giant squids battling sperm whales hundreds of fathoms below the surface; and incredibly powerful tides moving 100 billion tons of water daily in the Bay of Fundy. Quite simply, she captures the mystery and allure of the ocean with a compelling blend of imagination and expertise. [Open Road Media]

The Caine Mutiny

The novel that inspired the now-classic film The Caine Mutiny and the hit Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Herman Wouk’s boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life-and mutiny-on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced, upon its original publication in 1951, as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II.

The novel that inspired the now-classic film The Caine Mutiny and the hit Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Herman Wouk’s boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life-and mutiny-on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced, upon its original publication in 1951, as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II. In the intervening half century, The Caine Mutiny has become a perennial favorite of readers young and old, has sold millions of copies throughout the world, and has achieved the status of a modern classic. [Back Bay Books]

The Caine Mutiny won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1952.

The Witch Diggers

Christie Fraser went to court Cate Conboy on Xmas Eve 1899. He had only met her once at his cousins sociable. During his visit he learned a lot about Cate, her family, and the inmated of the Poor Farm her father ran. The reader learns what happed to Cate’s courtship and what role the “diggers” played.

Christie Fraser went to court Cate Conboy on Xmas Eve 1899. He had only met her once at his cousins sociable. During his visit he learned a lot about Cate, her family, and the inmated of the Poor Farm her father ran. The reader learns what happed to Cate’s courtship and what role the “diggers” played.

Lie Down in Darkness

William Styron’s stunning debut: a classic portrait of one Southern family’s tragic spiral into destruction. First published to wide critical acclaim in 1951, Lie Down in Darkness centers on the Loftis family—Milton and Helen and their daughters, Peyton and Maudie.

William Styron’s stunning debut: a classic portrait of one Southern family’s tragic spiral into destruction. First published to wide critical acclaim in 1951, Lie Down in Darkness centers on the Loftis family—Milton and Helen and their daughters, Peyton and Maudie. The story, told through a series of flashbacks on the day of Peyton’s funeral, is a powerful depiction of a family doomed by its failure to forget and its inability to love. Written in masterful prose, Styron’s debut novel offers unflinching insight into the ineradicable bonds of place and family. The story of Milton, Helen, and their children reveals much about life’s losses and disappointments. Lie Down in Darkness, poignant and compelling, is a classic of modern American literature. [Open Road Media]

Styron won the National Book Award in 1980 for Sophie’s Choice.

The Catcher in the Rye

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories–particularly A Perfect Day for BananafishUncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme With Love and Squalor–will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep. [Little, Brown]

Melville Goodwin, USA

This sweeping novel set in the aftermath of World War II reveals the story behind the creation of an American icon Major General Melville A. Goodwin, the son of a druggist, served in two world wars, rising through the ranks to take command of an armored division.

Finalist for the National Book Award: This sweeping novel set in the aftermath of World War II reveals the story behind the creation of an American icon Major General Melville A. Goodwin, the son of a druggist, served in two world wars, rising through the ranks to take command of an armored division. He was a hero long before he braved a hail of bullets to save a fellow American in postwar Berlin, but until that mad act of courage, no one outside of the military had ever heard of him.

That is all about to change: A weekly news magazine has convinced the major general to sit down for an extended interview at the home of Sid Skelton, a popular radio commentator and former army buddy of Goodwin’s. Over the course of many hours, Goodwin tells the story of his life—from his small-town childhood to his years at West Point, his battlefield traumas, his marriage to an ambitious woman who helped shape his military career, and his impressions of the world as seen through the barbed wire of far-flung army posts.

Of primary interest to Skelton, however, is Dottie Peale, the vivacious journalist Goodwin romanced in war-torn France. Skelton is a little bit in love with her himself, and now that the major general is in the news, Dottie plans to make a dramatic return to his life. At the moment of his greatest triumph, Goodwin will discover that his marriage and career are under threat. [Open Road Media]

The Holy Sinner

First published in 1951, The Holy Sinner explores a subject that fascinated Thomas Mann to the end of his life—the origins of evil and evil’s connection with magic.

First published in 1951, The Holy Sinner explores a subject that fascinated Thomas Mann to the end of his life—the origins of evil and evil’s connection with magic. Here Mann uses a medieval legend about ‘the exceeding mercy of God and the birth of the blessed Pope Gregory’ as he used the Biblical account of Joseph as the basis for Joseph and His Brothers—illuminating with his ironic sensibility the notion of original sin and transcendence of evil. [Vintage]

The Strange Children

In 2001, Dr. Steven Ryan, professor of English at Austin Peay State University, with assistance from John McDonald, artistic director for the Roxy Theatre, adapted The Strange Children for the stage and presented a reading at the Roxy.

In 2001, Dr. Steven Ryan, professor of English at Austin Peay State University, with assistance from John McDonald, artistic director for the Roxy Theatre, adapted The Strange Children for the stage and presented a reading at the Roxy.

Requiem for a Nun

This sequel to Faulkner’s most sensational, Sanctuary, was written twenty years later but takes up the story of Temple Drake eight years after the events related in Sanctuary.

This sequel to Faulkner’s most sensational, Sanctuary, was written twenty years later but takes up the story of Temple Drake eight years after the events related in Sanctuary. Temple is now married to Gowan Stevens. The book begins when the death sentence is pronounced on the nurse Nancy for the murder of Temple and Gowan’s child. Told partly in prose, partly in play form, Requiem for a Nun is a haunting exploration of the impact of the past on the present. [Vintage]