Fantastic historical fiction novels, from a number of genres, written in the past 100 years, using New York City as a backdrop
"The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact," says Shakespeare. Poetry and insanity have always kept close company, and these poets pulled off the blend to immortal effect.
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The “Sylvia Plath effect” (bit.ly/1cTt1V0) is a psychological term referring to the strong correlation between poets and mental illness. After years of depression, electroshock therapy, and several suicide attempts, Sylvia Plath's visceral, emotionally raw poetry broke new ground for female poets, making her a feminist icon. Her eventual suicide was a tragedy, to say the least.
English poet John Clare was canonized in the late 20th century for his masterful verse about nature, childhood nostalgia, and internal instability. He was also institutionalized in 1841 in the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum. The presiding psychologist noted that Clare was “unfit for society” due to “years addicted to poetical prosings.” Clare composed “I Am,” his most famous poem, while in the asylum.
What we might call manic-depression and psychosis, Blake called "Divine visions," which he translated into a prophetic, revolutionary, and wildly beautiful pantheon of new gods, angels, demons, and symbolic forces. If Blake was mad, his blend of madness and genius might be the most inspiring of any poet: “If the doors of perception are cleansed," Blake wrote, “every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
Roethke suffered much of his life with undiagnosed bipolar disorder: emotional swings which he believed drove his poetry. During one episode, which he later described as a "mystical experience," Roethke accosted a college dean, lost his teaching position, and landed briefly in a sanitarium. Many critics, including Harold Bloom, James Dickey, and Stanley Kunitz, count Roethke among the greatest 20th century writers.
"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence -- whether much that is glorious -- whether all that is profound -- does not spring from disease of thought -- from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect." - Edgar Allen Poe
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Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.
Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, and overpowering memories lurk everywhere.
Two days before the start of her junior year, Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from school Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And though it isn't possible, she knows that Ben brought her back to life.
Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Varsity Tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
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A new release in August, this book explores the England of Austen's day: including medicinal leeches, selling wives in the marketplace, and buying smuggled gin. This is fascinating reading for any classical fiction or history enthusiast. And for Janeites? It's an essential guide to getting your Austenian life accurate to the last detail.
Acclaimed literary biographer Paula Byrne provides a portrait of Jane Austen revealed through the small things – a scrap of paper, a gold chain, an ivory miniature – that held significance in her personal and creative life. This is one of the most beautiful and intimate accounts of Austen's life.
The Austen reimagining we were all waiting for this year! "Longbourn" follows life belowstairs in the Bennet household. The drama rivals that of its predecessor "Pride and Prejudice," and this is the perfect read if you want a Downton Abbey-esque view of Lizzy's world.
Preeminent Austen scholar Susannah Fullerton delves into what makes "Pride and Prejudice" such an enduring masterpiece. She explores the story behind the novel's creation, its reception upon publication, and its tremendous legacy. This is one to read for its wonderful anecdotes, including the use of "Pride and Prejudice" as bibliotherapy in the WWI trenches.
Austen fans should turn to this guide to ensure they never become a Charlotte Lucas! An energetic and humorous book, it uses Austen's heroines to instruct and guide us all in the minefield of modern dating.
In celebration of University Press Week and Academic Book Week, we've pulled together a selection of our field-changing publishing. #ReadUP #AcBookWeek
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Peter Atkins' incorporation of pioneering pedagogical tools in the first edition of this book (1978) changed the way physical chemistry was taught, setting a new standard for educational texts in the chemical sciences. Nearly 40 years and ten editions of continual innovation later, the book remains unchallenged as the global leader in physical chemistry teaching. (Sarah Broadley, Marketing Manager, Higher Education)
You’ve heard of it, and the poverty traps, and what might be done to help the poorest countries, those falling behind and falling apart. However, are we still talking about countries or about the poorest people, wherever they are around the world? This is the book that helped to focus our thinking. (Adam Swallow, Commissioning Editor, Economics and Finance)
Winner of the Wolfson Prize for History 2005, this is history on a breathtaking scale. Integrating documentary analysis with the latest archaeological research, Chris Wickham sets out a new comparative framework for understanding social and economic change across almost all the regions of the post-Roman world, from Denmark to Egypt. (Robert Faber, Senior Commissioning Editor, History)
The main purpose of development is to spread freedom and its 'thousand charms' to the unfree citizens of the world imprisoned in one way or another by economic poverty, social deprivation, political tyranny, or cultural authoritarianism. This book, which has sold over 70,000 copies, may be the key to information to unlock their chains. (Adam Swallow, Commissioning Editor, Economics and Finance)
Starting life as handwritten notes by two junior doctors over 30 years ago, this book revolutionised the way students learn the practice of medicine, to become the peerless classic in the field it is today. Affectionately known as the ‘cheese and onion’, it has sold well over a million copies, and packs a huge amount of practical information into a portable format. (Elizabeth Reeve, Senior Commissioning Editor)
(Although we all know that the book always is better than the movie.)
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If the timing of Lewis Carroll's life and the advent of film were more aligned, I would think that he wrote this book to be made into a movie. While I've only seen the 1951 Disney version and Tim Burton's 2010 version, I think it's worth it to see as many versions of this story as you can. The text asks to be adapted by artists, and the descriptions give way to eye candy on the screen.
The stories of Sherlock Holmes have had multiple strong adaptations, but personally the BBC series "Sherlock" is the pinnacle. The episode "A Scandal in Belgravia" in particular was everything an adaptation should be. I love that the series places Sherlock Holmes in the modern day, and they transplanted Irene Adler perfectly by giving her complete confidence and control over her sexuality.
I still don't see how this can be considered a children's book, and the 1996 film is in no way a kid's movie, but it's damn good all the same. The wacky tale is successfully brought to life by the appropriately uncanny stop motion animation, and I think it's the best adaptation of Dahl's works. Just keep the lights on and maybe don't watch it in a thunderstorm.
I have actually had a professor recommend that if people hadn't read Jane Eyre, they should watch the 2011 film. Mia Wasikowska conveys the intelligence, emotional capacity, and morality that has made Jane Eyre so appealing for generations.
The new film based on Thomas Hardy's novel "Far from the Madding Crowd" was just released and should still be in theaters. Carey Mulligan seems like an ideal choice to play the remarkable Bathsheba Everdene, and it's perfect that a book as rife with visual description as this one should be made into a movie.