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Books & Literature
Literature is literally "acquaintance with letters" as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary. The term has generally come to identify a collection of texts, which in Western culture are mainly prose, both fiction and non-fiction, drama and poetry. In much, if not all of the world, texts can be oral as well, and include such genres as epic, legend, myth, ballad, other forms of oral poetry, and the folktale. - from Wikipedia
Sites in This Category: 64

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All Readers.com
Book and movie reviews

"There are a zillion book review sites out there, but ours is different! For starters, we classify books based on plot, setting, character, and writing style. Therefore, if you know what kind of book you like, you can find other authors who write similar kind of stories.

"For example, if you like murder mysteries involving the murder of lawyers, you can use our detailed search to specifically search for all books involving murder mysteries where the victims are lawyers. If you prefer romances involving love triangles or love polygons, you can search all romances in our database to find all books that have that kind of plot. Just remember when searching that each genre (Literature, Romance, Mystery, etc.) has its own unique search engine, so be sure you're in the genre you want to do the searching in.

"Our site is unique in that our reviews are more useful than those of most other sites. Usually people will write variations of "Book good!" or "Characters good!" which is useless to readers who do not know what the reviewer's taste is. Our reviews will give you the general outline of the plot. Some would say this is "giving too much away"; we say this is giving you some idea of what the book is all about. It is our unique approach of helping you find just the book you were looking for, which drives over a million and a half visitors a month to our site."


Added: 10-09-2006 - Updated: 10-09-2006
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Amazon.com - Book Search
Here's where you can search Amazon.com's amazing database


Comments
We think this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to The Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 29-07-2006


Added: 21-06-2006 - Updated: 04-09-2006
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Archy and Mehitabel
The Don Marquis page celebrates the adventures of Archy & Mehitabel

"The classic tale of Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the cat in her ninth life. Since the first of Archy's adventures was published in 1916, this free verse poem has become an essential part of American literature."

"Of all the literary genres, humor has the shortest shelf life--except for ARCHY AND MEHITABEL, that is. Archy is a cockroach, inside whom resides the soul of a free-verse poet; he communicates with Don Marquis by leaping upon the keys of the columnist's typewriter. In poems of varying length, Archy pithily describes his wee world, the main fixture of which is Mehitabel, a devil-may-care alley cat. Archy's music will linger in your head long after you finish the book. Here's a tiny taste from his interview with a mummy:

what ho
my regal leatherface says i

greetings
little scatter footed
scarab
says he

"Writers (particularly journalists) can go lifetimes without attaining such loose-limbed grace. Marquis did the impossible: he made a cockroach loveable."

Added: 28-01-2007 - Updated: 28-01-2007
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Arts & Letters Daily
Compiled by New Zealand resident Denis Dutton, A&LD is a daily digest of intelligent magazine and newspaper articles from around the world

It covers philosophy, aesthetics, literature, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, trends, breakthroughs, disputes and gossip, mainly but not exclusively in the academic world. It's brilliant!
Comments
We think this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to The Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 29-07-2006


Added: 22-06-2006 - Updated: 05-07-2006
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Asterix New Zealand
New Zealand's own Asterix the Gaul fansite

Asterix NZ, based in New Zealand, is the website for all english speaking Asterix fans.

The 33+ Books written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (starring Asterix and Obelix the Gauls) are popular amongst people of many ages and many countries, thanks to the 100+ translations of the series.

Here are some sections on this website you may find interesting, and below you can find the latest Asterix News.

* Asterix Images : Here you can find the largest gallery of pictures from the Asterix Books and Movies on the internet.

* Asterix Movies : Information about the ten Asterix live-action and Cartoon Films, including the latest Asterix and the Vikings plus the yet the to be released Asterix and Obelix at the Olympic Games

* Take a look Inside : Find out more about the individual Asterix books including what to look out for and notable characters. You can also view the first four page of each of the stories.

* Asterix Mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes, and the creators of the Asterix books have made quite a few! Find out what mistakes have been made in each book.

* Asterix Articles: A selection of Asterix Articles dealing with a variety of subjects. Latest: Asterix in Britain : The untold Story (or how Asterix crossed the channel and was published in English) and Asterix in New Zealand

* Asterix Store : The place to go for Asterix Merchandise. Complete your Asterix collection! Buy Asterix books, videos/DVDs, music, games and more.

Added: 26-08-2007 - Updated: -
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Biggles
A complete illustrated list of all first editions of the Biggles books by Captain W E Johns

There are 98 of these books, apparently. When I was eleven years old I had a collection of 57 (count them: fifty-seven) of them, each of which I had read at least twice. Mercifully, I recovered from this particular enthusiasm. Still, the Biggles books are fun, and this site has all of the original covers PLUS a summary of all the stories PLUS a price guide. Amazing stuff!
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We think this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to The Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 29-07-2006


Added: 03-07-2006 - Updated: 05-07-2006
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Bill Bryson
The website of the American humourist and occasional travel writer

It is to the American writer John Updike that we owe the brilliant observation that "Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face".

The most outstanding examplar of this grisly principle is Bill Bryson, the travel writer manque.

The logo above - well, it's not really a logo: what I have reproduced here is the front page, in its entirety, of the little man's website - tells much of the story, I feel. Here is the rest of it.

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, there was an American journalist of, as he himself frequently tells us, average (actually very, very average) appearance who was not distinguished by any particular ability or skill who wrote a successful book of reminiscences/travel anecdotes entitled The Lost Continent (1989). This, memorably, began with the line "I was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Somebody had to be."

The Lost Continent was quite a good book - on Amazon.com's famous scale it is rated 3.5 stars (out of a maximum of five), which is about right, it seems to me.

What was not obvious then (it was, after all, the man's first book), but which is of course abundantly clear now, is that The Lost Continent was primarily a book about Bryson, a person who is very, very average in every conceivable way, including his ability to write prose.

This, of course, is something which is true of most travel books - that they are primarily about their authors, I mean; not that they are about Bill Bryson - and it is that which ensures that their appeal and interest is linearly related to the appeal and interest of the author and his thoughts about his subject. If the author is a crashing bore, the attraction of his company wanes swiftly.

Bryson's next book was Neither Here Nor There (1991), a clone of The Lost Continent, only in this case based on perfunctory "travels" in safe parts of Europe. I can remember nothing of it.

It is this book, I believe, which should have told us all the whole story, as Neither Here Nor There was less amusing, less interesting and altogether much less convincing than its predecessor. But all, or nearly all, was forgiven, and Neither Here Nor There was quite well received, because of the legacy of good will created by The Lost Continent.

Bryson's next book - Notes From a Small Island (1995), based on a walking tour in safe parts of Britain - was simply awful. What I can remember about it is that he made a lot of cracks about:

* the weather

* the food

* and the place names

Well there, if ever there were, were three barrels labelled:

Fish in Here. Please Shoot Them.

And it's not even as if these were sitting targets of a kind found only in Britain. After all, you and I, gentle reader, live in a country where there are towns named "Whangamomona", where the sun seldom shines, and where most of the food on public sale is of the most wretched quality imaginable.

And, what's more, Bryson himself is a native of a country - America - where there are towns with names at least as hilarious as any of those in Britain, where the weather in much of the country is much worse than it ever gets in Britain, and where the food on public sale is the worst - not just in the world - but in the history of the world. (And if you think that last statement is hyperbole, ask yourself this: of which country can it be said that most of the food on public sale not only has no nutritional value but is in fact damaging to human health?)

Notes From a Small Island did have one redeeming quality, however. Those who had had read his first two books now began to see that in many ways Bryson himself was funny. Who, for example, could not laugh at a man who, after whining about Britain and its inhabitants for a couple of hundred pages could conclude thus:

"Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain - which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad - old churches, country lanes, people saying 'Mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but,' people apologizing to me when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, seaside piers, Ordinance Survey maps, tea and crumpets, summer showers and foggy winter evenings - every bit of it."

Like many of his fellow countrymen, Bryson is a master of the art of the pulled punch, in which you say what you mean, and then say you didn't really mean it, or if you did mean it, you don't mean any more, which is not to say you won't mean it again tomorrow...[contd. p94].

[The rest of this piece is in the TUW messageboards under "Sense".]

Added: 07-01-2007 - Updated: 07-01-2007
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British literary awards
Award Annals: British literary awards

This interesting site discusses books nominated for the Man Booker Prize each year and ranks them by the honours received. "Wins are scored higher than nominations, and the scores are weighted differently (very slightly) for each award."

Added: 25-01-2007 - Updated: 26-01-2007
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Bullfinch's Mythology
Myths and legends from all countries at all times

Thomas Bulfinch, July 15, 1796 - May 27 1867, was an American writer, born in Newton, Massachusetts. His father was Charles Bulfinch , the architect of the Massachusetts State House in Boston and parts of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

He tried his hand at various businesses, then worked in a bank between 1837 and 1867. This job allowed him much spare time which he spent studying natural history and literature, and he began to write books drawing on his extensive reading, such as Hebrew Lyrical History (1853), The Age of Chivalry (1858), and Shakespeare Adapted for Reading Classes (1865).

One particular title, "The Age of Fable" written in 1855, gained wide fame. Known as ‘Bulfinch's Mythology’, it introduced Greek and Roman mythology to generations of Americans who did not read Greek or Latin.

"Our work is not for the learned, nor for the theologian, nor for the philosopher, but for the reader of English literature, of either sex, who wishes to comprehend the allusions so frequently made by public speakers, lecturers, essayists, and poets, and those which occur in polite conversation."
The volume was dedicated to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and described on the title page as an "Attempt To Popularize Mythology, And Extend The Enjoyment Of Elegant Literature."

In his preface Bulfinch outlined his purpose which was

"an attempt to solve this problem, by telling the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement. We have endeavored to tell them correctly, according to the ancient authorities, so that when the reader finds them referred to he may not be at a loss to recognize the reference.

Thus we hope to teach mythology not as a study, but as a relaxation from study; to give our work the charm of a story-book, yet by means of it to impart a knowledge of an important branch of education. The index at the end will adapt it to the purposes of a reference, and make it a Classical Dictionary for the parlor."

Comments
We think this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to The Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 29-07-2006


Added: 14-07-2006 - Updated: -
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Charles Dickens's characters
An alphabetical list of more than 400 of Dickens's characters - which book they were in, what Dickens said about them etc etc.

Charles Dickens's characters are some of the most memorable in fiction. Often these characters were based on people that he knew: characters like Wilkins Micawber and William Dorrit (his father), and Mrs. Nickleby (his mother). In a few instances Dickens based the character too closely on the original and got into trouble, as in the case of Harold Skimpole in Bleak House (based on Leigh Hunt) and Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield (based on his wife's chiropodist). Characters such as Scrooge (miserly) and Pecksniff (hypocritical) became defining terms in everyday English, and remained in use for a hundred years or more. Dickens's friend and biographer, John Forster, said that Dickens made 'characters real existences, not by describing them but by letting them describe themselves'. According to John R. Greenfield, in his Dictionary of British Literary Characters, Dickens created 989 named characters during his career. The list in this web represents the best-known.
Comments
We think this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to The Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 29-07-2006


Added: 21-06-2006 - Updated: 17-05-2007
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Complete Review
A literary saloon and site of review

A selectively comprehensive, objectively opinionated survey of books old and new, trying to meet all your book review, preview, and information needs.

* What's New: Reviews of books that have recently been published or republished, that are in the news, or that we have recently added to the complete review's archives.

* The Best: Our guide to the books we think are most worthy of your attention, the highest rated books, and our own bestseller list (of most popular reviews).

* The Rest: Foreign books (that haven't been translated into English yet) that you will find at the complete review, books and authors that you won't, our lowest rated reviews, and the most unusual, most obscure, and most underappreciated books under review.

* The Review Index: Our index of books under review at the complete review, arranged to make it easy for you to find the books you're looking for. With indices by author, title, genre, national origin, among others.

* Links: Links to other relevant sites, including book review and publishers' sites from all around the world. If you can't find what you need at the complete review, we hope to link you with a site that does provide the information you are looking for.

Added: 12-12-2006 - Updated: -
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Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future
a website devoted to the hero of the Eagle comic

Is there a need for yet another website devoted to Colonel Daniel McGregor Dare?

The Eagle Comic was reprinted around the world, in many formats and many languages, yet information concerning this phenomenon has never been assembled in one place before. This site will offer a look at these reprints by country and try to define the print runs and years of publication, and any other oddities and affiliated themes that turn up, such as the "Great US Stamp Mystery", and the French version of the Girl Comic.

And if your heart can still bear the excitement, you can browse through the various galleries that are now on-line, ranging from space-themed jigsaw puzzles to Dan Dare memorabilia.

There are numerous gaps in our knowledge on these various themes, so in part this site is also to encourage others to help fill these gaps. If anyone has additional information that they would like to submit on any of these subjects we actively encourage them to get in touch with us - we will print it and full credit will be given.

Above all, please ENJOY your visit.



Added: 22-07-2007 - Updated: 22-07-2007
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Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
The full text of Dante Alighieri's Vision Of Hell, Purgatory And Paradise

Dante Alighieri or simply Dante (1265-1321) was an Italian Florentine poet. His greatest work, la Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy), is considered the greatest literary statement produced in Europe during the Middle Ages, and the basis of the modern Italian language. The Dante Alighieri Society, founded in Italy in 1889, continues to promote Italian culture and language around the world in his name.
Comments
We think this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to The Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 29-07-2006


Added: 14-07-2006 - Updated: -
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Dashiell Hammett
The Dashiell Hammett website

"Samuel Hammett (1894–1961) was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest, The Dain Curse)."

Added: 06-05-2007 - Updated: 06-05-2007
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Dennis List
The website of the New Zealand poet

"The world inside my head was getting overcrowded, so I’m letting it crawl out. On this web site I’ve brought together a collection of my various fictions: some long out of print, some currently available, and some not yet published."

DH writes:

My favourite DL poem from the 1970s doesn’t appear to be in this site (although I may have missed it). It goes:

Jesus was a carpenter
He lived in many lands
And even when he died
They found some nails in his hands.

The poems which are there are wonderful.

Enjoy!

PS

The email address in Dennis's website doesn't work. If you'd like to contact him, his postal address is:

Dennis List
1 East Terrace
Nailsworth
Adelaide SA 5083
AUSTRALIA

A note added on 13 February 2008 -

A week after I wrote this entry I received the following email:

My name is Claudia List, Dennis' daughter. I am very sorry to have to inform you that my father died on 9 November 2008. He passed away as a result of complications associated with the treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a disease which he had successfully fought in 2006.

His website 'Audience Dialogue' is still open, we are currently in negotiations to pass over the running of this website with colleagues of his in Australia and Britain. Once we are sure what is happening we will let you know and get you in touch with the relevant people.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further enquiries. Perhaps this will be easiest if in the future you use my email - clauds_83@yahoo.com.au

His other website dennislist.net (? or similar) has been protected by Aukland University.


Added: 05-02-2008 - Updated: 13-02-2008
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