AMERICAN GODS

American Gods (2001) is a novel by English author Neil Gaiman. The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on the mysterious and taciturn Shadow. Several of the themes were previously alluded to in his The Sandman comic book series.


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CLOUD ATLAS

Cloud Atlas is a 2004 novel, the third book by British author David Mitchell. It consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Cloud Atlas is a novel composed of six interlacing narratives, each one housed within the next, so that the first is a book read by a character in the second, the second a series of letters cherished by a character in the third, the third a populist novel being considered by a publisher in the third, and so on. To fully realize this Russian-doll experiment Mitchell divides each tale in half and places them, sandwich fashion, at opposite ends of the book. Thus the opening narrative is the last to be concluded, the second the penultimate, etc. At the centre of the novel lies the indivisible doll, an unbroken post-apocalyptic tale wrapped fivefold. Despite this symbiotic, intra-textual concept, further emphasized by the unifying themes of recurrence and predation, each narrative stands as a novella in its own right.

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GAME OF THRONES SERIES

A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. He began the first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, in 1991 and had it published in 1996. Martin, who initially envisioned the series as a trilogy, has published five out of a planned seven volumes. The fifth and most recent volume of the series published in 2011, A Dance with Dragons, took Martin five years to write. He is still writing the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter.

A Song of Ice and Fire takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. The point of view of each chapter in the story is a limited perspective of a range of characters growing from nine, in the first novel, to thirty-one by the fifth. Three main stories interweave a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others in the northernmost reaches of Westeros, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king’s exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.
Martin’s inspirations included the Wars of the Roses and the French historical novels The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon.  A Song of Ice and Fire received praise for its diverse portrayal of women and religion, as well as its realism. An assortment of disparate and subjective points of view confronts the reader, and the success or survival of point of view characters is never assured. Within the often morally ambiguous world of A Song of Ice and Fire, questions concerning loyalty, pride, human sexuality, piety, and the morality of violence frequently arise.

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PETER PAN

Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A free spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythical island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys, interacting with fairies, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.

PLOT

In the nursery of the Darling home, a dog is the nurse, or nanny. Perhaps that is one reason there is so much joy there. Nurse Nana bathes the three children and gives them their suppers and in all ways watches over them. One night, Mrs. Darling, on Nana’s night off, sits with the children as they sleep. Drowsing, she is awakened by a slight draft from the window, and, looking around, she sees a strange boy in the room. She screams, and Nana, who has just returned home, lunges for the intruder, but the boy leaps out the window, leaving only his shadow behind. He had been accompanied also by a ball of light, but it too has escaped. Mrs. Darling rolls up the boy’s shadow and puts it in a drawer, thinking that the boy will come back for it sometime soon and thus may be caught. 
When Mr. Darling is told of the incident he considers it a little silly; at present he is more concerned with finding a different nurse for the children. Believing that the dog, Nana, is getting too much authority in the household, Mr. Darling drags her out of the house and locks her up.
Mr. and Mrs. Darling go out the following night, leaving only a maid to look in on the children occasionally. After the lights are out and the children are asleep, the intruder returns. The boy, whose name is Peter Pan, is accompanied by Tinker Bell, a fairy who appears as a ball of light. Peter finds his shadow after searching in all the drawers in the nursery, but in his excitement he shuts Tinker Bell in one of the drawers.
As Peter tries to get his shadow to stick to him again, he makes enough noise to awaken Wendy, the daughter of the household. Peter tells Wendy that he ran away the day he was born because he heard his parents talking about all the things he would do when he was a man; he went to live with the fairies so that he would never have to grow up. Suddenly he remembers Tinker Bell, and he looks for her until he finds her in one of the nursery dressers. Tinker Bell, a ball of light no bigger than a fist, is so small that Wendy can hardly see her. She is not a very polite fairy—she calls Wendy horrible names. 
Peter tells Wendy, the only girl of the three Darling children and instantly his favorite, that he and Tinker Bell live in Neverland with the lost boys, boys who had fallen out of their baby carriages and were never found again. He had come to Wendy’s house to listen to her mother tell stories to the others. Peter, begging Wendy and her brothers to go back to Neverland with him, promises to teach them to fly. The idea is too much for the children to resist. After a little practice they all fly out the window, barely escaping their parents and Nana, who has broken her chain to warn Mr. and Mrs. Darling of the danger to the children.
In Neverland, the Indians, with their chief and their princess, help to protect the lost boys against a group of mean pirates led by Captain Hook, who has a hook where one of his hands used to be. It is Hook’s greatest desire to capture Peter Pan, for Peter is the one who tore off Hook’s arm and fed it to a crocodile. The crocodile so liked the taste of the arm that he now follows Hook everywhere, waiting for a chance to eat the rest of him. The crocodile has, unhappily, also swallowed a clock, and its ticking warns Hook whenever the crocodile approaches. 
To this strange land Wendy and her brothers fly with Peter Pan. The lost boys, seeing Wendy first in the sky when they arrive, think that she is a giant bird, and one of them shoots her with a bow and arrow. The jealous Tinker Bell had suggested the deed. Peter arrives and, after finding that Wendy is only stunned, banishes Tinker Bell for a week to punish her for provoking the attack. He then tells the others that he has brought Wendy to them. They promptly build her a house and ask her to be their mother. Wendy thinks that taking care of so many children is a great responsibility, but she quickly assumes her duties by telling them stories and putting them to bed.
Jealous, the pirates plan to steal Wendy and make her their mother; they intend to force the other children to walk the plank. Peter overhears them plotting, however, and he saves the children and Wendy. He himself escapes by sailing out to sea in a bird’s nest. 
Wendy and her brothers begin to worry about their parents, and they decide that they should return home. The lost boys, delighted at the thought of having a real grown-up mother, eagerly accept Wendy’s invitation to come live with her and her brothers and parents. Peter refuses to go, because he wants always to be a little boy and have fun. He lets the others go, however, and asks Tinker Bell to show them the way.
The pirates have learned of the children’s journey, and as Tinker Bell and the children begin to fly from Neverland, Hook and his men seize them. When Peter finds out that Hook has captured all his friends, he vows to get revenge on the pirate once and for all. 
On the pirate ship, the children are being prepared to walk the plank. They are all paraded before Wendy, who is tied to the mast. Unknown to the pirates, however, Peter is also on board, and by using tricks and false voices he leads first one pirate and then another to his death. These strange happenings are too much for Hook. When he knocks the seat out from under Peter and the boy remains in place, calmly sitting on air, the pirate throws himself overboard, into the waiting jaws of the patient crocodile.
Meanwhile, at the Darling home, Mrs. Darling and Nana wait, with little hope, for the children to return. They have left the nursery window open constantly, so that their loved ones might enter easily should they ever come home, but Peter and Tinker Bell fly ahead of the others and close the window so that Wendy and the others will think they are not wanted. Peter, however, does not know how to get out of a room through the door, and thus he is forced to fly out the window again, leaving it open behind him. Wendy and her brothers fly in and slip into their beds, and Mrs. Darling and Nana are overcome with joy when they find the children safe again. 
The Darlings adopt the lost boys, who have great fun romping with Mr. Darling. Peter returns and tries to get Wendy to fly away with him, but she refuses to leave her parents again. She does go once each year to clean his house for him, but each time they meet she sees him a little less clearly. Once or twice she tries to get him to see her as something more than a mother, but Peter does not know what she means. Then comes the day when Wendy can no longer fly without a broomstick to help her. Peter, watching her, sadly wishes he could understand all that she says. He picks up his pipes and plays softly, perhaps too softly to awaken humans in a grown-up world. 

Download the book: Adventures of Peter Pan.pdf

A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The book was originally titled A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Some early editions are titled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur.
In the book, a Yankee engineer from Connecticut is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur, where he fools the inhabitants of that time into thinking that he is a magician, and soon uses his knowledge of modern technology to become a “magician” in earnest, stunning the English of the Early Middle Ages with such feats as demolitions, fireworks, and the shoring up of a holy well. He attempts to modernize the past, but in the end he is unable to prevent the death of Arthur and an interdict against him by the Catholic Church of the time, which grows fearful of his power.

Twain wrote the book as a burlesque of Romantic notions of chivalry after being inspired by a dream in which he was a knight himself, severely inconvenienced by the weight and cumbersome nature of his armor.

PLOT

The novel is a comedy that sees 6th-Century England and its medieval culture through Hank Morgan’s view; he is a 19th-century resident of Hartford, Connecticut, who, after a blow to the head, awakens to find himself inexplicably transported back in time to early medieval England where he meets King Arthur himself. The fictional Mr. Morgan, who had an image of that time that had been colored over the years by romantic myths, takes on the task of analyzing the problems and sharing his knowledge from 1300 years in the future to modernize, Americanize, and improve the lives of the people.

In addition, many passages are quoted directly from Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, a medieval Arthurian collection of legends and one of the earlier sources. The narrator who finds the Yankee in the “modern times” of Twain’s nineteenth century is reading the book in the museum in which they both meet; later, characters in the story retell parts of it in Malory’s original language. A chapter on medieval hermits also draws from the work of William Edward Hartpole Lecky.

The story begins as a first-person narrative in Warwick Castle, where a man details his recollection of a tale told to him by an “interested stranger” who is personified as a knight through his simple language and familiarity with ancient armor.

After a brief tale of Sir Lancelot of Camelot and his role in slaying two giants from the third-person narrative—taken directly from Le Morte d’Arthur—the man named Hank Morgan enters and, after being given whiskey by the narrator, he is persuaded to reveal more of his story. Described through first-person narrative as a man familiar with the firearms and machinery trade, Hank is a man who had reached the level of superintendent due to his proficiency in firearms manufacturing, with two thousand subordinates. He describes the beginning of his tale by illustrating details of a disagreement with his subordinates, during which he sustained a head injury from a “crusher” to the head caused by a man named “Hercules” using a crowbar. After passing out from the blow, Hank describes waking up underneath an oak tree in a rural area of Camelot, where he soon encounters the knight Sir Kay, riding by. Kay challenges him to a joust, which is quickly lost by the unweaponed, unarmored Hank as he scuttles up a tree. Kay captures Hank and leads him towards Camelot castle. Upon recognizing that he has time-traveled to the sixth century, Hank realizes that he is the de facto smartest person on Earth, and with his knowledge he should soon be running things…


Download the book: A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.pdf

HUNGER GAMES

The Hunger Games is a trilogy of young adult dystopian novels written by American novelist Suzanne Collins. The series is set in The Hunger Games universe, and follows young characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellar
The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in an unspecified future time, in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, located in North America. The country consists of a wealthy Capitol city, located in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by twelve (originally thirteen) poorer districts ruled by the Capitol. The Capitol is lavishly rich and technologically advanced, but the districts are in varying states of poverty. 
The trilogy’s narrator and protagonist Katniss Everdeen, lives in District 12, the poorest region of Panem, located in Appalachia, where people regularly die of starvation. As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol (called the “Dark Days”), in which District 13 was supposedly destroyed, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve remaining districts, between the ages of 12 and 18, are selected by lottery to compete in an annual pageant called the Hunger Games. The Games are a televised event in which the participants, called “tributes”, are forced to fight to the death in a dangerous public arena. The winning tribute and his/her home district are then rewarded with food, supplies, and riches. The purposes of the Hunger Games are to provide entertainment for the Capitol and to remind the districts of the Capitol’s power and lack of remorse, forgetfulness and forgiveness for the failed rebellion of the current competitors’ ancestors.

Books   

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is the first book in the series and was released on September 14, 2008.
The Hunger Games follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her younger sister Primrose Everdeen, known as Prim. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a boy who has developed a secret crush on Katniss. They are mentored by District 12’s only living victor, Haymitch Abernathy, who won the Games 24 years earlier and has since assumed a solitary life of alcoholism. Peeta confesses his love for Katniss in a television interview prior to the Games, leading the Capitol to portray Katniss and Peeta as “star-crossed lovers”. This revelation surprises Katniss, who harbors feelings for Gale Hawthorne, her friend and hunting partner. Haymitch advises Katniss to play along and feign feelings for Peeta in order to gain wealthy sponsors who can gift them crucial supplies during the Games. In the arena, Katniss develops an alliance with Rue, a young tribute from District 11 who reminds Katniss of her kid sister, and Katniss is emotionally scarred when Rue is killed. Katniss devises a memorial for Rue by placing flowers over her body as an act of defiance toward the Capitol. More than halfway through The Games, the remaining tributes are alerted to a rule change that allows both tributes from the same district to be declared victors if they are the final two standing. After learning of the change, Katniss and Peeta begin to work as a team. When all of the other tributes are dead, and they appear to win the Games together, the rule change is revoked. Katniss leads Peeta in a double suicide attempt to eat poisonous berries known as nightlock, hoping that the latest change will be reinstated, and that they will both be victorious. Their ruse is successful, and both tributes return home victorious. During and after the Games, Katniss develops genuine feelings for Peeta and struggles to balance them with the connection she feels with Gale. When it becomes clear that the Capitol is upset with Katniss’ defiance, Haymitch encourages her to maintain the “star-crossed lovers” act, without telling Peeta.

 

Catching Fire

Catching Fire is the second installment in the series, released on September 1, 2009.
In Catching Fire, which begins six months after the conclusion of The Hunger Games, Katniss learns that her defiance in the previous novel has started a chain reaction that has inspired rebellion in the districts. President Snow threatens to harm Katniss’ family and friends if she does not help to defuse the unrest in the districts and marry Peeta. Meanwhile, Peeta has become aware of Katniss’ disingenuous love for him, but he has also been informed of Snow’s threats, so he promises to help keep up the act to spare the citizens of District 12. Katniss and Peeta tour the districts as victors and plan a public wedding. While they follow Snow’s orders and keep up the ruse, Katniss inadvertently fuels the rebellion, and the mockingjay pin she wears becomes its symbol. District by district, the citizens of Panem begin to stage uprisings against the Capitol. Snow announces a special 75th edition of the Hunger Games—known as the Quarter Quell—in which Katniss and Peeta are forced to compete with other past victors, effectively canceling the wedding. At Haymitch’s urging, the pair teams up with several other tributes, and manages to destroy the arena and escape The Games. Katniss is rescued by the rebel forces from District 13, and Gale informs her that the Capitol has destroyed District 12, and captured both Peeta and their District 7 ally, Johanna Mason. Katniss ultimately learns—to her surprise—that she had inadvertently been an integral part of the rebellion all along; her rescue had been jointly planned by Haymitch, Plutarch Heavensbee, and Finnick Odair, among others. After some hesitation Katniss joins the rebels.

 

Mockingjay

Mockingjay, the third and final book in The Hunger Games series, was released on August 24, 2010.
Mockingjay centers on the districts’ rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss returns home and sees the remains of District 12. It is revealed that some District 13 residents survived the Dark Days by living underground, and they are led by President Alma Coin. Katniss, after being brought to District 13, agrees to become the “Mockingjay” and recruit more rebels from the districts. She sets conditions so that Peeta, Johanna Mason, Annie Cresta, and Enobaria, fellow victors captured by the Capitol, will not be seen as traitors, and Katniss will be able to kill Snow as an act of vengeance, if the rebels win. It is revealed that Peeta has been “hijacked”—brainwashed using Tracker Jacker venom—to kill Katniss, and he tries to choke her to death upon their reunion. After her healing, Katniss and a team known as the Star Squad, composed of Gale, Peeta, Finnick, a camera crew, and various other soldiers, embark on a mission to go to the Capitol to kill Snow. The mission succeeds, and they thus win the rebellion. Throughout their mission, many members of the Squad die in various ways, including just-married Finnick. Towards the end of the book, as Katniss approaches Snow’s mansion, she sees a group of Capitol children protecting the entrance to the mansion as a shield, and suddenly a Capitol hovercraft drops bombs, killing the children. The rebels send in medics, including Prim. A bomb goes off, killing Prim instantly as soon as she notices her sister. Katniss, also injured, awakens from a coma to hear that the rebels have won, and Snow is awaiting execution, which Katniss will be allowed to carry out. At the meeting, Snow suggests that it was in fact the rebels, led by Coin, who hijacked the Capitol hovercraft and killed Prim in a move to portray Snow as barbaric. Coin then asks the remaining victors to vote on a final Hunger Games, in which the children of high-ranking Capitol officials (including Snow’s granddaughter) would compete, in order to punish the Capitol for their crimes against the districts. At what is supposed to be Snow’s execution, Katniss instead decides to kill Coin, and Snow dies by choking on his own blood while laughing. This leads to Katniss’ prosecution, but she is deemed innocent as the jury believes she was not in a fit mental state. Katniss is sent home to District 12, and Katniss’ mother and Gale both take jobs in different districts. In the epilogue, Peeta’s love wins against the Tracker Jacker venom, and he and Katniss remain together. The couple bears two children, a boy and a girl.

Download the series:

Book 1: Hunger games.pdf 

Book 2: Catching Fire.pdf

Book 3:  Mocking Jay.pdf

CIRCLE SERIES

The Circle Series, formerly known as the Circle Trilogy until the novel Green was released in September 2009, is a pentalogy of spiritually inspired novels by American author Ted Dekker, written mostly in 2004, about a man named Thomas Hunter who, after a head injury, wakes up in an alternate reality every time he goes to sleep. The stakes are raised when he realizes that a deadly virus is about to be unleashed in the world, and that the other earth is also being threatened with catastrophe. 

The pace quickens as links and parallels between the two worlds are revealed, and the clock begins to run down for both worlds.
The Circle Series takes place in the same universe as several other Dekker novels, and makes several references to them. These other novels include the Paradise Novels, the Lost Books, Skin, House, and Immanuel’s Veins.
The Circle is an epic story of evil and rescue, betrayal and love, and terrorist threat unlike anything the human race has ever known.
It beings when a man named Thomas hunter finds himself being chased down an alley after working the late shift at a coffee house. When a bullet grazes his head, he awakens in an entirely different reality. Now every time he falls asleep, he wakes up in the other reality—and every choice he makes impacts the fate of two worlds.

Download the series:

Book 1: Black: The Birth of Evil.pdf

Book 2: Red: The Heroic Rescue.pdf

Book 3: White: The Great Pursuit.pdf