The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared: An Excerpt

You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to tell others of his decision. But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long. So the idea had barely taken hold in the old man’s head before he opened the window of his room on the... Continue Reading →

Anna Karenina: An Excerpt

A footman stood opening the carriage door. The hall porter stood holding open the great door of the house. Anna Arkadyevna, with her quick little hand, was unfastening the lace of her sleeve, caught in the hook of her fur cloak, and with bent head listening to the words Vronsky murmured as he escorted her... Continue Reading →

Kohinoor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond: An Excerpt

On 16 May, after fifty-seven catastrophic days in Delhi, Nader Shah finally left the city, carrying with him the accumulated wealth of eight generations of imperial Mughal conquest. The greatest of all his winnings was the Peacock Throne, in which was still embedded both the Koh-i-Noor and the Timur Ruby. The loot was loaded on... Continue Reading →

Ham on Rye: An Excerpt

I read all the books by D. H. And they led to others. To H. D., the poetess. And Huxley, the youngest of the Huxleys, Lawrence’s friend. It all came rushing at me. One book led to the next. Dos Passos came along. Not too good, really, but good enough. His trilogy, about the U.S.A., took... Continue Reading →

Love among the Chickens: An Excerpt

The sight of the table, when at length we filed into the dining room, sent a chill through me. It was a meal for the very young or the very hungry. The uncompromising coldness and solidity of the viands was enough to appall a man conscious that his digestion needed humouring. A huge cheese faced... Continue Reading →

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – An Excerpt

I knew my way in the darkness or in the light. I thought once how good it was that I had straightened my hiding place and freshened it, so it would now be pleasant for Constance. I would cover her with leaves, like children in a story, and keep her safe and warm. Perhaps I... Continue Reading →

The Apple Tree: An Excerpt

“She was almost within his reach when he stumbled and fell, his foot twisted underneath him, caught in some obstacle hidden by the snow. He tried to move his foot but it was jammed, and he knew suddenly, by the sharpness of the pain biting his ankle, that what had trapped him was the jagged... Continue Reading →

The Godfather: An Excerpt

“For the second time he saw Michael Corleone’s face freeze into a mask that resembled uncannily the Don’s. “Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal... Continue Reading →

In Arabian Nights: An Excerpt

Standing there, the ocean breeze cool on my face, I sensed the tingle of something I could not understand, and saw a fine geometric carpet laid over the lawn. I strolled down over the terrace and on to the grass, and stepped aboard it, the silk knots pressing against my bare feet. Before I knew... Continue Reading →

In A Disused Graveyard

The living come with grassy tread To read the gravestones on the hill; The graveyard draws the living still, But never anymore the dead. The verses in it say and say: "The ones who living come today To read the stones and go away Tomorrow dead will come to stay." So sure of death the... Continue Reading →

Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond – An Excerpt

Lena Login watched as an emissary from the Tower of London, escorted by yeoman warders, entered the drawing room. He carried a small casket in his hands, which the queen opened delicately. She showed the open box to Albert and together they walked over to where Duleep stood on the dais. Looking up at him,... Continue Reading →

Mathilda – An Excerpt

When I had lived here some time other animals visited me and a fox came every day for a portion of food appropriated for him & would suffer me to pat his head. I had besides many books and a harp with which when despairing I could soothe my spirits, and raise myself to sympathy... Continue Reading →

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