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#AuthorAlliance & #indiesUnite’s Recommended books. We love well-written books that keep us turning the pages.

The Great Law of Peace (The Peacemaker Series) (Volume 3)

The Great Law of Peace (The Peacemaker Series) (Volume 3)

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To survive the test of the falls was only the first step. Climbing the tree and letting them chop it down, falling straight into the worst of the rapids, gained him their attention, made them listen. But the main part of his work was still ahead of Two Rivers and his most loyal follower, Tekeni. The task of organizing the people as a whole, of making them talk to their hostile, warlike neighbors, demanded time, too much time. Their private desires had to wait as they traveled to more places, convened more gatherings, convinced more nations. The Great Peace demanded their full attention. However, the women they loved had different ideas. Neither was prepared to sit and wait patiently. Taking action seemed like the better course to both, but each went about it in her own, very different, fashion.



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St. George and St. Michael Volume 1

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Although George MacDonald was mostly known for his fantasy novels and fairy tales – some of his most notable works including The Princess and the Goblin or Phantastes – and for influencing some of the best known fantasy authors of modern times, like J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll, not many people are aware of the fact that one of his most distinguished works was actually an historical novel.

MacDonald wrote St George and St Michael as a controversial and well-designed story about a young couple that find themselves on opposing sides in the wake of the English Civil Wars. Skillfully blending the effects that the political conflicts and religious beliefs of the time may have had on an impressionable young girl such as Dorothy Vaughan and her lifelongchildhoodfriend, Richard Heywood,MacDonald manages tocreate a deep and historically meaningfulstory thatshows anaccurate depiction of thewars and their influence on thecommon Englishcitizens of thetime.

Thestory begins as tensionsrise between theChurchofEngland and thenumerous individualpuritans who believe that theChurch needs to be reformed.Amidst thegrowing difficulties associated with bringingbeliefs to a commondenominator,Dorothy Vaughan challenges herfriend and possible futurehusband,Richard,to get involved intheevents that are unfolding around them,and thus provehimself as a man.

Richard,however,following Dorothy’s encouragements,finds out his own family’sbeliefs stand against those of thegirl hewants to marry.

Thestory is quite complex,and ties into realevents that MacDonald hasmanaged to describe in remarkabledetail,bringing history to life in this well-written novel.



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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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Some people find James Joyce’s novels more difficult to digest, yet they can provide the greatest window to the world of this luminous genius. This semi-autobiographical novel depicts the journey of an aspiring artist from childhood to his young years as he matures into the unknown arts.

Opposite to his later works, James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is written in a much simpler style. Still employing the stream of consciousness, this novel introduces us to Stephen Dedalus and follows his progression from adolescence through adulthood. Stephen discovers that if he wishes to pursue true art he will have to renounce the paradigms and fallacies of religion, society and bigotry that characterized 19th century Ireland. Perhaps the choosing of his name alludes to Daedalus who found that if he wished to fly in the sky like the birds he would have to renounce the earth-bound mentality of mortals.

We are witnessing the maturing of the artist’s sensibility as he goes from the Jesuit school and leaves to take flight just like the ancient hero. In the novel, we can clearly see James Joyce’s mark and perhaps his own struggles as a “young artist”. His writing style clearly tries to suit each period of time from the early adolescent years through the late teens as the artist evolves into something more. The style changes to reflect the changes in sensibility as well as perception of the protagonist regarding the world, religion, politics, society as well as trying to understand his own purpose and how to achieve it as an artist.

People intimidated of James Joyce’s perhaps dense writing style should certainly pick up A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, as this would offer them the chance to enter the world of this classic genius.



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Crossing Worlds (The Rise of The Aztecs Book 2)

Crossing Worlds (The Rise of The Aztecs Book 2)

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With the crushing defeat resulting in the conquest of the beautiful Texcoco, fleeing into the Highlands seemed like their only option.
Before giving it much thought, Kuini takes his highborn Acolhua friend, the heir to Texcoco throne, to his homeland, to hide in the safety of the mountains, while counting on the help of his people.

But the enmity between the two nations goes back generations, and while both youths are ready to face the consequences of their deed, neither are prepared for the way Kuini’s family gets into trouble on account of them.



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Our Own Set

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A frightfully underrated novel depicting a highly dynamic, multi-faceted portrait of Viennese society at the end of the 19th century, Our Own Set is one book you’ve probably never heard about that can still be counted among the literary works of “giants” the likes of Jane Austen.

This short but incredibly wise, eloquent and humorous novel was written by Aloisia Kirschner under the pseudonym of Ossip Schubin. Her works showed great promise near the end of the 1880s, particularly in Germany and Austria, but also having a wide English readership until the start of the first World War. Raised as the daughter of a nobleman in Prague and in a castle in Bohemia, Kirschner knew a great deal about the Viennese nobility, and her insight, coupled with her impressive literary talent and highly observant nature, allowed her to write some of the most complex and amusing novels depicting the Austrian high society.

Our Own Set takes place in Rome, in 1870, where a group of noblemen from Austria used to take long holidays to get away from the “provincial” high society in Vienna, only to form their own social circle, which was strikingly similar to the one they aimed to avoid. When the secretary of the Austrian embassy in Rome is replaced by one Cecil Sterzl, the arrival of the newcomer, together with his strikingly beautiful sister, gives rise to a social intrigue of love, betrayal and secrecy that will have a surprising impact on the lives of all those involved.

Kirschner’s keen sense of observation and talent for psychologically sound characterizations often laced with a good dose of sarcasm will make this novel even more enjoyable. Whether you’re more interested in a genuine portrayal of the high society of old, a novel that describes the intrigues of love and social order, or just an amusing book to regard as a fun pastime, you’ll find Our Own Set to be all of those things and much more.



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Bleak House

Bleak House

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Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Considered to be one of Charles Dickens’ finest and, at the same time, darkest novel, brings deep and often caustic criticism of the British judicial system of the 19th century. Even though the story of the novel is, indeed, bleak, the reader is in for a real treat – the incredible array of wonderfully shaped, characters penciled in a fascinating and colorful way guarantee that.

The novel shows Dickensian realism and the author’s criticism of the Victorian era social structure at its best. The lengthy, seemingly court case it presents intertwines with stories of love affairs and many other events. The characters featured, both the major ones and the satellites, are all well-structured and well-rounded – just the way you can expect of the greatest Realist novel by the greatest Realist novelist. Criticism and satire are also at their best in Dickens’ novel and so is Dickens’ inclination towards the bizarre: one of the characters dies of spontaneous human combustion as well as other sub-plots that contribute greatly to the complexity of the novel as a whole. Bleak House is much more than a novel that criticizes the British legal system – it is a valuable document about an era of much controversy, written in a time when great changes were brewing in society just as much as in the legal system and science.

If you love Dickens novels already or you are interested in 19th century classics, Bleak House will make an excellent read. If you’ve read the book in the past and you are looking for quality reading, you will surely find facets of it that you have not noticed before, so we can surely say that Bleak House has something for everyone. The book is now available in various formats, offering great entertainment for those who like reading the traditional way, as well as for those who prefer digital formats.



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Echoes of the Past (People of the Longhouse Book 5)

Echoes of the Past (People of the Longhouse Book 5)

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When approached with a request to spy on his former people, Ogteah rejected the mere idea of it vehemently, even though it made his loyalty to his current people suspected, to a degree. Still, he wouldn’t do it. It was shabby, unfitting, more suited of the old Ogteah from his previous life.
Yet, with the circumstances conspiring against him, he had found himself plunging into the vastness of the Great Sparkling Water, nevertheless, alone and armed mainly with their unofficial warriors’ leader’s instructions and some goods to trade, a meager attempt to camouflage his true purpose.

In the meanwhile, the Wyandot from the other side of the Great Lake were working hard, anxious to convince the rest of the local nations into joining their union, perturbed by the Great League’s growing power and might, troubled by it. Even the defeated Long Tails did not keep quiet, recovering some of their former fighting spirit, the unlikely survivors among their leaders, people Ogteah certainly didn’t care to meet or remember.

All this and more awaited Ogteah as he headed across the Great Sparkling Water, against his and everyone else’s better judgment.




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Third Class in Indian Railways

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Third Class in Indian Railways by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (the full name of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian movement for independence from British rule and an advocate of non-violent civil resistance to oppression) is a collection of essays published by Gandhi separately, but assembled into a book in order to present the essence of Gandhi’s philosophy, of his social and political ideas as well as of his personal beliefs.

The volume includes six essays dealing with various topics written by Gandhi in 1916-1917, shortly after he had returned to India from his long stay in South Africa. The first piece in the collection and the one that lends the collection its title is a short travelogue that describes a train journey that Gandhi had been on and his experiences of the horrible conditions he had to endure while travelling third class. The essays after this first, introductory piece treat various subjects related to importance of preserving the national identity as well as more spiritual subjects.

The second essay is about the importance of using the mother tongue in education, the third deals with self-sustenance at a local level, while the fourth discusses how one can learn to defeat fears of death by achieving a more elevated state of mind. The fifth essay speaks about co-operation as a means of achieving economic prosperity, while the sixth writing discusses the importance of wearing the national dress.

The collection is short, but extremely dense, providing an essence of Gandhi’s philosophy. Written by one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, these essays formulate views and ideas that are just as pertinent and important today as they were a century ago, providing an extraordinary read not only for those interested in the ideas presented, but also for those who would like to know more about Gandhi as a private person.



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Molly Make-Believe

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Who is Molly Make-Believe? This is the question that haunted Carl Stanton, a Boston businessman who took up his fiancée on the offer of contacting the Serial-Letter Company – a curious correspondence service that promises, for a fee, to send him letters of comfort – while she is away wintering in Florida with her mother. Carl includes his profile in his first letter to the company, along with a check for a generous amount, and what he receives surprises and delights him beyond measure.

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott’s style and approach to this book is lighthearted and funny in some parts, as well as delightfully mysterious in others. She creates Molly Make-Believe, a companion for Carl who is cheerful, attentive, kind and remarkably affectionate – practically showing signs of every trait that his fiancée, Cornelia, lacked. While Carl initially wanted to keep the letters to show Cornelia how someone truly passionate writes to the person they care about, he soon becomes completely captivated by the letters themselves.

The story introduces a few interesting psychological elements that are probably more significant today than in any other point in history. As Carl questions whether Molly is real or not, we cannot help but allow our minds to glance at the easily facilitated communications of today, and how people can face similar dilemmas as to whether or not the person they communicate with is “real,” and whether it’s even relevant to wonder.

Abbott masterfully weaves the thread of the plot so beautifully that even modern readers feel they are swept away into a delightfully fun and droll story just perfect for reading on a dull rainy day.

There isn’t much that Molly Make-Believe lacks, despite the simplicity of the plot and the fact that not many characters are there to take part in it.



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Morning Star (The Aztec Chronicles Book 5)

Morning Star (The Aztec Chronicles Book 5)

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While Tenochtitlan was busy preparing for the impending campaign in the southwest, eager to extend its help to the city-state that requested it while expanding its influence far and wide, the Toluca Valley’s altepetls did not remain idle or lacking in aid.
The legendary Otomi warriors from the mountainous north came to reinforce the local resistance, people renowned for their ferociousness on the battlefield, famous for their ruthlessness and brutality. Or so the dwellers of Tenochtitlan heard.
And those were the very same people Miztli encountered while first setting his foot in the enemy capital, pretending to be someone he wasn’t, already experienced enough after travels of a few moons, spying with certain flair, yet not in the outright enemy city. The opportunity to come near the leader of the Otomi reinforcements presented itself promptly, too good to overlook, even if it exposed him to plenty of danger—danger he found out he was not always equipped to handle properly, to avoid without risking his life and freedom at the very least.

In the meanwhile, Elotl, sent by his brother back to Tenochtitlan to deliver the word of the dangerous reinforcements through Necalli and to the Emperor himself, arrived in the island-capital, only to land in plenty of trouble his own recklessness brought upon him time after time. The neighboring Tlatelolco was again up to no good, and this time, even Tlemilli’s exalted sister found herself involved, if inadvertently, caught in political machinations that only one man could help her escape.




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