When my son and this blog were newborns, I purchased a copy of Seth Lerer’s Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History and began reading some of the classic children’s books that I loved as a child and/or that have been influential in creating children’s literature as we know it. My project through the classics in that

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Knut Hamsun’s Hunger is about pride in being human, the ridiculousness of everyday life, and the hopelessness of the two of those combined. As the title may suggest, the unnamed narrator is a hungry starving artist, struggling to write to earn money to pay for a meal. His life physically depends on his ability to

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“Crime and Punishment,” says Richard Pevear in his introduction, “is a highly unusual mystery novel: the most mystified character in it is the murderer himself.” At first glance, there is no mystery. The answers to “who, what, when, and where” seem self-evident, especially since the murder occurs center stage in the first 80 pages of

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I could not put down the 140-page novella The Stranger by Albert Camus after I picked it up, despite the fact that it is odd and rather disturbing. Camus’ Nobel Prize-winning writing style was absolutely beautiful: it reminded me of both John Steinbeck’s in The East of Eden (which I thought was a perfect combination

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