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Vladimir Putin's Bookcase

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (/ˈptɪn/; Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ ˈputʲɪn], born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician, and is the current President of the Russian Federation.

Photo by: Presidential Press and Information Office

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In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise. "If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "no one ever so completely performed it." Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam"

Representative of the exotic and erotic east, enemy of Christianity, prophet of hedonism, champion of free thinkers, Omar Khayyam and his Ruba’iyyat have been the stuff of legend for centuries. Nourished by an admiration of Khayyam that has been with him since childhood, Aminrazavi’s comprehensive new biography reintroduces the figure of Khayyam, and his great achievements, to the Western world. Blending a readable and accessible narrative with scholarly ambition and years of research, Aminrazavi’s work covers not only Khayyam’s well-known poetry, but also his extraordinary life, his neglected philosophical writings and the impact of his work in the West. It features a variety of supporting material, including original translations and the full text of Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyyat, and will prove an ideal introduction not only for those who want to know more about the poets inspired by Rumi, but also for students on a variety of humanities and Middle-East related courses.

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A Book of Quiet Reflections

The Singing Heart: A Book of Quiet Reflections is a collection of reflections on human nature and morality; the beauty of nature and its relationship with man as created being and God as creator; man's duties, responsibilities, and destiny in life; and the interplay of heart, mind, and soul. These reflections from a "singing heart" are beautifully written in a language steeped in love for Russia and the Orthodox faith and provide a glimpse into the soul of a man who refused to be beaten by the cruelty of his time but found beauty in the darkest of days.

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In The Destiny of Man, Nikolai Berdyaev sketches the plan of a new ethics. This new ethics will be knowledge not only of good and evil, but also of the tragedy which is constantly present in moral experience and complicates all of man's moral judgments. It will emphasize the crucial importance of the personality and of human freedom. The new ethics will interpret moral life as a creative activity; it will be an ethics of free creativeness, an ethics that combines freedom, compassion, and creativeness.

Found via: Favobooks

The two years before he wrote Crime and Punishment (1866) had been bad ones for Dostoyevsky. His wife and brother had died; the magazine he and his brother had started, Epoch, collapsed under its load of debt; and he was threatened with debtor's prison. With an advance that he managed to wangle for an unwritten novel, he fled to Wiesbaden, hoping to win enough at the roulette table to get himself out of debt. Instead, he lost all his money; he had to pawn his clothes and beg friends for loans to pay his hotel bill and get back to Russia. One of his begging letters went to a magazine editor, asking for an advance on yet another unwritten novel — which he described as Crime and Punishment. One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, Crime and Punishment catapulted Dostoyevsky to the forefront of Russian writers and into the ranks of the world's greatest novelists. Drawing upon experiences from his own prison days, the author recounts in feverish, compelling tones the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished student tormented by his own nihilism, and the struggle between good and evil. Believing that he is above the law, and convinced that humanitarian ends justify vile means, he brutally murders an old woman — a pawnbroker whom he regards as "stupid, ailing, greedy…good for nothing." Overwhelmed afterwards by feelings of guilt and terror, Raskolnikov confesses to the crime and goes to prison. There he realizes that happiness and redemption can only be achieved through suffering. Infused with forceful religious, social, and philosophical elements, the novel was an immediate success. This extraordinary, unforgettable work is reprinted here in the authoritative Constance Garnett translation. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

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The must-have Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of one of the greatest Russian novels ever written

Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as “flawless,” Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.

While previous versions have softened the robust and sometimes shocking qualities of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This authoritative edition, which received the PEN Translation Prize and was an Oprah Book Club™ selection, also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for fans of the film and generations to come. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Turgenev's first major prose work is a series of twenty-five Sketches: the observations and anecdotes of the author during his travels through Russia satisfying his passion for hunting. His album is filled with moving insights into the lives of those he encounters - peasants and landowners, doctors and bailiffs, neglected wives and bereft mothers - each providing a glimpse of love, tragedy, courage and loss, and anticipating Turgenev's great later works such as First Love and Fathers and Sons. His depiction of the cruelty and arrogance of the ruling classes was considered subversive and led to his arrest and confinement to his estate, but these sketches opened the minds of contemporary readers to the plight of the peasantry and were even said to have led Tsar Alexander II to abolish serfdom.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Introduction and Notes by Keith Wren, University of Kent at Canterbury A historical romance, The Three Musketeers tells the story of the early adventures of the young Gascon gentleman, D'Artagnan and his three friends from the regiment of the King's Musketeers - Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Under the watchful eye of their patron M. de Treville, the four defend the honour of the regiment against the guards of Cardinal Richelieu, and the honour of the queen against the machinations of the Cardinal himself as the power struggles of seventeenth century France are vividly played out in the background. But their most dangerous encounter is with the Cardinal's spy, Milady, one of literature's most memorable female villains, and Dumas employs all his fast-paced narrative skills to bring this enthralling novel to a breathtakingly gripping and dramatic conclusion

Found via: Favobooks

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