Great Reads

MOTHER TERESA: A LIFE INSPIRED by Wyatt North

ELIZABETH THE QUEEN by Sally Bedell Smith

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

SILAS MARNER by George Elliot

NORTH AND SOUTH by Elizabeth Gaskell

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

KISSES FROM KATIE: A STORY OF RELENTLESS LOVE AND REDEMPTION by Katie Davis

THE LIFE OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI by Paul Sabatier

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas

QUEEN VICTORIA by Giles Lytton Strachey

EMPTY MANSIONS: THE MYSTERIOUS LIFE OF HUGUETTE CLARK by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

NICHOLAS NICKLEBY by Charles Dickens

WALKING FROM EAST TO WEST by Ravi Zacharias

BLEAK HOUSE by Charles Dickens

THE WORST HARD TIME by Timothy Egan

GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by Todd and Sonja Burpo

THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS by John Bunyan

THE WOMEN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins

VILLETTE by Charlotte Bronte
In addition, she gave me the originality of her character to study: the steadiness of her virtues, I will add, the power of her passions, to admire; the truth of her feelings to trust.  (Chapter 4)

When I had full leisure to look on life as life must be looked on by such as me, I found it but a hopeless desert; tawny sands, with no green fields, no palm tree, no well in view.  (Chapter 15)

These struggles with the natural character, the strong native bent of the heart, may seem futile and fruitless, but in the end they do good.  They tend, however slightly, to give the actions, the conduct, that turn which Reason approves, and which Feeling, perhaps, too often opposes: they certainly make a difference in the general tenour of a life, and enable it to be better regulated, more equable, quieter on the surface; and it is on the surface only the common gaze will fall.  As to what lies below, leave that with God.  Man, your equal, weak as you, and not fit to be your judge, may be shut out thence: take it to your Maker–show Him the secrets of the spirit He gave–ask Him how you are to bear the pains He has appointed–kneel in His presence, and pray with faith for light in darkness, for strength in piteous weakness, for patience in extreme need.  (Chapter 17)

They liked to communicate happiness, as some like to occasion misery: they did it instinctively; without fuss, and apparently with little consciousness; the means to give pleasure rose spontaneously in their minds.  (Chapter 19)

Reason might be right; yet no wonder we are glad at times to defy her, to rush from under her rod and give a truant hour to Imagination–her soft, bright foe, our sweet Help, our divine Hope.  We shall and must break bounds at intervals, despite the terrible revenge that awaits our return.  (Chapter 21)

Exceptional chapter: Chapter 36 “The Apple Of Discord”

I do believe there are some human beings so born, so reared, so guided from a soft cradle to a calm and late grave, that no excessive suffering penetrates their lot, and no tempestuous blackness overcasts their journey.  And often, these are not pampered, selfish being, but Nature’s elect harmonious and benign; men and women mild with charity, kind agents of God’s kind attributes.  (Chapter 37)

Tired wayfarer, gird up thy loins; look upward, march onward.  Pilgrims and brother mourners, join in friendly company.  Dark through the wilderness of this world stretches the way for most of us: equal and steady be our tread; be our cross, our banner.   For staff we have His promise, whose “word is tried, whose way perfect:” for present hope His providence, “who gives the shield of salvation, whose gentleness makes great;” for final home His bosom, who “dwells in the height of Heaven;” for crowning prize a glory, exceeding and eternal.  Let us so run that we may obtain: let us endure hardness as good soldiers; let us finish our course, and keep the faith, reliant in the issue to come off more than conquerors: “Art thou not from everlasting mine Holy One?  WE SHALL NOT DIE!”  (Chapter 38)

As to Happiness or Hope, they and I had shaken hands, but just now—I scorned Despair.  (Chapter 38)

Truth stripped away Falsehood and Flattery, and Expectancy, and here I stand–free!”  (Chapter 39)

DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens
“Never,” said my aunt, “be mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel.  Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful of you.”  (Chapter 15)

…but I feel that there are goodness, peace, and truth, wherever Agnes is; and that the soft light of the coloured window in the church, seen long ago, falls on her always, and on me when I am near her, and on everything around.  (Chapter 16)

My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.  I have never believed it possible that any natural or improved ability can claim immunity from the companionship of the steady, plain, hard-working qualities, and hope to gain its end.  There is no such thing as such fulfillment on this earth.  Some happy talent, and some fortunate opportunity, may form the two sides of the ladder on which some men mount, but the rounds of that ladder must be made of stuff to stand wear and tear; and there is no substitute for thorough-going, ardent, and sincere earnestness.  Never to put one hand to anything, on which I could throw my whole self; and never to affect depreciation of my work, whatever it was; I find, now, to have been my golden rules.  (Chapter 42)

 

 

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