Saturday, August 20, 2011

O'Hurley's Return: Skin Deep\Without A Trace (The O'hurleys) by Nora Roberts pdf download

The house was big and cool and white. In the early-morning hours, a breeze came through the terrace doors Chantel had left unlatched, bringing in the scents of the garden. Across the lawn, hidden from the main house by trees, was a gazebo, painted white, with wisteria climbing up the trellises. Sometimes, when the wind was right, Chantel could catch the perfume from her bedroom window.On the east side of the lawn was an elaborate marble fountain. It was quiet now. She rarely had it turned on when she was alone. Near it was the pool, an octagonal stone affair skirted by a wide patio and flanked by another, smaller, white house. There was a tennis court beyond a grove of trees, but it had been weeks since she'd had the time or the inclination to pick up a racket.
Surrounding the estate was a stone fence, twice as tall as a man, that alternately gave her a sense of security or the feeling of being hemmed in. Still, inside the house, with its lofty ceilings and cool white walls, she often forgot about the fence and the security system and the electronic gate; it was the price she paid for the fame she had always wanted.
The servants' quarters were in the west wing, on the first floor. No one stirred there now. It was barely dawn, and she was alone. There were times Chantel preferred it that way.
As she bundled her hair under a hat, she didn't bother to check the results in the three-foot mirror in her dressing room. The long shirt and flat-heeled shoes she wore were chosen for comfort, not for elegance. The face that had broken men's hearts and stirred women's envy was left untouched by cosmetics. Chantel protected it by pulling down the brim of her hat and slipping on enormous sunglasses. As she picked up the bag that held everything she thought she would need for the day, the intercom beside the door buzzed.
She checked her watch. Five forty-five. Then she pushed the button. "Right on time."
"Good morning, Miss O'Hurley."
"Good morning, Robert. I'll be right down." After flipping the switch that released the front gate, Chantel started down the wide double staircase that led to the main floor. The mahogany rail felt like satin under her fingers as she trailed them down. Overhead, a chandelier hung, its prisms quiet in the dim light. The marble floor shone like glass. The house was a suitable showcase for the star she had worked to become. Chantel had yet to take any of it for granted. It was a dream that had rolled from, then into, other dreams, and it took time and effort and skill to maintain. But then she'd been working all her life and felt entitled to the benefits she had begun to reap.
As she walked to the front door, the phone began to ring.
Damn it, had they changed the call on her? Because she was up and the servants weren't, Chantel crossed the hall to the library and lifted the receiver. "Hello." Automatically she picked up a pen and prepared to make a note.
"I wish I could see you right now." The familiar whisper had her palms going damp, and the pen slipped out of her hand and fell soundlessly on the fresh blotter. "Why did you change your number? You're not afraid of me, are you? You mustn't be afraid of me, Chantel. I won't hurt you. I just want to touch you. Just touch you. Are you getting dressed? Are you—"
With a cry of despair, Chantel slammed down the receiver. The sound of her breathing in the big, empty house seemed to echo back to her. It was starting again.
Minutes later, her driver noticed only that she didn't give him the easy, flirtatious smile she usually greeted him with before she climbed into the back of the limo. Once inside, Chantel tipped her head back, closed her eyes and willed herself to calm. She had to face the camera in a few hours and give it her best. That was her job. That was her life. Nothing could be allowed to interfere with that, not even the fear of a whisper over the phone or an anonymous letter.
By the time the limo passed through the studio gates, Chantel had herself under control again. She should be safe here, shouldn't she? Here she could pour herself into the work that still fascinated her. Inside the dozens of big domed buildings, magic happened, and she was part of it. Even the ugliness was just pretend. Murder, mayhem and passion could all be simulated. Fantasyland, her sister Maddy called it, and that was true enough. But, Chantel thought with a smile, you had to work your tail off to make the fantasy real.
She was sitting in makeup at six-thirty and having her hair fussed over and styled by seven. They were in the first week of shooting, and everything seemed fresh and new. Chantel read over her lines while the stylist arranged her hair into the flowing silver-blond mane her character would wear that day.
"Such incredible bulk," the stylist murmured as she aimed the hand-held dryer. "I know women who would sell their blue-chip stocks for hair as thick as this. And the color!" She bent down to eye level to look in the mirror at the results of her work. "Even I have a hard time believing it's natural."
"My grandmother on my father's side." Chantel turned her head a bit to check her left profile. "I'm supposed to be twenty in this scene, Margo. Am I going to pull it off?"
With a laugh, the stringy redhead stood back. "That's the least of your worries. It's a shame they're going to dump rain all over this." She gave Chantel's hair a final fluff.
"You're telling me." Chantel stood when the bib was removed. "Thanks, Margo." Before she'd taken two steps, her assistant was at her elbow. Chantel had hired him because he was young and eager and had no ambitions to be an actor. "Are you going to crack the whip, Larry?"
Larry Washington flushed and stuttered, as he always did during his first five minutes around Chantel. He was short and well built, fresh out of college, and had a mind that soaked up details. His biggest ambition at the moment was to own a Mercedes. "Oh, you know I'd never do that, Miss O'Hurley."
Chantel patted his shoulder, making his blood pressure soar. "Somebody has to. Larry, I'd appreciate it if you'd scout up the assistant director and tell him I'm in my trailer. I'm going to hide out there until they're ready to rehearse." Her co-star came into view carrying a cigarette and what Chantel accurately gauged to be a filthy hangover.
"Would you like me to bring you some coffee, Miss O'Hurley?" As he asked, Larry shifted to distance himself. Everyone with brains had quickly figured out that it was best to avoid Sean Carter when he was dealing with the morning after.
"Yes, thanks." Chantel nodded to a few members of the crew as they tightened up the works on the first set, a train station, complete with tracks, passenger cars and a depot. She'd say her desperate goodbyes to her lover there. She could only hope he'd gotten his headache under control by then.
Larry kept pace with her as she crossed the set, walking under lights and around cables. "I wanted to remind you about your interview this afternoon. The reporter from Star Gaze is due here at twelve-thirty. Dean from publicity said he'd sit in with you if you wanted."
"No, that's all right. I can handle a reporter. See if you can get some fresh fruit, sandwiches, coffee. No, make that iced tea. I'll do the interview in my dressing room."
"All right, Miss O'Hurley." Earnestly he began to note it down in his book. "Is there anything else?"
She paused at the door of her dressing room. "How long have you been working for me now, Larry? "
"Ah, just over three months, Miss O'Hurley."
"I think you could start to call me Chantel." She smiled, then closed the door on his astonished pleasure.
The trailer had been recently redecorated for her taste and comfort. With the script still in her hand, Chantel walked through the sitting room and into the small dressing area beyond. Knowing her time was limited, she didn't waste it. After stripping out of her own clothes, she changed into the jeans and sweater she would wear for the first scene.
She was to be twenty, a struggling art student on the down slide of her first affair. Chantel glanced at the script again. It was good, solid. The part she'd gotten would give her an opportunity to express a range of feeling that would stretch her creative talents. It was a challenge, and all she had to do was take advantage of it. And she would. Chantel promised herself she would.
When she had read Strangers she'd cast herself in the part of Hailey, the young artist betrayed by one man, haunted by another; a woman who ultimately finds success and loses love. Chantel understood Hailey. She understood betrayal. And, she thought as she glanced around the elegant little room again, she understood success and the price that had to be paid for it.
Though she knew her lines cold, she kept the script with her as she went back to the sitting room. With luck she would have time for one quick cup of coffee before they ran through the scene. When she was working on a film, Chantel found it easy to live off coffee, a quick, light lunch and more coffee. The part fed her. There was rarely time for shopping, a dip in the pool or a massage at the club until a film was wrapped. Those were rewards for a job well done.
She started to sit, but a vase of vivid red roses caught her eye. From one of the studio heads, she thought as she walked over to pick up the card. When she opened it, the script slid out of her hand and onto the floor. "I'm watching you always. Always."
At the knock on her door, she jerked back, stumbling against the counter. The scent of the roses at her back spread, heady and sweet. With a hand to her throat, she stared at the door with the first real fear she'd ever experienced.
"Miss O'Hurley…Chantel, it's Larry. I have your coffee."
With a breathless sob, she ran across the room and jerked open the door. "Larry—"
"It's black the way you—What's wrong?"

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (free pdf download)

Readers in that sizeable group of people who think The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel will be delighted with Robbins's subtle, brainy and immensely touching new reading. There have been audio versions of Gatsby before this-by Alexander Scourby and Christopher Reeve, to name two-but actor/director Robbins brings a fresh and bracing vision that makes the story gleam. From the jaunty irony of the title page quote ("Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!") to the poetry of Fitzgerald's ending about "the dark fields of the republic" and "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past," Robbins conjures up a sublime portrait of a lost world. And as a bonus, the excellent audio actor Robert Sean Leonard reads a selection of Fitzgerald's letters to editors, agents and friends which focus on the writing and selling of the novel. Listeners will revel in learning random factoids, e.g., in 1924, Scott and Zelda were living in a Rome hotel that cost just over $500 a month, and he was respectfully suggesting that his agent Harold Ober ask $15,000 from Liberty magazine for the serial rights to Gatsby.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (free pdf download, english version)

"For years, Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. In its pages Hitler announced--long before he came to power--a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few had the courage to believe it...That such a man could go so far toward realizing his ambitions--that is a phenomenon the world will ponder for centuries to come." -- Konrad Heiden, author of Der Fuhrer: Hitler's Rise to Power

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lauren Weisberger - The Devil Wears Prada (pdf download)

Most recent college grads know they have to start at the bottom and work their way up. But not many picture themselves having to pick up their boss's dry cleaning, deliver them hot lattes, land them copies of the newest Harry Potter book before it hits stores and screen potential nannies for their children. Charmingly unfashionable Andrea Sachs, upon graduating from Brown, finds herself in this precarious position: she's an assistant to the most revered-and hated-woman in fashion, Runway editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly. The self-described "biggest fashion loser to ever hit the scene," Andy takes the job hoping to land at the New Yorker after a year. As the "lowest-paid-but-most-highly-perked assistant in the free world," she soon learns her Nine West loafers won't cut it-everyone wears Jimmy Choos or Manolos-and that the four years she spent memorizing poems and examining prose will not help her in her new role of "finding, fetching, or faxing" whatever the diabolical Miranda wants, immediately. Life is pretty grim for Andy, but Weisberger, whose stint as Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue couldn't possibly have anything to do with the novel's inspiration, infuses the narrative with plenty of dead-on assessments of fashion's frivolity and realistic, funny portrayals of life as a peon. Andy's mishaps will undoubtedly elicit laughter from readers, and the story's even got a virtuous little moral at its heart. Weisberger has penned a comic novel that manages to rise to the upper echelons of the chick-lit genre.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations (pdf download)

Novel by Charles Dickens, first published serially in All the Year Round in 1860-61 and issued in book form in 1861. The novel was one of its author's greatest critical and popular successes. The first-person narrative relates the coming-of-age of Pip (Philip Pirrip). Reared in the marshes of Kent by his disagreeable sister and her sweet-natured husband, the blacksmith Joe Gargery, the young Pip one day helps a convict to escape. Later he is sent to live with Miss Havisham, a woman driven half-mad years earlier by her lover's departure on their wedding day. Her other ward is the orphaned Estella, whom she is teaching to torment men with her beauty. Pip, at first cautious, later falls in love with Estella, to his misfortune. When an anonymous benefactor makes it possible for Pip to go to London for an education, he credits Miss Havisham. He begins to look down on his humble roots, but nonetheless Estella spurns him again and marries instead the ill-tempered Bentley Drummle. Pip's benefactor turns out to have been Abel Magwitch, the convict he once aided, who dies awaiting trial after Pip is unable to help him a second time. Joe rescues Pip from despair and nurses him back to health.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Ernest Hemingway - The Sun Also Rises (free download pdf)

The publisher is using these two perennial favorites to launch its new Scribner Paperback Fiction line. This edition of Paradise marks the 75th anniversary of the smash 1920 first novel that skyrocketed Fitzgerald to literary stardom at the ripe old age of 23. Several years later, The Sun (1926), Hemingway's own first novel, performed an identical service for him at age 26. The line will eventually include additional titles by these giants as well as works by Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, and other greats.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Franz Kafka The Trial (free download english version pdf)

The Trial (Kafka's original German title: Der Process, later as Der Prozess and Der Prozeß) is a novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1925. One of Kafka's best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor the reader. Like Kafka's other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end. Because of this there are certain inconsistencies which exist within the novel, such as disparities in timing in addition to other flaws in narration. After Kafka's death in 1924, his friend and literary executor Max Brod edited the text for publication.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Love in the Time of Cholera (English Version pdf)

In this chronicle of a unique love triangle, the Nobel laureate's trademark "ironic vision and luminous evocation of South America" persist. "It is a fully mature novel in scope and perspective, flawlessly translated, as rich in ideas as in humanity," praised PW . 250,000 first printing.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude (English Version pdf) Review

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:
A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
"Holy Mother of God!" Úrsula shouted.
The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."
With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Erich Segal - Acts of Faith pdf download

Dismally predictable, humorless and heavy-handed, Segal's latest melodramatic tale (after Doctors ) is potboiling at its most banal. Daniel Luria is the heir apparent to the Brooklyn-based Silczer dynasty of rabbis. After Timothy Hogan (an "orphan" with two living parents) breaks the Lurias' window, Rabbi Luria hires him to turn out the lights on Sabbath nights. When the rabbi sees his daughter Deborah and Timothy poised for a forbidden embrace, he banishes Deborah to Jerusalem. Timothy, a rising star en route to Catholic priesthood, eventually encounters Deborah on her kibbutz; they consummate their relationship, despite Timothy's vows of celibacy. Meanwhile, in rabbinical school, Daniel finds doubt as well as lust in his heart; his lover leaves him, but not without some hot stock tips. A millionaire (if still unhappy), Daniel decides against religious life, to his father's profound discontent. Timothy encounters liberation theology in Brazil, has an epiphany, turns his back on Church hierarchy and acknowledges love. Daniel, who has rejoined his faith on less Orthodox terms, meets the woman of his dreams, and also finds he can follow in his father's footsteps. Segal makes even the interesting details and dilemmas of religious lives seem superficial. 250,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.