Many of us are spending more time at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It is more important now than ever to stay engaged with thoughtful works. Fortunately, Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s eMedia provides for exactly that. Below are a few eBooks that captivate over long reading sessions.
Expansive books often seem impenetrable. But with these works, the writing style is inviting. Each entry includes a quote showing the author’s fantastic use of prose.
This Dickensian tale begins with 13-year-old Theo surviving the museum terrorist attack that kills his mother. In the aftermath, a mysterious man encourages him to take a small Dutch painting, “The Goldfinch.” It propels Theo all the way into adulthood, through misadventures and intrigue.
Quote: “Her death the dividing mark: Before and After. And though it’s a bleak thing to admit all these years later, still I’ve never met anyone who made me feel loved the way she did.”
The Odyssey is an epic in the traditional sense. Its heft is in the sweeping prose and narrative arc, more so than just page count. Follow along with the classic journey of Odysseus.
Quote: “But battle-weary Odysseus weighed two courses, deeply torn, probing his fighting spirit: ‘Oh no – I fear another immortal weaves a snare to trap me, urging me to abandon ship. I won’t. Not yet. That shore’s too far away.’”
Infinite Jest is perhaps the most notable recent addition to the collection of lengthy novels. David Foster Wallace’s classic novel satirizes entertainment and human interaction. With even some endnotes stretching for several pages, Infinite Jest is a landmark work.
Quote: “I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’”
At more than 1,200 pages, this behemoth may be the most iconic long novel. Leo Tolstoy muses at (extended!) length about philosophy and Russian life during the Napoleonic Wars.
Quote: “You say: I am not free. But I have raised and lowered my arm. Everyone understands that this illogical answer is an irrefutable proof of freedom.”
I borrowed this book on a whim, days before the Library was forced to close due to the coronavirus. No Ordinary Time examines the United States during WWII through insights into the two Roosevelts. Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of our finest historians, and so to follow her thorough work is a joy in itself.
Quote: “We do not have to become heroes overnight,” Eleanor once wrote. “Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.”
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