Gulliver’s Travels PDF Summary

Gulliver’s Travels PDFAre you ready for an unusual adventure?

Then, Gulliver is the man you should be traveling with!

And that is exactly what we are offering here – a spot on Gulliver’s ship, to accompany him on his voyages.

Who Should Read “Gulliver’s Travels”? And Why?

“Gulliver’s Travels” is a story that follows the travels, Gulliver, who ends up visiting several strange destinations populated with creatures unknown to humanity, and learns something about the world – and about himself in the process.

It is one of those books that people enjoy no matter their age.

Young readers will enjoy its fantastic appeal, and all the interesting adventures Gulliver goes through, while adults will find appeal in all the ways it parodies the political life in Swift’s England.

Jonathan Swift Biography

Jonathan SwiftJonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish writer and satirist. His satirical style of expression has later become known as Swiftian.

Plot

“Gulliver’s Travels” is an adventure story, consisted of several books, which follow the voyages of a ship’s surgeon named Gulliver. On his journeys with the ship, Gulliver always ends up instead of at his destination – in different islands, unknown to humanity, living with unusual people and creatures like he had never encountered before.

Gulliver always manages to return home to England, where he goes back to his ordinary life until he goes on a new trip.

The first book of the series tells the adventure Gulliver has in the island of Lilliput.

This is one of those stories that has been adapted into children’s cartoons. In fact, the first time I heard about Gulliver was through this cartoon, about very small people (about six inches tall) that capture this man who came on their island, and how he helps them solve the issues they face in their country.

However, when he refuses to use his size to enslave the citizens of Blefuscu, the enemy island across Lilliput, he is considered an enemy and therefore is forced to flee to Blefuscu.

There, he takes a massive warship and sails away. He is eventually rescued when he comes across an English merchant ship, which returns him to his home in England.

The second book tells a story about an utterly contrary situation: this time Gulliver and his small team, who go to an island to find water, face giants. His crew manages to escape, but Gulliver is captured and left behind.

However, just like in the case of the Lilliputians, Gulliver is treated with kindness, as he is taken to one farmer’s home, who gives him to his daughter to care for him.

She is compassionate, but curious at the same time.

Since he is nothing like the Giants have seen before, they take him on tour around the country to show them to their “people.”

Their curiosity is so big that the farmer manages to sell him to the Queen and King.

The King is interested in Gulliver’s country and the customs of people, so he spends a great deal of time with him, discussing these subjects he is interested in.

In many instances, the King expresses his shock by the selfish behavior of people that Gulliver describes to him.

Gulliver, however, does not agree and defends his people.

Then, one day, Gulliver is sitting in his portable room and looking at the sea, when a giant eagle snatches him and drops him into the water.

That is when a ship notices him and rescues him, again, just like in the first book.

In the third book Gulliver adventurers off to the Flying Island named Laputa. He meets some of the people that live there which as he notices are obsessed with music, mathematics, and astronomy. The astronomers use the laws of physics – magnetism to be exact, to control the movement of the island.

By the end of the book, he passes through Japan, Amsterdam, and eventually arrives home.

In the last, fourth book, Gulliver is sailing to Barbados. On this trip a few crew members die of illness, so he hires a few men to replace them in Barbados.

It turns out that the recruited members are pirates, and in the end, they take over the ship and leave him on one island.

Can you guess what happens here?

Well, of course, he is discovered by the island’s inhabitants – ugly creatures that look like humans and are called Yahoos. The Yahoos attack him by defecating on him from the top of the trees.

But they are not the only ones that live there – a fact that he finds out after he is saved by a horse named Houyhnhnm. The horse takes him to his house and introduces him to his family.

What Gulliver realizes in that incident that he and the Yahoos are practically the same animals and that he (they) are considered uncivilized in this world he came by.

In fact, although he enters into long discussions with the horse that saved him about the evolution and underlying concepts of the Yahoo society, and the horse favors him, the kingdom decides that he is, in fact, a Yahoo, and as such should either live with the Yahoos or go back to his country.

Gulliver, of course, decides to leave for his homeland. He builds a canoe and sails for the nearby island where he is found by the Portuguese ship, which saves him.

Gulliver’s Travels Epilogue

After the fourth story, Gulliver feels that his notions about his world have not only been challenged but changed as well. He views society as a group of “civilized” Yahoos and is deeply repelled even by his own family.

So, since he feels much more comfortable around horses, he buys two of them and spends most of his time conversing with them and caring for them.

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“Gulliver’s Travels PDF Quotes”

Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old. Click To Tweet I cannot but conclude that the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth. Click To Tweet Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison. Click To Tweet The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver's watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting. Click To Tweet Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As a kid, I used to love the story of Gulliver, the man in the land of the Lilliputians. Of course, at that time I have only watched the cartoon and did not know the whole story.

Now that I am an adult, and I have read the book, I have to say that I even enjoyed it more.

As years passed by I became less of a lover of adventure stories, but nevertheless, I couldn’t help it but become a part of Gulliver’s journey, that sheds some light on the nature of our society.

It is a great book indeed!

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The Diary of a Young Girl PDF Summary

The Diary of a Young Girl PDFA “… Diary of a Young Girl”?

What could possibly be interesting (and worth reading) about that?

Well, as it turns out, many things!

Who Should Read “The Diary of a Young Girl”? And Why?

“The Diary of a Young Girl” is the story of Anne Frank – as she told it. It is a coming of age non-fictional story about the hardships one girl that is in the midst of her teenage years and discovering herself, goes through, as the world puts a heavy burden on her shoulders: The Second World War.

We recommend this book to all teenagers, who will certainly resonate with this story, as well as lovers of historical narratives.

About Anne Frank

Anne FrankAnne Frank was a young German-born Jewish girl that wanted to become a writer – and with her sole diary, became one.

She is one of the most well known and discussed victims of the Holocaust.

“The Diary of a Young Girl PDF Summary”

Anne Frank is one of those historical characters that have become a fictional ideal of dreams and hope.

She was a real girl living during the Second World War, but her spirit continues living even today.

The world got to know Anne through her diary, who is now read as more of a fictional book than an actual diary.

Maybe that is even better since it is truly hard to think that you are reading the true story of a girl who lost her life too early.

Anne got her diary as a present for her thirteenth birthday.

She was truly excited about the present because she has always wanted a place where she could store all of her thoughts and secrets safely.

Anne was a girl with an abundant social life, and yet, she feels like everyone around her fails to grasp her personality.

So, at the beginning of the diary, Anne writes about everything you would expect a teenager to write about: school, friends, boys, et cetera.

However, she cannot even imagine the turn that her life takes just on the next corner.

Anne is a Jew, and she and her family have all the right to be afraid of living in German-occupied Holland.

So, when Anne’s sister is called for an appearance in front of the authorities, they are confident that she is about to be sent to a concentration camp, so they go into hiding.

Their hiding place is her father’s office building. They live behind a swinging bookcase for two years.

However, they are not the only ones hiding there.

The Van Daan family is also living with them. They have a son, Peter, for whom Anne soon starts having feelings about.

But, in the end, they both realize that despite their passions, they actually need each other more as a support to one another in those hard times.

Anne spends her time listening to the radio or reading books. Her dream is to become a writer, and when she hears that the war is nearing the end, she starts to edit her diary passionately, thinking that the world will be looking for books like that.

She was right, it seems, but sadly she did not live to see the day when that happens.

As her vigorous edits continue, she grows more sensitive to the sufferings that are flooding the world. Her own suffering and sense of loneliness increase as well.

She has never felt more isolated and misunderstood in her life.

Somewhere among these complicated feelings that arise in Anne’s heart, she ends her diary. We do not know what happens next when it comes to her thoughts and emotions.

What we know about is the historical information that two days after her last entry in the diary, they find her family in the Secret Annex.

Things soon get worse. We can just imagine how Anne and her family must have felt.

They are all taken to different concentration camps, where they lose their lives. The only one that survives the war is her father Otto Frank, and this piece of writing that has become one of the most read books of all time.

If she were alive, Anne would have probably been happy to see the world acknowledging her passion. Sadly, she did not see her dream turning into reality.

But still, there are many lessons that we can learn from the character of this young girl.

Key Lessons From “The Diary of a Young Girl”

1.      No Matter the Circumstances, a Teenager is a Teenager
2.      Never Give Up Dreaming
3.      Having a Vision is Crucial

No Matter the Circumstances, a Teenager is a Teenager

Although Anne has been put through circumstances which are not usual for most teenagers, she goes through the same phases which everyone experiences at that point in their lives.

She struggles to find herself and her identity and goes through the ordinary hardships such as friendships, love and creating her dream.

Never Give Up Dreaming

Although Anne is put in a position from which many people would not be able to find even a glimpse of hope, she handles it with an utmost strength. She believes in the world, in the good in people, and in her dream, as she continues dreaming it and working on it.

The edits she makes in her book are done while she imagined the day she will again be free in her head.

We do not know if Anne lost hope by the end since her diary ends too soon to reveal that to us, but we have to believe she did not.

Having a Vision is Crucial

Anne was thrown in a situation no one would be wish even for his biggest enemy to be in, but yet she had a vision about herself and her purpose.

That is why she has grown to be one of the most well known historical figures of all times.

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“The Diary of a Young Girl Quotes”

It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them because, in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. Click To Tweet I've found that there is always some beauty left -- in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. Click To Tweet I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. Click To Tweet People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion. Click To Tweet In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Diary of a Young Girl” is a wonderful book. Although it is a diary, and thus non-fiction, it reads like a novel. The wording is wonderful, and the thoughts in it will leave you thinking about the meaning of life for days.

It is strange to think that all of this came from a young teenage girl.

I can just imagine the kind of writer Anne would have become if she survived. Sadly, the days of her glory never came to her in her lifetime.

If you are not too sentimental about the fact that the book is a story of an actual person who lost her life in the War, then I urge you to read this wonderful piece of work.

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Great Expectations PDF Summary

Great Expectations PDFWelcome back to our site!

This time our topic is the summary of “Great Expectations”, the book which Dickens considered as one of his finest pieces of work. And so do we!

Who Should Read “Great Expectations”? And Why?

“Great Expectations” is a story about the orphan Pip, who falls in love with a woman of a higher class and greater fortune, and being given riches by a mysterious benefactor, decides to become a gentleman.

If you are a Dickens fan and “rags to riches” stories lover, then read this book! If you enjoy classics, we believe you have already picked this book up.

And if that is not the case, then now is the time to do so!

Charles Dickens Biography

Charles DickensCharles Dickens was an English writer of the Victorian era that has penned one of the best books ever written and has created some of the best-known characters in the literary world.

Plot

From the master of character-based stories, is born yet another memorable character – Pip.

Pip is a young orphan who lives with his sister and his sister’s husband, whom we meet as he is sitting on his parent’s grave one night.

Suddenly he comes face to face with an escaped convict, who asks him for food.

Pip does as he is asked, but the police find the convict anyway.

However, this fearsome man protects Pip by saying that he has stolen the items himself.

One day, Pip goes to the Satis House, which is the estate of Miss Havisham, a wealthy dowager, along with his Uncle Pumblechook.

Their host is quite an eccentric (which makes her a truly compelling character) – she keeps the clocks in her house all stopped at a specific time, and constantly wears her old wedding dress in all of the occasions.

During his visit to this woman, Pip meets Estella, a beautiful young lady of a pompous nature, and falls in love with her.

As a result, he starts paying Miss Havisham regular visits. He starts hoping and dreaming about a moment when he becomes rich enough to be considered as a marriage prospect for Estella, but his hopes are shattered when Miss Havisham offers him to become a common laborer in her business.

Nevertheless, he accepts.

Under her guidance and his brother-in-law, he learns how to become a blacksmith.

Pip does not have an easy time during his apprenticeship, but one day he receives the news that a mysterious benefactor has left him with a great fortune, and he must go to London to begin learning how to become a gentleman.

Pip suspects no one else but Miss Havisham, and he thinks that she left him a fortune so she could marry him off to Estella.

So, he moves to London with his hopes up.

There, while walking the path to becoming a gentleman, him and his friend Herbert whom he befriends after his arrival in London, lead a pretty undisciplined life. They enjoy Pip’s fortune and even starts mounting debts.

A few years of such a life go by, until one night when a familiar man enters Pip’s room.

Remember the convict from the very beginning of the book, who seemed unimportant to the story?

Well, it turns out, he is the crucial character that moved Pip’s life in the way it was transformed: he, and not Miss Havisham, is the benefactor that left him with the fortune.

He tells him how the boy’s kindness when he was in need moved him, and that he decided to make it his life’s purpose to make a gentleman out of that boy.

That is why he explains, he went to Australia and made a fortune which he could give to him.

Pip is not happy about the news, but he now feels morally obliged to help the convict (who by the name is called Magwitch) to escape the authorities that are after him in London.

As the story progresses, we learn many surprising truths about the story, such as that Estella is Magwitch’s daughter, who was raised by Miss Havisham to be a heartbreaker – Miss Havisham had her heartbroken as she was left at the altar, and decided to take revenge on men, through Estella.

Pip realizes he has only been a toy in Miss Havisham’s hands, and that she only used him so Estella could practice her seduction skills on him.

As the days pass, Pip becomes fond of Magwitch with whom he spends most of the time with. He plans an escape for him, but before it happens, Estella marries a wealthy man, and Miss Havisham begs for his forgiveness.

He finds kindness in his heart and forgives her. However, destiny is not as good with her as Pip is.

But in this book destiny is not good to anyone, it seems: as Pip and Magwitch go through with Magwitch’s escape, they are confronted by several characters and circumstances that make it impossible for them to carry out the plan.

Magwitch is caught and sentenced to death, and Pip loses all of his fortunes.

Great Expectations Epilogue

After the turn of fate, Pip decides to go abroad with his friend Herbert and gets employment in the mercantile trade.  

Years pass by before he comes back to London. During his return, he meets Estella, who tells him about her unhappy marriage, with her husband who treated her poorly but has passed away.

Pip notices that Estella is no longer the cruel and cold woman he once knew, and he leaves the garden in which he met with her, with her hand in his.

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“Great Expectations PDF Quotes”

I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Click To Tweet Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape. Click To Tweet We need never be ashamed of our tears. Click To Tweet In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong. Click To Tweet There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

I really love “rags to riches” stories, and I enjoy how I see characters transforming as their circumstances are changing.

“Great Expectation” is another one of those stories, but although I started it compelled by its alluring premise, I continued reading it because of the many well-rounded characters that truly made me care for them and cheer them on (or hate them, it depends).

With this book, Charles Dickens proved to me why I (as well as the rest of the world) have always considered him as one of the best storytellers ever born.

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Just Shut Up and Do It PDF Summary

Just Shut Up and Do It PDF7 Steps to Conquer Your Goals

Brian is renowned for his ability to flip even the laziest persons into self-motivated machines.

He presents an idea by which he briefly explains how anyone can beat the odds with a dose of discipline.

Refrain yourself from any comments and make the first step!

Who Should Read “Just Shut Up and Do It”? And Why?

This is one of those books that target the entire planet. We all have become slaves incorporated in the endless circle of breakdowns and failures.

Just Shut Up and Do It, fights against everything that is keeping you down, and prompts a new attitude that will take your game to the next level. Abandon that sinking ship and climb on board!

About Bryan Tracy

Bryan TracyBrian Tracy is a Canadian-American motivational speaker and author whose words have changed the lives of millions all around the globe.

His best works are: The Psychology of Selling, Goals!, The Power of Self-Confidence, Eat That Frog, etc.

“Just Shut Up and Do It PDF Summary”

Indeed, executing the tasks that are breathing down your neck is not a straightforward process. To find the incentive to take care of business, by enforcing a new set of rules can be really tricky. First and foremost, speed and quality combined are all that matters.

Don’t fall into laziness and put into effect whatever is required of you! In reality, you are accountable for every mistake; stop passing the blame onto others. The quicker you take into account your part in everything, the better.  

Brian Tracy in all of his works underlines the essence of avoiding procrastination and do the job. Such attitude will help get you the powerful leverage in whatever you do. Sailing through without doing the necessary work, is a scenario you wouldn’t want to embrace.

In this book, Brian outlines seven main principles or steps to conquer the world, and we will begin with the first one:

1. The Biggest Obstacle to Success

You will be surprised to know that more than 90% of what we do is a result of our habits. Whatever you embrace, you become – it’s that simple. If you decide that you cannot accomplish something – you are absolutely right and vice versa.

Unleash that beast within you and change your habits at once. Such power indicates only one thing – no one can stop you unless you stop yourself. Replace those negative sensations with positive reactions, and don’t impose any limitations on yourself.

2. Take Charge of Your Life

It may come as a shock to you, but you must stop with the idea of pointing your fingers at someone else – and label them as the guilty party. As much as we hate to admit it, we have developed habits that are keeping us down.

Have the guts to fake full-responsibility for your actions. Not even your family can rescue you, 100% you are on your own. Putting an effort to save yourself and it may seem strange, but many of us are waiting for “Prince Charming” to pull them out of the fire.

Confront everything that adds to your misery, and fill your life with peacefulness, and integrity. If you are tired of the daily grind, this can be a reasonable basis for you to start running the show. Get over to the driver’s seat and accept the challenge.

3. Dare to Go Forward

Every once in a while, we find ourselves trapped the midst of uncertainty, not sure of our next move. So, either we are afraid to climb up the ladder, or we simply don’t understand the game. Self-motivated attitude full of belief is the only path paved with real vision and endurance to overcome the obstacles.

How to pump up that self-confidence? First things first, put your fears on a piece of paper and start pushing yourself over the edge. However, don’t forget that ambition without knowledge, is like a boat floating on dry land.

4. Decide What You Really Want

Have you heard the old-saying: Whatever you think, you become? The worst thing about this quote is that it’s 100% accurate. Although it’s great for you to reassess your position in this world, it’s not the only thing on your check-list.

Define your goals and make a grand entrance on the big stage. Take one task at the time, and you’ll no longer be at the mercy of the life-current.

When your mind is fixated on the most critical goal, the whole universe conspires to make that dream come true. Paulo Coelho also said this in a slightly different manner, and that’s another clue of how significant your goals are.

5. Overcome Procrastination

It’s not about getting the job done perfectly well; it’s about striving to get it finished the best you can. Perfectionism can be a dangerous thing, and your only real job is to do it, as quickly as possible – but not at the expense of quality. Is that a lot to ask?

Like most other things, these kinds of habits can be conquered and altered. It takes determination, strength, and endurance to turn over a new leaf!

6. Become a Lifelong Learner

Acquire the right knowledge before you embark on a mission. The biggest setbacks occur when people fly in the faces of challenges without having the proper gear for the task.

Brian states that the law of probabilities can be your fairy godmother when it comes to becoming wealthy or increasing your chances at it.

7. Never Give Up

Last but not least, we’d like to introduce the most important step. All of the previously mentioned stages would have no impact unless you arm yourself with a fierce attitude to stand your ground no matter what!

It’s okay to fail; it’s not good if you don’t recover from that temporary defeats. Your luck is just around the corner; you just have to find it!

Key Lessons from “Just Shut Up and Do It”

1.      Life is a nothing without goals  
2.      Get the big picture
3.      Pursue real glory

Life is nothing without goals

You wouldn’t want to drift off course right? – Why not make up a list of the things you like to accomplish in a year or so.

Such simple trick can give you the inner edge when you confront life as it is.

Get the big picture

Your small world is not the only reality out there. To change your life, you must adopt new behavior that defies conventional wisdom.

Put your name on the map by taking a firm stance against mediocrity.

Pursue real glory

We don’t want to you to think that having a well-paid job or a local business is the best you can do.

With no disrespect to owners or corporate workers, Brian merely suggests that your know-how has not reached its peak yet, so find that momentum and go for huge success.

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“Just Shut Up and Do it Quotes”

Your success mechanism, however, is triggered by a goal, by your accepting complete responsibility for your life and then getting busy working on something that you care about, something that you really want. Click To Tweet One of the greatest fears that holds us back is the fear of rejection. This usually comes from destructive criticism in early childhood. As adults, we still may be hypersensitive to the opinions, real or imagined, of others. This concern… Click To Tweet Successful people in every field have been interviewed many times to learn what enables them to accomplish exceedingly more than the average person. Perhaps the most important quality of successful people is ambition. They are hungry. Click To Tweet One of the things you can do to increase the probabilities of financial success is to cast a wide net. Keep upgrading your knowledge and skills and gathering more information as if your future depended on it, because it does. Click To Tweet Top people build learning into each day. They read thirty to sixty minutes each morning—approximately one book per week. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Brian rarely disappoints, and this book same as “Eat That Frog” or “No Excuses” lays out the only real recipe for prosperity.

If you don’t have the courage to follow it, then you should at least consider changing your habits!

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Pride and Prejudice PDF Summary

Pride and Prejudice PDFFirst encounters are not enough. First impressions are often wrong.

Read about the characters of this book in the following text, and join them on their journey as they realize the complexity of human nature, and the many faces of truth.

Who Should Read “Pride and Prejudice”? And Why?

“Pride and Prejudice” is a novel about the five daughters of the Bennet family, and their quest to do what was thought of the greatest achievement of women in Jane Austen’s time: to marry off well.

We recommend this book to all Jane Austen lovers, and to lovers of romances in general.

Jane Austen Biography

Jane AustenJane Austen was an English novelist that even two centuries after her death remains as one of the leading writers of romance novels in the literary world.

Lately, the discussion about adapting her classics for the modern readers has divided critics and the public.

Plot

The story of “Pride and Prejudice” starts as the villagers of Longbourn receive the news that a wealthy young fella has rented Netherfield Park.

We are first taken to the Bennet household, where the news has stirred their everyday activities.

Mrs. Bennet has five unmarried daughters and wants to see them all married into good households.

So, it is only natural that the news of a young unmarried gentleman coming to the village makes her hope for the best.

Mr. Benner, her husband, pays a visit to Mr. Bingley, and as a result, they all attend a ball on which Mr. Bingley is also present.

As the Bennets expected, Mr. Bingley is quite taken by the beauty of the oldest daughter, Jane, and asks her to dance several times that evening.

Along with him, he brings a friend, Mr. Darcy, who is far richer than he is, but he also seems to be too prideful and not as nice.

Elizabeth, the oldest after Jane, overhears him refusing to ask her to dance since she is not good enough to tempt him, and this news makes everyone see him as obnoxious.

However, Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth on several other occasions and cannot help but notice her intelligence and charm.

One day, Jane, who is in continuous contact with Mr. Bingley, which makes it seem like a marriage proposal is on its way, pays him a visit to his house.

However, on her way there, she is caught in a storm and catches a cold. Her health condition makes her stay in Mr. Bingley’s house for a few days until she gets better.

Her sister, Elizabeth, is naturally worried and decides to go and look for her sister.

She hikes to Netherfield Park and arrives there all muddy and sweaty. She is confronted by Miss. Bingley, a woman of a snobbish nature who is pursuing Mr. Darcy.

When Elizabeth arrives, she notices that Mr. Darcy is paying quite the attention to Elizabeth, so she starts feeling spiteful towards her.

When the girls return to their house, they find a visitor there – Mr. Collins, who is the next one in line to inherit Mr. Bennet’s property after his death, since he has no direct male heirs.

He is not amusing to the girls, but he finds them amusing in turn, especially Elizabeth, whom he makes a marriage proposal to.

Although her mother would like her to get married and keep the estate in their family’s possession, she turns him down, and later on, he marries her best friend, Charlotte.

She is not happy, because she believes that Charlotte cannot love him, but her friend assures her of her happiness: as she is getting older, it is much harder to get a marriage prospect, so she is happy that she finally can create a family.

Elizabeth promises to visit her in her new home and does so later on.

In the meantime, the girls make friends with a young soldier Mr. Wickham, whom Elizabeth finds quite charming.

Soon she hears his story about how Darcy tricked him out of his inheritance, and so her bad feelings toward this “prideful” man become only stronger.

As the winter begins, Mr. Bingley, his sister, and Mr. Darcy leave Netherfield and return to their home in London.

Jane’s hopes are shattered. She goes to London to visit friends, hoping she would also run to Mr. Bingley.

However, they never see each other, and even her family’s thoughts on marriage are no longer present.

The following spring, Elizabeth goes to visit Charlotte as she promised. Charlotte and her husband Mr. Collins live in the house of Lady Catherine de Bourgh who is not only Collins’s patron, but she is also Darcy’s aunt.

Hence, Elizabeth encounters Darcy, and she is shocked by his sudden proposal of marriage during one of their meetings.

Her refusal is far from just a disinterested one: she tells him about all the bad feelings and opinions she has about him, especially after he urged his friend to distance himself from her sister.

Provoked from these words, he leaves, but feeling like he has to tell his side of the story, he later sends her a letter explaining why he did what he did.

He admits that he is at fault for Bingley distancing himself from Jane, but that he urged him to do so only because he did not feel that their feelings are serious.

In this letter, he also tells her the story about his and Wickham’s disagreement, which was rooted in Wickham’s idea to elope with his younger sister.

What will Elizabeth do? Does she change her mind about Mr. Darcy?

What does their future hold?

Pride and Prejudice Epilogue

After Darcy’s letter, Elizabeth reevaluates her feelings and opinions about him. However, that is not the only thing that makes her do it.

She also faces situations in which he shows another side of himself. Or, at least, she is able to see that side of him and realize how wrong she was the whole time.

If you want to know the details – read the book.

You will enjoy it, we assure you.

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“Pride and Prejudice PDF Quotes”

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! - When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library. Click To Tweet A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. Click To Tweet It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Click To Tweet Angry people are not always wise. Click To Tweet What are men to rocks and mountains? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Pride and Prejudice” was one of those books I was obsessed with when I was younger, but mainly because I was idolizing the romance between the characters.

As I grew older, I learned Austin’s worth as an author, and why her works are considered classics. In her books, she is depicting women’s life in her time, interpreting and criticising society.

So, this book is a great story for romance lovers, but if you look deeper, you will find much bigger meaning hidden under the surface.

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A Christmas Carol PDF Summary

A Christmas Carol PDFChristmas is a time for warmth, generosity and spending time with the people you love.

And, it is a time for telling stories.

In fact, every time is a good time for storytelling.

So, this time, we will feed your story-cravings with the summary of this Christmas classic.

Who Should Read “A Christmas Carol”? And Why?

“A Christmas Carol” is a worldwide known book that has captured the attention and hearts of people of all ages and nationalities.

It is a story about the bad-spirited Scrooge who hates Christmas and all things connected to it and does not know how to open his heart and live his life with generosity and kindness.

Then one day, everything changes.

“A Christmas Carol” has also been adapted into a movie, and Scrooge remains one of the most well-known characters of all times.

We recommend it to all readers who like character transformation stories, and simple stories with deep meaning.

Charles Dickens Biography

Charles DickensCharles Dickens was an English writer of the Victorian era that has penned one of the best books ever written and has created some of the best-known characters in the literary world.

Plot

Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old man of stingy nature, who spends his Christmas Eve in his counting-house.

We meet him in a truly inhumane situation: his clerk is left to freeze because Scrooge does not want to spend money for heating, his nephew’s invitation for a Christmas party is turned down, and he refuses to contribute to the charity two gentlemen explain him about.

Later that night, after he turns down everyone who tries to connect to him, he returned home to his dark, unheated apartment, and he is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his partner who has passed away.

Jacob tells him the story of how he was left to wander as a ghost on Earth: he received punishment for leading a greedy life, never thinking about others, and therefore he is condemned to wander the world tied down with heavy chains.

That is the reason why he appeared in front of Scrooge – to help him avoid the same gloomy fate, which awaits him if he continues his old ways.

He then tells him that during the following three evenings, he will get the visit of three different spirits.

Then, he disappears, and Scrooge falls asleep.

Jacob’s story seems to be true: Scrooge awakes just before the Ghost of Christmas Past arrives by his side. He looks strange – he has a childlike appearance with a glowing head.

He is there to take Scrooge to the Christmases in the past and all the events he has forgotten about.

Facing his own history, he sheds a few tears and feels moved and regretful, before the ghost takes him back to the present, and into his bed.

Next comes the Ghost of Christmas Present, who is a giant dressed in a green fur robe, who takes him around the city to see how Christmas will be celebrated that year.

He visits the fest of the Cratchits, and for the first time sees their disabled son called Tiny Tim, and his kind and courageous heart. He also invisibly attends the Christmas party to which his nephew invited him.

Scrooge enjoys these events so much, that he wishes to stay until the very end.

However, as time passes, the Ghost also gets older and sicker.

Finally, toward the end of the day, he shows him the two starving children Want and Ignorance, who live under his coat and make him older.

He disappears into thin air, as Scrooge notices the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come coming. Je is a dark, hooded Ghost that takes him in different places and mysterious situations that are gloomy and dark.

Scrooge is told that the events he sees are connected to the death of an unnamed man.

He sees a businessman talking about the reaches the dead man possessed, a few vagabonds trying to capitalize on his death, and a poor family being happy and relieved because of the death of this man, who was their creditor.

Scrooge wishes to know why he is shown such things and what is the last lesson, so the Ghost takes him to the graveyard, in front of that man’s tomb.

Scrooge is surprised to his no other but his very own name written on the grave.

He is desperate!

He does not wish for such an end to his life!

In his desperation, he begs the spirit to change his fate and promises to change the way he was leading his life so far. He promises that he will honor Christmas and will become a much better man.

After saying all of these cries out for help, he finds himself safe in his own bed.

A Christmas Carol Epilogue

Scrooge is joyful that his prayers came true and that he got the chance to change his life and his destiny. He wakes up on Christmas Day and immediately goes out wishing to show his Christmas spirit.

But he does not do it just that year, but he tries to keep his promise and keep the Christmas spirit alive every year.

People are surprised in the beginning, but as years go by, they get used to his generosity and kindness.

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“A Christmas Carol PDF Quotes”

There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor. Click To Tweet It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is an infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor. Click To Tweet No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused. Click To Tweet You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are! Click To Tweet Marley was dead: to begin with. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

I really enjoyed “A Christmas Carol”!

In fact, I like it so much that I have read it a few times, and every time I read it, I find a new meaning to the story.

Be aware that some parts may be difficult to read because of the difference in Dickens’s English he used when he was writing the story and the modern day English language.

In any case, it is a story that it is worthy to try to understand. So, what are you waiting for? Go for it!

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A Tale of Two Cities PDF Summary

A Tale of Two Cities PDFMany lives. Two cities.

A challenging novel, that is definitely worth the effort.

We cannot possibly take you to Dickens’s world (only Dickens can do it), but what we can do is give you a glimpse of what you can expect when you read the actual book.

Who Should Read “A Tale of Two Cities”? And Why?

“A Tale of Two Cities” is a book that depicts life in the eighteenth century France and England through lives of a number of complex characters with different backgrounds and motivations.

In fact, it is such an extensive story, which it is impossible to retell it in one short summary.

That is why we recommend that everyone reads the whole thing.

Charles Dickens Biography

Charles DickensCharles Dickens was an English writer of the Victorian era that has penned one of the best books ever written and has created some of the best-known characters in the literary world.

Plot

At the end of the eighteenth century, France and England are suffering from different social ills.

That is the setting in which we meet Jerry Cruncher, an employee in Tellson’s Bank, who sends an urgent message to Jarvis Lorry to meet a woman in Dover.

Lorry responds back mysteriously with the words: Recalled to life.

He indeed meets the young woman at Dover. Her name is Lucie Manette, and she is the daughter of an eminent doctor with glory days that have passed, who had just been found in France.

Lorry joins Lucie on her journey to Paris and escorts her to the meeting with Defarge, who was once a servant of her father.

She finds out that her father spends all the time making shoes, and that he went mad after spending almost two decades in prison in Bastille.

Lorry believes that Lucie if she finds it in herself to forgive him and love him, can bring him back to life.

What he believes turns out to be true.

A few years later, Charles Darnay is accused that he has committed treason against the English king. He is represented by Stryver, who is known to be a great lawyer, but actually, his drunk colleague Carton who is nowhere near as good as him is the one that saves him from the court by pointing out that even him bears a resemblance to the spy the authorities believed exists.

After he is set free, Carton hangs out with Darnay, and we realize he resents him because he finds a resemblance to everything that he has once wanted to be, but in the end, give up.

In the meantime, in France, we meet Darnay’s uncle, the cruel Marquis Evrémonde. The first impression we have of this men is him running down a plebian child while he is moving with his carriage.

His character manifests typicality for the aristocracy during the time he lived in, and their attitude toward the lower class.

The fact that he not only does not show remorse towards his deed but that he also curses the poor, makes the readers dislike his character from the very beginning.

This situation and the picture we get of this man foreshadows the later argument he has with his nephew: Darnay, once he arrives, states his intention to give up the identity as an Evremonde and to return to England.

The same night, the Marquis is killed by a murderer that signed himself as Jacques.

A year later, both Darnay and Carton are in love with Lucie and pledge their love to her. Lucie agrees to marry Darnay and his promises her father that when they get married, he will reveal his identity.

Moreover, we saw a spy known as Roger Cly who is being buried. Cruncher joins the funeral procession, and demonstrates his abilities as a thief of bodies, by sneaking into the cemetery and unburying the body.

In France in the meantime, another spy Barsard appears in front of Defarge talking about uncovering a mounting revolution.

On the wedding morning, Darnay keeps the promise he gave to Lucie’s father, and the following evening, Manette starts making shoes again.

Nine days pass, and Manette regains his common sense, joining the wedded couple on their honeymoon.

After he returns from the honeymoon, Darnay is confronted by Carton who asks for his friendship.

A few years later, the reader is taken to the moment when the French Revolution starts.

Aristocrats are murdered on the streets by the revolutionaries, and a man named Gabelle, who was in charge of maintaining the Evremonde estate, is taken to prison.

Three years after his imprisonment, he writes to Darnay asking for his help.

Although the operation is highly dangerous to him, Darnay decides to rescue him and departs for France.

But, as soon as he sets his foot in Paris, he is arrested by the revolutionaries as an immigrant.

Lucie and her father follow him hoping that they could somehow save him.

However, he is kept in prison, until he receives a trial three months later.

A Tale of Two Cities Epilogue

After he arrives to help him, Manette uses his influence and connections to help Darnay. He succeeds, but his freedom lasts for only a night when he is arrested because of the charges pressed by Defarge and his wife.

Then, it is Carton that goes to Paris to help Darnay.

What will happen to all of these characters?

How will the tales spread in two cities end?

Read the book to find out!

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“A Tale of Two Cities PDF Quotes”

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. Click To Tweet It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known. Click To Tweet It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Click To Tweet You have been the last dream of my soul. Click To Tweet I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There is a reason that Charles Dickens is considered as one of the best writers ever born. His ability to tell a good story filled with so many well rounded, believable characters is truly fascinating.

If you are a Dickens fan, you will surely enjoy this. And if you are still not acquainted with his works, now is the right time to do so.

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Paulo Coelho Quotes & Biography

Paulo Coelho QuotesIf the name Paulo Coelho doesn’t ring any bells, perhaps you need to do some reading.

How to describe his style of expression? – All of his books fly in the faces of the conventional methods and embrace a path that is filled with uncertainty and adventure.

Paulo Coelho Biography

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian-born writer, novelist, and dreamer. Same as everyone else, his parents had high hopes for him, and they sent him to a Jesuit school to follow in his father’s footsteps.

From a young age, Paulo expressed his love for the sanctity of the written word, but his family was not supportive.

They tried to undermine his talent and passion for writing by imposing other traditional standards.

The culmination of his rebelliousness ultimately cracked wide open at the 17, when Coelho’s self-examination and isolation contributed to him being locked in a mental institution.

He escaped on numerous occasions and was released by the time he was 20 years old. From today’s perspective, Paulo doesn’t blame his parents for their methods. He merely indicates that they were not aware of his potential and orientation.  

In 1980, he got married to Christina Oiticica – a Brazilian artist. Both of them together embarked on a journey to change their little world without necessarily neglecting their souls. Now, they reside in Genève.

In 1982, Paulo wrote his book first book – Hell Archives. These early years were not that great for Coelho, but his passion blossomed.

Afterward, or precisely in 1986, he hit the road with an intention to make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. A year later he published The Pilgrimage.

His best work arrived in 1988 when Paulo wrote The Alchemist or O Alquimista in Portuguese.

This may come as a shock to you, but the Alchemist doesn’t fall into the category of split-second bestselling books. Published by a small publishing-house, it didn’t have the effect Paulo was hoping for.

The real deal happened in France when in the 90s, the book became a bestseller overnight. Since then, it has been translated into more than 50 languages, capturing the attention of many readers worldwide.

He later wrote, Frases, Eleven Minutes, Brida, Veronica Decides to Die, The Fifth Mountain, The Zahir, Manual of the Warrior of Light, etc.

He is the receiver of many international rewards, for his immense contribution to society through bright ideas and pure wisdom. He continues to be an inspiration for many people all around the globe and has a huge base of loyal followers and readers.

Paulo Coelho Quotes – Top 10

No one can lie, no one can hide anything when he looks directly into someone's eyes. Click To Tweet Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience. Click To Tweet Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act. Click To Tweet When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It's very simple. Click To Tweet When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Click To Tweet The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes. Click To Tweet You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it. Click To Tweet Love is a trap. When it appears, we see only its light, not its shadows. Click To Tweet Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things - thoughts, ideas, opinions. Click To Tweet We have lost contact with reality, the simplicity of life. Click To Tweet

All the masterpieces written by Paulo Coelho are etched into the hearts of many generations and continue in the same fashion. The key takeaways are elaborated in the text in a way that most people cannot absorb the criticism, deriving from each sentence.

We leave you to contemplate on this one, while we move on with more quotes extracted from the rich collection of Paulo Coelho.

Quotes by Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.

Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.

No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.

Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.

Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.

Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life.

Quotes by Paulo Coelho – Eleven Minutes

Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.

I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.

No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.

The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.

Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.

Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.

Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone.

I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called the body.

In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.

The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.

Quotes by Paulo Coelho – The Fifth Mountain

If you have a past with which you feel dissatisfied, then forget it, now. Imagine a new story for your life and believe in it.

Focus only on the moments when you achieved what you desired, and that strength will help you to get what you want.

Sadness does not last forever when we walk in the direction of that which we always desired.

Stop thinking about life and choose to live it.

Make whatever decision you wish but never forget one thing: all of you are much better than you believed. Take advantage of the chance that tragedy has given you; not everyone is capable of doing so.

Although I have the colors, only the Lord can mix them with such harmony.

All life battles teach us something, even those we lose.

Life is made of our attitudes. And there are certain things that the gods oblige us to live through. Their reason for this does not matter, and there is no action we can take to make them pass us by.

But no one can lose sight of what he desires. Even if there are moments when he believes the world and the others are stronger. The secret is this: do not surrender.

The Lord heareth the prayers of those who ask to put aside hatred. But he is deaf to those who would flee from love.

Quotes by Paulo Coelho – Brida

None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still, we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.

Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.

Don’t bother trying to explain your emotions. Live everything as intensely as you can and keep whatever you felt as a gift from God. The best way to destroy the bridge between the visible and invisible is by trying to explain your emotions.

When you were in love, you were capable of learning everything and of knowing things you had never dared even to think, because love was the key to understanding all of the mysteries.

Finding one important thing in your life doesn’t mean you have to give up all the other important things.

Being human means having doubts and yet continuing on your path.

Even if it is only for a matter of moments because those moments bring with them a Love so intense that it justifies the rest of our days.

The night is just a part of the day.

Final Notes

It’s up to you to select the best ones and hopefully live your life according to them.

Paulo is aware of the importance of giving back to the global community. In return, he only expects to see a few happy faces – it’s not lost to ask!!

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Nickel and Dimed PDF Summary

Nickel and Dimed PDF SummaryOn (Not) Getting By in America

Ah, the American Dream, the national ethos of the United States!

Well, it’s a dream alright! Literally – explains Barbara Ehrenreich in “Nickel and Dimed.”

And upward mobility is a myth for every third American.

Read ahead to find out why.

Who Should Read “Nickel and Dimed”? And Why?

Wage discrepancy and inequality are two subjects we rarely talk about – even though they are a serious issue in the United States.

People who want to find out more about the way they are perpetuated should definitely read this book. The same goes for unskilled workers because most of them don’t even realize to what extent they are exploited.

And they should – because they have some power to change this.

About Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara EhrenreichBarbara Ehrenreich is an American author and political activist, one of the most original and sharpest social critics, called “a veteran muckraker” by “The New Yorker” and “a myth buster by trade” in her own words.

A prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of America for most of her life, she has written numerous essays, columns and more than 20 books.

She is, however, best known for “Nickel and Dimed,” which defiantly challenged the view of an upwardly mobile America back in 2001 and is still widely read and quoted by many.

“Nickel and Dimed PDF Summary”

Socialism never took root in America,” writes Ronald Wright in “A Short History of Progress,” “because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

In other words, most Americans believe that if you work hard, you will succeed; if you don’t, you’ll fail.

And that’s a fair bargain.

However, Barbara Ehrenreich found out the hard way that reality is somewhat different.

In other words, that you can work hard – even harder than those who’ve earned millions – and yet end up poor for as long as you live.

And when we say the hard way, we’re actually saying that she’s a muckraker, an investigative journalist.

You know – the guys who can become a gang leader for a day or go undercover in North Korea just so that they can write a truthful book for us.

Well, at the age of 60, Barbara Ehrenreich went on to live – or rather survive – on minimum wage for few months, working as a waitress, house cleaner, hotel maid, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart clerk.

“Nickel and Dimed” is the result of her findings.

And it’s a scathing critique on the greatest country of the world.

First stop: Key West, Florida.

Just as any unskilled worker would do, Barbara started her journey by sending out many applications. However, she heard nothing back for a while, concluding that either she lacks a Ph.D. from the University of Unskilled Workers, or, more probably, there are just not as many job offerings as you would expect.

Anyway, she finally gets a job as a waitress.

So, you already know where this is going.

Long hours, insufficient pay.

And not enough money to survive.

So, Ehrenreich needs to find a second job to make ends meet.

She does – for a housecleaning service.

And just like it is the Invisible Man, her first workday there is also her last. Combining these two jobs – waitress and housecleaner ­– is just too physically demanding.

And you know what else is:

It’s soul-crushing.

Because no matter how frugally Ehrenreich tried to live, she just couldn’t save any money. In fact, quite the opposite: she ended up spending more than the rich on things such as food and rent.

Why?

Because, for one, not-poor people have refrigerators!

Yes – there are many people in America who don’t!

In other words, not-poor people have a place to store their food. Poor people end up eating at fast food restaurants – usually the cheapest meals, which are not only more expensive than the same meals bought at a supermarket but are also far unhealthier.

Also, lacking any substantial savings, poor people are unable to pay the security deposits which are usually required by landlords. So, they have to pay extra for the rent.

Needless to say – Ehrenreich loses the battle with Key West, Florida even before the one month she promised us to spend there.

Next stop: Portland, Maine.

Now Barbara knows better, so she goes for two jobs from the outset: one as an aide at a nursing home and the other as a housecleaner.

Exhausted?

Check.

Unfulfilled?

Check.

Money?

Maybe next time.

This time – a lesson in workers’ rights straight out of our history books.

Namely, while working for The Maids housekeeping company, Ehrenreich is teamed with Holly, a pale, sickly 23-year-old who learns at one point that she’s also pregnant.

However, she isn’t able to go home and rest – because, you know, you need money to rest – so Ehrenreich tries to help her by doing more of the chores.

However, this, coupled with the exhaustion, results in Barbara dropping a pot in a fish bowl at a fancy apartment. Holly, on the other hand, trips in a hole and breaks a bone.

So, she calls her boss and apologizes in tears. Ted, The Maids’ franchise owner, would have none of it: Holly should be able to “work through it.”

Now, Barbara is mad: are we living in the 21st century or are we still stuck in the 19th?

And why is nobody reacting appropriately to this tyrannical behavior?

Barbara lashes out at her fellow workers and outs herself.

It’s as anticlimactic as going to the Zoo and finding out that the elephant is moved and the lion cages are currently closed.

Final stop: Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Once again, Barbara gets two jobs: at Menards, a houseware store, and at Wal-Mart, aka the company with a separate Wikipedia article about how bad it treats its employees.

However, the orientation sessions at Wal-Mart render her incapable of making it to her morning shift at Menards, which, expectedly, results in a financial problem.

And, to make matters worse, it is amplified by the fact that Barbara is unable to find affordable housing which doesn’t look like Bates’ motel.

She ends up renting a room at the Comfort Inn – and paying $50 a night to stay there.

Knowing that she will not make it, and hearing that there’s a hotel workers’ strike, she starts criticizing Wal-Mart around her employees, while inciting them to do something similar.

To no avail.

Or, to translate that for you in the universally intelligible language of sports:

Capitalism 3. Barbara 0.

Workers’ rights and their energy to change them: –1756121576352.

Yes, we just typed some numbers there.

Key Lessons from “Nickel and Dimed”

1.      Poverty Is a Big Problem in the United States
2.      Poverty Comes with Hidden Costs
3.      Something is Very Wrong

Poverty Is a Big Problem in the United States

The United States may be the leader of the free world, but that doesn’t mean that it has solved its problems.

In fact, it has many of them, starting with its racial criminal justice system and poverty.

There are homeless people all around us, and the stats say that 12% of the population is living in poverty.

Now, that’s a lot!

Especially when you take into consideration that the government has basically legalized this!

Even though the National Coalition for the Homeless has determined that you need to earn $8.89 per hour to rent a studio apartment, the minimum wage goes as low as six to seven dollars per hour.

It’s just not fair.

Poverty Comes with Hidden Costs

Being poor is a lot more expensive than being rich.

Because it comes with few hidden costs.

For example, poor people don’t have savings to pay upfront the obligatory two-month deposits for a nicer apartment, so they usually end up paying higher rents or even living in motels which, in the long run, costs them much more.

Also, there’s usually no kitchen in such an apartment, so cooking is out of the question – which results in the poor paying a lot more for their food as well.

To add insult to injury, this food is also usually the most harmful, which causes health issues.

Of the kind poor people are unable to pay because they usually don’t even have insurance.

Something is Very Wrong

No – we’re not talking about the state of Denmark.

They are doing just fine.

We, on the other hand, are not.

Let us paint you a picture via a relevant Guardian article:

“The United States is one of the world’s richest and most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty.”

Ehrenreich says that it’s even worse:

According to the US Economic Policy Institute, your family needs a minimum of $30,000 per year to live and not merely survive.

And 60% of the American population is below that figure!

“Something is wrong, very wrong,” Ehrenreich writes, “when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow.”

Indeed it is.

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“Nickel and Dimed Quotes”

What you don't necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you're really selling is your life. Click To Tweet A lot of what we experience as strength comes from knowing what to do with weakness. Click To Tweet When someone works for less pay than she can live on… then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made of a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. Click To Tweet We can hardly pride ourselves on being the world’s preeminent democracy, after all, if the large numbers of citizens spend half their waking hours in what amounts, in plain terms, to a dictatorship. Click To Tweet According to a recent poll... 94% of Americans agree that ‘people who work fulltime should be able to earn enough to keep their families out of poverty.’ Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The New Yorker” described “Nickel and Dimed” as an exposé which puts “human flesh on the bones of such abstractions as ‘living wage’ and ‘affordable housing.’”

In other words, you don’t really know what these words mean unless you are poor or you have read this book.

If you are the former, read “Nickel and Dimed” to get some inspiration. If you are one of the other half of Americans, read it to see the dark side of your country.

America, unfortunately, is not that great.

And unless people read and act upon books such as this one – it will never be.

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The New Jim Crow PDF Summary

The New Jim Crow PDF SummaryMass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Racism is a thing of the past, right?

Well, add a little adjective such as “Overt” before that sentence, and Michelle Alexander may just agree.

But that only makes it worse.

Read “The New Jim Crow” to find out how.

Who Should Read “The New Jim Crow”? And Why?

Things have certainly improved for African-Americans during the past half a century. In fact, we are ostensibly living in a colorblind society.

Or, at least, that is the way they want you to think.

And by they – we have no one specific in mind: the government, the politicians, the conservatives, the alt-right parties, the uninformed…

The point is, they themselves don’t know it: just like everybody, they are biased. And even though there are numerous stats which prove – in plain numbers – that we have a long way to go to equality, no one seems to be talking anything about it.

Michelle Alexander is one of the very few exceptions.

So, if you are interested in racial justice and the new forms through which systematic racial oppression works in the United States – you must read this book.

If you are not – well, once again, you must read this book.

About Michelle Alexander

Michelle AlexanderMichelle Alexander is a writer, civil rights advocate, litigator, and a visiting professor of social justice at Union Theological Seminary (New York City).

In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship and went on a successful law career, becoming a U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and winning the Heinz Award in Public Policy in 2016.

She currently holds a joint appointment at the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.

Published in 2010, “The New Jim Crow” is her only book so far.

“The New Jim Crow PDF Summary”

Slavery is a thing of the past, right?

Well, depends on how you look it at it.

As Michelle Alexander explains in “Hidden Colors 2: The Triumph of Melanin”: “Today there are more African American adults, under correctional control, in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850 a decade before the Civil War began.”

Something to think about, right?

Especially in view of Michel Foucault’s ideas extrapolated in “Discipline and Punish,” where he conveniently argues that prisons are just a new – and improved – form of public executions.

In fact, Michelle Alexander echoes Foucault when she writes:

Today’s lynching is a felony charge. Today’s lynching is incarceration. Today’s lynch mobs are professionals. They have a badge; they have a law degree. A felony is a modern way of saying, ‘I’m going to hang you up and burn you.’ Once you get that F, you’re on fire.

So, in other words, there are no slaves today – but there are prisoners.

And the majority of them are African Americans (and Latinos), serving for petty crimes – done regularly by white people too!

So, it’s basically Slavery 2.0!

In fact, the very idea of the criminal justice system – says Alexander – is to fashion second-class citizens, just as the Jim Crow laws did in the 19th century.

If you’ve ever watched “Les Mis,” you know what we’re talking about. Because it’s not just going to prison, it’s what happens to you afterward.

You’re stigmatized for life.

You can’t vote, you can’t socialize, and it’s almost impossible to get a job – resulting in life-long poverty, which was usually the reason behind the first criminal offense!

So, how did we get here?

Basically, it all started with Reagan’s War on Drugs.

Just as many other political decisions, this one too had a wicked background: appealing to the white majority and nothing more.

Statistically, people of all races buy and sell drugs at the same rate; but the War on Drugs wasn’t based on statistics.

And we went into paradox overdrive mode: black people were punished for life for buying/selling marijuana, and murderers escaped unscathed.

This resulted in a self-perpetuating cycle of crime and lack of trust in the system Jill Leovy comprehensively describes in “Ghettoside.”

Hence – mass incarceration, the New Jim Crow.

Just think about it!

One-fourth of the number of prisoners in the world are Americans – even though the United States makes up for only 5% of the world’s population.

And of this number, almost 40% are African-Americans – even though they make up only 12-13% of the American population.

So?

Maybe African Americans are just more prone to crimes.

Everybody is.

In fact, Michell Alexander says,

The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that’s why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior.

But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives.

In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.

And if they arrest you for drugs, don’t expect a fair trial like the ones you see on TV.

Statistics say that, most probably, you’ll be judged by an all-white jury, even though jury selection should be by definition colorblind.

And even in the case of their best intentions, they – like anyone else, for that matter – will be implicitly racist and will find it easier to vote for a longer sentence for someone who is not white.

The worst part?

People don’t even talk about things such as this.

Because they are convinced that we’ve left the Jim Crow laws far behind us.

And that the justice system is about as good as we can make it.

In fact, it’s just a covert version of the one you can read all about in Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

America, we need more Atticuses!

Key Lessons from “The New Jim Crow”

1.      Incarceration Is Slavery 2.0
2.      The Old Jim Crow vs. The New Jim Crow Laws
3.      Is There Anything We Can Do?

Incarceration Is Slavery 2.0

We doubt that you’ve ever thought about it this way.

You should – as Michelle Alexander so convincingly argues.

Not because there are similarities in theory, but because there are similarities which are backed by statistics.

4 out of 10 prisoners in the United States are African Americans; even though, there’s only 1 African American in 10 inhabitants of the U.S.

Even worse, 1 in 4 prisoners in the world (!) is American.

And mass incarceration (mainly of African Americans and Latinos) started with the Reagan administration and consistently wins points for political parties.

Even though it’s unjust and racially prejudiced, in that it imprisons African Americans for drug-related crimes for life, turning a blind eye to the fact that whites buy and sell drugs almost at the same rate.

And that’s statistics talking for you.

The Old Jim Crow vs. The New Jim Crow Laws

The old Jim Crow laws were enacted in the middle of the 19th century and made sure that African Americans will remain second-class citizens for almost a century.

In theory, these laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but in practice, they are still around us.

Michelle Alexander claims – even more than you think.

And mass incarcerations, she adds, is the gateway to these new covert Jim Crow laws. Because the criminal justice system, just as the old Jim Crow laws, works by exploiting white resentment.

And the similarities don’t stop there!

Both the old and the new Jim Crow laws systematically exclude black people from juries and segregate neighborhoods by race. In addition, they are both based on racial profiling – even though in the case of the new ones, nobody is saying anything about it.

And that may be the only difference: the lack of activism and outrage.

Instituted by a pseudo-colorblind language the claims of which are not supported by stats.

Is There Anything We Can Do?

Michelle Alexander doesn’t claim that she has a solution to the problem – that’s not the point of the book.

She just wants to make sure that everybody knows about the problem so that somebody starts thinking about how we can overcome it.

However, in her opinion, there are few things that can be done, like abolishing the private prison system, introducing law enforcement profiling and transforming the public consciousness.

The last one may be the most important part of the equation.

Because by subverting the colorblind language and rhetoric we may finally be able to start calling the things by their real names.

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“The New Jim Crow PDF Quotes”

The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed. Click To Tweet The fate of millions of people… may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society. Click To Tweet Racial caste systems do not require racial hostility or overt bigotry to thrive. They need only racial indifference, as Martin Luther King Jr. warned more than forty-five years ago. Click To Tweet African Americans are not significantly more likely to use or sell prohibited drugs than whites, but they are made criminals at drastically higher rates for precisely the same conduct. Click To Tweet Through a web of laws, regulations, and informal rules, all of which are powerfully reinforced by social stigma, they are confined to the margins of mainstream society and denied access to the mainstream economy. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Tough-on-crime “law and order” policies first implemented by Nixon and greatly intensified by Reagan during the War on Drugs have resulted in the devastation of the black communities on par with the pre-Civil War era.

Michelle Alexander presents voluminous evidence to prove this. And, as Darryl Pickney writes, even though she “is not the first to offer this bitter analysis, [The New Jim Crow] is striking in the intelligence of her ideas, her powers of summary, and the force of her writing.”

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