The Capitol Hill Branch is temporarily closed  starting Jan. 12, 2015, for about 3 weeks for refurbishing.  The book drop and parking garage also will close. While the branch is closed, patrons may choose any other Library location as a pickup location for items placed on hold and may return materials to any branch. If patrons don't select an alternate branch for holds pickup, holds that have not arrived by Jan. 2 will be sent to the Central Library.

Seattle Picks: Short Classics

Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart By Achebe, Chinua (Book - 1994 ) FIC ACHEBE Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 21 copies

Annotation:Okonkwo’s greatest fear is not the forest, not savage beasts, not black magic, not even the white men who are taking over Nigeria. More than these, he fears himself. (181 pages)

If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk A Novel By Baldwin, James (Book - 2006 ) FIC BALDWIN 2006 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:Imagine being convicted of a crime you did not commit, and thrown in a cell, far from your loved ones. This is the story of what is left to hold on to, when hope is dead. (197 pages)

The Stranger
The Stranger By Camus, Albert (Book - 1988 ) FIC CAMUS Available in some locations

Annotation:Who is Meursault, why has he killed a man he hardly knows, and why doesn’t he seem to care? Is life itself absurd, or is it just us? (160 pages)

The Awakening and Selected Stories
The Awakening and Selected Stories By Chopin, Kate (Book - 2003 ) FIC CHOPIN 2003 Available in some locations

Annotation: This heartfelt story of Edna Pontellier’s doomed search of personal fulfillment was considered so shocking in 1899, it almost ruined its author. (192 pages)

The Heart of Darkness
The Heart of Darkness By Conrad, Joseph (Book - 1996 ) FIC CONRAD 1996 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 6 copies

Annotation:Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Marlow knows: his journey up the Congo River in search of the exceptional Mister Kurtz inspired the film Apocalypse Now. (131 pages)

Notes From Underground
Notes From Underground By Dostoyevsky, Fyodor (Book - 1993 ) FIC DOSTOEV 1993 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 1 on 7 copies

Annotation:He is a sick man, an unlikable man, true. But a madman? Judge for yourself, in the stark and unforgettable tale of literature’s first great anti-hero. (136 pages)

Silas Marner
Silas Marner The Weaver of Raveloe By Eliot, George (Book - 2003 ) FIC ELIOT 2003 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 7 copies

Annotation:His reputation ruined and his treasure stolen, an embittered weaver turns his back on a cruel world, only to find hope where least expected. (176 pages)

The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea By Hemingway, Ernest (Book - 1996 ) FIC HEMINGW 1996 Available in some locations

Annotation:It had been 84 days since the old man had caught anything when, far out in the deep Gulf Stream water, he is himself caught by a great and mighty fish. (93 pages)

Siddhartha An Indian Tale By Hesse, Hermann (Book - 2003 ) FIC HESSE 2003 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 15 copies

Annotation:The young Buddha follows paths of deep piety, intense poverty and sumptuous wealth, but Nirvana awaits in a place beyond all these illusions. (119 pages)

Daisy Miller
Daisy Miller A Study By James, Henry (Book - 2007 ) FIC JAMES 2007 Available in some locations

Annotation:On holiday in Rome, Daisy just wants to have a little fun, but straight-laced Victorian society throws her to the lions. (83 pages) Also try James’s creepy “The Turn of the Screw.”

Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Metamorphosis and Other Stories By Kafka, Franz (Book - 2008 ) FIC KAFKA 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” So begins the creepiest classic ever. (60 pages)

The Member of the Wedding
The Member of the Wedding By McCullers, Carson (Book - 2004 ) FIC MCCULLE 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:Frankie, whose daddy calls her a great big long-legged 12-year-old blunderbuss, has decided to grow up and leave home with her sister; but in matrimony, three's a crowd. (153 pages)

Billy Budd, Sailor, and Other Stories
Billy Budd, Sailor, and Other Stories By Melville, Herman (Book - 1986 ) FIC MELVILL 1986 Available in some locations

Annotation:Pressed into service on a warship, a dashing sailor runs afoul of the letter of the law, and is cast on the merciless rocks of blind justice. (98 pages) Also try Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener.

Sula By Morrison, Toni (Book - 2004 ) FIC MORRISO 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:Sula and Nel, friends who share a terrible secret, are drawn apart by time, circumstance and the scruples of a society with little regard for either of them. (176 pages)

Animal Farm
Animal Farm By Orwell, George (Book - 1993 ) FIC ORWELL 1993 Available in some locations Holds: 9 on 22 copies

Annotation:Rebellious livestock abolish the dominion of their two-legged masters, only to find that “All Animals Are Equal, but Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.” (113 pages)

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich By Solzhenit͡syn, Aleksandr Isaevich (Book - 1995 ) FIC SOLZHEN 1995 Available in some locations

Annotation:An extra bowl of gruel, the warmth of hard physical work, a bit of shelter against the freezing wind: it was a good day in the Siberian prison camp. (158 pages)

Of Mice and Men
Of Mice and Men By Steinbeck, John (Book - 1994 ) FIC STEINBE Available in some locations Holds: 6 on 29 copies

Annotation:Lennie doesn’t know his own strength, and George little suspects the strength of their friendship, or the sacrifice it will demand of him. (124 pages) Also try The Red Pony and The Pearl.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories By Tolstoy, Leo (Book - 2009 ) FIC TOLSTOY 2009 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 4 copies

Annotation:We’re all going to die, but who among us is ready to go? Ivan Ilych most certainly is not. Find out what he learns on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. (60 pages) Also try Hadji Murat and Master and Man.

Pudd'nhead Wilson
Pudd'nhead Wilson By Twain, Mark (Book - 1984 )

Annotation:Northern lawyer Pudd’nhead can puzzle out the mystery of the Extraordinary Twins and the Secret Changelings, but just can’t make any sense of slavery. (143 pages)

Candide, or Optimism
Candide, or Optimism By Voltaire (Book - 1947 ) FIC VOLTAIR 1947 All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:Robbery, shipwreck, torture, earthquake, syphilis, rape, slavery, cannibalism, murder: in this lively satire, “all’s for the best in this best of all possible worlds!” (144 pages)

Ethan Frome
Ethan Frome By Wharton, Edith (Book - 1987 ) FIC WHARTON 1987 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 5 copies

Annotation:Was Mattie just a youthful infatuation, or the love of his life? The answer lies buried beneath the snows of the past. (200 pages) Try also Wharton’s Summer.

Night By Wiesel, Elie (Book - 2006 ) 940.5318 W6374W 2006 Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 15 copies

Annotation:Hungary, 1944: a Jewish boy manages to survive the worst that man can do to man, only to wonder what in this life could be worth the cost of survival. (109 pages)

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Interested in reading the classics but don’t have time for War and Peace? Great Books come in all shapes and sizes. The following mini-masterpieces pack a powerful impact in under 200 pages.


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