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9 Books to Drop Everything and Read

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If you’re a passionate reader, you’re always on the hunt for the next book that will totally engross you. We’ve pinpointed some that are worth the old drop-everything-and-read treatment.

1) The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

After he’d won the Civil War and spent two terms in the White House, Grant was strapped for cash. His pal Mark Twain convinced the retired general to pen his memoirs, which Twain then published. Just how good was the finished product? Twain called it “a great, unique and unapproachable literary masterpiece.”

2) The Moonstone  by Wilkie Collins

Nothing is quite as gripping as a good mystery novel, and Collins’ masterpiece, first published in 1868, is sometimes credited as the very first detective novel. If you like a good whodunit, it’s worth the effort to find out where the genre got its start.

3) The Amateur Cracksman  by E.W. Hornung

Hornung enjoyed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories so much that in the 1890s he set out to craft his own take on the brilliant investigator. Hornung got creative, though. Instead of creating his own detective, he dreamed up A.J. Raffles, an anti-Holmes who made his living as a “gentleman thief” and burglar. The resulting stories are thrilling and often hilarious.

4) Tom Sawyer, Detective  by Mark Twain

Twain would know a little something about literary masterpieces. He’d also know something about baffling sequels. Published in 1896, Tom Sawyer, Detective details the title character’s efforts to solve a murder in a burlesque house. How can you not drop everything to read that?

5) The Wealth of Nations  by Adam Smith

For a book published in 1776, Adam Smith’s revolutionary The Wealth of Nations is a surprisingly engaging and approachable read. It can get a little technical in parts, but a solid read will arm you with more economics knowledge than you ever thought you’d have.

6) Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen

If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, what are you doing reading on the Web? Pride and Prejudice is funny, beautifully written, and indispensable. The only downside is that since writing wasn’t considered an honorable vocation for a woman of Austen’s class, she couldn’t take credit for the novel when it came out. The title page reads “By the author Sense and Sensibility.” That book, in turn, only reveals that it was written “By a lady.”

7) Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Bronte

Like Austen, the brilliant Bronte sisters disguised their identities. Before Charlotte Bronte broke out with her incredible novel Jane Eyre, the three sisters adopted the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. In 1846, the Brontes self-published a collection of poetry under these pseudonyms. How did the three literary titans’ debut fare? They sold a whopping two copies. Things took a positive turn for Charlotte the following year when, still writing as Currer Bell, she found a publisher for Jane Eyre.

8) One Thousand and One Nights

Sure, you probably know Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sinbad. But there are still hundreds of classic Middle Eastern folk tales waiting for you in this volume. How can you read a story title like “The Fakir and His Jar of Butter” and not be just a little intrigued?

9) Walden  by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau’s beautiful account of living in New England seclusion is gripping for its simplicity, but it wasn’t easy to write. Thoreau needed seven years to write and edit the 18 essays that he wrote while living in a cabin on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s land for two years. It’s hard to blame Thoreau for heading to the wilderness; his other option was sticking with the family pencil-making business.

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5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.


The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.


Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):


A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."


When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”


Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink


Big Daddy


Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison




Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns


Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)


Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)


October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)


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