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"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us."

—Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian writer, The Metamorphosis, The Trial


World News From BBC

Ebola-fear athletes seek longer stay  Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:54:31 GMT
Up to 30 Commonwealth Games athletes from Sierra Leone are considering extending their stay in Glasgow amid fears over the Ebola virus. 
Week in pictures: 19-25 July 2014  Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:04:19 GMT
News photos from around the world 
A community's tales  Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:56:05 GMT
Sound-portraits of the residents of Carrick-on-Suir 
Day in pictures: 25 July 2014  Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:50:49 GMT
24 hours of news photos: 25 July 
'Hidden' photos reveal library build  Fri, 25 Jul 2014 04:44:32 GMT
'Hidden' images reveal Cambridge's University Library 
Your pictures: Cycling  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:14:53 GMT
Readers' photos on the theme of "cycling" 
Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas  Wed, 23 Jul 2014 01:14:09 GMT
Concept designs by famous manufacturers on show in US 
Taiwan plane crash: In pictures  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:50:20 GMT
TransAsia Airways plane crashes in Taiwan 
Prince George's first year  Tue, 22 Jul 2014 03:37:31 GMT
Prince George's first year 
The next silicon revolution?  Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:01:49 GMT
Could silicon be about to deliver yet another industrial revolution? 
Seven singular sports from the Victorian era  Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:07:22 GMT
The bee v pigeon race and other singular sports 
The boy on a beach with an RPG  Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:12:34 GMT
Shock at a video of a boy on a beach firing an RPG 
Taiwanese fearful after pipeline blasts  Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:49:06 GMT
Residents fear more blasts from aging network of gas pipelines 
Colorado's marijuana 'Green Rush'  Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:08:50 GMT
On a limo-driven VIP pot tour in Colorado 
Working Lives Panama  Fri, 01 Aug 2014 13:49:11 GMT
Five very different working lives in Panama