Friday, May 25, 2012

Free eBooks for iPad & Kindle:
An Every-So-Often Roundup

In the interest of helping the community discover free books of value (as opposed to some of the appallingly poorly written free books on, I'm collecting and annotating links to Project Gutenberg links that have some sort of popular historical or literary value.  I'll try to post them on a more or less weekly basis.

As I've noted before, a major drawback to the Project Gutenberg resources is that there's no summary or even tagging of the books they've digitized; there's no easy way to investigate a book through the site before deciding to download it. This is my value-added contribution to readers; may you discover something new and wonderful to read (and the choices be ever in your favor).

This week's possibilities:

  • Humorous yet sympathetic, this perceptive social novel of an orphan's sudden rise to wealth is generally regarded as a masterpiece, and was the author's own favorite work. First published in 1905.
  • The Cuthbert siblings asked to adopt a boy orphan, to help out on their rural Canadian farm, but instead they got lively, red-headed Anne Shirley. This 1908 classic children's novel has inspired several sequels and numerous TV and film adaptations.
  • Seminal short novel of the early 20th century, about a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, who wakes one day to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect-like creature. Originally published in German in 1915, this is a 2003 translation by David Wyllie.

    A 1902 horror story, in which the paw of a dead monkey is a talisman that grants its possessor three wishes, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate.

    Otto of the Silver Hand is a children's novel about the Dark Ages. It was first published in 1888 by Charles Scribner's Sons. The novel was one of the first written for young readers that went beyond the chivalric ideals of the time period, and centers around Otto, the son of a German warlord whose mother dies soon after giving birth to him. He is raised in a monastery until he is thirteen, at which point he returns to live with his father in their ancestral castle.

    Zane Grey's best-known novel, originally published in 1912, that played a significant role in shaping the formula of the popular Western genre. In it, ranch heiress Jane Withersteen resists pressure to mary a church elder, and defends her right to associate with those outside her religion.

    This 1921 comic novel was adapted from a series of short stories orginally published in The Strand magazine. It tells the story of impoverished, embarrassment-prone Drone Archibald "Archie" Moffam (pronounced "Moom"), and his difficult relationship with art-collecting, hotel-owning millionaire father-in-law Daniel Brewster, father of Archie's new bride Lucille. Archie's attempts to ingratiate himself with Brewster only get him further into trouble.

    Check out all of my annotated free ebook listings in PiLibrarian's Diigo bookmarks.

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