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Monday, April 16, 2012

258

Really Good Books That Happen to Be Free For the Kindle: Part One

CAN IT BE TRUE? (It can.)

Now, in addition to the glorious list that follows, there are some other boondoggles you should know about. Amazon has a rotating selection of sub-$3.99 Kindle titles, a Kindle Daily Deal, AND, Prime subscribers enjoy a free Kindle lending library (if you enjoy destroying the environment by having all your discounted toilet paper and paper towels and condoms flown to your home for free, this is probably going to work out for you.)

If you don't have a Kindle, the cheapest one is eighty bucks, and, personally, if you get bikini waxes, which are mad expensive and painful, maybe you could skip 2-3 of them? Otherwise, sell some plasma. I love my Kindle. Hey, is Nicole reading the dirty parts of Outlander again? I CAN'T TELL, SHE HAS A KINDLE.

Incidentally, this happened when I loaded Amazon to prepare these wonderful books for you:

And now, the list. Free Kindle books generally fall into a few distinct categories: vampires, Christian romance novels, and classics. We're mostly sticking to the latter, but Bram Stoker has minor crossover appeal.

Basically all of them, Lucy Maud Montgomery – She's olden, and the text is up for grabs, ladies. Search the individual titles you desire. Some are less brilliantly formatted than others (no table of contents, or weird pagination), but FREE. You might have to pay, like, a dollar for Anne of Green Gables, but for that same dollar you can usually get the complete series in one Kindle volume. Score!

Black Beauty, Anna Sewell – Tears. Tears. Why couldn't anyone be both nice to Beauty AND not die all the time? Burn your draw reins.

A Girl of the Limberlost, Gene Stratton-Porter – Oh, this book is actually the greatest. The greatest. And you know who would have loved getting books for free? OUR HEROINE.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The other day, my husband said he should run for office, and I said "much like the Giant Rat of Sumatra, that is a tale for which the world is not yet ready" and it was extremely funny and you should have been there, because now that I've written it down, it's not THAT funny.

A Bunch of the Early Ones, Marion Zimmer Bradley – Not The Mists of Avalon, or anything, they want fourteen bucks for it! (Worth it, but buy used instead.)

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott – Or all seven of her major novels for a dollar. Kissin' cousins and all. Seriously, Eight Cousins is messed up.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – Well, all of the Austen, really. Do you remember when Adrian Mole (not free) got in trouble at the library for moving Jane Austen into the "light romance" section? Oh, Adrian. Everyone knows Jane Austen was sent here by an alien race to keep women pleasantly diverted while the patriarchy slowly took over the means of production.

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte – Because you can't masturbate to Jane Eyre (also free). Prove me wrong, I guess.

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett – Working title: Dickon is Hot, Colin is Not.

THE BIBLE, author disputed, maybe God? – Okay, it's the lame English Standard Version, which sucks. I mean, if you're reading it for accuracy of translation, go to town, but if you just want all the pretty language that infused our literature, it's King James or Bust, right?

Dracula, Bram Stoker – He may not sparkle, but he's got other things going for him. Like grammar.

We're back to memoirs and biographies (part three) next week, but I WILL do another Free Kindle Books installment in the future. Watch this space for more!

258 Comments / Post A Comment

thebestjasmine

Ugh, Colin is THE WORST you guys!

Nicole Cliffe

Right? Nut up and quit bitching.

carolita

@thebestjasmine Colin, way too high maintenance. Pain in the ass.

nocomment

@thebestjasmine My favorite book of ALL time, but yes, Colin is a whiny brat. TEAM DICKON!

Verity

@fatgirlinohio Dickon is clearly the best.

teaandcakeordeath

@thebestjasmine
Why wasnt Colin destroyed by the SPORES.

anachronistique

@thebestjasmine Literally the only thing Colin has going for him is that he was played by a very young Colin Firth in a Hallmark movie adaptation of TSG. Seriously. (That page is HILARIOUSLY 90S, also.)

whateverlolawants

@thebestjasmine I had no idea! The website is simply 90s-lovely. Also... Colin looked a little like Kurt from Glee in that movie. Hmm.

In the 1993 film, Colin had a bit of Macaulay Culkin's pale, deep-set-eyes look. Oddly though, when he goes outside and lights up, he resembles Paul McCartney a little. The movie IS set near Liverpool. Look at the actor, Heydon Prowse now: Not bad, not bad.

I preferred Dickon. He was way cooler. But really, my eyes were on moody, tormented, quietly sexy Lord Craven. That film was instrumental in developing my taste for long hair on men.

TheDogRuiner

@thebestjasmine I love Secret Garden, but for years i didn't notice all of the Christian Science propaganda and now I am like OMG HOW COULD YOU MISS IT

carolita

@TheDogRuiner Wow, I did not know about that! I must re-read. Very curious. Is that why Colin is so annoying, I wonder? there was always something kind of bugging me about it. I always prefered A Little Princess, or Sara Crewe, for the scenes in the attic (the fire, the quilt, the delicacies, all a secret). That was also a kind of secret garden (of earthly delights, I guess). She was good at secret places, Burnett was.

teaandcakeordeath

@TheDogRuiner
Propaganda? Really? Is that the part where they start singing and waving their arms around and talking about being full of 'magic' because even at age 10 when I read the books I thought that was weak.

Dusk

@fatgirlinohio For reasons I can't explain (I'm contrary!), this conversation has made The Secret Garden the very first download on my brand new Kindle. I'm excited.

The Lady of Shalott

Ahhhh I am just finishing up my semiannual rereading of "everything L.M. Montgomery every wrote with the exception of the Pat books and Magic for Marigold" and I don't have a Kindle, but I DO have the library AND I got to read a 1926 edition of The Blue Castle this week, complete with a darling bookplate in it from 1938 when the girl who received it from her Sunday School teacher and now I have rambled on far too long but I just have to say I LOVE PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THESE BOOKS, EVERYONE GO READ THEM

Nicole Cliffe

The Blue Castle is my favourite.

Canard

@The Lady of Shalott Somehow I have never read The Blue Castle! And I keep expecting it to be free on Amazon but it never is.

Magic for Marigold is dumb, true, but why not reread the Pat books? Is it because of how Mistress Pat methodically strips Pat of everything she has ever loved until the weight of the grief and loss is unbear-- oh, I understand now.

theharpoon

@Nicole Cliffe The Blue Castle ROCKS and is also a lot funnier than I remember a good chunk of her stuff being.

theharpoon

@Nicole Cliffe However I did start re-reading The Story Girl stuff not that long ago (free!) and was sadly disappointed.

The Lady of Shalott

@Canard GO READ THE BLUE CASTLE DO IT DO IT RIGHT NOW.

I don't like the Pat books because I don't like them. Pat is so tiresome and obsessed with everything staying the same at Silver Bush, FOR EVER. And like...why won't she just let her brother get married instead of expecting him to stay faithful to some girl he had a crush on when he was a kid? And Pat's obsession with Silver Bush doesn't seem to be in a nice way, it's in a creepy angsty "I cannot spend one single night away from my HOUSE" type way. Get over it, Pat! And tell Jingle to find someone who isn't such a wet blanket.

Nicole Cliffe

@The Lady of Shalott Oh, YES. Pat is way, way too weird.

noReally

@The Lady of Shalott Wha? Why no love for Marigold? When the little girl visiting says the picture of Queen Victoria looks like someone's old cook with a lace curtain over her head? This is what we say about any picture we see of an old lady.

Nicole Cliffe

To be fair, LMM used that same line in...'Emily Climbs.'

VolcanoMouse

@The Lady of Shalott *poofs into existence at the mention of The Blue Castle* YOU GUYS. I love you all. But no love for A Tangled Web, anyone?

Also! HAVE YOU READ HER COLLECTED JOURNALS. Because I want someone to talk to about them! Such surprising passion and misery. Poor Maud! Poor Ewan!

Nicole Cliffe

THE JOURNALS. Did you read the Rubio biography? Incredible. Heartbreaking.

VolcanoMouse

@Nicole Cliffe NO I HAVE NOT. This merits excited yelling! I will now bludgeon the household student into ILLing this for me RIGHT NOW.

Valancy Redfern

@Canard Obviously I love The Blue Castle... anyway, it is on Gutenberg. If you google it, it's usually the Australian one that comes up, but the straight-outta-1995-web-design Project Gutenberg Canada has TBC as text and html files too. No fancy epub yet, though!

Valancy Redfern

@The Lady of Shalott I love Montgomery so much (even her woe-is-me journals) but the thesis I am writing is about her and said thesis is currently consuming me from the inside out, and not in a creative way. Although! That's because of the lit review stuff. I went through thousands of her photographs a few months back and got to try and decipher her handwriting when the Selected Journals didn't have all the info I needed, and that was a real Author Pilgrimage Moment for me.

thebestjasmine

@Nicole Cliffe OH GOD, Pat. The first book wasn't terrible, but I hate Mistress Pat so so much. The best character is Cuddles/Rae, who got the hell out of dodge. I hate that Pat only decided that she loved Jingle after stupid Silver Bush burned down and she had absolutely nothing (just like why I hate the end of Mockingjay, actually). Also, I totally think that May Binnie got pregnant and that's why she and Sid got married so quickly, and then she lost the baby. That, or she lied to him and told him that she was pregnant.

Valancy Redfern

@thebestjasmine Don't forget May's low-backed dresses! Scandalous. A veritable scarlet woman.

In general, I don't understand all the Pat dislike! I will grieve like mad when my family home must eventually be sold... The problem with Pat is she can't distinguish between the emotional/memory-home and the physical one. And the Pat novels just speak so much to LMM's own experience of home/place/lack of control that my heart does a little squeeze when I think of it.

thebestjasmine

@Valancy Redfern I like Pat as a kid (in Silver Bush) but in Mistress Pat she drives me insane. So so much clinging to the past, and trying to force everyone around herself to cling to the past as well. But I think part of my biggest problem with Mistress Pat is the end -- she only loves Jingle when she is literally left with nothing: Judy is dead, her Cuddles moved away, Sid is married to her lifetime nemesis, and oh yeah, Silver Bush and everything inside burned to the ground. So then OMG, she realized that she'd loved Jingle all along, because now he could give her a home. Poor Jingle.

ipomoea

@The Lady of Shalott UGH but Pat and Marigold were my FAVORITES as a child. I haven't read either in probably ten years, now I'm terribly partial to The Blue Castle and Kilmeny of the Orchard. If I get knocked up with a girl, it's going to be a pitched battle with Mr. Ipo because I want to name #2 Valency or Kilmeny. I mean, it's no Ayden or Jayden or Rayden, but I like it.

Valancy Redfern

@thebestjasmine I totally agree with you about the Pat problems and yet I still like Mistress Pat! Though, I do feel like Pat loved Jingle all along, it's just that her Silver Bush love got in the way and Pat was too blind to her unhealthy attachment to free herself. Regarding the clinging! I feel like Pat is the closest LMM ever got to allowing her heroines to have mental/emotional problems. Rubio's biography The Gift of Wings deals with the writing of Pat on pp. 423-426. Montgomery wrote that of the character "types" that she had written, Pat was "more myself than any other." (But Rubio also admits that the focus on fear of change in MP reaches "the point of tedium," and that many readers find the book "unwholesome" and Pat "neurotic", so, maybe LMM's comparison was more accurate than she thought?)

Disco Sheets

@The Lady of Shalott Ahhh LMM is my FAVORITE EVER, this thread has made me so happy. HOWEVER, The Blue Castle is my LEAST favorite LMM book, and I feel like every other LMM fan loves it unfailingly! WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? I hated how rude Valancy was to like EVERYONE. I reread it four or five years ago and I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Maybe I should reread it and I'll feel differently?

Also, YES JOURNALS! Yes Rubio biography! Now I'm going to reread all the non-Anne books this summer!

datalass

@VolcanoMouse I was popping in to write basically the exact same comment. I just reread A Tangled Web about 6 months ago and loved it just as much as ever. Roger & Gay! Joscelyn & Hugh! The Moon Man!

SuperGogo

@The Lady of Shalott Rilla. Yeth.

D.@twitter

@ipomoea "Kilmeny of the Orchard," is lovely, although somewhat marred by its racism. Same w/ the second Emily book.

Lexa Lane

@VolcanoMouse I love A Tangled Web! It's one of my favorites (seriously, how many stories are in that book?!?!?) along with The Story Girl/The Golden Road. I just love those characters. I also love her short stories, and it entertains me to find the plots that she ended up reusing in the novels.

Also, who here has actually been to P.E.I.? I have always wanted to go, but I'm afraid to ruin how it looks in my head (which is heavenly perfection).

Valancy Redfern

@Lexa Lane PEI is absolutely beautiful, wonderful, awesome, though Cavendish itself might be a bit of a let-down to you, depending on whether or not you are hoping for unblemished pastoral romanticism, or are willing to entertain yourself with a bit of mid 20th c. hokey tourism development. I'm not a fan of the Green Gables site (and I'm a landsape architecture student writing a thesis on the topic, for what it's worth), but the MacNeill Homestead, where Montgomery actually lived and is across the road from GG, is lovely.

The Lady of Shalott

@The Lady of Shalott

ajoop

@The Lady of Shalott I thought I was the only one who did that! I read Anne of GG 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 (Rilla!); Jane of Lantern Hill; & The Blue Castle at least once a year. Emilys were every few years, and ugh, no Pat. OMG @VolcanoMOuse I read them/the biography when I was too young! They have scarred me indef.

whateverlolawants

@SuperGogo I know someone who named her daughter Rilla, I think from those books. Was Rilla a heroine?

LooseBaggyMonster

@VolcanoMouse I love "A Tangled Web"! It's probably the most ambitious of her novels, and absolutely hilarious.

LooseBaggyMonster

@meat drawer Yes, Rilla was very determinedly a heroine! Though her name was short for Marilla.

LooseBaggyMonster

@D.@twitter For some reason I can't remember the racism in "Emily Climbs." Definitely in "Emily's Quest" with the Japanese prince, and the end of the otherwise wonderful "Tangled Web."

scully

@The Lady of Shalott Yarg! Why have I never heard of the Blue Castle?? Thank god it is now safely waiting in limbo to be downloaded to my Kindle when I get home from work...

noReally

Ok but y'aaaaaaall, we've already done LMM.
Can we talk about Jean Webster? Or Elizabeth Enright? Or Joan Aiken?

thebestjasmine

@noReally I'm confused. It sounds like you're saying that there is a time NOT to talk about LMM, but that's incomprehensible.

whateverlolawants

@noReally One of my mom's favorite books is Elizabeth Enright's Gone-Away Lake. So good!

noReally

@meat drawer Looove Enright. Both Gone-Aways, but the Melendy books are my ultimate comfort reads. I'm glad she got the Newbery for Thimble Summer, because it keeps the rest of her in print, but it's the Melendys I want to go live with.

Canard

@noReally Yes! We can! Especially, we can talk about Dear Enemy forever and ever. Sadie Kate Kilcoyne!!!

ambrosia

@SuperGogo Rilla-My-Rilla! I LOVE that book! So sad I missed this thread. The other day I left my apartment wearing two different shoes, and was reminded of Rilla's 'slice of humble pie', wherein she unsuccessfully attempted to hide her booted foot from Irene Howard's judgemental gaze. Unfortunately, I only know one other person who would get this reference. Sigh. Must re-read again soon...

D.@twitter

@LooseBaggyMonster Ah, I thought that /was/ the second one w/ the prince in it. But I guess it's actually the third? My mistake.

sevanetta

@noReally How did I miss this? I LOVE JEAN WEBSTER.

noReally

@sevanetta This is timely! I just got a smartphone, and went looking for free books Jean's Patty books are there. Just Patty and When Patty Went to College, which I think are as good as Daddy Long Legs, and some other stuff too. A really odd thing called Much Ado About Peter, which is about an Irish guy working as a groom for a rich family, and one called The Wheat Princess, that I haven't read yet, set in Italy, it looks like.

But if you haven't read Patty, go get 'em. So, so good.

Dancercise

Get out of here with your King James. I'll take The Message, please!

Dancercise

With gems like, "If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you're from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended," how can you go wrong?!

melis

"Each issue of the year and there is a time to every purpose under heaven:

Time to be born and a time to die; time to plant, and Time pens up that which is planted;

Time to reject the rocks and the time to gather stones together; time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

Time and time to be lost; time to keep, and the time to abandon;

Time rending and a time to sew; time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

The time to love and a time to hate, war time and peace time."

redheaded&crazy

@melis and a time to dance - there IS a time to dance. And there was a time for this law but not anymore! This is our time to dance! It's our way of celebrating. It's the way it always has been. It's the way it should be now.

redheaded&crazy

@melis no offense but you kinda missed the best part of that quote

Bebe

I have downloaded Little Women for free because my paperback copy is getting pretty ratty. I feel compelled to read it about every other year, for reasons I don't quite understand.

And sadly, every time I read it, I WEEP when Beth dies. (Spoiler alerts don't apply to books that over 100 years old, right?) It's overwrought and melodramatic, but still - every damn time.

teaandcakeordeath

@Bebe
When Jo and Laurie dance at the party!!!

Spinach Party

@Bebe Funny story: My mother gave me this beautiful, illustrated hardcover edition of Little Women when I was around 7 or 8. I read and reread it to death in 3rd and 4th grade. I was about 9 when the movie came out and it was a fun event with friends to go see it! So exciting! (Maybe it was even my birthday?)

First half of the movie was pretty much what I remembered reading, it was delightful, and then.... and then Beth got really sick...... I mean, she was always sickly in the book I think. But then she DIED. All I could think was "WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!!"

Turns out, my beautiful copy of the book my mom gave me was only "Part 1" of Little Women. I can't remember exactly where It cut off, but Beth certainly didn't die in my version!!! It blew my friggen 9 year old mind. I thought I was just going crazy for a while. I don't think I read the story in its entirety for another several years because I never explained to my mother the confusion, I was too embarrassed or something? I had always considered it my favorite book! Maybe this is more sad than funny.... haha

Bebe

@Spinach Party Poor nine year old you! That sounds traumatic. I had a similar experience with Bambi - the Little Golden Book I had failed to mention his mother (or possibly, my own mother censored that? I was like 4-5 at the time). You can imagine my reaction to the movie.

Lexa Lane

@Bebe I start crying when she gets sick the first time, and basically bawl at intervals for the entire rest of the book. This also applies to the movie.

Verity

@Spinach Party In the UK, Little Women is split in two - it ends when Mr March returns and Meg and John get engaged. (The last lines are: "So the curtain falls upon Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Whether it ever rises again, depends upon the reception given the first act of the domestic drama called Little Women".) The second half is a separate book, called Good Wives. I was always confused when people talked about Beth dying in Little Women, because she doesn't!

Spinach Party

@Verity Oooooh! I must have a UK version, that is the only explanation. That's exactly where is left off, when Mr. March comes home. Hahha, I was just soooo irate when I found out I only read half the story, but now i'm sad that I don't have the second half of the same edition, the illustrations were so beautiful.

@Bebe Oh man, that's rough. I think the Little Golden Books really glossed over a lot of plot points of fairy tales. Still loved them though.

Related: I also remembered an episode of Friends from around that time where Joey was reading Little Women, and was getting really bummed about "Beth is really sick..." and I kept thinking, it's ok, she gets better! Hahah, ugh.

screwball cate

@Bebe "Spoiler alerts don't apply to books that over 100 years old, right?" They totally should though! Don Quixote was ruined for me by the text on the back cover. Also, I know how Anna Karenina ends because some jerk on NPR told me. These things aren't actually common knowledge, and maybe shouldn't be?

holliet

I came here to say that I found Outlander to be an atrocious book and quit reading it one-third through, and once I read the negative reviews on Amazon I was confirmed in my disgust. In my defense, I was a victim of having a new Kindle and it being free.

Lucienne

@holliet Yeah, Outlander is really ... whatever, but! The Lord John Grey mysteries are good times! And stand on their own.

themegnapkin

@holliet I <3 Outlander with a passion. I <3ed it even more on learning that Diana Gabaldon started out writing it for herself, to see if she could actually write a novel, so she stuffed it full of everything she thought it would be fun to read about - ghosts (a ghost, anyway), time travel, hot Scots, s!x, romance, swashbuckling, intrigue, witchcraft, the sixth sense, whatever.

The Hons

@holliet Thank you for validating my Outlander experience. GACK.

lobsterhug

@themegnapkin Me too! My love of Outlander is totally unreasonable and the book is crazy! The later books in the series do better at being actual stories with plots and amazing character development (Young Ian gives me so many feelings!) while still have enough crazy to keep it interesting.

Also, the SEX!!! It never ends and there is never enough and I routinely go and read the those bits because they are so good. I recently indulged in the turtle soup and drunk feverish Claire in the ship berth scene.

Steph

@lobsterhug I read the first one put it down and could barely think about it for a year b/c the end was such a weird intense mindfuck. Now I'm working my way through the rest and I kind of love them.

lobsterhug

@Steph If I'm just rereading Outlander (as opposed to the whole series), I will stop reading when they are all happy at Lallybroch and pretend that is the real ending.

droderick

@holliet I was so obsessed with Outlander when I was 14 that I would go to Diana Gabaldon booksignings (we were both from AZ), and freak her out by being so young. And I would ask her creepy questions like, "why doesn't the phrase mo duinne appear in any of the later books?" She seemed mortified that I was reading her sex scenes. I love them all so much--have no idea if they're good or not, they just imprinted early. I also got in a fight once with a woman at the library (circa 1995) because we both wanted the next book in the series, and got to the shelf at the same moment.

themegnapkin

@lobsterhug I think I'm about to get to that part, like, tonight!!! Is it towards the end of Voyager? I'm working my way through the audio versions right now. The narrator is fantastic, which (obviously, probably) is not always the case for audio books (severely disappointed by Hunger Games narrator).

Steph

@themegnapkin Weird, I just finished Voyager two nights ago. I'm taking a break before I go to the next one. Need a breather from all the boning.

lobsterhug

@themegnapkin The Hunger Games narrator was not at all what I was expecting. It took me out of the book at first but I got used to it by Mockingjay. I've been meaning to check out Davina Porter's recordings. I've heard nothing but great things.

scully

@holliet THANK you. I downloaded it when it was free for the Kindle and I couldn't get through the whole thing. I think it was the absolutely atrocious Scots dialect that done me in. I do respect the whole Gabaldon backstory and think she's pretty cool, but ugh I would have thrown my kindle across the room if i'd read the word, "sassenach" one more time.

themegnapkin

@scully That is where the audio version is probably better than the written one, Davina Porter manages to make it sound okay ( to my admittedly ignorant ears).

lalaland

You can also download a Kindle app on your iPhone (maybe Blackberry too? Any smartphone? Someone chime in?) and while you kind of have to squint your eyes to read, it is free, less the cost of the phone and internet and too, too convenient. Anytime I am lonely or bored, I buy a Kindle book on my phone now - instant gratification!

Thus, this free list of Kindle books is wonderful. Keep 'em coming! Please.

Hot Doom

@lalaland HOLY CRAP. I knew about the iPhone app, but there is a Kindle for Android and it's free too. AHHHHHHGGGG!! I was entertained by this post, but that sense of entertainment has increased by 10 fold.
I don't need to buy no squirrel lure on Amazon, because I can now lure squirrels with unadulterated glee.

SuperGogo

@lalaland The Kindle for Android app is the greatest. I still like having the Kindle itself for trips or reading at home, but it's a Fire so it's too big and heavy for me to want to take in my purse to work each day. So I just read my books via the app on the train on the wawy to work--so easy! And most of the time they sync correctly to my most recent place in the book when I switch devices.

Lexa Lane

@lalaland There's a Nook app too - I can access all the books I've bought for my Nook on my iPhone. Between that and the iBooks app, provided my battery holds out I always have something to read. (Thank god!)

ejcsanfran

McTeague, by Frank Norris. MCTEAGUE!

martinipie

@ejcsanfran Oh my GOD McTeague! THAT IS SOME CRAZY SHIT! Trina!

megafauna

@ejcsanfran there is no end to how strange/anti-semitic/obsessed with mouths that book is! "caught a flying squirrel and let him go."

Tragically Ludicrous

Also you can get a LOT (all?) of the Jeeves and Wooster books. And a lot of other Wodehouse besides. SO GOOD.

bearleader

@Tragically Ludicrous I've been reading all the free Wodehouse from Amazon this week! It's the best. Especially Piccadilly Jim.

hoo:ha

@Tragically Ludicrous It's not all the J&W because homeboy was proLIFic... but yeah, love the free Wodehouse. My kindle is registered with Amazon.com and my English BF's is with amazon.co.uk and he DOESN'T get free Wodehouse. Hilare. Damn Yanks.

highfivesforall

@Tragically Ludicrous WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT that is awesome - this is the first really good reason I've seen to get a kindle.

mathlete

many (maybe all) of these are also free on ibooks if you have an iOS device. public domain!

ArcherLady

@mathlete also free on ibooks, Hairpin fave Villette!

Lucienne

This is a safe space, right? I can admit to never reading L.M. Montgomery?

Rosebudddd

@Lucienne You can, but now you have to read something by her:)

crocuta

This is only tangentially related, but can anyone explain to me why ebooks are so expensive? I don't have a kindle, but notice that they're often the same price or greater than a physical copy on Amazon. I mean, why would I spend $12 on an ebook when I could get it for $10 new or (most appealing to me) $1 used? Are you just paying for the convenience?

Jenny Cox

@crocuta

New ebooks: publishers need to profit from paying everyone that worked to get the book published, from author to editorial assistant #3, plus overhead costs; usually cheaper than print version

Old books that have been published a million times but aren't in the public domain: publishers need to profit from licensing book, plus associated costs/overhead, plus cost of publishing in ebook format; sometimes cheaper than a freshly-minted print version, sometimes not

Hope that helps!

MilesofMountains

@crocuta Most new ones I've seen have been a couple bucks cheaper than new hardcopy ones. As for why they're only a couple bucks cheaper, that's due to some shady backdoor deals

Smallison

@crocuta There's actually a lawsuit going on right now (against Apple and other major eBook publishers), because many publishers fixed pricing to screw over Amazon (if I'm understanding that right). I would guess that we'll see drops in eBook pricing in the near future.

MerelyGoodExpectations

For the Sherlock Holmes fans on here, allow me to strongly recommend Conan Doyle's non-Holmes books, which are also available for free. They are mostly medical thrillers and, if possible, even more deeply weird than the Holmes stories.

Amphora

@MerelyGoodExpectations OOooh! I'm intrigued by even more deeply weird. I used to sit with my book and a dictionary to look up all the names of exotic poisons and such.

smidge

@MerelyGoodExpectations Did you ever read the White Company? So good! So chivalrous!

The Hons

Can Carmilla be in the next list? Lesbian vampires are a must, I think.

meetapossum

@The Hons Carmilla is SO GOOD. Sheridan Le Fanu was a treasure. Also, if you like classic literature of a gothic nature with homoerotic undertones, read the poem "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti if you haven't already!

MerelyGoodExpectations

Also, there's hella Anthony Trollope and Wilkie Collins on there. Get on that shit.

pilcrow

@MerelyGoodExpectations Trollope is the man! I mean, give me some juicy politics, a little fox hunting, thwarted love and some social anxiety and that's a good book.

Maryaed

Wilkie Collins: Woman in White, No Name, Man and Wife. You're welcome.

Also, every one of LM Montgomery's short stories is available for cheap or free, I forget which.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Maryaed Wilkie!!! True fact: even if you think you don't like mystery novels, you will still love Wilkie Collins.

datalass

@werewolfbarmitzvah Yes! Yes! Yes! Everytime I recommend The Moonstone to someone, I find that I just have to read it again.

anachronistique

@datalass I have that waiting on my ipod for when I finish my next trashy romance!

Decca

@Maryaed Is Fosco the best character in literature? (Yes)

datalass

@Decca Undoubtedly.

Decca

@datalass And soooo terrifying! The little white mice!

Maryaed

@Decca no, but only because there is Madame Max Goesler. But he's up there.

I actually think No Name is the very most wonderful of all the Collinses, but Man and Wife may be the funniest. The subplot about how dumb college jocks are going to Destroy British Society makes me so happy.

pilcrow

@Maryaed I just reread the one where they have the same name. Intense.

joie

Yes, Eight Cousins is WEIRD in that familial romance sense, but then so is Mansfield Park and every other book that involves cousins getting married. However, it's worth the weirdness because Mac is the hottest Alcott creation ever. Hot nerd who channels his love for Rose into a book of poetry which he then publishes and then helps bring Uncle Alec back from the brink of death? Hell. Yes.

Hot Doom

@heyits As an aside, it's legal to marry your first cousin in the UK. I'm not sure which, if any, states still allow it, but alls I'm sayin is, if I had a hot cousin named Alec and had been raised in a society that's cool with cousin lovin' (that sounds creepier than intended) I'd be all up on him like white on rice.

joie

@LolaLaBalc Might as well keep all that love in the family!

Nicole Cliffe

@heyits Oh, God, see, I liked the super-boring cousin who winds up with Rose's hottie friend, the ex-scullery maid. I also liked Charlie, because of the self-destruction and all.

joie

@Nicole Cliffe Archie's got the strong silent thing going on, which is pretty foxy. I always wondered if LMA wrote the character of Charlie as a way to warn of the evils of the demon liquor.

Verity

@heyits Mac is hot. I never saw the appeal of Charlie (rakish ne'er-do-wells are not my type), so was extremely pleased when Rose married Mac. HE WAS CLEARLY THE BEST ONE. (Although I totally see the appeal of Archie as well.) But, yes, the cousin marriage is a bit weird - just the way all the aunts are like "yes, we should completely get Rose married to one of our sons so her fortune stays in the family, and also because ONLY CAMPBELLS are good enough for her". But still. Mac. Hell yes.

Danzig!

"much like the Giant Rat of Sumatra, that is a tale for which the world is not yet ready" and it was extremely funny and you should have been there, because now that I've written it down, it's not THAT funny.

That's actually delightful

pterodactgirl

@Danzig! It is totally THAT funny. And did it ever bum anyone else out that Watson thought we weren't ready for that tale? WE ARE SO READY, WATSON.

_questingbeast

@pterodactgirl As Mrs Watson says as he turns out the lights.

Nicole Cliffe

@questingbeast NICE.

pterodactgirl

@questingbeast Touche.

distrighema

Ha! They've got some Ayn Rand on there. FOR FREE!

PistolPackinMama

@distrighema

*crickets*

*tumbleweeds*

... sorry if you are an Ayn Rand fan. I couldn't help myself.

Danzig!

@distrighema I'm pretty sure Ayn would pretty strenuously object to such altruism.

I'd rather call it "sadism" but I don't imagine anyone's being forced to download the things, so it's probably more masochism.

hedgehog

@Danzig! they have some hot sex scenes actually. I always thought they would've made pretty good beach books.

bb
bb

@Danzig! Rand books are often free to high school teachers. I think this program is responsible for so many young smart people being into Rand then later being hopelessly disappointed when they realize the world doesn't work like that.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

But when I finally get around to reading 50 Shades, I want everyone to know because I covet their embarrassed sideways glances!

Alixana

@josiahg We can read it for book club next month if you REALLY want.

_questingbeast

But, you can buy all these for a quid in physical form, second hand (or new, in one of the cheap classics series). I think if I had a Kindle I'd just get loads more books I have no intention of reading and will forget about, whereas at least Robinson Crusoe, or that copy of Montaigne's essays, I may never read are glaring at me when I walk in the house.

_questingbeast

@questingbeast Also, in case anyone was thinking of buying it based on this article: Mists of Avalon is fucking terrible and a waste of anyone's time.

nancydrew

@questingbeast Aww, I think I am the only pinner who really liked Mists of Avalon. And who read every Flowers in the Attic. There, I said it.

Nicole Cliffe

Melis and I argue about Mists of Avalon occasionally, because I am crazy about it, and she thinks it's lugubrious and unbearable, but I am right and she is wrong.

By the way, I read (the first) Flowers for the first time earlier this year, and it is...something. Wow. Wow.

nancydrew

@Nicole Cliffe Aren't the Flowers books magnificently trashy? Whenever anyone mentions teens and Twilight, I just remember how into those books my friends and I were in high school and keep my mouth shut.

_questingbeast

@nancydrew @Nicole Cliffe Well, maybe I was a little harsh. I really wanted to like it, being as I am a fan of historical smut, feminist reworkings, and Arthurian literature. But a) in my opinion 1000 pages is only merited if a novel contains an enormously exciting plot, and/or discusses enormously important questions about the human condition. Neo-pagan waffle about the Great Goddess doesn't really cut it either way, b) it doesn't really improve on the existing Arthurian literature, even in terms of the female characters; Malory give you more sympathy for Guinevere in two sentences than Bradley does in 200 pages, c) the sex is entirely unsexy, and d) italics to indicate people's thoughts only belongs in Thomas Harris-esque novels about serial killers, and is annoying even then.

Hot Doom

@questingbeast I ate that neo-pagan waffle right up when I read Mists of Avalon as a teenager. I wanted to be Nimuë so. fucking. bad, and whhhhhy couldn't I be a priestess? 10s of dollars on neo-pagan books, and 10s of hours thinking about wearing capes and doing spells (but never actually doing them)later, I just remember that it's the single longest book I've read, and I still don't have a horse that looks like the one on the cover (which is why I wanted to read the book in the first place).

anachronistique

@LolaLaBalc THANK YOU. Man, I recognize that a lot of things I loved when I was younger are straight up terrible, but I still loved them then and they hold a special place in my heart. They elicit the same sort of half-ashamed half-amused fondness as thinking about my fashion choices at age thirteen. (One word: shortalls.)

thebestjasmine

@questingbeast I am much much more likely to read a book that I get cheap or free on my Kindle than one that I buy for a dollar or two at a used book store, especially a long one.

Porn Peddler

@questingbeast I feel that this thread has absolved me from every having to read The Mists Of Avalon despite being absolutely mad about Le Morte and The Once and Future King.

Thank fucking god.

Maryaed

@Third Wave Housewife You should read Philip Reeve's "Here Lies Arthur" though. I thought I'd never want to read another Arthurian anything but I was wrong, there was an original take left.

Jenny Cox

Also check out your local library's website. I just borrowed, read, and returned eBook editions of Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Ted Heller's Pocket Kings for zero point zero dollars.

SuperGogo

@jenny_ Yes, I was coming down here to recommend this too. The selection is decent, but it usually involves being on a waiting list for a week or four because of limited ebook copies, unfortunately. But if you're patient, you can read some great stuff--I just finished the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks via library ebook.

pterodactgirl

I'm just going to say that I have never met anyone else who has read The Girl of the Limberlost, and it is amazing. It would be worth buying the book for the descriptions of her lunches alone. But for free? Get on it, 'pinners!

frenz.lo

@pterodactgirl ALL THE SHOES. All the hair ribbons! Swamp death. The sick burn of calling her Cornstalk. Moths. Everything. This book is out of control.

Nicole Cliffe

I had a super scarring experience in third grade when my teacher refused to believe I had read "Girl of the Limberlost," because I was too young, and yelled at me in front of the class for lying. Screw you, Mrs. Robinson! I HAD SO READ IT, AND NOW I AM A SUCCESSFUL UNPAID LADYBLOGGER.

hedgehog

@Nicole Cliffe Oh, fuck Mrs Robinson right in the neck.

Gilgongo

@Nicole Cliffe I had the same thing happen to me in 7th grade w/ Cider House Rules.

pterodactgirl

@Nicole Cliffe Fourth grade: Gone With the Wind. That teacher was such a witch! And then of course I read it again years later, and oh man, so much of it had gone right over my head. The descriptions of the dresses were my favorite part though, and I used to read those parts over and over. I'm still not clear on what a "bombazine" is.

@frenz.lo EDITH CARR!! That's all I'm going to say.

baklava!

@pterodactgirl Mine was also Gone With the Wind! Public shaming for lying in grade 6! Teacher jerks.

Bebe

@pterodactgirl I read GWTW when I was about 12 or so, and the only parts I really got were the love story and the clothes. SO EMBARRASSED to grow up and re-read it and understand everything, including the romanticizing of the master-slave relationship, and what became the Klan. Oh, Ashley. How could you?

datalass

@Bebe Same here. I was so taken aback in college when an acquaintance referred to Scarlett as a sociopath. I was all, "Wait, wasn't she just extra plucky?"

Angry Panda

@pterodactgirl Me too! I'd forgotten all about that book. But now I'm going to download it on my Kindle and read it again. Thank you, Nicole!

ViciousCersei

@pterodactgirl I also thought I was the only one! My milllion-year-old great-aunt gave me a copy when I was a kid, since she had loved it so much. I thought I would hate it, but ended up enjoying it and still have my copy.

Alice

@pterodactgirl I have read it! And I love it so much!!

I periodically re-read it every couple of years.

And how did I only just learn this second that there's a book about Freckles too?? Must. Read. Immediately.

ohyeahmetoo

@pterodactgirl oh man, I just thought of The Girl of the Limberlost yesterday (when my mom bought some moths at Evolution...) but didn't say it out loud since no one ever knows what I'm talking about if I do and I was beginning to think reading it was just a figment of my 10 year old imagination. Glad to hear it really did exist and I get to put it on my Kindle now!

Miss Maszkerádi

Spurred by a mix of end-of-semester boredom, intellectual restlessness and my annual Easter-triggered crisis of Catholic ancestry colliding with my own skeptical and vague Deism, I downloaded the King James Bible onto my iPhone the other day.

It was without a doubt one of the strangest moments in my recent memory. I mean, it was...THE BIBLE. The single most influential book in history, the wad of pages that built the Western World, the poetic underpinning of English literature and spoken vernacular to this very day, and quite possibly a message from God--and I was getting it for free, while lolling in my bed in rumpled pajamas, downloaded in less than five seconds onto a beeping, raucous little gadget that, like much of the last decade itself, I have such a love-hate relationship with.

And now I can't read the damn thing. Not on an iPhone. The Bible is meant to be read from venerable old leather-bound gilt-edged pages, preferably by candlelight while carefully annotating wise and witty glosses in the margins or writing an extensive commentary in quill pen on parchment while pretending to be Desiderius Erasmus or similar. Oh, sigh......I am strange.

Also, hello Hairpin, I've finally swallowed my fear of being unforgivably weird/politically incorrect/Not The Cool Kid and de-lurked. :-D

PistolPackinMama

@CountessMaritza I ran into the Newman Center priest in the coffee shop at school once, and he was reading Shakespeare's Sonnets on his iPhone. He also had St. Augustine or something as well. Speaking of being kind of... off. The King James version is pretty reading, though.

Miss Maszkerádi

@PistolPackinMama Aagh! That's almost worse! Maybe it's a mental clash for me between the multitasking frenzy of overhyped modern life that the iPhone (or, hello hypocrite-Maritza, the computer I'm typing this on) represents and the quiet, timeless contemplation needed to REALLY read something like Shakespeare or Augustine. *whimper!*

PistolPackinMama

@CountessMaritza Yeah. And, priests can be tech geeks like everyone else, too. Which sort of cracks me up. iJESUS!

Vera Knoop

@CountessMaritza Classics nerds get over this one pretty quickly-- there are tons of editions of Greek texts available as free .PDFs from google books. The most exciting part is the original annotations from the late 19th century (most of these were scanned in from university libraries).

Miss Maszkerádi

@Vera Knoop OOH! You had me at original annotations. I'm a shameless book-scribbler-in-er (not with library copies, only my own! don't kill me!) and I frankly drool over the idea of finding some great philosopher's marginalia complete with doodles and rude witticisms.

Vera Knoop

@CountessMaritza Sadly, they're more often notes about the grammar, but it can be heartening to see that someone 120 years ago was stumped by the same syntax as you.

sophi

I'm just here to talk about how much I hate Amy March.

angermonkey

@sophi Are you familiar with www.tomatonation.com? There's a whole Amy March hating club over there. She even has t-shirts ("I [picture of a lime] Amy March")

Hate u, Amy March!

TheDogRuiner

@angermonkey OMG i now love tomatonation.com. F@ck that Laurie-stealing beeyotch

angermonkey

@TheDogRuiner UGH. Seriously. She is the WORST.

PistolPackinMama

I think that's an unfair assertion about Austen. Not the alien race part, but the diverting women patriarchy means of production part.

LM Montgomery on the other hand. I like Anne of Green Gables, don't get me wrong. But boy oh boy. ALSO... have any of you read Rilla of Ingleside lately? OMG HUNS! BOSCH! FLANDERS FIELDS!! It's astonishingly direct propaganda (well, collective memory creation, since the book was published after WWI).

Nicole Cliffe

YES, Rilla! Rilla is out of control. It's all "they're bayoneting Belgian babies!"

_questingbeast

@PistolPackinMama I think the Austen bit was a joke? I hope it was a joke.

Nicole Cliffe

It was a joke. I think she's a shining star in the firmament of life, and I once took a seminar that consisted (okay, 90%) of discussing only the opening lines of each Austen novel. And it was incredible.

Nicole Cliffe

Also, I met my best friend in that seminar, so I like to think that Jane Austen watches over me and protects me from harm.

Nicole Cliffe

Oh, wow, did I mention that I watched the BBC P&P during early labour to relax myself? I might actually have a problem. I'm going to stop talking about Austen now.

PistolPackinMama

@Nicole Cliffe I know you were kidding. Sorry, I was just trying to move the convo along to LM Montgomery, who I swear was an employee of the British Ministry of War Information from the way that book was written.

But I would totally believe Austen was an alien. And I want to have been in a seminar that discussed her opening lines.

Valancy Redfern

@PistolPackinMama As propaganda, Rilla is actually for the Canadians - WWI is when Canada "became a nation" as the accepted history goes. LMM's biographers have a good take on Rilla - for instance, LMM's awareness of the pressure to continue the propaganda post-war, or else the sacrifice was in vain. However, she did entertain her uncertainty about the war, and that's why "The Piper" is a shifting figure in the novel. Sorry if you already read about that, though!

PistolPackinMama

@Valancy Redfern I have read an awful lot of formation of collective memory of WWI, but never about LMM's role in her own country's process of nationalism/national myth making. That's terrifically interesting. Don't suppose you have a citation/link at all? Thanks for sharing, that's really cool.

Valancy Redfern

@PistolPackinMama I am more familiar with the visual imagination/nature aesthetic aspect of LMM scholarship, but the research group blog has a bibliography. If you do a "find" on the Book Chapters page for "war" (or "Rilla," but the first one is better) there are a number of hits, including the McKenzie, Andrea article and one by Edwards, Owen Dudley, and Jennifer H. Litster (both in the same book), then on the Journal Articles page there are some promising sounding ones by Alan Young, one by Donna Coates, Amy Tector... in short, lots of articles, hopefully a healthy portion of them relevant to your interests. :)

thebestjasmine

@PistolPackinMama I loooove Rilla, and I find the propaganda great, especially since it makes it seem so much like a product of its time. I mean, I am sure that during the war, that's how people talked. I also think some of the high and lofty speeches (like Jem's, Walter's, the minister's) were all about LMM trying to convince herself and all of Canada that their losses were worth it.

BUT, have you read "The Blythes Are Quoted"? It's a bunch of short stories (I think I'd read almost all of them before) interspersed with little scenes at Ingleside, and all of those scenes are super depressing and much more conflicted.

VolcanoMouse

@thebestjasmine One of the weird things about Rilla was how much of it was taken verbatim from Montgomery's wartime journals. Anecdotes copied down word for word! Not that she wasn't above that in other times and places (some of Phil Gordon's cute little anecdotes started life as Maud's experiences, right?), but Rilla seemed especially autobiographical.

But probably better left to people who study this stuff. @Valancy Redfern, I want your life! <3

ipomoea

@thebestjasmine I've read Road to Yesterday but I've never heard of The Blythes are Quoted until just now! I'll be tracking that down ASAP.

Verity

@Nicole Cliffe And "pacifism is ridiculous and evil!". Um.

Danzig!

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte – Because you can't masturbate to Jane Eyre (also free). Prove me wrong, I guess.

I think you can get Anais Nin's fiction work for $1-2. Don't know why I know that, but hey

nancydrew

I've downloaded exactly two books since I got my Kindle last year because I'm such a cheapo. This is great. Thanks, Nicole!

carolita

I've downloaded SO many free books on Kindle, it's ridiculous. Anna Katherine Greene (the mother of crime mysteries), Shakespeare, Mary Shelly (read The Last Man if you're ever sick of mankind and want it all to go away, and also be amazed by the brilliant sci-fi aspect), Charlotte Perkins Gilman (don't read The Yellow Wallpaper if you're impressionable!, but do read What Diantha Did, which is a domestic dream of the future). Lots of Balzac and Zola are free, some even in French. Also, if you do an amazon kindle search on "girlebooks" you'll come up with about 55 titles by various women for under $2 usually, books by Gaskell, Bronte, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Shelly, etc.) I didn't start buying full price books till I exhausted all the free and supercheap possibilities.

PistolPackinMama

@carolita I read The Yellow Wallpaper when I was maybe 12... around the same time I read A Handmaid's Tale. Speaking of lasting impressions...

carolita

@PistolPackinMama lawdy, how'd you happen upon that book at age 12? I was traumatized reading it at age 45! On the other hand, maybe it doesn't really come home to a kid.

Valancy Redfern

@carolita Girlebooks is great! I appreciate the covers they give the books. So much better than that ugly placeholder image thing that all the Gutenberg epub books have. I also appreciate the time they put in to formatting. I generally just download straight from their website, but then, I'm a Kobo reader.

carolita

@Valancy Redfern Do tell! What's Kobo? Does it work with Kindle and iPhone? Do they have additional titles that amazon doesn't have?

Valancy Redfern

@carolita I'm Canadian and it's the one that our big bookstore chain pushes... apparently it was also a Borders tie-in before they went under? I think they are probably just slightly cheaper and far more common in Canada. They can't compare to the Kindle/Amazon variety, but I don't mind the ereader itself and I mostly just borrow library ebooks so it works for me.

Bebe

@carolita The Yellow Wallpaper gave me nightmares for weeks - and I was 25 when I read it. (shudder). I've blocked most of it out, and I'm okay with that.

datalass

@Bebe I don't know when I first read it, but to this day, I sort of rush past it whenever it appears in an anthology. I don't want to even see the text because I know I'll 1) get drawn in and 2) freak right out.

lumbermouth

some people like to get brazilian waxes! there is nothing wrong with that! some people like to order a shitload of stuff from amazon prime at once and there is nothing wrong with that either! who cares what i do, ugh.

AtomicTangerine

@lumbermouth Sometimes I order cat food online...don't judge me.

Amphora

You can get Anna Karenina and War and Peace for under a dollar, too! I'd never have read W&P if I'd had to carry the big honking thing around. Dostoevsky too - The Idiot is free on Kindle (yes I like Russian literature) but you do have to watch out for shitty translations.

Now I'm reading The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler and it's HILARIOUS.

No matter how cheaply you can buy these books in used stores, you don't always wanna take everything with you on your commute/vacation.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@Amphora The Idiot is the BEST BOOK. THE BEST. And more people need to read it. After finishing it last year, I was so desperate to find someone else who had read it that I joined a meet-up group to go talk to strangers who had read it. THE BEST BOOK.

Decca

@Amphora I still haven't read W&P but Anna Karenina! I love Anna Karenina! And even though I obviously knew what was going to happen to her at the end, the way Tolstoy describes it is so visceral and awful that I had a mini breakdown reading it.

@werewolfbarmitzvah So you were like Tobey Maguire in The Ice Storm? Sadly calling after Katie Holmes “Have you ever read The Idiot? If you liked Notes from the Underground, you'll love The Idiot!” Poor old Myshkin.

Amphora

@Decca W&P is like Anna Karenina with the bonus of Tolstoy making fun of Napoleon for bungling the invasion of Russia. It's actually pretty funny.

@werewolfbarmitzvah Hey, I'll let you know when I read it and we can talk about it!

Diana

Nicole, are you feeling okay? Do you have a fever? Because that is the only explanation I can think of for forgetting to mention Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair At Styles. FREE POIROT.

(FREE POIROT!)

Decca

@Diana It's definitely not free, but have you - or anyone else - read A Mysterious Affair of Style or any other Gilbert Adair's Christie parodies? They are SO GOOD. The Act of Roger Murgatroyd is probably the best one.-

ipomoea

You can download dozens of "quickie" erotica ebooks from Ellora's Cave for free. HAWKWARD to be doing that on your new Kindle from your mom at your mom's house during your birthday party, not that I would know.

Jane Err

@ipomoea favorites? I'm asking for a friend.

Susanna

Timely!

The other day I downloaded What Katy Did, What Katy Did at School and What Katy Did Next. Then I discovered that there's a fourth, Clover, which I never knew about.

Re-reading is interesting. Cousin Helen's School of Pain? Oh lor. Actually I think I blame these books (and Little Women) for setting me back on the path of feminism and assertiveness. All that angelic suffering!

Verity

@Susanna I just finished reading Clover the other day (found a copy in the charity shop where I volunteer. Virtue is its own reward, but sometimes you get books out of it too!). There are some more sequels as well, which I haven't got around to yet - I think they're all on Project Gutenberg, though.

Cousin Helen - oh lor, indeed. "Keep your forehead smooth with your fingers so as not to let the marks of pain show! You need to be beautiful so people will want to be around you!" Hmm.

Susanna

@Verity There is indeed a fifth, for 49c. In the High Field or something.

I really think these books screwed me up but God it's interesting to re-read them.

Much Ado

@Susanna - I remember those books so clearly, from when I was kid. Will be so fascinating to read again. Thanks, Kindle freebies! Love threads like these too, because I never would have remembered them to search on Gutenberg etc, but total staples of my childhood.

Decca

@Susanna The thing I remember most clearly from (I think) the first Katy book was this line about how Katy always wondered what she would be when she grew up, but the narrator pointed out that because she was so tall she was already grown up. Does that line exist, or did I make it up? Cause it's a really crappy and cruel line!

Verity

@Decca Yep: "Poor Katy always said "when I'm grown up," forgetting how very much she had grown already."

At the beginning of Clover, there's this exchange, which I found really weirdly upsetting:

"Poor Aunt Izzy! What troublesome little wretches we were,—I most of all!"

"Were you? Somehow I never can recollect the time when you were not a born angel. I am afraid I don't remember Aunt Izzy well. I just have a vague memory of somebody who was pretty strict and cross."

Katy working hard to control her temper and behave well is a big part of the first book, and it feels like that effort is just wiped out - also, her earlier personality might as well not exist as far as those around her are concerned. I find it chilling.

Susanna

@Verity @Decca – yes, it's quite spooky. Re-reading What Katy Did Next has meant realising how much was chopped from my 1980s edition. Ie all the bits where Katy tells scary stories to Amy and freaks her out.
Just started In the High Field and, as a Brit, am cringeing over Coolidge's depiction of my countrymen.
Rose Red and Miss Opdyke are so much more amusing than Katy or Clover. I'm sure Coolidge had their sarcasm rather than Katy's saintliness.

Bitca?

Bram Stoker, proving yet again that good grammar costs NOTHING. Also, everybody should just read Dracula. It's awesome.

Verity

@Bitca? "good grammar costs NOTHING"
I have a t-shirt with that on. It is my favourite.

Decca

@Bitca? Yeah, Dracula is definitely better than you might assume? I remember going on a school trip to the "Bram Stoker Dracula Experience" museum and our guide was really stressing the Irish roots of the story, including an Irish etymology for the name "Dracula" which now seem kinda spurious to me, but still entertaining.

Anyway, Dracula is fantastic, while Frankenstein is RUBBISH.

Lexa Lane

@Decca I do so love a good epistolary novel. Also, "He may not sparkle, but he's got other things going for him. Like grammar." is officially my favorite description of Dracula ever.

JadedStone

@Bitca? I love Dracula!
But I've never been able to figure out what happened to his mustache. How come every single movie/stage version is sans epic mustache? I WANT A MUSTACHED DRACULA.

meetapossum

@Decca YES. Thank you. Frankenstein is awful, ugh.

Steph

@Decca I could not get through Frankenstein to save my life but I devoured Dracula. It's such a great spooky read!

Decca

@meetapossum It's actually so bad and so stupidly plotted!

meetapossum

@Decca Yes! Shelley had no sense of dramatic development. Like when Frankenstein creates the monster, he's so horrified that he runs out of his lab and...promptly goes to bed?

Decca

@meetapossum Hahaha yes! And just the general half-assedness of the whole "Hmm, my monstrous creation has run off. I guess I'll just pretend that it never existed and go on with my life."

Also, no fucking way the monster learns English well enough to read Paradise Lost.

Grumphy@twitter

So is there a Kindle thing I can read in the bath without ziplocing it yet? Because seriously talk about a failure of the free market thus far (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

mkpatter@twitter

@Grumphy@twitter ONE DAY: http://technology-headlines.com/tag/h2o/

ormaisonogrande

@Grumphy@twitter So I do not even have a bathtub* and the last time I did I think I took an average of one bath per year, but your comment made me feel like my Kindle was lacking and I started to get all depressed. And then I realized that I have PMS. It was an emotional 30 seconds.

*I do have a shower.

EvilAuntiePeril

@ormaisonogrande (very late commenting during weekend of enforced sofa time) but wanted to express not-having-a-bath-just-a-shower solidarity.

This was how the flat came, but has been the case for many other flats in the past. I don't think I'd know what to do with a bath if I had one (maybe use it for hand-washing really big things?)

Verity

I am tempted to get a Kindle, but have a feeling I would drop it or spill stuff on it or have some sort of mishap when reading it in the bath. And the sight of a row of books on a shelf makes me so happy. But still, all the free books!

I have just frenziedly created an Amazon wishlist based in part on the recommendations here and in Nicole's other posts. I want ALL THE BOOKS.

thebestjasmine

@Verity Put it in a plastic freezer zip top bag! That's what I do with my Kindle in the bath (after a tip from a friend).

Porn Peddler

Not his best, but Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley is also free!

tin can phone

Yes! Keep these coming! I love my kindle and have yet to spend any money buying books because there are so many classics 4 FREE. Also, two (three) words: Oscar muthafuckin Wilde.

mkpatter@twitter

But, I want a Kindle Fire! Because my magazine pile is so big the dog has been using it as a bed.

fantod

Rimbaud! In French!

twolle

Jean Genet, Ubu Roi, some Leonid Andreyev, Flaubert's SALAMMBO, lots of economics (Keynes, Frederick Bastiat, Adam Smith), CULTURE AND ANARCHY, the Kybalion, THE PHYSIOLOGY OF TASTE, F. Scott Fitzgerald's TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE, George Eliot (DANIEL DERONDA, THE MILL ON THE FLOSS), some Turgenev, Euripides, Gide, Lafcadio Hearn's IN GHOSTLY JAPAN, Natsume Soseki, Kant

etc
etc
etc

sovereignann@twitter

OK, late to the party and have stuff to say but work! ugh work! BUT, BUT, Adrian Mole reference!!! Isn't he just horribly awesome? I mean that as a character. If I knew him I'd probably have pushed him down pretty soon after meeting him or at the very least had a series of eye rolls just for him.

Rachel@twitter

Totally going to pass this on to my Kindle equipped friends. I know a lot of the public domain works are available for free on the Nook too, but could you possibly do a post on free Nook books as well, or include some in your next one? Thanks. Also, there IS Project Guttenburg, which has e-books on multiple platforms, but the typesetting isn't always as nice as Kindle/Nook editions.

FreeBooksy@twitter

Thanks Nicole for a great article. We love free Kindle books too :-) You can visit our site for daily free ebooks - we just posted a free one from NYT Bestelling author, Jennifer Weiner. Enjoy! www.freebooksy.com.

disco_clone

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was the first thing I downloaded when I got a Kindle for Christmas! However, I've been totally spoiled by the BBC series. Checking out the original 'scandal in bohemia' was .... disappointing. I still love the oddness of them, though.

disco_clone

@disco_clone Oh! And the cover picture at the top is a TOTAL SPOILER!

Lexa Lane

@disco_clone It was the first thing I downloaded on my new Nook!

I actually love rereading them along with watching Sherlock - they throw in awesome references to the original text. Such as Sherlock searching the apartment desperately for cigarettes and throwing a Persian slipper across the room.

whateverlolawants

@SuperGogo I know someone who named her daughter Rilla, I think from those books. Was Rilla a heroine?

whateverlolawants

@SuperGogo I know someone who named her daughter Rilla, I think from those books. Was Rilla a heroine?

whateverlolawants

@meat drawer Oh lame, I didn't realize it posted 3x. Whoops!

LooseBaggyMonster

Even if you don't have a Kindle, most pre-20th C. classics are public domain and available for free download on GoogleBooks--maybe not the most eye-friendly format, but free, gloriously free!

Matilda W

Thank you for your reminder of those beloved heroes of The Secret Garden! (I'm sure I wasted far too much time in elementary school trying to decide on a preference between the two.) I'm surprised to see that pretty much all great English/American classics through the early-mid 20th c. (with the exception of Hemingway, for some reason) are public domain. Good to know.

Sierrararar

Woohoo book recommendations! Girl of the Limberlost, here I come!

Conal Darcy@twitter

Don't forget Proust. It's a lot easier than carrying around three 1,000-page books.

carolita

The only thing I ever worry about with my Kindle is the End of the World. Sometimes I actually wonder, what if it all goes wrong, and we're all left in the rubble and there's no electricity, and no more Kindle? So I keep a few of my favorite "real" books handy, just in case. As if they'd fit in my survival pack! Ha! (Me and a GF have been comparing survival packs, and I'm all obsessed again). But I must have books to read in the Apocalypse!

Nora Mathews@facebook

YES! Someone else who understands how amazing Girl of the Limberlost is. I read it at least once a year, since forever. (Of course it doesn't hurt that I am an auburn-haired blue-eyed fiddle playing country girl named Eleanor.)

Rose Mary

If you are looking for real romance book for free then get free romance novel and books from Emma Rose's website that is http://emmaroseromance.com

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