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What free ebooks should I check out? Answered

I'm going to be hiking in Japan for a week soon. The last time I did this was about eight years ago and I hauled a few large paperbacks along with me which I devoured in the first few days. It was far too much dead weight and took up too much space in my backpack. This time around, I'm going to be borrowing a Sony ebook reader from a friend. Since many ebooks cost more than real books and there are a ton of classics I haven't read yet, I'm going to load it up with reading from Project Gutenberg and feedbooks.com. So far I have selections from Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Nietzsche, Cory Doctorow, H.G. Wells, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Those are already be more than enough, but I want to have options! What other free classics should I check out? I normally geek out on too much non-fiction, so I want some stuff with wonderful language, characters, and stories. Let me know if you have any ideas.

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donnah (author)2010-06-01

Check out your local library's website.  Many libraries these days subscribe to a service that will let you "borrow" epub books for free for three weeks - they have a great collection of everything from classics to bestsellers.

If your local library doesn't offer ebooks, see if a nearby library does and apply for a card for it.

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mikedu (author)2009-06-14

Oops. my mistake. You are searching for fiction. How about Science Fiction comparisons to Actual Inventions? Please check this out www.technovelgy.com It is the biggest compilation of Visions of the future inventions from books compared to Actual inventions.

It gets me so hyped up about the Future. Please enjoy reading slowly. I get many, many ideas here of stuff that would be great if somebody made it.

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mikedu (author)2009-06-12

If you are searching technical references many are found here

www.scribd.com (select "classic search" option) Engineering handbooks are everywhere and most are free.

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flio191 (author)2009-05-06

Grimm's Fairy Tales are awesome, and I think it's available almost anywhere you look for free ebooks! Shouldn't you be enjoying the Japanese scenery? I wish I could go back again. Where are you visiting?

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sev17 (author)2009-05-05

the screwtape letters is a good one by C.S. Lewis. so is men of iron. i'm not sure who wrote that

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Yerboogieman (author)2009-04-04

Where do you find Free ebooks?

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user

All over, but this place is the best: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page.
Wikimedia Commons has a number too.

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user

And now I notice that he already mentioned that in the question. Pooh.

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Brennn10 (author)2009-02-28

If you like the really old stuff, Beowulf and Grendel would be a great pair to read.

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user

Better yet- get your Beowulf in the Old English verse (particularly if you already know some German, Dutch, or similar language).

Hwat! Weh gar-Dena / in year-dagum,
theod-kyninga, / thrym ye-frunon,
hu dha athelingas / ellen fremedon.

Or if you want something in the more readily comprehensible Middle English (though in places not exactly PG rated by today's standards), how about the Canterbury Tales?

Whan that Aprill, with 'is showres sote
the droughte of March hath perced to the rote
and bathed every veine in suich licor,
of which vertu engendred is the flor;

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user

That Old English is misspelled. In any event, it is a "foreign language" sort of, and knowing German or Dutch or Icelandic will not help much except with noticing some common word forms. I don't think Gardner's _Grendel_ is a free E-book, though you are quite correct that both make good reads. For the nonmedievalist, read Heany's or Raffel's translation of Beowulf (Donaldson's for a fairly literal prose translation), and then Garnder's novel, Grendel.

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user

Yes, I changed the few letters of the Old and Middle English to make it easier to pronounce. (How many people would go look up the pronunciation of the letter thorn?) I may have misinterpreted, as I don't speak either language. I'll also note that the idea that there is one right way to spell English only became popular fairly recently.

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user

Actually, we really don't know how it was pronounced (and regional versions no doubt existed), except that at some point there was a shift in the language. Probably the older pronounciation is more like the spelling in the manuscripts (hard G's, SC pronounced as in 'skip' rather than 'ship', etc. even today the various shifts or nonshifts in the Germanic languages preserve the changes, so that a 'skipper sails a ship.'). Later it shifted. By the bye, to hear a great performance of Beowulf, interspersed with translations and narration, see if you can track down a set of two National Public Radio shows with performance done by Robert P. Creed. You'll love the sound of the language; good interviews, too. Mary Remnant accompanies on the reconstructed Sutton Hoo lyre.

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user

Oh yes, the Canterbury Tales is a classic. I read it earlier this year. It would also be a great read on a long trip.

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Wade Tarzia (author)2009-03-21

Moby Dick, of course. This book is one-stop shopping. It has stunning prose, adventure, philosophy, fantasy, and still-current metaphors about hubris, guilt, public shame for letting leaders get away with things, global diversity, pure love, commentary on racism, and, of course, the joys of categorization and "how to coil a long rope," of particular interest to Instructables people. Yes, Moby Dick, definitely. The best novel written in English. Have fun on your hike! -- Wade

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sbot (author)2009-03-20

If you're into wordplay and humour you should DEFINITELY get The Foolish Dictionary from project gutenberg..Hours of laughs:)

for example:heave=to raise
heaven=a good place to be raised to

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phalanx447 (author)2009-02-27

A personal favorite of mine is Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. While it is science fiction, is deals mostly with why should have the right to a franchise. It also has nothing to do with the movie. A classic in my book. Or anything by him, really.

Looking at my bookshelf, I see a few others that might be good. The Prince by Machiavelli maybe? The Hornblower series by C.S. Forrester? Gates of Fire was one that did not get put down. I enjoyed Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar..., it helped me understand some things about philosophy I didn't quite get. Heh, not much else there that isn't on the Commandant's Reading List for Marines.

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PKTraceur (author)phalanx4472009-03-01

Starship Troopers was a great series, book or movie. -RoAr

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Kiteman (author)2009-02-27

This is coincidentally being discussed elsewhere on the site!

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kelseymh (author)Kiteman2009-02-27

Not a coincidence. Canida gave him whatfor for not posting that topic as a Question in the first place :-)

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Kiteman (author)kelseymh2009-02-28

If you notice the date & time of my posts, I'd already seen that - I was just poking fun.

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