The list author says: "One of the best aspects of owning a Kindle is the freebies -- all those lovely public domain books which are available just for the push of a button.
This list contains books available through the Amazon.com website. I know that there are other websites available for downloading free books onto the Kindle. But I like the ease of whisking mine onto my lovely Kindle through the Whispernet -- no wires, no plugs, no learning anything new.
A word of caution to purists: There are some wonderful classic books available through Amazon.com. But beware of books which have been altered or abridged in some way. For instance, there is a freebie Kindle version of Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" which omits all the poetry (!); and there is a version of Charles Perrault's "Cinderella" which must have been amended by some mid-nineteenth century do-gooder because it contains a bunch of added morals for "good little children." And you can find "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, and "Don Quixote" by Cervantes, but only in several parts -- it's better to spend the dollar and get the whole thing at once. So even though the books are free, your time is worth something and you should settle for nothing less than unabridged, unaltered, complete texts of these classic works. (The only exception I have made in my list is with Teddy Roosevelt's five-part series "The Winning of the West." I have only listed Volume One, but all five are available for free, and all are worth reading. I made the exception because each volume stands alone.)
Finally, because it isn't that easy to "page through" the Kindle, I prefer my classics in individual books rather than as collections. For instance, there are some free collections of the complete works of Jane Austen, but I like to have each novel available to me separately. It's a personal preference."
"Most people will know the Oscar-winning movie, with an fabulous adapted screenplay by Emma Thompson, but reading the novel gives still further insight into the real difference in how these two wonderful sisters view the world and their place in it. A novel to love."
"I never can decide if this is my favorite Austen novel. I love that the heroine is older, has lost her "bloom" and has a second chance at love. I delight in how Anne comes to life when her old flame reappears. And the characters of her two sisters and her preening father are fine examples of comedic writing at its best."
"Perhaps Austen's most practical heroine, and one whose love story is quietest. But this is still Austen, after all, and satisfying to the last syllable. I especially love the scenes when the family rehearses for the racy home theatrics."
"Melville's wonderful novella is a tour de force of high comedy, pathos and human tragedy. The character of Bartleby, who just decides to "prefer" not to do any work one fine day, much to the exasperation of his long-suffering employer, is one of my favorite works of literature."
"A must-read for Christmas eve, when the kids are in bed and the gifts have been put under the tree. This book is written as though the spirit of Dickens were standing "over your right shoulder". It's truly wonderful, can be easily read in a few hours, and should be a holiday tradition."
"A "life story" book, in the tradition of "Oliver Twist" and "David Copperfield," this novel is one of my favorites. The brother-sister relationship is tenderly-written, and the acting troop is hilarious -- especially the gin-soaked "Infant Phenomenon.""
"A phenomenal indictment of the British legal system, and its horrible effect on the people trapped within a civil case. If you have never heard of "Jarndyce v. Jarndyce," you must read this book immediately."
"The story of a boy who captures the American dream with hard work and good character in a great swamp in middle America. That description makes it sound dull, but it is anything but. If you love the great outdoors, true love and a wonderful tale, this is your book."
"The ultimate horse story for animal lovers, this book, told from the horse's mouth (literally), will make you cry and be a little more aware of the cruelties people can inflict on our beasts of burden."
"My favorite of all the Oz books, this is the fourth entry in the series. In this book, Toto has been left in Kansas while Dorothy journeys to California to visit her uncle. She has along a wonderfully acerbic cat named Eureka. An earthquake sends them tumbling into the center of the Earth, where they meet up with none other than the humbug Wizard himself."
"Perhaps the most important "journey of discovery" in American history (until the moon shot), these journal entries detail the courage and attention to detail it took to undertake a two-year trip to discover a continent and report back to an anxious President Jefferson."
"No one can call themselves truly literate who does not read Alice's stories at least once a year. Treat yourself to a hardback copy of "The Annotated Alice." It contains both "Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass", and it has the originals of all the wonderful poetry parodies found in both books."
"What the well-read romantic was reading in the early 20th century, Alice Adams is from a working-class background, but tries to fit into the best society. Katharine Hepburn plays Alice in a wonderful movie adaptation of this best-selling novel."