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Best Free Books on Kindle

D. Summerfield
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."
Emma
Emma
"Perhaps the most polished of Austen's novels, Emma is a lovable buttinsky who is taken down a notch by life before she finds true love."
Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey
"With a heroine who loves the early nineteenth century equivalent of my own guilty pleasure -- racy romance novels -- this lesser Austen work is well worth your time."
Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility
"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."
Persuasion
Persuasion
"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."
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
"How can anyone not love Elizabeth Bennet and the wonderfully haughty Mr. Darcy?  Of course you must re-read this masterpiece at least annually."
Mansfield Park
Mansfield Park
"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."
Bartleby, the Scrivener A Story of Wall-Street
Bartleby, the Scrivener A Story of Wall-Street
"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."
Life on the Mississippi
Life on the Mississippi
"Mostly autobiographical, as most of Twain's best work is, this tale of life as a river boat captain in the mid-nineteen century is absorbing and fun."
The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
"An important book about the still-relevant arguments of "nature versus nurture," this tale of prejudice and perfidy is one of Twain's most intellectual works."
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
"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."
Nicholas Nickleby
Nicholas Nickleby
"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.""
Bleak House
Bleak House
"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."
Great Expectations
Great Expectations
"My favorite Dickens novel, this wonderful tale of fate and how kindness can come back to haunt us, is eminently readable."
Freckles
Freckles
"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."
A Girl of the Limberlost
A Girl of the Limberlost
"A sequel to "Freckles," the story of the plucky Elnora and her quest for knowledge, love and a good relationship with her mother is still timely and absorbing."
Black Beauty
Black Beauty
"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."
The Time Machine
The Time Machine
"Wonderfully imagined early science fiction."
The Island of Doctor Moreau
The Island of Doctor Moreau
"Science experiments gone awry as the diabolical Dr. Moreau turns beasts into human form.  Creepy."
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man
"Invisibility can make you crazy.  The book is better than the movies!"
Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair
"The literary version of "Gone With The Wind.""
A Journey to the Centre of the Earth
A Journey to the Centre of the Earth
"This is NOT the Brendan Fraser version.  But it is still quite visual.  A good adventure story."
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
"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."
The Life of Hon. William F. Cody Known as Buffalo Bill the Famous Hunter, Scout and Guide
The Life of Hon. William F. Cody Known as Buffalo Bill the Famous Hunter, Scout and Guide
"I love Buffalo Bill, and his exploits, told in his own voice, are as grand as the wild, wild West he helped to shape."
The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806
The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806
"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."
Little Women (Sterling Unabridged Classics)
Little Women (Sterling Unabridged Classics)
"A terrific heroine, Jo March is one of my favorite characters in fiction."
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
"If I could invite any of the Founding Fathers to dinner, it would be Benjamin Franklin.  This book is witty, funny, opinionated and inspiring.  He was also quite the ladies man."
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
"Sad, dark and so very Russian, this is my favorite Russian novel.  A tragedy, and yet somehow uplifting.  It has never been adequately captured on film."
The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter
"A tale of sex and passion denied.  The feminist in me so admires Hester and the way she stands up for herself and her child while shielding the weakness of the man she loves.  Wonderful story-telling."
The Beautiful and Damned
The Beautiful and Damned
"Fitzgerald in Hollywood.  Not his best, but it's Fitzgerald, so you will be enthralled."
Babbitt
Babbitt
"A wonderful character study of a middle-aged hypocritical man -- a leading citizen in Zenith, Ohio -- who cannot quite understand why his life is just not turning out the way he thought it would."
The Jungle
The Jungle
"This indictment of the meat-packing industry changed the way America looked at slaughter houses and the way we obtain our food.  An important book."
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
"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."
Alice Adams
Alice Adams
"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."
The Art of War
The Art of War
"Philosophy at its pithiest.  Some would opine that this book is a road map for success in such diverse endeavors as business, politics and love."
Dream Psychology Psychoanalysis for Beginners
Dream Psychology Psychoanalysis for Beginners
"Try some self-analysis."
The Woman's Bible
The Woman's Bible
"Rabble-rousing from an early feminist."
The Man Who Would Be King
The Man Who Would Be King
"Kipling's story of two friends who search for fortune and power.  Mark Twain greatly admired this book."
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
"Kipling's masterpiece -- has all the Disney characters, but is much more satisfying."
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
"The most filmed detective, and the one most recognizable, even today.  Robert Downey Jr. made him sexy, but he was always intelligent, obnoxious and tortured."
The Winning of the West, Volume 1 From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776
The Winning of the West, Volume 1 From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776
"Volume one of a five-part series, all available for free.  Roosevelt loved the West, and it shows in this well-written prose."