Although I like the touch of a physical book in my hands, I am getting more and more used to reading books on an iPad or iPhone.
And now, with summer break around the corner, and the prospect of a trip by car to Sweden and Norway, I am looking for books to read. Bringing a lot of books with me in the car isn’t an option, so my Kindle app sure is a great solution!
Something I discovered recently: many old classics are no longer under copyright, which means that the Kindle versions are available for free on Amazon! Isn’t that great? I immediately downloaded a bunch! 🙂
A selection of my favorite free Kindle classics:
A classic tale by Mark Twain about a young boy, Huckleberry Finn, the friend of Tom Sawyer, and a slave, Jim. Together they run away from Huck’s drunken father and Jim’s owners. It’s a humorous story of friendship and adventure along the mighty Mississippi River. A great start for younger readers to get introduced to American literature.
Charles Dicken’s novel about the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves, is well-known by many. Dickens depicts the dark criminal underworld of a London peopled by vivid and memorable characters: evil villains and skilled pickpockets. The story is both an angry indictment of poverty, and an adventure filled with an air of threat and pervasive evil.
Although convinced that she herself will never marry, Emma Woodhouse, a precocious twenty-year-old resident of the village of Highbury, imagines herself to be naturally gifted in conjuring love matches. After self-declared success at matchmaking between her governess and Mr. Weston, a village widower, Emma takes it upon herself to find an eligible match for her new friend, Harriet Smith. Of course things don’t go exactly as planned. Just like Pride and Prejudice, this book written by Jane Austen is a classic novel characterized by romance and irony, which I both appreciate in a story.
This book truly made an impression on me when I was a teenager! The novel, written by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, features Uncle Tom, an African-American slave whose long-suffering story touches millions. Several other characters are brought in as well to share their stories. The book succeeded at its goal, which was to start a wave of anti-slavery sentiment across the nation, and is generally regarded as one of the causes of the Civil War.
This popular novel by Louise May Alcott is a lively portrait of a nineteenth-century family life, and follows the lives of the sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, with their dreams, plays, letters, illnesses and courtships. Generations of readers have fallen in love with their stories of growing up in New England during the Civil War.
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. The book describes Anne’s adventures in making a home: the country school where she quickly excels in her studies; her friendship with Diana Barry, the girl living next door, and her rivalry with her classmate Gibert Blythe, who teases her about her red hair. I love Anne’s bright and imaginative character!
Mary Lennox is a sickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents who never wanted her. She is cared for by servants, who allow her to become a spoiled, aggressive and selfish child. After her parents pass away, she is sent to live with her uninterested uncle in his Yorkshire mansion. At first, she is frightened by this gloomy place, but with the help of the local boy Dickon, the invalid Colin, a spoiled, unhappy boy terrified of life, and a mysterious, abandoned garden, Mary is eventually overcome by the mystery of life itself—its birth and renewal, its love and joy. It’s been a while since I’ve read this children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, but I still remember the vivid description of this beautiful secret garden.
Of course, there are many, many more Kindle editions of great novels available for free or for only a small price.
What are your favorite classics?