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Ten best books from Project Gutenberg
September 1, 2004 11:41 PM   Subscribe

What are the ten best books available from Project Gutenberg?

One rule: if someone's listed one of yours, pick another!
posted by mwhybark to Writing & Language (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
(Not answering your question, sorry, but you might like this site as well.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:47 AM on September 2, 2004


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Problems of Philosophy by Earl Bertrand Arthur William 3rd Russell

There are two I like. I don't care for reading off the screen too much though.
posted by ed\26h at 3:38 AM on September 2, 2004


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare


The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton



House of Mirth by Edith Wharton


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Emma by Jane Austen


Mansfield Park by Jane Austen


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
posted by grumblebee at 4:05 AM on September 2, 2004


The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Pilgrim's Progress blah blah blah by John Bunyan

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Charles Dodgson

Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, if you want to bawl like a sissy
--
I wonder why they don't have Finnegan's Wake.
posted by Hypharse at 4:59 AM on September 2, 2004


Divine Comedy, Longfellow's Translation, Complete by Dante Alighieri

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

The Man Who Was Thursday, a nightmare by G. K. Chesterton

That's three for now. I'll owe you seven.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:28 AM on September 2, 2004


For some fine 17th Century prose: The Anatomy of Melancholy by 'Democritus Jr.' (Robert Burton); Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend by Sir Thomas Browne; Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes.
posted by misteraitch at 6:01 AM on September 2, 2004


Orwell's 1984, from Gutenberg Australia (where the copyright expired a little earlier)
posted by mecran01 at 6:31 AM on September 2, 2004


Hypharse - I don't think anyone wants to type out Finnegan's Wake. :P
posted by brownpau at 7:02 AM on September 2, 2004


say now - International Gutenbergs!

Neat stuff, keep it coming!
posted by mwhybark at 7:34 AM on September 2, 2004


Also, I chased down a bunch of Wodehouse on ManyBooks, recently, to read on my ancient Palm.
posted by mwhybark at 7:44 AM on September 2, 2004


Beowulf

Eagerly watched
Hygelac's kinsman his cursed foe,
how he would fare in fell attack.
Not that the monster was minded to pause!
Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior
for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder,
the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams,
swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus
the lifeless corse was clear devoured,
e'en feet and hands.

posted by caddis at 7:51 AM on September 2, 2004


I love hearing my speech software mangle a Southern accent.
Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
posted by teg at 7:54 AM on September 2, 2004


I'm on a Thoreau kick lately

Civil Disobedience
Excursions
A Plea for Captain John Brown
Walden
Walking
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Wild Apples

Also,

Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
Stephen Levy Hackers, Heroes of a Computer Revolution

And I'm looking forward to this one,

Arthur Jerome Eddy, Two Thousand Miles on an Automobile Being a Desultory Narrative of a Trip Through New England, New York, Canada, and the West, By "Chauffeur"
posted by jessamyn at 8:12 AM on September 2, 2004


A lot of Gutenberg has the musty smell of library books nobody's touched in half a century, but I find it's usually interesting to check out the books written by "anonymous" or "unknown" - they have three different translations of the Thousand and One Nights (the third being the overly florid Sir Richard Burton version); various Bible versions; Babylonian and Assyrian literature (a lot of their translations have been superseded by more recent scholarship, but many are still readable); check out Beowulf, Confucius, the Mabinogion, the Nibelungenlied or the Dhammapada.
posted by zadcat at 8:33 AM on September 2, 2004


Three Men in a Boat

the musty smell of library books nobody's touched in half a century
You say that as though it were necessarily a negative. There's bound to be lots of crap, but also there are neglected gems; popularity and fashion are no guarantee of quality.

posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 2:30 PM on September 2, 2004


You say that as though it were necessarily a negative.

No, just a fact. A lot of the books are out of fashion but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Incidentally, I love Three Men in a Boat - in that vein I notice there's a mess of stories by Saki and a growing list of P.G. Wodehouse titles that are falling into the public domain as well.
posted by zadcat at 2:47 PM on September 2, 2004


I just noticed they have Flatland: a romance of many dimensions.

And brownpau, you're probably right. I didn't stop to think that actual people were typing these in. I just figured they were done by.. I don't know.. magic robots. The FAQ set me straight though.
posted by Hypharse at 5:43 PM on September 2, 2004


Joyce didn't die till 1941. His stuff's still in copyright (though it was public domain for a few years in the '90's), and his heirs are jerks.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 6:18 PM on September 2, 2004


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