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By: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

On Nothing & Kindred Subjects by Hilaire Belloc On Nothing & Kindred Subjects

“I knew a man once, Maurice, who was at Oxford for three years, and after that went down with no degree. At College, while his friends were seeking for Truth in funny brown German Philosophies, Sham Religions, stinking bottles and identical equations, he was lying on his back in Eynsham meadows thinking of Nothing, and got the Truth by this parallel road of his much more quickly than did they by theirs; for the asses are still seeking, mildly disputing, and, in a cultivated manner, following the...

This, That, and the Other by Hilaire Belloc This, That, and the Other

“When Fame comes upon a man well before death then must he most particularly beware of it, for is it then most dangerous. Neither must he, having achieved it, relax effort nor (a much greater peril) think he has done his work because some Fame now attaches thereto.” -- Hilaire Belloc

On Anything by Hilaire Belloc On Anything

"Long before I knew that the speech of men was misused by them and that they lied in the hearing of the gods perpetually in those early days through which all men have passed, during which one believes what one is told, an old and crusty woman of great wealth, to whom I was describing what I intended to do with life (which in those days seemed to me of infinite duration), said to me, ( You are building castles in Spain.' I was too much in awe of this woman not on account of the wealth, but on account...

By: Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll by Robert Green Ingersoll Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll

Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his defense of atheism. This book is the first of two volumes collecting Ingersoll’s speeches.

By: G. K. Chesterton

All Things Considered by G. K. Chesterton All Things Considered

Another delightful and sharply pointed excursion into the topics of the day, and of this day as well, with Gilbert Keith Chesterton. These reprinted magazine articles are filled with his good natured wit, his masterful use of paradox, and devastating ability to use reductio ad absurdum to destroy the popular myths that drive a society driving full-speed into secular humanism. You will come away with a whole new collection of wonderful quotes. (Ray Clare)

By: Varous

Ancient Greek Philosopher-Scientists by Varous Ancient Greek Philosopher-Scientists

The Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, that is, the philosopher-scientists who lived before or contemporaneously to Socrates, were the first men in the Western world to establish a line of inquiry regarding the natural phenomena that rejected the traditional religious explanations and searched for rational explanations. Even though they do not form a school of thought, they can be considered the fathers of philosophy and many other sciences as we have them now. None of their works is extant, so, in this collection, we present the textual fragments, when existing, of ten Pre-Socratic philosopher-scientists, and quotations and testimonials about them left by later authors...

By: Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

Book cover Mince Pie

Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no excuse. But a copy on the bedside shelf may possibly pave the way to easy slumber. Only a mind "debauched by learning" (in Doctor Johnson's phrase) will scrutinize them too anxiously."

Book cover Mince Pie

Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no excuse. But a copy on the bedside shelf may possibly pave the way to easy slumber. Only a mind "debauched by learning" (in Doctor Johnson's phrase) will scrutinize them too anxiously."

Book cover Pipefuls

A delightful collection of 48 essays on various topics of the human condition that caught his fancy. Witty, insightful and funny of course and on occasion thought provoking and even disturbing. From the preface "These sketches gave me pain to write; they will give the judicious patron pain to read; therefore we are quits. I think, as I look over their slattern paragraphs, of that most tragic hour—it falls about 4 p. m. in the office of an evening newspaper—when the unhappy compiler tries to round up the broodings of the day and still get home in time for supper...

By: Saint Patrick (d. 461 or 493)

Collected Works of Saint Patrick by Saint Patrick Collected Works of Saint Patrick

St. Patrick’s Breastplate – This prayer is attributed to St. Patrick and his diciples. It is written with some celtic pagan elements, but is definitely a Christian prayer asking God for protection through daily life. A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus – Patrick writes this letter to excommunicate the soldiers of Coroticus’ army who pillaged villages in Ireland and forced many Christian converts into slavery. Confession – A short autobiography by St. Patrick who tells of being abducted...

By: John Burroughs (1837-1921)

Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers by John Burroughs Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers

Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers, a collection of essays by American naturalist and essayist, John Burroughs, provides fascinating insight into the daily life of small woodland creatures. Included in these essays are Burrough’s personal observations of squirrels, rabbits, mink, and chipmunks, as well as numerous other small mammals. Highly recommended for anyone, both young and old, with an interest in nature and wildlife!

Nature Near Home and Other Papers by John Burroughs Nature Near Home and Other Papers

Nature Near Home is one of many books on natural history by John Burroughs. It is full of simple observations about rural scenes and charming stories about animals, plants, and even people! Burroughs loves the creatures around him and derives great pleasure from his walks and studies in nature’s scenes.

By: Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

Has a Frog a Soul? by Thomas Henry Huxley Has a Frog a Soul?

Thomas Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his championing and development of Darwinism, was perhaps the most important Victorian biologist after Darwin himself. This speech to the Metaphysical Society in 1870 is one of Huxley’s best known texts outside the sphere of his specialism, and remains read today by students of philosophy. In it, Huxley argues from the results of vivisection to metaphysics.

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Philippics by Marcus Tullius Cicero The Philippics

A philippic is a fiery, damning speech delivered to condemn a particular political actor. The term originates with Demosthenes, who delivered an attack on Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BCE.Cicero consciously modeled his own attacks on Mark Antony, in 44 BC and 43 BC, on Demosthenes’s speeches, and if the correspondence between M. Brutus and Cicero are genuine [ad Brut. ii 3.4, ii 4.2], at least the fifth and seventh speeches were referred to as the Philippics in Cicero’s time. They were also called the Antonian Orations by Aulus Gellius...

By: Giles Lytton Strachey (1880-1932)

Book cover Eminent Victorians

On Modern Library's list of 100 Best Non-Fiction books, "Eminent Victorians" marked an epoch in the art of biography; it also helped to crack the old myths of high Victorianism and to usher in a new spirit by which chauvinism, hypocrisy and the stiff upper lip were debunked. In it, Strachey cleverly exposes the self-seeking ambitions of Cardinal Manning and the manipulative, neurotic Florence Nightingale; and in his essays on Dr Arnold and General Gordon, his quarries are not only his subjects but also the public-school system and the whole structure of nineteenth-century liberal values.

By: Charles Mackay (1814-1889)

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

The book chronicles and vilifies its targets in three parts: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”.The subjects of Mackay’s debunking include alchemy, beards (influence of politics and religion on), witch-hunts, crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles.

By: Isabella L. Bird (1831-1904)

A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

Isabella Bird began travelling while in her early twenties to help alleviate illness that had plagued her since childhood. She was a single woman in her early forties when she made her treck through the Rocky Mountains. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains details this fascinating account of her travels through a series of letters written to her sister, Henrietta. These letters are filled with beautiful, vivid descriptions of the scenery, the people she encountered, the way of life, and a mountain man named Jim Nugent, that was as rough as they come, but a complete gentleman with Ms...

By: Chesterton, G. K.

The Superstition of Divorce by Chesterton, G. K. The Superstition of Divorce

This short book was written in 1920, and in it Chesterton, with his usual wit and incisive logic, presents a series of articles defending marriage and indicating the weaknesses in divorce. He did this 16 year before the first Christian denomination in the world allowed it’s members to divorce. Till then Christendom was unanimous in standing against it. Chesterton saw clearly the trends of this time, and delivered this defense.

By: Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn In Ghostly Japan

This collection of 14 stories collected by Lafcadio Hearn, contains Japanese ghost stories, but also several non-fiction pieces. Hearn tries to give a glimpse into the customs of the Japanese, by giving examples of Buddhist Proverbs and explaining the use of incense and the nation wide fascination with poetry. Furthermore, he has again translated several hair-rising ghost stories, like "A Passional Karma" about the truly undying love of a young couple.

Book cover Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life

In an introductory paragraph, Lafcadio Hearn declares his intention: "The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affection; and inner meaning, just as we say in English, "the heart of things."" The result is a highly eclectic collection of stories, diary...

By: Harry Bates, Editor

Astounding Stories of Super-Science, September 1930 by Harry Bates, Editor Astounding Stories of Super-Science, September 1930

This is a collection of short science fiction stories by various writers, circa 1930. Writers include Paul Ernst, Miles Breuer, Ray Cummings, Sewell Wright, and others.

By: British Parliament

The Riot Act by British Parliament The Riot Act

The Riot Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1714, the first year of the reign of George I, and came into effect in August 1715. This was a time of widespread social disturbance, as the preamble describes; the Act sought to put an end to this. A group of twelve or more people, “being unlawfully, riotously and tumultuously assembled”, would be read a proclamation; they must disperse within an hour, on pain of death. The same fate would befall anyone preventing the reading of the proclamation, or damaging buildings while on a riot...

By: United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives by United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives

This is a concise yet thorough explanation of what might happen to our world in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The myriad of potential effects will be global and wide-spread, and the potentials are glazed over in this short work.

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Second Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome Second Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow

A second volume of humorous essays on various subjects, following the success of Idle thoughts Of An Idle Fellow.

By: Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Book cover Essays, Book 1

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne is one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre and is popularly thought of as the father of Modern Skepticism. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with casual anecdotes and autobiography—and his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written.

By: Friedrich Kerst

Mozart, The Man and the Artist as Revealed  in His Own Words by Friedrich Kerst Mozart, The Man and the Artist as Revealed in His Own Words

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His name is one of the most recognizable names in history and one of the most enduring of composers. At age 5, this “wunderkinder” took to the stage and began his life as a prolific and celebrated creator-genius of such luminous works the world has not known since. This collection of morsels taken from his personal letters is engaging and gives a look into the mind of the boy wonder. Was he mad? Was he miraculous?

By: Stamp Act Congress of 1765

Declaration of Rights by Stamp Act Congress of 1765 Declaration of Rights

On June 8, 1765 James Otis, supported by the Massachusetts Assembly sent a letter to each colony calling for a general meeting of delegates. The meeting was to be held in New York City in October. Representatives from nine colonies met in New York. Though New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia did not send delegates, the Assemblies of those missing colonies nonetheless agreed to support the works of the Congress. The meetings were held in Federal Hall in New York, and the delegates assembled on October 2...

By: Edmund Gosse

Book cover Gossip in a Library

A collection of informal essays about books in his library. He combines commentary, translations, and humorous asides about authors and their subjects.

By: Bliss Perry (1860-1954)

Fishing with a Worm by Bliss Perry Fishing with a Worm

Fishing with a Worm by Bliss Perry includes the poignant and philisophical observations of a fly fisherman lured by the worm. Bliss Perry was a professor of literature at Princeton and Harvard Universities and spent time in Vermont writing and fly fishing.

By: Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (1862-1932)

The Greek View of Life by Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson The Greek View of Life

“With the Greek civilisation beauty perished from the world. Never again has it been possible for man to believe that harmony is in fact the truth of all existence.”This elegantly-written work provides a splendid introduction to the Greeks of the classic period: how they thought, wrote, and organised their lives and loves. Although it dates from the 1890s, there is very little about it that has dated. To its author’s credit, the subject of “Greek love” is dealt with in a sane and factual context - despite the judicial assassination of Oscar Wilde going on in the background...

By: Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma (d. 17th century)

Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke

The Author sings the praises of Chocolate. “By the wise and Moderate use whereof, Health is preserved, Sicknesse Diverted, and Cured, especially the Plague of the Guts; vulgarly called _The New Disease_; Fluxes, Consumptions, & Coughs of the Lungs, with sundry other desperate Diseases. By it also, Conception is Caused, the Birth Hastened and facilitated, Beauty Gain’d and continued.”

By: Bruce Barton (1886-1967)

It's a Good Old World by Bruce Barton It's a Good Old World

In this collection of essays, Bruce Barton, considered to be among the most influential advertising men of the 20th century, uses history, religion and current events of the 1920s to teach common sense ideals. From Jesus to Beethoven to Napoleon to Abraham Lincoln, Barton uses stories of great individuals to encourage the reader to make the most of life and at the same time to build strong character traits.


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