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By: Frank Stockton (1834-1902)

Rudder Grange by Frank Stockton Rudder Grange

This book presents a number of short, comedic sketches of a country life in middle America in the late 1800s. The hilarious twists and turns endear our adorable, naive married couple to the reader; and the orphan servant Pomona – dear, odd, funny Pomona! – is the focus of several of the stories. Imagine a honeymoon in a lunatic asylum, and you’ve got Rudder Grange!

Pomona's Travels by Frank Stockton Pomona's Travels

Pomona and Jone of Rudder Grange fame travel to England and Scotland. Along the way, Pomona tangles with wild pigs, haymaking, hotels great and small, Pullman cars, comparison-makers, and a Duchess. She makes two matches and – in her usual, unorthodox way – stag hunts and attends a knighting. Pomona is as hilarious as ever, if a bit more rounded off on the edges.

By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Carmilla

Published in 1872, Carmilla is an early work in the vampire literature genre and is incidentally one of the most influential of its type. The gothic novella accounts the tale of Laura, a young woman who becomes susceptible to the friendship and seductive charms of the mysterious Carmilla. A gripping tale of coincidence, mystery, compulsion, dark romance, and deception, Le Fanu’s classic is regarded as having paved the way for modern takes on vampires. Narrated by Laura, the novel opens with a recount of her childhood, as she depicts growing up in a beautiful, yet solitary castle encompassed by a forest in Styria, Austria...

By: Booth Tarkington

Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington Alice Adams

A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Alice Adams chronicles the attempts of a lower middle class American midwestern family at the turn of the 20th century to climb the social ladder. The eponymous heroine is at the heart of the story, a young woman who wants a better place in society and a better life. As Gerard Previn Meyer has stated, “Apart from being the contribution to social history its author conceived it to be, [Alice Adams] is something more, that something being what has attracted to it so large a public: its portrait of a (despite her faults) ‘lovable girl’.”

Seventeen by Booth Tarkington Seventeen

A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and the Baxter Family Especially William

Gentle Julia by Booth Tarkington Gentle Julia

Penrod for girls in the form of Florence, the bratty younger cousin of luminous Julia Atwater, enlivens this romantic comedy set in Tarkington's Indiana of the early 20th Century.

Penrod by Booth Tarkington Penrod

Join Penrod Schofield and his wistful dog Duke, in a hilarious romp through turn of the century Indianapolis, chronicling his life, loves, and mostly the trouble he gets into.

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1918 novel by Booth Tarkington which won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize. It was the second novel in the Growth trilogy, which included The Turmoil (1915) and The Midlander (1923, retitled National Avenue in 1927). In 1942 Orson Welles directed a film version, also titled The Magnificent Ambersons.

Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington Penrod and Sam

Follow more of the hilarious life of the boy Penrod Schofield, his friends Sam Williams, Herman, Verman, Georgie, Maurice, and the love of his life, Marjorie Jones.

The Turmoil by Booth Tarkington The Turmoil

The Turmoil is the first novel in the ‘Growth’ trilogy, which also includes The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and The Midlander (1923, retitled National Avenue in 1927). In 1942 Orson Welles directed a film version based on volume 2, also titled “The Magnificent Ambersons.” The trilogy traces the growth of the United States through the declining fortunes of three generations of the aristocratic Amberson family in a fictional Mid-Western town, between the end of the Civil War and the early part of the 20th century, a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America...

By: Gideon Wurdz (b. 1875)

The Foolish Dictionary by Gideon Wurdz The Foolish Dictionary

“The Foolish Dictionary” was written by “Gideon Wurdz” and was published in 1904. According to the beginning of the book, it is “An exhausting work of reference to un-certain English words, their origin, meaning, legitimate and illegitimate use…” This a a short but amusing dictionary which “redefines” words in some interesting ways. Funny and sometimes bizarre observations are sprinkled throughout. In keeping with the policy to read, rather than attempt to rewrite, books – even those with offensive content – nothing has been omitted...

By: William Shuler Harris (b. 1865)

Life in a Thousand Worlds by William Shuler Harris Life in a Thousand Worlds

A jolly romp, which could be perhaps be described as Gulliver’s Travels Through Our Solar System and Beyond, as written by a great admirer of C. S. Lewis, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, after one too many mugs of cocoa. Includes some thought on alien philosophies and how to apply them to moral and social problems here on Planet Earth.

By: Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894)

Struwwelpeter: Merry Tales and Funny Pictures by Heinrich Hoffmann Struwwelpeter: Merry Tales and Funny Pictures

Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter) is an illustrated collection of humorous children’s poems describing ludicrous and usually violent punishments for naughty behavior. Hoffmann, a Frankfurt physician, wanted to buy a picture book for his son for Christmas in 1844. Not impressed by what the stores had to offer, he instead bought a notebook and wrote his own stories and pictures. While Struwwelpeter is somewhat notorious for its perceived brutal treatment of the erring children, it has been influential on many later children’s books, most notably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Book cover Slovenly Betsy

Hienrich Hoffmann was a German psychiatrist and doctor. He had written poetry and sketches for his son, and was persuaded to have a collection of these printed.The stories were not perceived as cruel or overly moral by Hoffmann's contemporaries.This American version contains a few of the stories from the original German "Struwwelpeter" publication.

By: Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897)

Tartarin of Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet Tartarin of Tarascon

It tells the burlesque adventures of Tartarin, a local hero of Tarascon, a small town in southern France, whose invented adventures and reputation as a swashbuckler finally force him to travel to a very prosaic Algiers in search of lions. Instead of finding a romantic, mysterious Oriental fantasy land, he finds a sordid world suspended between Europe and the Middle East. And worst of all, there are no lions left.

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw Mrs. Warren's Profession

The story centers on the relationship between Mrs Kitty Warren, a rich woman, described by the author as "on the whole, a genial and fairly presentable old blackguard of a woman" and her daughter, Vivie. Mrs Warren is a middle-aged woman whose Cambridge-educated daughter, Vivie, is horrified to discover the morally questionable way her mother acquired her fortune.

By: Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield The Garden Party

A collection of short stories on a variety of subjects, by one of New Zealand’s best-known writers.

At The Bay by Katherine Mansfield At The Bay

Katherine Mansfield was a prominent Modernist writer of short fiction, and one of New Zealand’s best-known authors. “At the Bay” is a story from her collection The Garden Party.

Prelude by Katherine Mansfield Prelude

One of the first books to be published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press, Prelude is among Katherine Mansfield's most accomplished stories, inspired by her childhood in New Zealand. (Introduction by iremonger)

By: Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson Ramona

Set in Old California in the wake of the Mexican-American War, Ramona is two stories at once. It is the story of the love between a part-Native American orphan girl, Ramona, and Alessandro, a young Indian sheepherder. It is also the story of racial prejudice and the clash between cultures as California changes from a Spanish colony to an American territory. Ramona is the ward of Señora Gonzaga Moreno, who despises the girl for her race but honors the dying wish of the Señora's sister, Ramona's foster-mother, to raise her as her own...

Book cover Letters from a Cat

Letters from a Cat: published by her mistress for the benefit of all cats and the amusement of little children is a collection of letters that a little girl receives from her pet while she is away from home. They tell of her pet’s adventures and misadventures. The book includes a preface which gives a little biography of the cat including its sad demise. H.H. was the alias of Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (1830 –1885) who is better known for her novel Ramona in which she dramatized the mistreatment of Native Americans and which formed part of her campaign for improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. Government.

By: Isabella Alden (1841-1930)

The King's Daughter by Isabella Alden The King's Daughter

Dell Bronson has been reared in Boston by her refined uncle and aunt until, at age 18, she is called home by her father, a coarse tavern owner in Lewiston. As a daughter of the heavenly King, she strives to honor her heavenly Father by wooing her earthly father to Christ and away from rum. Set in the era of the temperance movement of the 1800’s. Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Third in the Ester Ried series.

Ester Ried by Isabella Alden Ester Ried

Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Ester Ried’s life is a dull monotony of toiling at her family’s boardinghouse. She’s overworked, jealous and cranky, a poor example of a Christian to her family and associates. She awakens to a new attitude and commitment due to an extended visit with her cousin.

Wise and Otherwise by Isabella Alden Wise and Otherwise

Immature Mr. Tresevant (from “The King’s Daughter”) comes to Newton with his spoiled wife to be the new pastor of the church attended by Dr. and Mrs. Douglass, Mr. and Mrs. Sayles, and Mr. and Mrs. Tyndall (from “Ester Ried” and “Julia Ried”), boarding with Jerome and Abbie Sayles. Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Fourth in the Ester Ried series.

Julia Ried by Isabella Alden Julia Ried

Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” Sequel to “Ester Ried.” Julia Ried must take a job as a bookkeeper in a factory to earn a living. The mistress of her boardinghouse influences her in a negative way, drawing her into a life and attitude displeasing to God. Will her family and friends be able to convince her stand up for what’s right?

Four Girls at Chautauqua by Isabella Alden Four Girls at Chautauqua

Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.” First in the Chautauqua Girls series. Four friends – spoiled, quirky Ruth; fun-loving and mischievous Eurie; poor, independent and brainy Marion; and meek, approval-seeking Flossy – attend Chautauqua on a lark, and their lives are changed forever. (Chautauqua is an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.)

The Chautauqua Girls at Home by Isabella Alden The Chautauqua Girls at Home

Sequel to Four Girls at Chautauqua. Ruth, Flossy, Eurie, and Ruth return home as new Christians, eager to begin working. Their new faith clashes with their old lives, which they must overcome, as well as the prejudices of friends and acquaintances.

Ester Ried's Namesake by Isabella Alden Ester Ried's Namesake

Ester Ried Randall tries to live up to her parents’ expectations and the name she’s been given, but her religion is a chore. Will she learn the lesson of faith that Ester did? Fifth and final book in the Ester Ried series. Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name “Pansy.”

Judge Burnham's Daughters by Isabella Alden Judge Burnham's Daughters

Fifth in the Chautauqua Girls series. Ruth Erskine Burnham has helped raise her husband’s two daughters, but all have rejected her faith and values. The constant pressure to compromise has weakened her walk and made her life miserable. Her one comfort is her somewhat sickly 5 year old son. Will she return to the strong faith of her young womanhood, and will her family finally follow?

Ruth Erskine's Crosses by Isabella Alden Ruth Erskine's Crosses

Third book in the Chautauqua Girls series. Written by Isabella Alden under the pseudonym “Pansy.” Ruth’s father brings home a wife and daughter, after 18 years, that Ruth had never known about. Suddenly she is no longer the queen of her home. And what’s worse, the new mother and sister are rude and antagonistic. How will Ruth bear this cross?

By: W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.

By: Waldemar Bonsels (1880-1952)

The Adventures of Maya the Bee by Waldemar Bonsels The Adventures of Maya the Bee

A little bee is born in a large and busy hive. At that time, the hive is going through a period of unrest and there are fears that it will become subdivided into separate colonies. The little new-born, Maya, is under the care of a strict but loving teacher. One day, driven by curiosity and rebellion, Maya escapes from the safe environs of the hive and flies into the forest. Here, she encounters all sorts of interesting, exciting, frightening and funny things. The Adventures of Maya the Bee is the story of the intriguing days that follow...


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