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By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

A life lived backwards, with events happening in reverse order forms the strange and unexpected framework of one of F Scott Fitzgerald's rare short stories. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was published in Collier's in 1927 and the idea came to Fitzgerald apparently from a quote of Mark Twain's in which he regretted that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst at the end. Fitzgerald's concept of using this notion and turning the normal sequence of life on its head resulted in this delightful, thought provoking fantasy tale...

Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Pretty but socially clueless Bernice lets her know-it-all cousin push her around, but eventually, something's gotta give! (Introduction by BellonaTimes)

By: Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936)

Book cover Mr. Dooley: In the Hearts of His Countrymen
Book cover Mr. Dooley's Philosophy
Book cover Mr. Dooley Says

By: Forrest Crissey (1864-1943)

Book cover Tattlings of a Retired Politician

"The letters of Hon. William Bradley, Ex-Governor and former veteran of practical politics, written to his friend and protege Ned who is still busy 'carving a career back in the old state.'" This is a novel filled with humorous political anecdotes by the main character, the Honorable William Bradley, told for the benefit of his protege, Ned. It conveys a sense of the ironic and humorous side of politics in Washington and back in their home state.

By: Francis Marion Wing (1873-1956)

Book cover "The Fotygraft Album" Shown to the New Neighbor by Rebecca Sparks Peters Aged Eleven

By: François Rabelais (1494-1553)

Book cover Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book III

The five-volume work chronicling the adventures of father Gargantua and son Pantagruel is a vehicle for Rabelais' satire of sixteenth-century European society. It is lively, outrageous, and, at times, bawdy. This the third of the five volumes--all are translated by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Motteux

By: Frank Gelett Burgess (1886-1951)

Book cover Romance Of The Commonplace

Thirty four whimsical, tongue-in-cheek, and entertaining essays about not much in particular, published in 1902, by one of the most popular writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The American Gelett Burgess was an artist, art critic, poet, author, and humorist. Nonsense verse was a specialty. - Summary by David Wales

Book cover Maxims of Methuselah

Being the Advice given by the Patriarch in his Nine Hundred Sixty and Ninth Year to his Great Grandson at Shem's Coming of Age, in Regard to Women.The following is, so far as I know, the only authentic rendering into the English language of the three hundred and thirty parables attributed to Methuselah. . . . Of its origin, the book, although freely rendered into the idiom of the hour, still bears intrinsic evidence of having been compiled by one who had had extraordinary experience with women. The amorous expert will not find it hard to believe that 969 years would be none too short a time for any one man to have accumulated such a profound lore...

By: Frank Thomas Bullen (1857-1915)

Book cover Confessions of a Tradesman

Frank T. Bullen is best known for his books based on his adventures at sea. However, he had a life on shore as well. He first went to sea as a boy as a cabin boy. He there had many adventures as a hand on a whaling ship. He then came ashore and tried his hand at being a "Tradesman". This is that story and also tells how he became the well-known author he is now. It is a very interesting, enjoyable and entertaining depiction of the trials and tribulations he had in his life in 19th century London as a tradesman. - Summary by Wayne Cooke

By: Frederic Stewart Isham (1866-1922)

Book cover Nothing But the Truth

A young man, finding himself unexpectedly impecunious, attempts to improve his fortunes by wagering that he can speak nothing but the absolute truth for three weeks. He soon learns, however, that telling only the unvarnished truth can have surprising consequences. This 1914 novel of love, mystery, and misunderstandings, with amusing characters and plot twists, was adapted as a Broadway play in 1916, followed by six motion pictures: in 1920 and 1929; in 1931 separately in Spanish, French and German; and in 1941 starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. Frederic S. Isham was a writer of short stories, novels and plays. (Lee Smalley)

By: Frederick Marryat (1792-1848)

Book cover Snarleyyow

This is a quite amusing nautical tale of the British Navy of the around the year 1700. While, as with much early 'humor', it is somewhat heavy-handed, the sympathies of the author are clear and good, and cruelty is often averted by good fortune or background characters. First published under the title 'The Dog Fiend', the primary characters are an evil captain of a cutter and his dog. The dog seems indestructible, as is the poor cabin boy who is the butt of the captain's ill humor, and who often is chewed on by the dog...

By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Book cover Crocodile

Ivan Matveich, the most ordinary person you might hope to meet, is swallowed alive by a crocodile at a sideshow. Finding life inside the belly of the beast quite comfortable, he makes a home for himself there. His disquisitions on the state of the world from inside the crocodile make him quite a name for himself; while all the while the discussion rages outside as to whether the beast is going to be cut open to release him or not, its value as a sideshow attraction having massively increased owing to the presence of the human voice buried inside it. One of Jorge Luis Borges' seven most favourite stories. - Summary by Tony Addison

By: G. K. Chesterton

What's Wrong With the World by G. K. Chesterton What's Wrong With the World

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”...

The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton The Ball and the Cross

The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus...

The Defendant by G. K. Chesterton The Defendant

A collection of reprinted articles on a wide-range of subject, all in the unique style of G. K. Chesterton. Using wit, paradox, and good humor he “defends” a series of seeming harmless things that need no defense, and in so doing he exposes many of the broken assumptions and dogmatic notions of secular humanism and other trends of his age and of ours.

A Utopia of Usurers by G. K. Chesterton A Utopia of Usurers

“Now I have said again and again (and I shall continue to say again and again on all the most inappropriate occasions) that we must hit Capitalism, and hit it hard, for the plain and definite reason that it is growing stronger. Most of the excuses which serve the capitalists as masks are, of course, the excuses of hypocrites. They lie when they claim philanthropy; they no more feel any particular love of men than Albu felt an affection for Chinamen. They lie when they say they have reached their position through their own organising ability...

Wit and Wisdom of Chesterton by G. K. Chesterton Wit and Wisdom of Chesterton

In this collection, Bevis Hillier has put together some of Chesterton's essays in "The Defandant", "Varied Types" and "Tremendous Trifles". These 12 pieces were chosen to giving a peek into the margins of Chesterton's work and give a sense of the distinctive flavor of his mind. They were also chosen with an eye to showing what a complex and fascinating character he was.

Book cover Tales of the Long Bow

These tales concern the doing of things recognized as impossible to do; impossible to believe; and, as the weary reader may well cry aloud, impossible to read about. Did the narrator merely say that they happened, without saying how they happened, they could easily be classified with the cow who jumped over the moon or the more introspective individual who jumped down his own throat. In short, they are all tall stories; and though tall stories may also be true stories, there is something in the very phrase appropriate to such a topsy-turvydom; for the logician will presumably class a tall story with a corpulent epigram or a long-legged essay.

By: Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

Book cover Are You a Bromide? The Sulphitic Theory Expounded and Exemplified According to the Most Recent Researches into the Psychology of Boredom Including Many Well-Known Bromidioms Now in Use
Book cover The Rubaiyat of Omar Cayenne

By: Geoffrey Chaucer

Book cover Chaucer Storybook

Geoffrey Chaucer's classic "Canterbury Tales" has here been rendered into clear and contemporary English prose. These classic stories are now available to those who would like to read them without struggling through Middle English poetry. The character and humour of The Wife of Bath and other larger-than-life people created by Chaucer are now accessible to a wider audience, including children. Please note that the original Canterbury Tales includes 24 stories, of which 11 are reproduced here. - Summary by Beth Thomas

By: George A. (George Alexander) Morton (1857-)

Book cover Law and Laughter

By: George A. Birmingham (1865-1950)

Book cover The Simpkins Plot

By: George Ade (1866-1944)

Fables in Slang by George Ade Fables in Slang

While a columnist for The Chicago Record humorist George Ade penned numerous “fables” which were subsequently collected into books. Fables in Slang is the first of these collections. It contains 26 satirical stories that lampoon phrenologists, idealists, snobs, fanatics and other ignorant fools of the day, most of which still wander through our modern lives. Jean Shepherd considered Ade a predecessor who made writers like James Thurber, Mike Royko, and himself possible. Fables in Slang was first published in 1899 by Herbert S. Stone and Company.

Book cover More Fables
Book cover Ade's Fables
Book cover People You Know
Book cover Knocking the Neighbors

By: George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1928)

Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon Brewster's Millions

He hosts an all expenses paid luxury cruise to Europe for fifty guests and showers them with expensive gifts. When he's mugged in a dark alley, he insists that the thugs also take the $300 stashed away in his back pocket. He flies into a rage whenever one of his employees suggests cutting costs. Every time he places a bet, he wins, causing him even more despair! In Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon, a classic riches-to-rags tale, Montgomery Brewster is bound by the terms of an eccentric uncle's will to spend one million dollars completely within a year so that he can lay claim to an even bigger fortune...

Book cover Yollop

Mr. Crittenden Yollop makes friends with the man who came to burglarize his home and sets out to help him return to where he really wants to be...prison. This humorous satire takes a somewhat different look at prisons, criminals, the law and reformers.

By: George Farquhar (1677-1707)

Book cover Sir Harry Wildair

This sequel to the Jubilee [The Constant Couple, or A Trip to the Jubilee] appeared at Drury Lane in 1701, and was almost as popular as its predecessor. The smartness of the dialogue, the witty comment upon the fashions of the hour, the movement of the story, the vice and flippancy exhibited by its chief character, all specially appealed to the audience before whom it was produced, and the comedy had a run of several nights. - Cast list: Sir Harry Wildair: Peter Tucker Banter, Beau, a younger...

By: George Fullerton Evans (-1963)

Book cover College Freshman's Don't Book

A short, humorous guide of what not to do in your first year of college.

By: George Gibbs (1870-1942)

Book cover Maker of Opportunities

When you're tired only because you're bored; and you're bored only because it seems like there's really nothing worth doing; and you're so, so wealthy that one would think opportunity should be knocking at your door every day... you sometimes just have to tell your closer friends how fatiguing the life of he who has everything really is.... And then; you find your calling!

Book cover Madcap

Quote: "To the quiet Titine her mistress created an impression of bringing not only herself into the room, but also the violent horse and the whole of the out-of-doors besides." --Chapter 1 of Madcap. --In the same chapter, Hermia Challoner, this force of nature pitted against the nature of her social milieu, laughingly tells her maid, "Better die living--than be living dead." --And thus starts the beginning of an early 20th century quest for something beyond the bored and politely veiled cynicism of class and wealth; beyond oneself. --Add to that a little mischief, a bit of Puckish misdirection. And a bit of romance.

By: George Grossmith (1847-1912)

The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith The Diary of a Nobody

Grossmith’s comic novel unveils the daily chronicles of the pompous and clumsy middle-aged clerk Charles Pooter, who has just moved to the London suburb of Holloway with his wife Carrie. Nonetheless, the family’s fresh start is not quite what they had in mind. Set in the late Victorian era, the diary accurately documents the manners, customs, trends and experiences of the time. First appearing in Punch magazine through the years 1888-89, The Diary of a Nobody was first published in book form in 1892 and has entertained readers ever since...

By: George Horace Lorimer (1869-1937)

Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by George Horace Lorimer Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

Being the Letters written by John Graham, Head of the House of Graham & Company, Pork-Packers in Chicago, familiarly known on 'Change as "Old Gorgon Graham," to his Son, Pierrepont, facetiously known to his intimates as "Piggy." George Horace Lorimer was an American journalist and author. He is best known as the editor of The Saturday Evening Post.

By: George Livermore

Book cover Take it From Dad

Take It From Dad is a collection of letters written by a father to his son, Ted, at boarding school, away from home for the first time. In each letter "Dad" comments on some aspect of Ted's experience, attitude, or behavior, illustrating and driving home his point with an entertaining tale about human nature. This book is appropriate for all ages from adolescence on, and its lessons are as relevant today as when they were written. --Lee Smalley

By: George Pope Morris (1802-1864)

Book cover Will Nobody Marry Me?

In addition to his publishing and editorial work, Morris was popular as a poet and songwriter; especially well-known was his poem-turned-song "Woodman, Spare that Tree!" His songs in particular were popular enough that Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia promised Morris $50, sight unseen, for any work he wanted to publish in the periodical.

By: George W. Carleton (1832-1901)

Our Artist in Cuba Fifty drawings on wood. Leaves from the Sketch-book of a traveler, During the Winter of 1864-5. by George W. Carleton Our Artist in Cuba Fifty drawings on wood. Leaves from the Sketch-book of a traveler, During the Winter of 1864-5.

By: George W. Peck (1840-1916)

Book cover Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa 1883
Book cover Peck's Bad Boy Abroad Being a Humorous Description of the Bad Boy and His Dad in Their Journeys Through Foreign Lands - 1904
Book cover The Grocery Man And Peck's Bad Boy Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa, No. 2 - 1883
Book cover Peck's Uncle Ike and The Red Headed Boy 1899
Book cover Peck's Sunshine Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882

By: George Wilbur Peck (1840-1916)

Book cover Sunbeams

George W. Peck was at times a writer, newspaper publisher and politician. Many of the Sunbeam essays had been published in Peck's paper, "The Sun", as amusing and often critical comments on social and political subjects, typically current in the beginning of the 1900's. Topics are often 'small town' United States, and Peck's gentle sarcasm or portrayals much resembles that of Twain. Listeners must be aware that the Spanish American War was a recent event, leading to the "Yankee" involvement in the Philippines...

By: Georgette Heyer

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer The Black Moth

Jack Carstares, oldest son of the Earl Wyncham, has been disgraced by his brother. Gone for six years, living the life a highwayman he meets the woman he will fall in love with. Saving her from being kidnapped by a dastardly blackguard he is injured and must stay with her family until he is able to return to his life…will she discovery his true identity? Will he be able to leave her when the time comes? Mystery and humor follow this intriguing cast of characters until the very end. (Summary by Terra Mendoza)

By: Gerard Nolst Trenité

The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité The Chaos

“The Chaos” is a poem which demonstrates the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation, written by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), also known under the pseudonym Charivarius. It first appeared in an appendix to the author’s 1920 textbook Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen.

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: Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

Fables for the Frivolous by Guy Wetmore Carryl Fables for the Frivolous

The Urban Rat and the Suburban Rat, The Persevering Tortoise and the Pretentious Hare, The Ambitious Fox and the Unapproachable Grapes.... If some of these titles seem vaguely familiar to you, you wouldn't be mistaken! Fables for the Frivolous by Guy Wetmore Carryl contains some well-known fables in a modern packaging, with a delightful new twist! The complete title of the original published in 1898 was Fables for the Frivolous (With apologies to La Fontaine) and it was the first published work of this gifted American journalist, humorist and poet...

Grimm Tales Made Gay by Guy Wetmore Carryl Grimm Tales Made Gay

A comic rendering in verse of well-loved Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, each ending with a moral and full of puns. The titles of the tales themselves make another verse.

Mother Goose for Grownups by Guy Wetmore Carryl Mother Goose for Grownups

Mother Goose for Grownups is a delightfully silly collection of parodies on well-known Mother Goose tales by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

By: H. C. (Harry Charles) Witwer (1890-1929)

Book cover Alex the Great
Book cover Kid Scanlan

By: H. G. Wells

The Wheels of Chance by H. G. Wells The Wheels of Chance

“The Wheels of Chance – A Bicycling Idyll” follows the adventures of a Drapers Assistant who, having brought an ancient bicycle, sets off on a 2 week tour of the countryside. He encounters a Lady in Grey wearing rationals (bloomers). And his world will never be the same again

Book cover Love and Mr Lewisham

The teaching profession, science and politics in late 19th century England. H.G.Wells’ humorous early novel, drawing on his own life, shows how these – as well as involvement in spiritualism – have to compete with love.

Book cover Sea Lady
Book cover Food of the Gods, and How It Came to Earth (version 2)

Mr. Bensington and Professor Redwood have invented a substance that causes living things to grow - and grow - and grow! As their experiments progress, the substance quickly gets out of control and the fun begins as insects and plants receive the benefit of the Food of the Gods. Surely nobody would dream of feeding such a thing to a human child… would they? In this little-known science fiction satire, Wells takes potshots at every member of society: scientists, ministers, charitable heiresses, revolutionaries, and everyone in between. Yet in the end, Wells shows his faith both in humanity and its never-ceasing progress. - Summary by Catharine Eastman

Book cover Bealby; A Holiday

Bealby is the comical story of the escapade of a thirteen-year-old boy when he rebels against his placement as a steward's-room boy in the great house of an estate named Shonts and flees—not, however, before thoroughly upsetting a weekend party where the nouveau riche couple renting Shonts is entertaining the Lord Chancellor. - Summary by Wikipedia


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