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By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain Life on the Mississippi

A river memoir documenting Twain’s early days as an apprentice steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. Reminiscing about his happy experiences as a young man under the instruction of an experienced mentor, the autobiographical tale depicts one of the most vivid illustrations of river life. Furthermore, the book captures the author’s nostalgic emotions through his resonant depiction of one of the most notable periods of his life. Twain begins his memoir with a rich historical account of the Mississippi River including its exploration by early explorers, its evolution, and its vastness...

By: Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden

One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children's literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911. The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic...

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

The Call of the Wild by Jack London The Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel set during the late 19th century Klondike Gold Rush. The central character is Buck, an Alaskan sled dog who is forced to adjust to the cruel climate in order to survive. If you have even a remote love of dogs then you will fall head over heels in love with this book. In fact, take away the fact that Buck is a dog and the story is the same, a struggle against greed and to live a life of freedom. London spent a year in Yokel researching the book, making it extremely detailed, very simplistic in its descriptions and genuinely heartfelt...

By: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling Just So Stories

Written originally for his own children, Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories have continued to delight generations of youngsters since they were first published in 1902. The thirteen stories collected in this book are meant for very young children, but they engage older kids and adults too with their charming conversational style and simple plot lines. These stories are typical examples of the “origin” story, where children are provided with imaginative rather than practical explanations for the “why” “what” “how” “where” “who” “when” questions of childhood...

By: Johann David Wyss (1743-1818)

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss The Swiss Family Robinson

A beautiful story about survival, the Robinson family shows that one does not have to have the usual comforts of life in order to be comfortable and happy. It is also a story about family relations. The book showcases a family of six that has to start all over without the basic amenities that make life easier in the eyes of society. The idea of being in an island with no human neighbors is daunting to say the least. The family was shipwrecked and everyone else on the ship perished when they deserted the ship...

By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy is a book that has become a classic of Christian apologetics. In the book's preface Chesterton states the purpose is to "attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it." In it, Chesterton presents an original view of the Christian religion. He sees it as the answer to natural human needs, the "answer to a riddle" in his own words, and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the boundaries of human experience.

By: Henry Gray

Anatomy of the Human Body by Henry Gray Anatomy of the Human Body

Henry Gray’s classic anatomy textbook was first published in 1858 and has been in continuous publication ever since, revised and expanded through many successive editions. This recording is of the public-domain 1918 US edition (some information may be outdated).

By: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Walden by Henry David Thoreau Walden

Two years, two months and two days! This is what forms the time line of one man's quest for the simple life and a unique social experiment in complete self reliance and independence. Henry David Thoreau published Walden in 1884. Originally drafted as a series of essays describing a most significant episode in his life, it was finally released in book form with each essay taking on the form of a separate chapter. Thoreau's parents were in financial straights, but rich intellectually and culturally...

Walking by Henry David Thoreau Walking

This was originally a lecture given by Thoreau in 1851 at the Concord lyceum titled “The Wild” . He revised it before his death and it was included as part of the June 1862 edition of Atlantic Monthly. This essay appears, on the surface, to be simply expounding the qualities of Nature and man’s place therein. Through this medium he not only touches those subjects, but with the implications of such a respect for nature, or lack thereof.

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

Nearly 160 years after it was first published, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass continues to inspire, enthrall and educate generations of readers. This collection of poems serves as a vehicle for Whitman's philosophy, ideals, love of nature and mystical musings and it subsequently became one of the corner stones of American literature. Whitman was inspired to write Leaves of Grass based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's clarion call for a truly American poet who would tell of its glories, virtues and vices...

By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

The Adventures of Buster Bear by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Buster Bear

Known to generations of children and their parents as the Bedtime Story Man, Thornton Waldo Burgess wrote nearly two hundred much loved children's books. They were tales that recounted the doings of delightful characters who inhabited the Green Meadow and the Green Forest. Burgess, who was also an ardent conservationist besides being a writer and journalist shared his love of Nature and respect for all beings who share this earth with us. The Adventures of Buster Bear is a fun children's book that helps children understand that animals and the forest deserve respect and it is also a sincere call for responsible conservationism...

The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess The Burgess Animal Book for Children

Peter Rabbit goes to school, with Mother Nature as his teacher. In this zoology book for children, Thornton W. Burgess describes the mammals of North America in the form of an entertaining story, including plenty of detail but omitting long scientific names. There is an emphasis on conservation.

The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess The Burgess Bird Book for Children

The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a zoology book written in the form of a story featuring Peter Rabbit. Peter learns from his friend Jenny Wren all about the birds of North America, and we meet many of them in the Old Orchard, the Green Meadow, and the Green Forest.

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk is another in the long list children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, Jimmy Skunk has encounters with Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, Unc’ Billy Possum and other acquaintances of his in the Green Meadows and Green Forest. Along the way, we learn some of the habits of Jimmy and his friends and we learn little lessons about life such as the importance of always keeping one’s temper, keeping promises and not playing practical jokes. We are also treated to a philosophical discussion by Jimmy Skunk on the advantages of defensive weaponry.

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Paddy Beaver

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver is another in the long list of children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, the industrious and clever Paddy Beaver, a newcomer to the Green Forest, has encounters with Sammy Jay, Jerry Muskrat, Ol’ Man Coyote and other inhabitants of the Green Forest. Along the way, we learn how Paddy builds his dam and his house, and how he stores his food. We also learn little lessons about life, such as the importance of planning before doing, caring for Nature, trusting others, the benefits of working together and how wonderful it is to have a job one can sink one’s teeth into.

Mother West Wind's Children by Thornton W. Burgess Mother West Wind's Children

“You can’t fool old Mother Nature. No, Sir, you can’t fool old Mother Nature, and it’s of no use to try.” The animals of the Green Meadows and Green Forest have little adventures while Grandfather Frog tells stories to Mother West Wind’s children, the Merry Little Breezes.

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1827)

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

If this is your first encounter with Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) you're certainly in for a treat! One of the most delightful examples of Victorian humor, this book by Jerome K Jerome is all the way a fun cruise down the Thames River with some funny characters for company. Three Men in a Boat was originally meant to be a serious piece of travel writing, full of local flavors, legends and folklore about England's mighty river. As it turned out, somewhere along the way, the author Jerome found himself catapulted into a madcap adventure...

By: Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection

Considered to be one of the books that changed the world and how we view ourselves, On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was met with incredulous horror when it was first published in 1859. The revolutionary, almost blasphemous ideas it described were seen as antithetical to the existing ideas of Creation contained in the Bible and other religious texts. It was mocked, reviled and the author was personally subjected to vicious persecution by the establishment and theologians. In the years that followed its publication, the book became the subject of furious intellectual and social debate...

By: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson has come to be regarded as one of the quintessential poets of 19th century America. A very private poet with a very quiet and reclusive life, her poetry was published posthumously and immediately found a wide audience. While she echoed the romantic natural themes of her times, her style was much more free and irregular, causing many to criticize her and editors to “correct” her. In the early 20th century, when poetic style had become much looser, new audiences learned to appreciate her work...

Poems: Series One by Emily Dickinson Poems: Series One

Renowned poet Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) wrote many many poems. This collection, “Poems: Series One”, presents the first installment of the complete poetic works of Miss Emily Dickinson. It is broken into four parts: Life, Love, Nature, and Time and Eternity. The verses of Emily Dickinson belong emphatically to what Emerson long since called “the Poetry of the Portfolio,”–something produced absolutely without the thought of publication, and solely by way of expression of the writer’s own mind. The poetry found here is then entirely honest, and indicative of the authors true feelings.

By: Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Selected Poems by Robert Frost Selected Poems

“Good fences make good neighbors...” If, as a reader, this is one line you do remember, then the poet Robert Frost would have fulfilled his purpose. The highest goal of a poet, he claimed, was to “lodge a few poems where they would be hard to get rid of...” Unforgettable lines and indelible memories are connected with our encounters with America's best-loved and most popular poet. His wonderful pictures of rural life and the deeply philosophical insights they offer remain with us long after many others have faded...

By: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature

“Nature” is a short essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson published anonymously in 1836. It is in this essay that the foundation of transcendentalism is put forth, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. Recent advances in zoology, botany, and geology confirmed Emerson’s intuitions about the intricate relationships of nature at large. The publication of “Nature” is usually taken to be the watershed moment at which transcendentalism became a major cultural movement...

By: Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Book cover Sidelights on Relativity

Sidelights on Relativity contains ETHER AND THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY, an address delivered on May 5th, 1920, in the University of Leyden; and GEOMETRY AND EXPERIENCE, an expanded form of an address to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin on January 27th, 1921. (Intro from Project Gutenberg)

By: Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924)

Michael O'Halloran by Gene Stratton-Porter Michael O'Halloran

The story of a plucky, optimistic newsboy, Michael O’Halloran, who has been orphaned from a young age and asks nothing of the world but to “Be Square!” This is a warm and joyous story of how Michael makes life sunnier for those around him, bringing joy to all who know him.

The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter The Harvester

The Harvester is one of Gene Stratton-Porter’s romantic novels which combine a love of nature, high moral ideals and a good plot. This is the story of a young man who lives in the country side with his dog and other animals and grows herbs to sell to medical drug supply houses. One evening, he has a vision of his Dream Girl and this is the story of his search for her and what happens when he finds her.

Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter Freckles

Freckles is a young man who has been raised since infancy in a Chicago orphanage. His one dream is to find a job, a place to belong and people who accept him despite his youth and the disability of having only one hand. He finds this place in the Limberlost Swamp, as Mr. McLean’s Limberlost guard of precious timber.In the process, he discovers a love for the wilderness and animals he encounters every day on his rounds and a burning desire to learn about all the new birds and plants he sees on his rounds every day...

Moths of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter Moths of the Limberlost

Gene Stratton-Porter was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, specializing in the birds and moths in one of the last of the vanishing wetlands of the lower Great Lakes Basin. The Limberlost and Wildflower Woods of northeastern Indiana were the laboratory and inspiration for her stories, novels, essays, photography, and movies. She was an accomplished author, artist and photographer and is generally considered to be one of the first female authors to promulgate public positions; conserving the Limberlost Swamp in her case...

Book cover Song of the Cardinal

The Song of the Cardinal is about a big male Cardinal who lives in a tree near a farmer and his wife. The Cardinal immediately starts to sing to find himself a mate. Meanwhile the farmer and his wife enjoy watching this boisterous bird and seeing what he does. He does find a mate and through his singing the farmer and his wife's marriage is rejuvenated. It's a happy little parallel love story that will sweep you off your feet!

By: James Oliver Curwood

The Alaskan by James Oliver Curwood The Alaskan

This story opens with a young woman who voyages alone into the wilds of Alaska to escape her tragic past. It then continues on to a young man who passionately protects the pristine environment, people and way of life in this snowbound country. Finally, a greedy profiteer arrives in the narrative whose only aim is to fill his pockets. When these three characters encounter each other on the stark and snowy plains, it's a clash of ideals and the sparks begin to fly. The Alaskan by James Oliver Curwood is one of his very engaging adventure romance conservationist stories and was an instant bestseller, like most of his books, when it was first published in 1923...

The Gold Hunters by James Oliver Curwood The Gold Hunters

In The Gold Hunters we find 3 men in search of a treasure of gold hidden away in the upper reaches of the Canadian wilderness. One, a young white man, another his half breed friend, and the third the wise old Indian sage who communes with the wilderness as only his people have done through the generations. The 3 men know the gold is there, they had found the map which is leading them to it. Yet it seems that the map is leading them to places that don't exist, and each day finds a new adventure and new dangers which they must overcome if they are to achieve their reward. (Introduction by Roger Melin)

By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)

Fast in the Ice by Robert Michael Ballantyne Fast in the Ice

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described. In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

By: John Muir (1838-1914)

The Yosemite by John Muir The Yosemite

Anyone who's ever visited the Yosemite National Park will find this book a treasure trove of descriptions, information and evocations of the fabled beauty of this amazing piece of heaven on earth! The Yosemite by John Muir was published in 1912. Born in Scotland, England, this world-famous conservationist was a multi-talented genius. He was a geologist, naturalist, engineer, writer, botanist and a passionate and prolific writer on the preservation of the natural environment. His family migrated to America when he was just a few years old, the third of eight boisterous children...


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