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By: Lao Tzu

Book cover Laotzu's Tao and Wu Wei

The classic of the Way and of High Virtue is the Tao Teh Ching. Its author is generally held as a contemporary of Confucius, Lao Tzu, or Laozi. The exact date of the book’s origin is disputed. The book is divided into two parts, the Upper Part and the Lower Part. The Upper Part consists of chapters 1-37, and each chapter begins with the word “Tao,” or the Way. The Lower Part consists of chapters 38-81, and each chapter begins with the words “Shang Teh,” or High Virtue. This 1919 edition names the Lower Part as the Wu Wei, or translated variously as “not doing,” “non-ado,” or “non-assertion...

By: George L. Apperson (1857-1937)

The Social History of Smoking by George L. Apperson The Social History of Smoking

This work tells the history of smoking in England from the social point of view. Thus it does not deal with the history of tobacco growing or tobacco related manufacture, but is rather the story of how smoking has fitted in with the fashions and customs throughout the ages, and the changes in the attitude of society towards smoking.

By: St. Ignatius of Antioch

The Epistles of Ignatius by St. Ignatius of Antioch The Epistles of Ignatius

Ignatius of Antioch penned these letters to churches (Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, and Smyrnaeans) and Polycarp on his way to martyrdom. Ignatius was an apologist for the Episcopal style of church government (as opposed to sole rule by a council of presbyters) which developed in the late first or early second century. Eager to die in imitation of his Savior, it was Ignatius who wrote this to the Roman church: “I am God’s wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread [of Christ].”

By: David Barrows

A History of the Philippines by David Barrows A History of the Philippines

This book is one of the earliest studies of Philippine history by an American scholar. In preparation for this book, the author conducted ethnological studies of indiginous island tribes after the American war in the Philippines. Since this book was intended for the Philippine reader, the author nicely places the history of the Islands into the broader context of European and American history.

By: Anna Harriette Leonowens

The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens The English Governess at the Siamese Court

1862 Anna Leonowens accepted an offer made by the Siamese consul in Singapore, Tan Kim Ching, to teach the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. The king wished to give his 39 wives and concubines and 82 children a modern Western education on scientific secular lines, which earlier missionaries’ wives had not provided. Leonowens sent her daughter Avis to school in England, and took her son Louis with her to Bangkok. She succeeded Dan Beach Bradley, an American missionary, as teacher to the Siamese court...

By: Eliza P. Donner Houghton (1843-1922)

The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate by Eliza P. Donner Houghton The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate

The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the “westering fever” of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the Donner Party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode. The author was about 4 at the time. The first part of the book accounts the tragic journey and rescue attempts; the last half are reminiscences of the child orphan, passed from family to family while growing up.

By: Anonymous, attributed to Kathleen Luard (c.1872)

Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914-1915 by Anonymous, attributed to Kathleen Luard Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914-1915

The title is, I think, self explanatory. The nurse in question went out to France at the beginning of the war and remained there until May 1915 after the second battle of Ypres when she went back to a Base Hospital and the diary ceases. Although written in diary form, it is clearly taken from letters home and gives a vivid if sometimes distressing picture of the state of the casualties occasioned during that period. After a time at the General Hospital in Le Havre she became one of the three or four sisters working on the ambulance trains which fetched the wounded from the Clearing Hospitals close to the front line and took them back to the General Hospitals in Boulogne, Rouen and Le Havre.

By: Shaykh Hasan

Persian Self-Taught (in Roman Characters) with English Phonetic Pronunciation by Shaykh Hasan Persian Self-Taught (in Roman Characters) with English Phonetic Pronunciation

This volume is primarily intended to supply a working and practical knowledge of the Persian language, for the benefit of those who have not the time or the inclination to master the grammar, and yet require to use the spoken tongue for purposes of business or pleasure. With this object in view it supplies many vocabularies of words carefully selected to suit the needs of those holding communication with Persia and the Persians, classified according to subject, and a large number of colloquial phrases...

By: Dorothy Quigley

What Dress Makes of Us by Dorothy Quigley What Dress Makes of Us

A wickedly funny book of advice on women’s dress. However old, fat or plain you are, Dorothy Quigley will tell you what not to wear.

By: Edmund Gosse (1849-1928)

Father and Son by Edmund Gosse Father and Son

Father and Son (1907) is a memoir by poet and critic Edmund Gosse, which he subtitled “a study of two temperaments.” The book describes Edmund’s early years in an exceptionally devout Plymouth Brethren home. His mother, who dies early and painfully of breast cancer, is a writer of Christian tracts. His father, Philip Henry Gosse, is an influential, though largely self-taught, invertebrate zoologist and student of marine biology who, after his wife’s death, takes Edmund to live in Devon...

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: Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon The Treasury of David

Charles Spurgeon was a British Particular Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the "Prince of Preachers". In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times each week at different places. He was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years.Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works. This is the first volume of Spurgeon’s commentary on the Psalms, covering Psalms 1 to 26.

By: Paul Lacroix (1806-1884)

Manners, Customs and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period by Paul Lacroix Manners, Customs and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period

A comprehensive and detailed account of medieval life and culture in France, with reference to other parts of Europe, including chapters on private life, food, hunting, games and pastimes, costume, privileges and rights, justice, commerce, finance, and punishments. The online text of the book has over 400 illustrations. Warning: Sections 27 and 28, Punishments, may be disturbing to those of a sensitive disposition.

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: Thornton Chase

The Bahai Revelation by Thornton Chase The Bahai Revelation

Thornton Chase (1847 – 1912) is commonly recognized as the first convert to the Bahá’í Faith of Occidental background. During his life he organized many Bahá’í activities in Chicago and Los Angeles and was considered a prominent Bahá’í. In 1894, Chase met Ibrahim Kheiralla, a Bahá’í from Beirut who had recently come to the United States. Chase and a small group of Chicagoans began to study the Bahá’í Faith with him. By 1895 he had completed the class and become a Bahá’í...

In Galilee by Thornton Chase In Galilee

Thornton Chase (1847 – 1912) is commonly recognized as the first convert to the Bahá’í Faith of Occidental background. During his life he organized many Bahá’í activities in Chicago and Los Angeles and was considered a prominent Bahá’í. In 1907 Chase was able to go on pilgrimage. Though Chase was able to be with `Abdu’l Bahá in Akka for only three days, the experience transformed him. `Abdu’l Bahá, highly impressed by Chase’s qualities, conferred on him the title Thábit, “steadfast...

By: Asser, Bishop of Sherborne

Life of Alfred the Great by Asser, Bishop of Sherborne Life of Alfred the Great

A life of King Alfred of England originally composed in Latin, possibly sometime around 888 A.D. by the Monk and Bishop Asser, although some scholars contend that the work was actually composed much later by an unknown hand.

By: Unknown;

The Didache by Unknown; The Didache

The Didache is the common name of a brief early Christian treatise (dated by most scholars to the late first or early second century), containing instructions for Christian communities. The text, parts of which may have constituted the first written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian lessons, rituals such as baptism and eucharist, and Church organization. It was considered by some of the Church Fathers as part of the New Testament but rejected as spurious or non-canonical by others, eventually not accepted into the New Testament canon with the exception of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church “broader canon...

By: Victor Appleton

Book cover Tom Swift and His Sky Racer

A $10,000 prize lures Tom into competing at a local aviation meet at Eagle Park. Tom is determined to build the fastest plane around, but his plans mysteriously disappear, which means Tom must redesign his new airplane from the beginning.

By: Notker the Stammerer

The Life of Charlemagne (Notker) by Notker the Stammerer The Life of Charlemagne (Notker)

Notker’s work consists of anecdotes relating chiefly to the Emperor Charlemagne and his family. It was written for Charles the Fat, great-grandson of Charlemagne, who visited Saint Gall in 883. It has been scorned by traditional historians, who refer to the Monk as one who “took pleasure in amusing anecdotes and witty tales, but who was ill-informed about the true march of historical events”. However, several of the Monk’s tales, such as that of the nine rings of the Avar stronghold, have been used in modern biographies of Charlemagne.

By: Chalkley J. Hambleton

A Gold Hunter's Experience by Chalkley J. Hambleton A Gold Hunter's Experience

“Early in the summer of 1860, I had an attack of gold fever. In Chicago, the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue.” Thus Chalkley J. Hambleton begins his pithy and engrossing tale of participation in the Pike’s Peak gold rush. Four men in partnership hauled 24 tons of mining equipment by ox cart across the Great Plains from St...

By: Havelock Ellis (1859-1939)

Book cover Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume One

The first of six volumes, this volume covers in extensive detail the topics of "The Evolution of Modesty", "The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity", and "Auto-Eroticism". Written as an anthropological and psychological study from the point of view of Havelock, the famous British sexologist of the late 19th century, who was also a physician and social reformer.

By: Fabian Franklin

What Prohibition Has Done to America by Fabian Franklin What Prohibition Has Done to America

In What Prohibition Has Done to America, Fabian Franklin presents a concise but forceful argument against the Eighteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Beginning in 1920, this Amendment prohibited the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages in the United States, until it was repealed in 1933. Franklin contends that the Amendment “is not only a crime against the Constitution of the United States, and not only a crime against the whole spirit of our Federal system, but a crime against the first principles of rational government...

By: Irenaeus

Book cover Against Heresies

St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, describes several schools of Gnosticism which were prevalent among pre-Nicene Christianity. He then refutes these beliefs as heresies by contrasting them with what he describes as catholic, orthodox Christianity. Against Heresies demonstrates that earliest Christianity was a fascinating and diverse plethora of beliefs, debates, and schisms.

By: Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)

The People's Idea of God by Mary Baker Eddy The People's Idea of God

“The improved theory and practice of religion and of medicine are mainly due to the people’s improved views of the Supreme Being.” (from The People’s Idea of God)

By: Lilli Lehmann (1848-1929)

How to Sing (Meine Gesangskunst) by Lilli Lehmann How to Sing (Meine Gesangskunst)

Lilli Lehmann, born Elisabeth Maria Lehmann, was a German operatic soprano of phenomenal versatility. She was also a voice teacher.She wrote: "Every serious artist has a sincere desire to help others reach the goal—the goal toward which all singers are striving: to sing well and beautifully." This is the 1915 second (expanded) edition of her book and includes many illustrations and diagrams, both physiological and musical, which the listener will find useful.Much of Lilli Lehmann's advice is complex and demanding - the standards which she set for herself were beyond the highest aspirations of most professional singers...

By: James E. Talmage

The Story of Mormonism by James E. Talmage The Story of Mormonism

A few years before James E. Talmage was called to serve as an apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the "Mormon" church), he gave a series of lectures at universities such as the University of Michigan and Cornell, describing the history of the Church. These lectures were later compiled and published as 'The Story of "Mormonism."' It is a concise, yet informative summary for all interested in learning the history and beliefs of the "Mormon" church. (Summary by Nathan Markham)

Book cover The Great Apostasy: Considered in the Light of Scriptural and Secular History

Elder James E. Talmage, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, makes a survey of the Latter-day Saint view of the Great Apostasy. The book's subtitle states that it is a study "considered in the in the light of scriptural and secular history," and includes a discussion of the establishment of Christ's church in the meridian of time, the predictions and causes of its apostasy, or falling away, and the restoration of Christ's church in the Latter-days by a modern prophet.

By: Ferdinand Ossendowski (1876-1945)

Beasts, Men and Gods by Ferdinand Ossendowski Beasts, Men and Gods

“Beasts, Men and Gods” is an account of an epic journey, filled with perils and narrow escapes, in the mold of “The Lord of the Rings.”The difference is: it’s all true.Ferdinand Ossendowski was a Pole who found himself in Siberia and on the losing side during the Bolshevik Revolution. To escape being rounded up and shot, he set out with a friend to reach the Pacific, there to take ship back to Europe. During his journey he fell in with dozens of other military men who shared the same objective… but nearly every one of them perished on the way...

By: Henry Ford

My Life and Work by Henry Ford My Life and Work

Henry Ford profiles the events that shaped his personal philosophy, and the challenges he overcame on the road to founding the Ford Motor Company. Throughout his memoir, he stresses the importance of tangible service and physical production over relative value as judged by profits and money. He measures the worth of a business or government by the service it provides to all, not the profits in dollars it accumulates. He also makes the point that only service can provide for human needs, as opposed to laws or rules which can only prohibit specific actions and do not provide for the necessaries of life...

By: Ida Coe and Alice Christie (1876-?)

Story Hour Readers: Third Year by Ida Coe and Alice Christie Story Hour Readers: Third Year

Short and sweet stories for children from the 19th century. The stories were compiled by two New York City teachers and were thought appropriate for third year children at that time.

By: Kate Percival

The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware by Kate Percival The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware

This surprisingly explicit sample of Victorian erotica follows the sexual awakening and subsequent adventures of its author, Kate Percival, the "belle of the Delaware." Content warning: this one is definitely NC-17 rated.


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