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By: Henry van Dyke (1852-1933)

Book cover Blue Flower

"Sometimes short stories are brought together like parcels in a basket. Sometimes they grow together like blossoms on a bush. Then, of course, they really belong to one another, because they have the same life in them. ...There is such a thought in this book. It is the idea of the search for inward happiness, which all men who are really alive are following, along what various paths, and with what different fortunes! Glimpses of this idea, traces of this search, I thought that I could see in certain tales that were in my mind,—tales of times old and new, of lands near and far away...

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov The Tales of Chekhov

This is the first of thirteen volumes of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, translated by Constance Garnett. Anton Chekhov was a Russian doctor who turned to fiction as a hobby, and quickly blossomed into one of the masters of the short story genre. Though he is arguably best known for his dramatic works, such as The Cherry Orchard, his stories are widely considered to be some of the most perfect examples of short fiction ever written. Constance Black Garnett was an English housewife who taught herself Russian as a hobby, and subsequently introduced the English-speaking world to some of the greatest Russian authors, including Chekhov and Dostoevsky...

By: Gelett Burgess

The Goop Directory by Gelett Burgess The Goop Directory

A funny collection of poems about bad children.

By: Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson Winesburg, Ohio

Anderson’s uniquely structured piece focuses on the lives of Winesburg’s most intriguing residents, as each shares a personal recount of their lives and experiences in the small town. The stories essentially intertwine to illustrate the development of George Willard, as he transforms from a heedless young man, to a man well aware of life’s trials and the extent of human misery. Exploring various themes including isolation, communication, limitation, and suffering, Winesburg, Ohio offers a glimpse into its characters heartfelt confessions...

By: Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)

Book cover Four Weird Tales

Four stories: The Insanity of Jones, The Man Who Found Out, The Glamour of the Snow, and Sand. Tales by one the greatest practitioners of supernatural literature. Reincarnation, the Occult, and mystery.

By: Susan Coolidge (1835-1905)

Not Quite Eighteen by Susan Coolidge Not Quite Eighteen

Not Quite Eighteen is a delightful collection of children’s stories that range from moral to whimsical. From unfinished fairy tales and daydreams about a pony who kept shop to a lesson on presence of mind, these anecdotes will entertain as well as improve the mind. (

By: Philip K. Dick (1928-1982)

The Crystal Crypt & Beyond the Door by Philip K. Dick The Crystal Crypt & Beyond the Door

Two early science fiction stories by the wonderful craftsman, Philip K. Dick. In the Crystal Crypt, taken from the 1954 Planet Stories, the war between Mars and Terra is about to erupt and earth has only merchants and salesmen to fight; can they carry out their mission? Beyond the Door is a story that asks and answers the question: what lives beyond the door? And is it dangerous?

Book cover Beyond Lies the Wub & The Skull

Two stories in the inimitable Philip Dick style. What is a Wub? A 400 pound slovenly, fat, ungainly, drooling animal that looks like a cross between a walrus and an enormous hog? Well, yes that is pretty much what he looks like and for 50 cents, a good bargain no matter how he tastes. The hungry spaceship crew expect to find out. Of course the Wub may not entirely agree but it doesn't have much to say about it. The second story, The Skull, is a skilful mesh of time travel, unscrupulous governments, prisoners, and religion. With an assassin thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

By: Émile Zola (1840-1902)

The Flood, trans. by an unknown translator by Émile Zola The Flood, trans. by an unknown translator

A well-to-do French farm family is destroyed by a flood. The story, thrilling to the very end, is told from the point of view of the family’s 70-year-old patriarch. The story speaks of the helplessness of mankind in the face of the forces of nature.

By: Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894)

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: 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.

By: Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassant Boule de Suif

Boule de Suif (1880) is a short story by the late-19th century French writer Guy de Maupassant. It is arguably his most famous short story, and is the title story for his collection on the Franco-Prussian War, entitled "Boule de Suif et Autres Contes de la Guerre" ("Boule de Suif and Other Stories of the War"). John Ford said that his film Stagecoach was in many ways a western rewrite of Boule de Suif.

By: Keith Laumer (1925-1993)

Book cover Gambler's World & The Yillian Way

Here are two stores starring the always unconventional Terrestrial Diplomat, Retief. As a diplomat, Retief does not always follow procedure. Well the truth is that he almost never follows procedure but somehow his wit and strength manage to salvage most situations from the bumbling of his superiors. His sardonic approach to inter galactic negotiations in these two stories is a delight to hear. Despite everything, he manages to save the day and come out on top.

By: Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916)

Book cover Indian Fairy Tales

This book is a fine collection of Indian fairy tales, some are folklore, some are from the Jataka tales, and some from panchatantra.

By: John Ruskin

Book cover The King of the Golden River

When three brothers mortally offend Mr. Southwest Wind, Esquire, their farm is laid waste and their riches lost. Desperate for money, the brothers become goldsmiths and melt down their remaining treasures . . . only to find that the spirit of the King of the Golden River resides with a molded tankard, and knows the secret of the riches of the Golden River. (Introduction by Xenutia)

By: Edna Ferber (1865-1968)

Book cover Buttered Side Down

"And so," the story writers used to say, "they lived happily ever after." Um-m-m—maybe. After the glamour had worn off, and the glass slippers were worn out, did the Prince never find Cinderella's manner redolent of the kitchen hearth; and was it never necessary that he remind her to be more careful of her finger-nails and grammar? After Puss in Boots had won wealth and a wife for his young master did not that gentleman often fume with chagrin because the neighbors, perhaps, refused to call on the lady of the former poor miller's son? It is a great risk to take with one's book-children...

Emma McChesney and Company by Edna Ferber Emma McChesney and Company

This is the final volume in the trilogy following the smart, stylish, divorced and independent businesswoman Emma McChesney in her career from stenographer, then drummer (traveling salesman) to owner of her own company. (The first was Roast Beef, Medium and the second Personality Plus). Edna Ferber first gained success with these stories and later went on to write Show Boat, Giant and other well known books. First published in 1915, Emma's son, Jock, has moved to Chicago with his new wife. Emma decides to sell in South America and proves she has not lost her magic touch...

By: Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940)

Invisible Links by Selma Lagerlöf Invisible Links

Selma Lagerlöf was born in Vaermland, Sweden, in 1858 and enjoyed a long and very successful career as a writer, receiving the Nobel-Price in Literature in 1909. She died in Vaermland in 1940. Invisible Links (Osynliga länkar) is a collection of short stories with an underlying theme about the links that influence and guide people’s actions and lives. It was first published in 1894 and the English translation in 1895. The stories are often set in Lagerlöf’s Vaermland, but they also depict legends and history of Sweden, and some have connections to other works by Lagerlöf. Invisible Links is a good introduction to the writings of Selma Lagerlöf.

By: Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)

Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder) by Sholem Aleichem Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder)

Although written from a child’s perspective, this is not a kids book but a series of funny, poignant, and sometimes disturbing stories about life in a late 19th-century Russian-Jewish village — the world of my grandparents. Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916) was born in Pereiaslav, Ukraine and later immigrated to New York. His short stories about Tevye and his daughters were freely adapted into the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Rabinovich’s will contained the following injunction: “Let my name be recalled with laughter or not at all.” His translator, Hannah Berman, was Irish of Lithuanian descent.Some of these stories may be too intense for younger children.

By: William Dean Howells

Book cover Christmas Every Day and Other Stories Told for Children

Five short delightful stories for children, told in the voice of "the papa" to "the girl" and "the boy." William Dean Howells (March 1, 1837 – May 11, 1920) was an American realist author and literary critic. Nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters", he was particularly known for his tenure as editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novel The Rise of Silas Lapham. (Reader’s Note for story 3: A pony engine is a small locomotive for switching cars from one track to another.)

By: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg Rootabaga Stories

Carl Sandburg is beloved by generations of children for his Rootabaga Stories and Rootabaga Pigeons (which is not in the public domain), a series of whimsical, sometimes melancholy stories he originally created for his own daughters. The Rootabaga Stories were born of Sandburg’s desire for “American fairy tales” to match American childhood. He felt that the European stories involving royalty and knights were inappropriate, and so populated his stories with animals, skyscrapers, trains, corn fairies, and other colorful characters.

By: Ernest Bramah (1868-1942)

Four Max Carrados Detective Stories by Ernest Bramah Four Max Carrados Detective Stories

Ernest Bramah is mainly known for his ‘Kai Lung’ books – Dorothy L Sayers often used quotes from them for her chapter headings. In his lifetime however he was equally well known for his detective stories. Since Sherlock Holmes we have had French detectives, Belgian detectives, aristocratic detectives, royal detectives, ecclesiastical detectives, drunken detectives and even a (very) few quite normal happily married detectives. Max Carrados was however probably the first blind detective.

By: Bret Harte (1837-1902)

Selected Stories by Bret Harte Selected Stories

Bret Harte (1837–1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.

Book cover Mrs. Skagg's Husbands and Other Stories

A collection of short stories set in the American West at the end of the 19th century.

By: Robert Barr (1849-1912)

Book cover In a Steamer Chair and Other Stories

Thirteen short stories by one of the most famous writers in his day. Robert Barr was a British Canadian short story writer and novelist, born in Glasgow, Scotland. In London of the 1890s Barr became a more prolific author - publishing a book a year - and was familiar with many of the best selling authors of his day, including Bret Harte and Stephen Crane. Most of his literary output was of the crime genre, then quite in vogue. When Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories were becoming well known,...

By: Lucy Clifford (1846-1929)

Anyhow Stories: Moral and Otherwise by Lucy Clifford Anyhow Stories: Moral and Otherwise

A collection of stories and poems for children by British novelist, journalist, and playwright Lucy Lane Clifford, better known during her lifetime as Mrs W.K. Clifford. She was famous with her mathematician husband for Sunday salons which attracted both scientists and literati. She was born in 1846 and died in 1929. Summary by Val Grimm

By: W. Somerset Maugham (1847-1965)

Rain by W. Somerset Maugham Rain

Rain charts the moral disintegration of a missionary attempting to convert a Pacific island prostitute named Sadie Thompson. (Introduction by an excerpt from Wikipedia)

By: Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), and Andrew Lang (1844-1912) (1785-1863)

Personal Collection of Short Tales  compiled by Carmie by Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), and Andrew Lang (1844-1912) Personal Collection of Short Tales compiled by Carmie

This is a selection of the fairy tales (in English) written by Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm in the early 19th Century. These stories are fantastical and although aimed squarely at the flexible mind of a child which can assimilate much stranger concepts than an adult they are quite dark and occasionally brutal. The stakes can be quite high as in Rumpelstiltskin where a terrible bargain is made without due regard to possible future consequences and Tom Thumb who seems forever about to be imprisoned or sliced in two...

By: Sarah Cory Rippey

The Goody-Naughty Book by Sarah Cory Rippey The Goody-Naughty Book

The Goody-Naughty Book was originally published as two books back to back. Opening the book from one end, the reader experiences “The Goody Side” where the children are polite and thoughtful. However, turning the book over and beginning from the other side, one reads “The Naughty Side” where the children are lazy and irritable. These short, moral stories teach children the proper way to behave and that there are consequences if they don’t.

By: Eva March Tappan (1854-1930)

Makers of Many Things by Eva March Tappan Makers of Many Things

How are friction matches made? How do rags and trees become paper? Who makes the dishes on our tables? Published in 1916, this children's book explains the origins of everyday items in an entertaining and informative way. There are plenty of illustrations, so please feel free to read along.

By: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Book cover Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid" (Danish: Den lille havfrue, literally: "the little sea lady") is a very well known fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. The tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media including musical theatre and animated film. But this tale is not the Disney version, all cleaned up and made pretty. This is the way Andersen wrote it...


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