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By: Phaedrus (c. 15 BC - c. AD 50)

The Fables of Phaedrus by Phaedrus The Fables of Phaedrus

The fable is a small narrative, in prose or verse, which has as its main characteristic the aim of conveying a moral lesson (the “moral”), implicitly or, more normally, explicitly expressed. Even though the modern concept of fable is that it should have animals or inanimated objects as characters – an idea supported by the works of famous fabulists such as Aesop and La Fontaine – Phaedrus, the most important Latin fabulist, is innovative in his writing. Although many of his fables do depict animals or objects assuming speech, he also has many short stories about men, writing narratives that seem to the modern eye more like short tales than fables...

By: James Baikie

Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Egypt by James Baikie Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Egypt

Written primarily for children, James Baikie’s ‘peep’ at ancient Egypt is a really well done, historical account of the ways of that fascinating land so many years ago. It has stood well the test of time, being both well researched and well written. It’s a fun book for everyone, and families especially will enjoy listening together.

By: Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907)

The Stillwater Tragedy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich The Stillwater Tragedy

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was an American poet, novelist and editor. Of his many books of poetry and fiction, he may be best known for his semi-autobiographical novel, The Story of a Bad Boy and his collection of short stories, Majorie Daw and Other People. The Stillwater Tragedy which was published in 1880 is set in a small New England manufacturing town whose tranquility is disturbed first by the murder of one of its prominent citizens followed soon thereafter by a general strike of all the trades-unions. As the story develops, Richard Shackford, the murdered man’s nephew, finds himself inextricably caught up in both these events.

The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich The Story of a Bad Boy

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a child when his father moved to New Orleans from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After 10 years, Aldrich was sent back to Portsmouth to prepare for college. This period of his life is partly described in his semi-autobiographical novel The Story of a Bad Boy (1870), in which "Tom Bailey" is the juvenile hero. Critics have said that this novel contains the first realistic depiction of childhood in American fiction and prepared the ground for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Aldrich went on to associate with many of the literati of his time in New York City, and was editor of the Atlantic Monthly in the 1880's...

By: Xenophon

Xenophon's Anabasis by Xenophon Xenophon's Anabasis

Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans, and was exiled from Athens. Sparta gave him land and property in Scillus, where he lived for many years before having to move once more, to settle in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C. “Anabasis” is a Greek work which meane “journey from the coast to the center of a country.” This is Xenophon’s account of his march to Persia with a troop of Greek mercenaries to aid Cyrus, who enlisted Greek help to try and take the throne from his brother Artaxerxes, and the ensuing return of the Greeks, in which Xenophon played a leading role...

By: Ernest Thompson Seton

The Biography of a Grizzly by Ernest Thompson Seton The Biography of a Grizzly

I first read this little book when I was in the fifth grade, and now more than fifty years later, I still find it fascinating. Ernest Thompson Seton was a man with a concern for nature her creatures and an excellent story teller. I could almost feel Wahb, the great grizzly’s pain and frustration as he tried to avoid contact with humans and just be left alone to carry out his bear business. Listening to this audio book will be an hour and a half well spent.Summary by Mike Vendetti, Narrator.

Book cover Wild Animals I Have Known

Wild Animals I Have Known is an 1898 book by naturalist and author Ernest Thompson Seton. The first entry in a new genre of realistic wild-animal fiction, Seton's first collection of short stories quickly became one of the most popular books of its day. "Lobo the King of Currumpaw", the first story in the collection, was based upon Seton's experience hunting wolves in the southwestern United States. It became a classic, setting the tone for his future works that would similarly depict animals—especially predators who were often demonized in literature—as compassionate, individualistic beings.

By: Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

In Ghostly Japan by Lafcadio Hearn In Ghostly Japan

This collection of 14 stories collected by Lafcadio Hearn, contains Japanese ghost stories, but also several non-fiction pieces. Hearn tries to give a glimpse into the customs of the Japanese, by giving examples of Buddhist Proverbs and explaining the use of incense and the nation wide fascination with poetry. Furthermore, he has again translated several hair-rising ghost stories, like "A Passional Karma" about the truly undying love of a young couple.

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Most of the following Kwaidan, or Weird Tales, have been taken from old Japanese books,— such as the Yaso-Kidan, Bukkyo-Hyakkwa-Zensho, Kokon-Chomonshu, Tama-Sudare, and Hyaku-Monogatari. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin: the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuke," for example, is certainly from a Chinese source. But the story-teller, in every case, has so recolored and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it… One queer tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chofu, Nishitama-gori, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native village...

Kottō : being Japanese curios, with sundry cobwebs by Lafcadio Hearn Kottō : being Japanese curios, with sundry cobwebs

Kottō contains 20 Japanese stories, collected from different sources and translated by Lafcadio Hearn. The types of stories in this collection are widespread: There are old ghost stories Hearn is best known for (The Legend of Yurei-Daki), his own observations and musings (Pathological), as well as the translation of 'A Woman's Diary', a touching account of the life of the poorer classes in Tokyo, written at the end of the 19th century.

Book cover Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life

In an introductory paragraph, Lafcadio Hearn declares his intention: "The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affection; and inner meaning, just as we say in English, "the heart of things."" The result is a highly eclectic collection of stories, diary...

Book cover Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation

Greece-born Lafcadio Hearn (1850 - 1904) spent decades of his life in Japan, even marrying a Japanese woman, thus becoming a Japanese citizen by the name of Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲). He wrote many books on Japan, especially about its folklore. In this posthumously published book, he takes a closer look at Japan's religious history: How it developed from ancient beliefs into Shintoism, resisted suppression attempts by both Buddhism and Christianity and how – despite efforts to westernise Japan during the era known as Meiji Restoration – it remained the basis for Japanese society...

By: Harry Bates, Editor

Astounding Stories of Super-Science, September 1930 by Harry Bates, Editor Astounding Stories of Super-Science, September 1930

This is a collection of short science fiction stories by various writers, circa 1930. Writers include Paul Ernst, Miles Breuer, Ray Cummings, Sewell Wright, and others.

By: Chretien de Troyes (fl. 12th cent. C.E.)

Yvain, or the Knight with the Lion by Chretien de Troyes Yvain, or the Knight with the Lion

Yvain, the Knight of the Lion is a romance by Chrétien de Troyes. It was probably written in the 1170s simultaneously with Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, and includes several references to the action in that poem. In the poem, Yvain seeks to avenge his cousin Calogrenant who had been defeated by an otherworldly knight beside a magical storm-making fountain in the forest of Broceliande.

Erec and Enide by Chretien de Troyes Erec and Enide

A medieval romance in which Erec goes through many trials until he is sure of Enide’s loyalty and true love

By: Richard Marsh

The Beetle by Richard Marsh The Beetle

A story about a mysterious oriental figure who pursues a British politician to London, where he wreaks havoc with his powers of hypnosis and shape-shifting, Marsh’s novel is of a piece with other sensational turn-of-the-century fictions such as Stoker’s Dracula, George du Maurier’s Trilby, and Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu novels. Like Dracula and many of the sensation novels pioneered by Wilkie Collins and others in the 1860s, The Beetle is narrated from the perspectives of multiple characters,...

By: Charles Miner Thompson (1864-1941)

The Calico Cat by Charles Miner Thompson The Calico Cat

The consequences of letting your irritation get the better of you are humorously portrayed in this story of a self-important man who fires a shotgun at an annoying cat on his fence.. and hits a man skulking in the bushes. What did the cat do to enrage him? Why was the man in the bushes? And how can the whole matter be covered up and done away with before the neighbors start gossiping?

By: British Parliament

The Riot Act by British Parliament The Riot Act

The Riot Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1714, the first year of the reign of George I, and came into effect in August 1715. This was a time of widespread social disturbance, as the preamble describes; the Act sought to put an end to this. A group of twelve or more people, “being unlawfully, riotously and tumultuously assembled”, would be read a proclamation; they must disperse within an hour, on pain of death. The same fate would befall anyone preventing the reading of the proclamation, or damaging buildings while on a riot...

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

Swan Song by Anton Chekhov Swan Song

In 'The Swan Song' an aging actor reminisces about his life and the parts he's played. The piece takes a tragic look at ambition and the sacrifices that must be made in order to succeed. Chekhov’s ability to capture and explore human nature and experience is showcased here.

Book cover Lady With the Dog and Other Stories

Anton Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov practiced as a doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress." Chekhov had at first written stories only for financial gain, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story...

Book cover House With The Mezzanine And Other Stories

Six short stories and a novella by the Russian master. (david wales)

Book cover Ward No. 6

The line between sanity and insanity is blurred in this classic novella by Anton Chekhov. The disillusioned idealist Dr. Rabin is in charge of a provincial lunatic asylum, overseeing with weary, dubious policies a motley group of patients, a group that mirrors in microcosm all of human and especially Russian society. Seeking answers to profound questions, Dr. Rabin enters into dialogues with both staff members and patients, trying to make sense out of what has become of his life, until it becomes less and less clear who is the doctor and who is the patient...

Book cover Kashtanka

"Kashtanka," a shaggy-dog story penned by Anton Chekhov in seven parts and first published in 1887, relates the experiences of its eponymous heroine, a fox-faced, reddish dachshund-mix, whose name means 'little chestnut.' After her detestation of music causes her to become separated from the carpenter with whose family she had been living, Kashtanka finds herself taken up by an unusual vaudevillian and goes to live among an assortment of other intelligent animals, each of whom is observed with the characteristic empathy and humor that stamp Chekhov's work.

Book cover Ivanov

Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.

Book cover Schoolmaster and Other Stories

Anton Chekhov, perhaps better known as a world famous classical playwright for works such as "Uncle Vanya" and "The Cherry Orchard" was also a prolific short story writer. "The Schoolmaster and Other Stories" is one of several of his collections. It's a compilation of 30 short stories. Some bizarre, some comical but all very interesting.

By: Harold W. Fairbanks (1860-1952)

The Western United States: A Geographical Reader by Harold W. Fairbanks The Western United States: A Geographical Reader

“In preparation of this book the author has had in mind the needs of the upper grammar grades. The subject matter has not been selected with the object of covering the field of Western geography in a systematic manner, but instead the attempt has been made to picture as graphically as may be some of its more striking and interesting physical features, and the influence which these features have exerted upon its discovery and settlement.” (from the Preface of The Western United States)

By: United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives by United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives

This is a concise yet thorough explanation of what might happen to our world in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The myriad of potential effects will be global and wide-spread, and the potentials are glazed over in this short work.

By: Carlton McCarthy (1847-1936)

Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 by Carlton McCarthy Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865

The author, who fought as a private in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, describes the Confederate soldier’s daily struggles with hunger, illness, fear, and the perils of combat; as well as his pride of service, love of comrades, and courage in the face of overwhelming odds

By: Abbie Farwell Brown

The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown The Christmas Angel

Disagreeable old Miss Terry spends her Christmas Eve getting rid of toys from her childhood toy box. One by one she tosses them onto the sidewalk in front of her house, then secretly watches the little scenes that occur, which seem to confirm her belief that true Christmas spirit does not exist. Then the Angel from her childhood Christmas tree appears to show Miss Terry that she has not yet witnessed the final act of each of those little dramas...Living Age magazine in 1910 observed of The Christmas...

Book cover Curious Book of Birds

Now the interesting facts about birds we have always with us. We can find them out for ourselves, which is a very pleasant thing to do, or we can take the word of others, of which there is no lack. But it is the quaint fancies about birds which are in danger of being lost. The long-time fancies which the world's children in all lands have been taught are quite as important as the every-day facts. They show what the little feathered brothers have been to the children of men; how we have come to like some and to dislike others as we do; why the poets have called them by certain nicknames which we ought to know; and why a great many strange things are so, in the minds of childlike people.

By: Octavus Roy Cohen (1891-1959)

Midnight by Octavus Roy Cohen Midnight

The crime seemed to have lost itself in the sleety cold of the December midnight upon which it was committed. The trails were not blind–there were simply no trails. The circumstances baffled explanation–a lone woman entering an empty taxicab; a run to a distant point in the city; the discovery of the woman’s disappearance, and in her stead the sight of the dead body of a prominent society man–that, and the further blind information that the suit-case which the woman had carried was the property of the man whose body was huddled horribly in the taxicab.

By: John L. Cotter (1911-1999)

New Discoveries at Jamestown by John L. Cotter New Discoveries at Jamestown

Chances are, you are reading this because you are aware that Jamestown, Virginia, celebrated its 400th birthday in 2007. It was the first “successful” English settlement in America. Although the colonists eventually moved upriver to be quit of the hard luck and difficult conditions on the small island, they left behind a trove of possessions – used, worn out, or forgotten. Did you ever stop to consider just how many different items you have, need, or use, to live, work, and amuse yourself? Chances are that you would seriously underestimate! But once you put such a list together, another person could tell quite a story about the life you lead...


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