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By: Murray Leinster (1896-1975)

The Machine that Saved the World by Murray Leinster The Machine that Saved the World

They were broadcasts from nowhere--sinister emanations flooding in from space--smashing any receiver that picked them up. What defense could Earth devise against science such as this? In the far future of 1972, on a secret military installation, Staff Sergeant Bellews is an expert on the latest scientific discovery: a way for ordinary machines like vacuums and lawnmowers to gather experience in their jobs, becoming error free over time. Then the strange broadcasts began to blow up transmitters everywhere. Were they from space? Enemies? the future? He didn't care until they started messin' with his machines. Then he took it personally. (summary from the first chapter and Phil Chenevert)

Book cover The Ambulance Made Two Trips

Big Jake Connors is taking over his town through violence, inimidation and bribery but Detective Sergeant Fitzgerald can only grind his teeth in frustration. The gangsters seem to have everything going their way until the day that a little dry cleaning establishment declines their offer of 'protection' and strange things start to happen. Murray Leinster gives us another wonderful product of 'what if' from his limitless imagination to enjoy in this gem of a story. Listen and smile.

Pariah Planet by Murray Leinster Pariah Planet

When the blue plague appeared on the planet of Dara, fear struck nearby worlds. The fear led to a hate that threatened the lives of millions and endangered the Galactic peace. (Excerpt from the text.)

Murder Madness by Murray Leinster Murder Madness

Murder Madness! Seven Secret Service men had completely disappeared. Another had been found a screaming, homicidal maniac, whose fingers writhed like snakes. So Bell, of the secret "Trade," plunges into South America after The Master--the mighty, unknown octopus of power whose diabolical poison threatens a continent!

Book cover Space Platform

SPACE PLATFORM tells the exciting story of a young man helping to build this first station. With scientific accuracy and imagination Murray Leinster, one of the world's top science-fiction writers, describes the building and launching of the platform. Here is a fast-paced story of sabotage and murder directed against a project more secret and valuable than the atom bomb!

By: Myrtle Reed (1874-1911)

Lavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed Lavender and Old Lace

“Jane Hathaway and her niece, Ruth Thorne, have never met. Jane invites Ruth for a visit, but leaves before Ruth comes. Ruth agrees to come to Jane for quiet and rest. When Ruth arrives, the maid gives her a letter from her aunt. In the letter, Aunt Jane does not tell Ruth anything about her trip abroad but insists that Ruth light an oil lamp in the attic each night. Very soon, the all together forgotten past and the steady present are united.”

Book cover At The Sign of The Jack O'Lantern

This begins with an odd inheritance at the end of a honeymoon, both parties being inexperienced. Then someone comes to visit, then another, until we've got a chaotic bedlam of New England's tragically off the wall odd-ball relations. Our protagonists may not communicate efficiently at first but at least they've got a sense of humours. The humourous style keeps up as well as some moments of lustre and rich feeling about the printed word itself. (Introduction by D. Wor)

Old Rose and Silver by Myrtle Reed Old Rose and Silver

The novel follows the lives of Rose and her widowed Aunt, Madame Francesca Bernard, along with young visitor and cousin Isabel, whose lives are changed by the return of an old friend and neighbour Colonel Kent, and his grown son, Allison. Other characters that help shape their lives in significant ways are the Crosby twins, unconventional and uninhibited youths that set society at naught, and an unconventional doctor who specializes in the impossible. Through the limited "wide-scope" descriptions...

By: Natalie Sumner Lincoln (1881-1935)

The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln The Red Seal

Nothing is what it seems to be as events unfold in this entertaining mystery by Natalie Sumner Lincoln. Red seals and red herrings abound and will keep you guessing all the way through the final chapter!

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

A beautiful woman who is punished for the mortal sin of loving a man other than her husband, a cowardly lover, a vengeful husband, a rebellious illegitimate child and the oppressive and patriarchal morality of 17th century Puritanism in Boston. Together these form an unforgettable and thought-provoking glimpse of how much social attitudes have changed over the centuries. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the creator of such beloved works as Twice-Told Tales, A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, The House of the Seven Gables and spine-chilling tales like Roger Malvin's Burial...

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.” Hawthorne’s moral for “The House of the Seven Gables,” taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised… but the land’s owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution...

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance is the story of four principal characters who work with -- and sometimes against -- each other on Blithedale, a communal farm antecedent to those that sprang up later in the 1960s, and similar to one on which Hawthorne himself lived in 1841. These communes arose out of the pressures on society and the individual brought by the Industrial Revolution. Some were organized around religious philosophies, some were secular. Among the secularists, the Transcendental movement mentioned in the novel espoused the idea that the individual's intuition, rather than religious dogma, was the true path to spiritual enlightenment...

The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains

A collection of four short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the common theme of which is New Hampshire's White Mountains. Consists of: The Great Stone Face, written in 1850 and revolves around the 'Old Man of the Mountain (Cannon Mtn.) in New Hampshire which sadly collapsed on May 3, 2003; The Ambitious Guest, written in 1835; The Great Carbuncle, written in 1837; and Sketches From Memory, written sometime prior to The Great Carbuncle as will become obvious.

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared...

Mosses from an Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne Mosses from an Old Manse

"Mosses from an Old Manse" is a short story collection by Nathaniel Hawthorne, first published in 1846. The collection includes several previously-published short stories and is named in honor of The Old Manse where Hawthorne and his wife lived for the first three years of their marriage. A second edition was published in 1854, which added "Feathertop," "Passages from a Relinquished Work, and "Sketches from Memory."Many of the tales collected in "Mosses from an Old Manse" are allegories and, typical of Hawthorne, focus on the negative side of human nature...

By: Neil Munro (1863-1930)

Book cover Doom Castle

Doom Castle is the story of young Count Victor's journey to Scotland after the Jacobite Rebellion, searching for a traitor to the Jacobite cause as well as a mysterious man under the name of "Drimdarroch", whom he swore revenge. After a perilious journey, Count Victor arrives at Doom Castle as a guest of the enigmatic Baron of Doom, his two strange servitors and his beautiful daughter... (Summary by Carolin)

By: Nella Larsen (1891-1964)

Quicksand by Nella Larsen Quicksand

Quicksand is a 1928 novel by Nella Larsen, a writer of the Harlem Renaissance. It focuses on Helga Crane, a mixed-race woman who is a schoolteacher in the American south. As the novel opens, she suddenly decides to give up her teaching position and go north, back to her roots in Chicago. Helga's restless search for identity is semi-autobiographical, inspired by Larsen's own struggles to reconcile her mixed heritage with the racism of 1920s America. Although this novel was published after 1923, the copyright was never renewed and is therefore in the public domain. (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)

By: Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-1889)

Book cover Vital Question, or, What is to be Done?

Despised by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, What Is To Be Done? is a fascinating, sympathetic story of idealistic revolutionaries in mid-nineteenth century tsarist Russia; translator Nathan Haskell Dole affirms in his preface his conviction that it is a thriller that no one can put down once s/he begins it. Its variegated cast of characters includes Vera Pavlovna, a boldly independent woman in a time of great oppression, and the inspirational radical Rakhmetov. The author wrote the novel from the depths of the infamous Peter & Paul Fortress of St...

By: Nikolai Leskov (1831-1895)

Book cover Steel Flea

An 1881 comic story by Nikolai Leskov, presented in the form of a traditional skaz or folk-tale, but entirely of Leskov's invention. It tells the story of a left-handed Russian artisan required to impress Tsar Nikolas I with his craftsmanship by outdoing some famous Englishmen who have created a tiny mechanical flea. The Russian smith barricades himself with two skilled colleagues in his workshop until finally forced to come out and reveal the brilliant result of his labor. Far more famous in Russia than in the West, the story of The Steel Flea reveals much about nineteenth-century Russian attitudes toward the West and toward their own country, but is difficult to categorize...

By: Norman Duncan (1871-1916)

Book cover Christmas Eve At Swamp's End

Four selected chapters from The Measure Of A Man; A Tale of the Big Woods, by Norman Duncan. What could be more Christmasy than: Babies, especially a homeless one; a woman who loves; a man who protects; a cold night; glittering stars; poor working-men witnesses; gifts. ( Title page and david wales)

By: O. Henry (1862-1910)

The Four Million by O. Henry The Four Million

An impoverished but loving young couple sacrifices their most precious possessions to buy Christmas gifts for each other. A tramp who is desperate to be sent to prison so he can escape the winter cold. Two depressed laborers get their palms read by a Coney Island mountebank. A yellow dog who relates the story of a fat lady and her hen pecked husband. These and other unforgettable characters form part of absolutely delightful and unforgettable short story collection, The Four Million by O Henry. As the master of the “twist in the tail/tale” and the completely unexpected endings, O...

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi is an O. Henry short story in which a young couple are very much in love with each other but can barely afford their one-room apartment. For Christmas, they each make a sacrifice to purchase a gift for the other, with ironic results. The moral of the story is that physical possessions, however valuable they may be, are of little value in the grand scheme of things. The true unselfish love that the characters, Jim and Della, share is greater than their possessions. O. Henry ends the story by clarifying the metaphor between the characters in the story, Della and James (or Jim), and the Biblical Magi...

Book cover Cabbages and Kings

This work is O. Henry's first published volume and is considered to be his only novel. The plot is composed of several short stories, which were inspired by the author's six-month stay in Honduras in the late 1890s. "The incidents embracing as they do, a variety of subjects, hang loosely together, so loosely in fact, that at times one finds no apparent connection between them at all, and yet in the end one sees how each is intimately related to the other. ...Written by a less able hand than O. Henry's the book might have been a sad jumble, perhaps comprehensible to none but the Walrus--but as it is, one finds a joy in its every obscurity...

Book cover Whirligigs

A collection of short stories.

Book cover Gentle Grafter

If Jefferson "Parleyvoo" Pickens had appeared in print just a few years later, he might have been the "Gentle Grifter" instead of the "Gentle Grafter", the name O. Henry picked for him. His situation as an ethical graft artist gives Jeff an extra impediment in pursuing his craft, but he never wanted it to be too easy. The result is fourteen delightful tales for us and a number of new partners for him. With those partners (he always has at least one) he works his way through a number of confidence games...

Book cover Heart of the West

A collection of short stories by the legendary O. Henry.

Book cover Waifs and Strays

These 12 O. Henry stories all deal with waifs and strays in one way or another; people who have somehow become adrift in the current of life. Will they find their way on their own or be helped by kind hearted folk or perhaps, stay a waif and stray, somehow outside the normal life of society? All naturally have the wonderful O. Henry beautiful way with words and people. So if you are in the mood to enjoy some sensuous sounds and convoluted flowing phrases unique to William Sydney Porter, give these a listen. And of course the endings cannot ever be predicted. Ever!

Book cover Options

O. Henry needs no introduction of course; the man who made the short story with the surprise ending famous. These 16 stories are all wonderful examples of his word sculpting art. They include: "The Rose of Dixie"; The Third Ingredient; The Hiding of Black Bill; Schools and Schools; Thimble, Thimble; Supply and Demand; Buried Treasure; To Him Who Waits; He Also Serves; The Moment of Victory; The Head-Hunter; No Story; The Higher Pragmatism; Best-Seller; Rus in Urbe; A Poor Rule

By: Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)

The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner The Story of an African Farm

The novel details the lives of three characters, first as children and then as adults - Waldo, Em and Lyndall - who live on a farm in the Karoo region of South Africa. The story is set in the middle- to late Nineteenth century - the First Boer War is alluded to, but not mentioned by name. The book is semi-autobiographical: in particular, the two principal protagonists (Waldo and Lyndall) display strong similarities to Schreiner's life and philosophy. The book was first published in 1883 in London, under the pseudonym Ralph Iron...

By: Oliver Goldsmith (1728/1730-1774)

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith The Vicar of Wakefield

Published in 1766, The Vicar of Wakefield follows the turbulent shift in the fortune and status of the Primrose family, as they must endure various setbacks that threaten their ultimate wellbeing and prosperity. Focusing on themes including family, prudence, resilience, religion, deception, marriage, and social status, the classic is regarded as Goldsmith’s most notable literary achievement. The novel centers on Dr. Charles Primrose, a benevolent and naive vicar, who together with his wife and six children lives an idyllic and comfortable life in the affluent town of Wakefield, owing their position to a smart investment...

Book cover She Stoops to Conquer

In She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night, a young lady pretends to be a servant in order to win the notice of a young man who is painfully shy around women of his own class. Hilarious misadventures and mayhem ensue before matters are neatly wrapped up at the end. This play, one of the great English comedies, was first performed in 1773 and continues to be very popular with audiences today.

By: Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

This Giddy Globe by Oliver Herford This Giddy Globe

Is there a genre called FUN? Yes, and this is it! Insanely humorous geography that will have you rolling on the floor laughing with your sides hurting.


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