Homer’s Iliad

Put into writing long after the story originated as part of a tradition of Oral Histories, Homer’s Iliad not only tells the story of the Battle of Troy, but readers who take a deep dive can begin to discover some of the techniques oral storytellers used to make their tales both captivating and easier for themselves to recall and thus repeat time and again.  The story unfolds with an inviting rhythm as repetitive descriptions lead the reader to anticipate what is coming next, and or perhaps more often, who is about to enter a scene, or act in some important or meaningful manner.

Here is the Amazon.com description of this edition:

After nine years fighting the Trojan War, the Greeks sense imminent defeat. The gods have cursed them with a plague; the Trojans have set their ships on fire; and their best warrior, the impenetrable Achilles, has turned his back on them. But when the Trojans go too far and kill Patroclus, his beloved brother-in-arms, Achilles returns to the battlefield with a vengeance so terrible that it shocks even the gods.

Written by Homer more than twenty-five hundred years ago, The Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature—the seminal epic narrative of infantry combat, the scars of battle, and the inevitability of fate.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature’s most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Iliad, this edition of The Iliad (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

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Anne of Green Gables

I can’t give this e-book credit for my all time favorite cover, but what it does have going for it is the advertised contents… not only does it contain the oft talked about, and recommended Anne of Green Gables, but this edition is a collection / anthology containing not just the original story that a family member sent to me as a teen when she was looking for a story we could both enjoy, despite the miles separating us, but also several of the subsequent tales as well.

The Amazon description remarks, these classic novels follow the adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets.  The Anthology contains:

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside

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If you are looking for an ebook that only contains the original Anne of Green Gables, try this book cover instead, it should direct you to the Amazon Classics Edition.

The Red Badge of Courage

Stephen Crane’s Red Badge Of Courage is another one of those books most American’s of a certain age were assigned to read in school, and for many, because it was assigned reading there was no pleasure to be found in these pages.

It is a shame, and the story is certainly one worth revisiting, with some extra years and experiences behind each of us, and a fresh appreciation for the lead character’s journey as he faces war, adulthood, reality… and finally ends up with that Red Badge of Courage that not only makes the title, but makes this story an American Classic.

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Behind the Scenes or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House

Behind the Scenes or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House

This is one of those books I’ve long heard about, but never had a chance to read, and it is finally making it into my To Be Read stack in a place of note… in part because I can not help thinking maybe a little historical perspective on our Nation’s Capitol, and life within the White House might give a new vantage point when I read glance at head lines, and see news hitting the air waves.

You can learn a little about the fascinating author of this work ( Elizabeth’s biological father, revealed to her late in life, was {her mother} Agnes’ master Armistead Burwell, a planter and colonel in the War of 1812) either at wikipedia here or on the Smithsonian Magazine Website.

On the Amazon.com Page for another edition of this book, the following text can be found:

Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House is both a riveting slave narrative and a fascinating insider’s look at the First Family during the Lincoln administration. Keckley was the First Lady’s seamstress and confidante and the publication of her memoirs in 1868 caused a storm of controversy. The press excoriated Keckley for revealing the intimate secrets of her employers and Mary Todd Lincoln cut off her friendship with Keckley. Lincoln’s eldest son had the book suppressed.

After the White House, Keckley went on to become one of the first successful independent black business owners in America, forming a profitable line in dress-making for the wives of prominent politicians, including the spouses of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. She also formed an important charity for black veterans of the Civil War. Supporters of Keckley’s Contraband Relief Association included Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet, J. Sella Martin, as well as prominent white figures, such as Wendell Phillips.

Includes image gallery with rare shots of Keckley and her contemporaries.

Mark Twain’s Comedy Classics

  Mark Twain wrote short stories and comedic pieces with turns of phrase that stay with readers for weeks, months, even years after they have read them.  It is just one of the many reasons why his works are not only read in schools, but recommended by friends who care about those they like who enjoy a good read.

With Amazon crediting this digital collection as containing over 3100 pages, odds are there is something in here every reader will enjoy.

Other Mark Twain Books currently available at a great price:

The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

If you are a fan of Mark Twain, you’ve probably already read the Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg… but if you have not already read this classic work by the renowned American Author, take it out for a spin and sit with it for a few minutes.

This is a great story about a man who goes to a town full of people who believe they are beyond temptation… and gives them a chance to see themselves through his eyes.  He does this not to be cruel, but because he was there before, and he found the town did not live up to its reputation, and he has hopes that perhaps, if they have an opportunity to see themselves as he does, they will reconsider… if nothing else, their town motto.

Charles Dickens had more than just A Christmas Carol

Click the cover to be taken to this collection of stories at Amazon (free at the time of posting)

If you thought A Christmas Carol was Charles Dickens only Christmas / Holiday themed work you’d easily be forgiven, it is after all his most well known.   However, in this volume you’ll discover he wrote a great deal more than the one novel with giving season in mind.

Here you will find all the Christmas books and stories written by Dickens.

The Christmas Books:
– A Christmas Carol
– The Chimes
– The Cricket on the Hearth
– The Battle of Life
– The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain

The Christmas Stories:
– A Christmas Tree
– What Christmas is as we Grow Older
– The Poor Relation’s Story
– The Child’s Story
– The Schoolboy’s Story
– Nobody’s Story
– The Seven Poor Travellers
– The Holly-Tree
– Wreck of the Golden Mary
– The Perils of Certain English Prisoners
– Going into Society
– A Message From the Sea
– Tom Tiddler’s Ground
– Somebody’s Luggage
– Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings
– Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy
– Doctor Marigold
– Mugby Junction
– No Thoroughfare

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221B Baker Street

There are a few addresses that everyone seems to know… 221B Baker Street being near the top of the list.  And given the caliber of the chief resident of that abode, is it any wonder?

First published in 1892, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the first and greatest of the short story collections written by Arthur Conan Doyle featuring his famous detective.The twelve Sherlock Holmes adventures included in this anthology:

A Scandal in Bohemia
The Adventure of the Red-Headed League
A Case of Identity
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Five Orange Pips
The Man with the Twisted Lip
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Another bit of Sherlock Holmes’ reading you might want to consider is “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes”.   According to Wikipedia, The twelve stories (eleven in American editions) of the Memoirs are:

The first London edition of the Memoirs in 1894 did not include “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”, although all twelve stories had appeared in the Strand Magazine. The first U.S. edition included the story, but it was very quickly replaced with a revised edition that omitted it.

An Incredible Array of Children’s Books…

There is an incredible array of books for young readers, and curious minds available these days.  Two sets that have caught my eye are full of fun facts, and interesting tidbits that can answer a few questions and get eager minds looking forward to learning even more.  They are by Mina Kelly and Jess Roche, and periodically a few of the ebooks in each series are available for free.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin and 12 Years a Slave – Free today on Amazon

Click the cover of Slave Narrative Six Pack to go to the book on Amazon (free as of noon July 13, 2017)
Click the cover to go to the book on Amazon (free as of noon July 13, 2017)

The title of this selection / collection may rub some people the wrong way… but for those who want to learn from our past, with an eye towards the future, this collection has some important works in it.

Here’s the Amazon description, including a list of the books included:
The slave narrative is a literary sub-genre that emerged from the written accounts of enslaved Africans in Great Britain and its colonies, including the later United States, Canada, and Caribbean nations. Some of the earliest memoirs of captivity known in England and the British Isles were written by white Europeans and later Americans captured and sometimes enslaved in North Africa, usually by Barbary pirates. These were part of a broad category of “captivity narratives” by English-speaking Europeans.

For the Europeans and Americans, the division between captivity as slaves and as prisoners of war was not always clear. A broader name for these works is “captivity literature.”

Slave Narrative Six Pack presents six of the most famous examples of the genre:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 by Frances Anne Kemble
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African by Olaudah Equiano
The Life of William H. Furness by William Still
Captain Canot; or, Twenty years of an African slaver: being an account of his career and adventures on the coast, in the interior, on shipboard, and in the West Indies by Brantz Mayer

Includes image gallery and link to free audio recording of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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Tom Sawyer

The Amazon description of Tom Sawyer is a good one, so I’ll share it here:

Whether he’s sneaking doughnuts, mooning over a pretty girl, or snookering the local boys to do his work for him, Tom Sawyer is the consummate schemer—but his charm and easygoing nature keep him from being in anyone’s bad graces for long. However, when Tom teams up with his friend Huck Finn, their sleepy Missouri town had better watch out.

Based on Mark Twain’s memories of growing up along the Mississippi River, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is both an idyllic picture of boyhood and an affectionate satire of adult conventions.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature’s most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.

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Tom Sawyer, Abroad

There are some authors, and some books, that almost every one in America was assigned to read in school.  Mark Twain, whether it was Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn (Huck Finn to his friends) seems to be in that category.  In High School I discovered one of my favorite works by Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Abroad.  The sense of humor stuck with me… and I found myself quoting it to others for YEARS.  To this day I can still relate a scene from it, because Mark Twain captured two boys on an adventure together so well… he also so perfectly captured their understanding of their world – and the fact there was still more for them to learn.

The clickable cover above will hopefully take you to a free copy, available currently on Amazon.com

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Kindle Unlimited – is now the time?

If you’ve been considering an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription, and are an Amazon Prime Member, Prime Day may be the day to give it a go… they will be offering up to 40% off on the subscriptions.  24 months will be down to $6 a month, 12 months will be just under $7 a month, and they will have a 6 month sale price as well.

Something to consider is Kindle Unlimited is a place to find novellas, and stories by indie authors.  If you are looking for books from major publishing houses, and authors, the selection may feel limited.

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