I’ve got my librarian’s hat on for this post. To celebrate the publication of my A Simpler Guide to Finding Free eBooks, I decided at 1 in the morning to write a post about the top 10 books to read before you die that are available for free. Little did I know it would take hours to compile and format! Still, the list below are novels you should at least take a look at with links to Amazon and the Gutenberg Project. While you can only get Kindle versions from Amazon, you will be able to download other types of e-books from the Gutenberg Project and of course they are free.
Here are my top ten picks:
1. Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
One of the first and best romance novels of all time. Set in the 19th century by a writer from the 19th century, this is a read you won’t want to miss.
Get it now as:
2. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Rags to riches and unrequited love, this book has it all from the writer of Oliver Twist.
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Another classic romance, boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, split up, then get together again but this is one of the first novels and one of the best (or it wouldn’t be in this list!) Worth a look.
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
I read this story when I was about ten years old. This completely freaked me out as a child and so I recommend it for the next generation! Dorian Gray is a handsome man who sells his soul for eternal youth. He doesn’t lead a good life and there are consequences…
5. The Mill on the Floss – George Elliot
This is a fast paced love story from the Victorian era. This is a tragedy so have a box of tissues ready.
6. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
Ah, Mr Darcy. Who hasn’t heard of the hero of this romance? This is the original of the often repeated tale of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.
7. The Fall of the House of Usher & other stories – Edgar Allen Poe
An old crumbling, evil house, a sick relative, a death, this is a gothic horror which builds on previous horrors to a new level. The links below take you to the Works of Edgar Allan Poe, volume 2 but this is the book you are looking for.
8. Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
Vanity fair is the opposite to the Brontës, as in don’t expect the straight happy ending. It is a more complex read but well worth it.
9. Moby Dick – Hermann Melville
The hunt for Moby Dick has fascinated readers for generations. Will it captivate you?
10. Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
The last entry in this blog post is a mystery. This is one of the first detective novels ever written and if you like the Mystery genre you’ll want to see how it all began. Even if you don’t normally like Victorian literature you might be pleasantly surprised with this one.