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Old 03-28-2009, 06:46 PM   #1
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A Mobile Read 'Essential Books to Read' list

The threads from another poster on 1001 books to read before you die had me thinking that it would be fun to create our own 'essential books to read' list. So I thought I would start us off with one. Here are the rules:

1) Reply to this thread with a list of UP TO FIVE books of your choosing, in any genre. Please limit yourself to only books which are available in ebook form, for sale or otherwise

2) For each book, list the title, author and genre. You can also post a hyperlink to Feedbooks, Manybooks, Mobile Read, Fictionwise, BooksonBoard or the venue of your choosing where the book may be bought/downloaded

3) DO NOT REPEAT a book that someone else has listed. Once someone picks it, it gets on the list so don't waste one of your five spots on it. It's already there!

4) Once everyone has had a chance to play and this thread stops getting replies, I'll separate the entries into genre lists and re-post it for everyone's enjoyment.

Ready? Go! I am very curious to see what we get. I would lov to see everyone participate. The more entries, the merrier.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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Here are my five nominations

1) The Complete Sherlock Holmes (mystery)
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Status: Free; public domain
Available at: Mobile Read Forums, various formats

2) 1984 (science fiction)
Author: George Orwell
Status: Free; public domain in life plus 50 countries
Available at: Project Gutenberg Australia

3) The Wizard of Oz Series (YA)
Author: L. Frank Baum
Status: Free; public domain
Available at: Mobile Read, Project Gutnberg and elsewhere in various formats

4) Wuthering Heights (literature)
Author: Emily Bronte
Status: Free; public domain
Available at: Project Gutenberg and elsewhere

5) The Mouse in the Mountain (mystery)
Author: Norbert Davis
Status: Free; public domain
Available at: Mobile Read, Manybooks.net and elsewhere
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:14 PM   #3
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1) Raffles Omnibus (crime)
Author: E W Hornung
Status: Free
Available at: Mobile Read

2)Anathem (sci-fi, sort of)
Author: Neal Stephenson
Status: not free
Available: BooksonBoard (haven't checked other places...)

3) Persepolis I & II (comic/graphic novel/autobiography)
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Status: Not free
Available: Waterstones (not checked elsewhere)

4)A Sundial In A Grave - 1610 (Fantasy)
Author: Mary Gentle
Status: Not free
Available: BooksOnBoard (not checked elsewhere)

5) The Arsene Lupin series (crime)
Author: Maurice LeBlanc
Status: Free
Available: Mobile Read
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:22 PM   #4
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It's quite hard to limit to 5 when I want to recommend the entire Discworld series.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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1. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

2. The Trial by Franz Kafka

3. White Fang by Jack London

4. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

6. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

All books available free from Feedbooks (links included)
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
It's quite hard to limit to 5 when I want to recommend the entire Discworld series.
Are they all available as ebooks now? My bonus is well and truly gone if they are...

And recommend the series as one slot (Ficbot set the precendent for doing that )
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortNCuddlyAm View Post
Are they all available as ebooks now? My bonus is well and truly gone if they are...

And recommend the series as one slot (Ficbot set the precedent for doing that )
Yes, the entire Discworld series is available. I have most if not all of them as eBooks. I'll have to see which ones I am missing if any.

Good idea. I can use slot #1 for all of Discworld.

Just have to think of slots #2-5.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:22 PM   #8
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1. Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut (Fiction)
2. The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli (Political Science)
3. The Republic - Plato (Philosophy)
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (Science Fiction)
5. Hamlet - Shakespeare (Literature)

Adams and Vonnegut are available for purchase, the rest are PD. I know these are all pretty obvious, but any list worth it's salt will have these on it.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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None of mine are easily found in ebook format!!!!!
They're either out of print or the publishers simply ..well, haven't. grrrrr.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:30 AM   #10
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Just five is hard. I'll probably change my mind several times as I think of some others. But here's five I like to keep on my book reader:

1. A Song of Ice and Fire (the whole series), by George R.R. Martin; at Sony Connect, Fictionwise, etc.
2. Dune (just the original one, not the series), by Frank Herbert; at Connect, Fictionwise, etc.
3. The Drawing of the Three (again, not the whole series), by Steven King; at Connect, Fictionwise, etc.
4. Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tse, (also called "Sayings of Lao Tse, etc.); at Mobileread, Connect, Fictionwise, etc.
5. The Prince, by Nicolo Machiavelli; at Mobileread, Fictionwise, Connect, etc.

I wanted to include the Gospels of the New Testament but I've never found a good edition in eBook form. Connect sells an edition translated for teens but I don't feel it does justice to the material. King James was sort of an English Caligula and I don't trust that translation. The New English Bible is good but not available in eBook. Well, better quit. I'm starting to dither.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
2) 1984 (science fiction)
Author: George Orwell
Status: Free; public domain in life plus 50 countries
Available at: Project Gutenberg Australia
This book is available at Mobileread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11626

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43651

It doesn't count towards my 5, I'm still thinking about them...

Last edited by cbell; 04-03-2009 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:04 AM   #12
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King James was sort of an English Caligula
1. He wasn't English - he was a Scot.
2. Caligula?????
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:12 AM   #13
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1. "Bleak House", by Charles Dickens. Arguably the greatest work by the greatest English novelist. Genre: mystery

2. "Pride and Prejudice", by Jane Austen. Witty and clever. Not just for girls!

3. "The Count of Monte Cristo", by Alexandre Dumas. A rollicking good adventure story.

4. "King Solomon's Mines", by Sir Henry Rider Haggard. Perhaps the greatest adventure story every written.

5. "She", also by H. Rider Haggard, for the same reason as #4.

All in the public domain and downloadable here.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:52 AM   #14
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1. Father Brown Omnibus Crime/Mystery. Free. Public domain.
2. David Balfour (Kidnapped & Catriona) Adventure. Free. Public domain.
3. The Misenchanted Sword Fantasy. $6 or less from Fictionwise
4. The Deed of Paksenarrion Fantasy. $6
4. Cordelia's Honor Science fiction. $6

Just five? Here's a randomish five from ebooks I've read. It's impossible to rank all the ebooks and pick the absolute top five - it would take hours, if not days.

Last edited by pdurrant; 03-29-2009 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:04 AM   #15
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Not easy! Especially when there's so many books not available as ebooks.

I guess essential means different things to people, but for me it means books that are just not my current favourites, but books that may have a bit more to offer, and is, if possible, also of some significance.

On the Origin of Species, 6th edition
Charles Darwin
Non-fiction, science

A Room of One's Own
Virginia Woolf
Non-fiction, essay

Egil's Saga
Snorri Sturlason(?)
Fiction, ancient literature
More info on Wikipedia


A Passage to India
E. M. Forster
Fiction, literary
I actually wanted "Maurice" on the list, but it's not available, and so another of Forster's novels would have to do.

His Dark Materials Trilogy
Philip Pullman
Fiction, young adult

Last edited by Ea; 03-29-2009 at 06:07 AM. Reason: Edited book title
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