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Old 05-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
maxbookworm
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Your absolute no-miss books in the public domain

What are your absolute favorite, wave-it-in-peoples'-faces-and-tell-them-they-MUST-read books in the public domain? This is by no means comprehensive, but my top-of-mind books are:

- Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- Any Bertie and Jeeves novel / story by P.G. Wodehouse
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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The Three Musketeers also by Dumas.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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Limiting myself to one per author, and hopefully not duplicating existing suggestions, and of course, limiting myself to books that I've read!

Little Women
Pride and Prejudice
Father Brown Omnibus
A Christmas Carol
Sherlock Holmes Omnibus
Good-bye, Mr. Chips
Three Men in a Boat
Kim
The Raven
Kidnapped
The Canterville Ghost

Last edited by pdurrant; 05-17-2013 at 03:16 PM. Reason: trimmed a little, to the best of the best
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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A few of Poe's more popular works, such as The Raven...
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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All the Tarzan Books and all of the John Carter of Mars books.. Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
crich70
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Treasure Island
Captains Courageous
Dracula
Frankenstein
The Time Machine
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
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The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:11 AM   #8
rkomar
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Quote:
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Treasure Island
Captains Courageous
Dracula
Frankenstein
The Time Machine
Ooh! I forgot about "Frankenstein". Yes, I would agree that it's a must-read. Despite the "science", it's rooted in the human soul.

I would say the same of all the famous, ancient texts that are still read today. The Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Beowulf, Song of Roland..., and the various religious scriptures. There's a good reason why they haven't fallen into obscurity. Even though the technologies in our lives change over time, reading these illuminate how little we've changed, and what it has meant to be human over the last few thousands of years.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #9
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Little Fuzzy, and anything else PD by H Beam Piper
The 39 steps by John Buchan
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #10
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My favorite H. Beam Piper books is Uller Uprising.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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N.B. H. Beam Piper's works are only PD in USA, and then only some of them.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #12
Marrella
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Recently recommended to a friend:

A Christmas Carol
Three Men in a Boat
The Hound of the Baskervilles

If she read science fiction and fantasy, I would probably have added Dracula and The Time Machine to the list. Or something by Jules Verne. Or maybe Frankenstein.

Mark Twain is a good candidate, too. And if you aren't too "grown-up", the Wonderland books by Lewis Carroll or A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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in addition to the aforementioned:

Bleak House
Great Expectations
Huckleberry Finn
Barchester Towers
The Way We Live Now
Vanity Fair
The Riddle of the Sands
20000 Leagues Under The Sea
Alice In Wonderland
Robison Causoe
The Prince (Machiavelli)
The History of the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides)
Moby Dick
Animal Farm
A Shropshire Lad
Lyrical Ballads (Wordsworth)
The Wild Swans At Coole
In Memoriam A.H.H.
Leaves of Grass
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
SeaBookGuy
Can one read too much?
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Wilkie Collins' Poor Miss Finch is highly recommended. His description of a woman who gains sight after a lifetime of blindness matches almost exactly reports from Oliver Sacks a century later! The book is quite funny, and the free Librivox audio edition is narrated by a woman who is blind herself.

Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers is one that folks have commented could easily be set now with its emphasis on spending on credit, financial bubbles, etc.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
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in addition to the aforementioned:

...
20000 Leagues Under The Sea
...
Ah, the best of books (if in French) and the worst of books (if poorly translated into English).

If you want to read an English translation rather than the original French be sure to avoid any translation by Reverend Lewis Page Mercier (aka "Mercier Lewis") and any volume derived from his poorly done and bowlderized translation. Life's too short to waste on such trash.

I believe the only PD English translation worth reading is Frederick Paul Walter's 1991 translation that he released into PD. I've read an annotated derivative of this and found it excellent.
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