LOTS OF EBOOKS. 100 % FREE

Welcome to your friendly neighborhood library. We have more than 50,000 free ebooks waiting to be discovered.

FREE AND DISCOUNTED BESTSELLERS

Join 150,000+ fellow readers. Get free and discounted bestsellers straight to your inbox with the ManyBooks eBook deals newsletter.

The Ultimate Guide to Free eBooks

Not sure what to read next? Explore our catalog of public domain books with our editors. Some real gems are hidden in our library.

Browse genres

Recently Answered Questions

All of the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. For years I had to hear about how awesome the books are and how I must read them, but when I finally sat down and did so it was a letdown. For something that is supposed to be the best-selling book series in all of history, there are just too many plot holes and lazy writing to agree. It's no use trying to argue the point with Potter fans either as they are all so obsessed with the boy wizard that they can't see any wrong with the books.
I'm going to go ahead and assume that you mean fiction authors as heaven knows there is no shortage of non-fiction authors who are unable to keep their opinions for themselves. I don't have an issue with authors writing about what they believe in, but if it feels like it is shoehorned in or obvious propaganda in any way, then I'm out. There are plenty of obvious examples of authors who use their writing as a soapbox for their personal views, but I'm more fascinated by books that seemingly contradict their authors. One of my favorite examples is Paradise Lost by John Milton.

I know that Paradise Lost is technically a poem and not a novel, but come on, it spans twelve books, so I'm sure nobody is going to nitpick this factor. For anyone here unfamiliar with their 17th-century poets, Paradise Lost is basically a massive poem about how Adam and Eve were tempted by Lucifer and tricked into the fall of man. Milton's views on the subject couldn't be any clearer, he explicitly states in the first book that it is written with the express purpose of justifying the ways of God to men.

The interesting thing is that despite Milton being a devout Christian and lots of devout Christian readers enjoying the books over the years, it doesn’t appear to be as clear cut when thoroughly examined. Some readers came to the conclusion that instead of the hero being one of the "good" characters, it is actually the "evil" character, Satan, who displays all the characteristics of a hero. It brings up an interesting point about how readers are actually the ones that have ultimate control over the message and viewpoints an author expresses in their books. Perhaps I'm reading too deeply into this whole thing, but it is interesting topic to explore if you are an avid reader.

Another interesting example would be the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. What makes these particular series fascinating is that while very good and quite popular, reading the books doesn't exactly give you any insights into the political leanings of the author. However, we live in the era of social media, so fans have a greater opportunity than ever before to gain insights into the minds of those they admire, which in this case is Rowling. She has made it abundantly clear on social media that her views are very progressive and that she fully supports social justice. It has also resulted in a couple of clashes with some of her readers when she suddenly began to change a couple of things about their back-stories to bring them in line with her views. The books are already written and nothing about them are changed in any way, so one could say that this is an easy way to gain favor and points with the progressive crowd without altering your artistic views or actually changing anything tangible about your existing body of work. I am in no way implying that authors cannot change their views over time or should always be beholden to what they have written in the past, but simply attempting to "rewrite history" so to speak is taking the easy way out.

I could list a couple more examples if anyone is interested in the topic, but I would love to hear what everyone else thinks about this type of phenomena.
I'm very sure that there are thousands of authors who pass away without ever completing that book that they have been putting off for so long. If you mean published authors who were actively working on a book, but died so suddenly that they were unable to complete it then the most conspicuous answer would be Robert Jordan. His Wheel of Time series is often cited as one of the best examples of epic fantasy literature on the market, but sadly he died before he could ever finish the whole story. If there is any consolation in this tragic loss, it is that Jordan knew what was coming while writing the final book and made enough notes to ensure someone else could finish it for him.

To ad something that is a little less obvious and well known; I don't think it is common knowledge, but The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is also thought to be incomplete. I did a little digging and apparently Chaucer only managed to get down twenty four stories on paper before passing away. While this is a fairly large selection, it pales in comparison to the one hundred stories that he originally planned.
It is funny how everyone hears the word "classic" literature and they automatically just think that the books are going to be huge and complicated. I think you would be surprised by just how many classic books are out there that are laugh out loud funny, riveting or suspenseful without you having to have a degree in literature to enjoy them. If you want to read classic books purely for the enjoyment, then I have plenty of suggestions. If, however, you simply want to read a classic book as quickly as possible in order to appear snobbish or something, then you really are better off sticking with the latest bestsellers. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that lack of time is your motivation for this question, so here are my suggestions.

1. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley - 1818. There is a brand new movie about Mary Shelley coming out soon, so what better time to get acquainted with this classic book if you have not already done so. You especially need to read this book if your impression of Frankenstein's creature is that of a dumb, lumbering brute who can only growl out monosyllabic words. Popular culture has completely twisted this classic tale around to the point that think the Creature is actually called Frankenstein. The book has less than 300 pages and you get to see the experience from the perspective of Victor Frankenstein, the Creature as well as Captain Walton.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 1925. With the amount of awards and nominations that this book has received, it is probably unlikely that you have not already read it. If not, and your only experience with Jay Gatsby and the object of his affection, Daisy Buchanan, is with the movies, then you must read it. It has got less than 200 pages, but the description of the Roaring Twenties is so vivid that you feel you can step into the pages and experience it for yourself. While the story doesn't feel very complex when you first read it, it is the type of book that you can read over and over to discover new meanings, which is one of the things that make it a classic in my opinion.

3. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - 1898. I can't really say that I have a fondness for the horror genre, but I'll gladly make an exception for The Turn of the Screw. This book is a classic in every sense of the word and don't let anyone else tell you differently. It is essentially a novella, so it weighs in at less than 100 pages, but every one of them is good. Even critics have long argued whether this is really a horror story about ghosts or if the sanity of one of the characters are simply questionable. I'll leave it up to you to come to your own conclusion.

4. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - 1886. Like Frankenstein, this classic by Robert Louis Stevenson is a tale that everyone thinks they know, but I would wager that not that many has actually sat down and read the original story. It is a very brief tale and can be read in a single sitting, but combines elements of horror and mystery along with drama and even science fiction. In the book, a Dr named Jekyll manages to transform into an evil alter ego with the name of Mr. Hyde by using potions. He does this in an attempt to separate his good and bad sides, but it ultimately ends in tragedy. This book has less than 100 pages, so you can easily read it in a single sitting.

5. War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells - 1898. Forget the movies, forget the television shows, you can even forget the original radio drama, this novel by H. G. Wells is the real deal. I've read somewhere that this book has never been out of print, which is a true testament to its enduring popularity. It is not just one of the earliest books about aliens invading our planet, but in my opinion, still one of the very best. Oh, and it is also less than 200 pages, which qualifies as short in my opinion.

6. Animal Farm by George Orwell - 1945. I'll end off my suggestions with this classic by George Orwell, Animal Farm. Everyone can quote the "all animals are equal" line from the book, but when asked to describe more than just the basic plot outline they begin to falter. This is one of those classics that even I thought I had read until I read it again and discovered that I haven't really. It's obviously a very political book, but still very relevant and very interesting to this day. At less than 150 pages, it is also a very short book to cross off your reading list.
"Scariness" is a very subjective concept, so something that could be terrifying for one person might be a joke to someone else. Because books can't exactly rely on cheap tricks like jump scares or thundering sound effects, there is no way that they can scare you as much as a movie. With that said, if you have a good imagination then the stuff your mind can conjure up is way worse than any movie could ever match. A good example of this would be a book called House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Everything about this book makes it unsettling to read as even the style and layout of the pages are done in an unconventional manner. It is one of the first books that I have ever read where the author was able to make me feel claustrophobic. What is even more amazing is that the author classifies the book as a love story.
Libby Fischer Hellmann - Writing Gritty Crime Fiction
FEATURED AUTHOR - Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago over 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. As our Author of the Day, Fischer Hellmann tells us all about her latest book, High Crimes. Please give us… Read more