Recently Amazon released their own recommendation list of “100 books you must read before you die”. I must confess it is a somewhat lack-lustre collection, containing both the obvious entries, along with plenty of oddities. Amazon do claim that they’ve tried to cover all age groups and genres to give a balanced collection, that however hasn’t stopped plenty of people complaining about it, especially as there are no books older than two hundred years in the list, and only a handful of those we’re published more than one hundred years ago. It’s amusing how many people are complaining about this selection (any search engine will easily find them if you’re so inclined) but I think most are forgetting one thing about this reading list; the recommendations have been made by Amazon, a company who’s sole purpose is to make as much money as possible. Obviously they’re not going to include too many classics, they want you to go and buy these books from them, not pop off to sites like epubBooks and download them for free. Still, there are nine titles from the recommendations that are [legally] available as free ebooks, so I thought it’d be useful to list those here (in alphabetical order — they’re all fantastic reads!). I’ll also include links to those that you can download directly from epubBooks.
- 1984 by George Orwell (PD Life+50)
- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (PD in Canada)
- Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (PD Life+70)
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Follow the links above to download theses great ebooks, for free! As you can see, we’re still missing two books from the list, but not to worry, I’ll be adding those titles to epubBooks in the not too distant future. You may also be interested in the free ebooks from the Guardian 100 Best English Novels list.