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Thread: Good Books

  1. #1
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I'm building a public domain literature site. I was wondering if you guys might like to suggest some good books to cover.

    Obviously the more popular books will yield the most traffic, but there are 1000's and 1000's of public domain books, so I need help.

    Right now I've got Shakespeare, The Odyssey, The Devil's Dictionary, Little Women, The Canterbury Tales, Crime and Punishment, and The Art of War all done and entered into my DB. And since I just converted my site to db driven I can now add 1 book in a bout a half an hour.

    So I'm looking for ideas. I'd appreciate any input as to what you think would be a good public domain book to cover.

    Chris

  2. #2
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    You can check out Project Gutenberg ( http://promo.net/pg/ ) for ideas.

  3. #3
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    How about some more classics such as DH Lawrence, Thomas Hardy etc?

  4. #4
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    PRoject Gutenberg is where I get all my raw text files from, but they have 1000's of books, Too much too soon. I want to cover the most popular first and then work my way down.

  5. #5
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Oh. I see.

    20,000 Leagues under the sea
    Around the world in 80 tays
    Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn
    Adventures of Robin Hood
    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    It's easy to find ones you recognize if you browse by title.

  6. #6
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    One of my favorite books that I have read many times over and over is 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee, which just happens to be just one of the many books being challenged to be removed from public libraries.

    Many of the books that I read as a child such as 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L’Engle that are still on my bookshelves are listed on "Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books of 1990-1999" - which also includes 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' and now the 'Harry Potter (Series)' by J.K. Rowling. Granted some books are not age appropriate for children, but this list just keeps growing.

    Banned Books Week - Celebrate the Freedom to Read is planned for every September -- Such books that are listed should be part of any literary project. Books are too precious to be lost & forgotten...no matter where you stand on this controversial issue. There is nothing better than a rainy day reading a book and letting your imagination take flight!

    Wish you success on your literary website...
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
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  7. #7
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Wow. I've read most of those books and own a few. A lot of them I read in High School. Come to think of it, it's hard to think of a book I read in High School that isn't on that list. I guess the censors are keeping busy trying to keep people from getting too smart.

    The Anarchist Cookbook, from the list, is not easy to find in public libraries, that's for sure! I bought a copy a while back though and the things in there are pretty tame when you take into account the fact that the majority wouldn't even work.

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    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    "A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face . . . It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy."

    Quote by --Edward P. Morgan
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
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  9. #9
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Good ideas, thanks, I wouldn't have remembered half of those.

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    @russellg RussellG's Avatar
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    I hope this link helps:

    http://www.textfiles.com/etext/

    textfiles.com actually has a lot of great 70-80's texts from the days of BBS'ing, I recommend anyone who was actually into BBS to check it out.
    russell.cz.cc - coming soon (I promise!)

  11. #11
    Nice Mug jer's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm not sure if this is what you want, but it's a really great (non-fiction) book i recently finished.

    Tibet: Behind the Ice Curtain by Vanya Kewley

    It's absolutely phoenominal! It gives you a view of what it's like in Tibet, and educates you on what's going on there (and what has gone on in the past). I think it's important you include such books on your site.

    When you say public domain, do you mean ones that no longer have the copyright.. or what? I know thats how it works for computer games, but someone mentioned finding things in public libraries.. this one can be found there but I'd think its still under copyright (early 1990s)

    I'm look forward to seeing your site, I was actually thinking of openeing a similar site (including not only book reviews, but the same for music and movies). Good luck and be sure to tell us all when it's ready to be seen (or before, if you'd like to appease our curious minds)

    -chuck
    Jeremy Watts :: Co-Founder
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  12. #12
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Public domain means it is out of copyright. A book is no longer copyrighted (I think) when the author has been dead for 50 years.

  13. #13
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Yep. Things go in the public domain when the author has been dead for 50 years. (I think they increased it to 75 or something recently, but that won't have any effect for a while) ?

    I think I'm going to publish the public domain banned books on a website.

  14. #14
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    Went looking for another favorite book of mine, 'The Red Badge of Courage' by Stephen Crane and found American Literature which also has text versions of a limited number of books.

    Maybe having quotes and excerpts from the various books that will be available online from your site would be a good idea to be included on your homepage and ultimate newsletter that you will be sending out...many of the current sites just have title listings, but it would work to have something more interactive! You would then recall a certain familiar part from a book that you had forgotten about...and stay to read more
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
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  15. #15
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Thats a little too much for one guy, to include quotes from books, many of which I either read a long time ago or never read at all.

    I do like my interface and overall look better than other similar sites, I make custom graphics for each book. And I of course let people search through the book for that specific quote they are looking for. But for me to pick out quotes would be way too time consuming.

    I also already have a newsletter, its a Shakespeare Sonnet a Day newsletter. I think its a great idea, he wrote over 150 sonnets, you could read one a day right? I thought of it like 2 years ago but was so slow in making it, then atleast one person I know of thought it up in the interim and beat me to the punch. I still get 3% of my uniques signing up for it, eventually it'll get big.

    Chris

  16. #16
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    Aspen - You could easily have others contribute their favorite passage to your web site

    Otherwise I agree it would be too much for one person to do themselves...but it does have potential to make your site different!
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
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  17. #17
    Idea Developer
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    catch22 is awesome.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast jdash's Avatar
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    Oh My...Books one of my favorite subjects...

    I am not sure what style of books you are looking for but...

    Series: Tom Swift
    Airplane Boys
    Air Service Boys
    The Lone Ranger
    Don Winslow
    The Hardy Boys (one of the greatest)
    Lots more...to many to list
    Books: Rifles For Watie
    Red Badge of Courage
    Great Expectations
    Moby ****
    And many, many more...

    This is one of my favorite subjects as I said...I would also recommend having an area (discussion forum?) about 'out of print' etc. Many of the books I read are out of print...it can become quite a challenge to find what I want


    [b]James Dasher

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    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    Has anyone already mentioned:
    • The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
    • DragonLance Saga - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
    • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
    • The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
    www.nyanko.ws - My web-, software- and game development company.
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  20. #20
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Remember I can only put up public domain books, ie the author has to have been dead for 50 years.

    Tolkein isn't that dead yet.

    Dragonlance people still alive

    etc etc

  21. #21
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    Try some work by Henry David Thoreau.
    Paul Goodman
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  22. #22
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Tolkien books won't go to the public domain until his Estate/Foundation folds. Upon his death he transfered the copyright over to it.

    All of the following Authors are still very popular. Their works are being used for movies, bedtime stories and education around the world. You can also find current printings of their works in every major bookstore in the United States. These people are considered Masters of the art of literature. I have read at least one book from each of the authors listed below and from most I have read a lot of their respective work.

    Aesop (Aesop's Fables)
    Hans Christian Andersan
    Victor Appleton (Tom Swift Series)
    Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
    Frank L. Baum (Wizard of OZ series)
    Emma Bronte (Wuthering Heights)
    Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan)
    Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe)
    Charles Dickens (Tale of Two Cities)
    Emily Dickenson (Poetry)
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)
    T.S. Eliot (poetry)
    Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
    Count Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy (War and Peace)
    H.G. Wells (Time Machine)
    Jack London (Call of the Wild)
    Kenneth Grahame (Wind in the Willows)
    Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book)
    James Fenimore Cooper (Last of the Mohicans)
    Irving Washington (Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
    Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
    Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
    Edgar Allen Poe (Various Works)
    A. B. Paterson (The Man From Snowy River)
    Mark Twain (Huckleberry Fin)
    Andrew Lang (Man in the Iron Mask)
    Herman Melville (Moby ****)
    Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)


    P.S. I believe I have a CD somewhere with the Complete Works of William Shakespeare on it in XML format.

    Edit:

    I find it amusing that vBulletin censored the title next to Melville's name



    [Edited by W. Luke on 10-14-2000 at 10:40 AM]
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  23. #23
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Thanks for that list, I got about a third to a half of those already but the others are good ones.

    Chris

  24. #24
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    I'll add another that I didn't see anyone post, but which I personally think everyone, especially in the U.S., should read. I'm not sure of the copyright issue, but it was written in the early 1900s, so ....

    Upton Sinclair's - The Jungle


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