Talk It Up Tuesday

Do you read “public domain” books?  Because you should!!  I’m not even going to pretend I can accurately explain copyright laws and how they apply to books because it makes my brain hurt!

Basically, there are TONS of great books that you may have missed.  Books that are just floating around on websites like Project Gutenberg ( that you can download to your eReader or computer and read-read-read!

There are of course some clunkers, but that’s part of the search.  There probably won’t be colorful covers or photographs and darn few illustrations or drawings inside; but if you take some time to scroll around Gutenberg or do a general web search for public domain books, you might stumble upon reading gold like these classic gems:



The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

World War I, spies and the basis for a brilliant Hitchcock thriller of the same name.  This book has it all for fans of intelligently written ‘intelligence books’.



The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The first ‘detective’ novel ever.  There is a mysterious diamond, British, India, upper crust society, red herrings and a long convoluted story that will keep you guessing.

Secret_Adversary_First_Edition_Cover_1922Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence) by Agatha Christie

Oh, I adore Tommy & Tuppence!  This is the first of their series of novels and introduces the reader to the irrepressible pair of mystery solvers.  It begins on board the RMS Lusitania and just gets better the further you read-Christie was at the top of her game with this one.  Sadly, this novel and one other, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, are the only ones currently available under U.S. public domain (see, it doesn’t make any sense to me either!)


The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One of the best loved novels of all time and probably the #1 Sherlock Holmes novel.  Sir Charles Baskerville is dead, his heir Sir Henry is coming from Canada to claim his inheritance amidst warnings to stay away.  Dr. Mortimer seeks the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and beneath it all is the curse of the spectral hound.  This book is spooky & creepy without being an actual horror story.  Holmes & Watson are so good in this one-juggling clues and mysterious ‘stuff’ from London to the wilds of the ‘moors’.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at some public domain books by authors you may not have heard of but that you definitely “Otter” be reading!!


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