eBook Exchange: Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Do you watch NBC’s hit show GRIMM? If so, then you’re going to love this!

For those of you who haven’t watched the show, it examines The Brothers Grimm’s famous collection of fairy tales from a modern perspective. The show’s main character, a detective in the Portland Police Department, has a gift which allows him to see people as they really are – many of them monsters masquerading as every day human beings!

NBC’s TV adaptation puts a really interesting modern twist on these classic stories that everyone knows and loves.

Many of us remember these stories from our childhoods. For some of us, they may have even played a pivotal role in us becoming the people we are today. The show’s popularity has inspired many people to re-read the original tales themselves, which can be downloaded in eBook form for free from Project Gutenberg. So if you have some time this weekend, check them out for yourself!


eBook Exchange: Jane Eyre

eBook Exchange is back! Our August eBook Exchange post will feature a review of Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel, Jane Eyre, as well as a link to where you can read it for free on Google Books.

I first read Jane Eyre when I was fifteen-years-old. I’ve found that a lot of people are turned off by the novel’s length and it’s complex Victorian language, but I was enraptured by it, even as a teenager. I loved the secret turmoil hidden beneath the buttoned-up Victorian façade. More importantly, I loved how Jane’s character was so refreshingly different from any other Victorian heroine I had ever read.

Don’t get me wrong; I am most certainly a lover of Jane Austen. But I have always felt that, in comparison to a character like Jane Eyre, Austen’s heroines are somewhat flat and one-dimensional. While their primary objective always seems to be love and marriage, Jane’s objective is integrity, compassion and strong sense of self.

Romance is great in a novel, but is it really enough to make it a life-changing literary experience? Jane Eyre manages to have both a passionate love story and a strong, fiercely independent female protagonist. Jane has her happily-ever-after in the end, but she gets it on her terms; something unheard of for a Victorian woman.

In short, I think Jane Eyre is a refreshingly different heroine that all readers can gain inspiration from. As one Google Books reviewer wrote, “I wonder why I left [this book] on the shelf for so long… Possibly because I thought I would meet another character like Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary. Instead, I discovered the story of a beautifully modern woman.”

I am sure that once you meet Jane, you will come to love her character as much as I do. And thanks to Google Books, you can get to know her by reading the eBook version of Jane Eyre in its entirety, for free!

eBook Exchange: A Study in Scarlet

Lately, I’ve felt somewhat overwhelmed by my options regarding Sherlock Holmes. Between Robert Downey, Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch playing the title character (And really is there a more perfect name for a British actor than Benedict Cumberbatch?), I’ve had many options for my Sherlock viewing. But I recently realized, I’ve never actually read any of  the Sherlock Holmes stories. So, I figured since I have a few days off coming up soon, I’d look into them. And of course since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the novels long ago, they’re available for free in the pubic domain.

I’m starting at the beginning, with A Study in Scarlet, Conan Doyle’s first work containing the now-familiar Holmes. Since the novel is available through Google Books, I can download it, print it or read it online or on my eReader. So many options and never once did I have to set foot outside my house!

eBook Exchange: The Murders in the Rue Morgue: And Other Tales

Even though Christmas is creeping earlier and earlier in the year, October still means Halloween. And in honor of the spookiness that comes with this October holiday we are bringing to you stories from one of the early masters of horror and the alleged creator of detective fiction, Edgar Allen Poe. In this book, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, there are many Poe favorites, including The Cask of the Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tell-Tale Heart. As an added bonus, the stories available in this version of The Murders in the Rue Morgue, are not all available in a single print volume of the work, giving you more Poe, with less effort.

So take a break from the writing or grading of papers and get into the holiday spirit by reading a little Poe. Already know everything by Poe? Hop on over to the Literature Map and find another author you might also like.

eBook Exchange: Fairies and Folk Of Ireland

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, it’s easy to forget there’s more to Irish folklore than rivers dyed green, leprechauns, pots of gold and green beer. To help remember the other, less publicized Irish folklore, this month’s eBook Exchange is a collection of folk stories from Ireland titled: Fairies and Folk of Ireland by William Henry Frost.

So take a break from your studying or your grading and dive into a few, lesser-known fairy tales from the Emerald Isle.

eBook Exchange: The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

The coincidence of Valentine’s Day and the eBook exchange leaves us feeling a little romantic around USF Library. Giving into my romantic impulses I find myself recommending The Romance of Tristan and Iseult by Joseph Bedier.

From Amazon:

This immortal tale concerns the doomed love between a knight and a princess. The heroic Tristan, nephew and champion of King Mark of Cornwall, journeys to Ireland to bring home his uncle’s betrothed, the fair Iseult. Their shipboard voyage takes a tumultuous turn with a misunderstanding and a magic potion, and the lovers quickly find that there’s no turning back.



eBook Exchange: Horror Stories

In honor of Halloween, classic horror stories are featured this month. Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are available in eBook form. Did you know that Bram Stoker has a story called Dracula’s Guest? This story was included in a collection of short stories by Stoker that was published two years after his death by his widow. It was in the original draft of the book but then was taken out due to length.

And for more Gothic stories, there is always Edgar Allan Poe. Please take a look at classics such as The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart here.

These books can be downloaded to be read from your PC, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or other mobile or cell phone. Feel free to contact the library if you have any questions.

eBook Exchange: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Can it really be considered a “classic” if most people don’t know the real story? The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the basis for the movie The Wizard of Oz, and while the characters are familiar, the story isn’t quite the same. Take Dorothy’s classic Ruby Red slippers… in Baum’s version, the slippers are silver, and the movie changed them to the vibrant red everyone knows and loves to showcase the newly developed Technicolor film technology. The book is somewhat darker, much more detailed and offers the reader a different perspective than the happy-go-lucky perspective of the movie. So take a break from studying or grading and sit back with an old favorite, that might not be as familiar as one might expect. From Amazon:

One of the true classics of American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over four generations. Originally published in 1900, it was the first truly American fairy tale, as Baum crafted a wonderful out of such familiar items as a cornfield scarecrow, a mechanical woodman, and a humbug wizard who used old-fashioned hokum to express that universal theme, “There’s no place like home.” Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here she meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powered Wizard of Oz.

Download The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

eBook Exchange: The Future of Ideas

It’s back to school time, and to welcome you back, USF Library goes meta and offers an ebook of ideas on ideas. The Future of Ideas, written by author, lawyer and copyright crusader Lawrence Lessig, asks the question: do big companies have too much power over what goes on online and how this stifles creativity. The review from Amazon:

If The Future of Ideas is bleak, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Author Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor and keen observer of emerging technologies, makes a strong case that large corporations are staging an innovation-stifling power grab while we watch idly. The changes in copyright and other forms of intellectual property protection demanded by the media and software industries have the potential to choke off publicly held material, which Lessig sees as a kind of intellectual commons. He eloquently and persuasively decries this lopsided control of ideas and suggests practical solutions that consider the rights of both creators and consumers, while acknowledging the serious impact of new technologies on old ways of doing business. His proposals would let existing companies make money without using the tremendous advantages of incumbency to eliminate new killer apps before they can threaten the status quo. Readers who want a fair intellectual marketplace would do well to absorb the lessons in The Future of Ideas.

Want to see the previous books featured on the eBook Exchange? Visit the eBook Exchange page on the USF Library website.