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.