9 Classic Books Free on Amazon Kindle Right Now
Growing up, there were always books around me. There were books on shelves, underneath the coffee table and on desks around the house. My father is the impulse book-buyer of the family. He has collected many titles ranging from Machiavelli’s The Prince to Civil Engineering. My mother has her own collection of literature from when she was studying for her English degree.
Naturally, I have always wanted a collection of my own. Like other 90s kids, my reading journey began with Read with Us, and Hallo Children. Besides the video rental store, the bookshop was my favorite place to go as a child. My dad started a little home library for me with: The Hare and the Lion, The Monkey and the Crocodile, The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Fox…My favorite of all was Jack and the Beanstalk. I couldn’t get enough of it. There were other local characters like Beautiful Nyakio, Goat Matata, Ewoi and the giant, Sipoi and the Ogre…
In Kiswahili there was of course Kaka Sungura na Wenzake, Hekaya za Abunwasi and Manywele Tuff! Some of those I had, others I read at school. If you were lucky, you had your own copy that you couldn’t bring to school lest you never see it again. If not, you had to read a borrowed copy with twelve other kids leaning over your shoulder at break time. This would take the whole week since there was always someone holding down the page until the slowest reader finished.
That list would not be complete without Moses and the Kidnappers, Truphena Student Nurse, Truphena City Nurse and Anna the Air Hostess. These came from my older siblings’ collection. Thanks to them, I didn’t get any new books for a while. Eventually, I advanced to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island and Oliver Twist. I was very fond of Gulliver’s Travels. Then came child detectives Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.
I did miss some of the most popular ones, like Harry Potter and the Peter Pan series. Still, I think I did a commendable job, overall. I grew up on a farm. Anyone who knows farm life will tell you it’s always abuzz with activity. When I wasn’t collecting tinder for a fire, I was in the shamba picking kale for dinner. Oh, the good old farm-to-table days! There was never a moment of stillness or boredom.
Even when it rained, one could always sit by a crackling fire and watch the flames dancing. More often than not, I’d be by the window, face pressed into glass, watching sheets of rain pummeling the ground. I always worried about my dog when it rained because she was forbidden to come inside with me. As soon as the storm waned, I would run outside with the dog in tow. Sometimes she would lead the way, other times I would. On occasion, I would pursue my own curiosity. However, for the most part I just wanted to be a part of the dog’s life. I tagged along while she sniffed this and that, and egged her on when she found a patch of dirt to dig into.
There would be fat raindrops sitting precariously on the cypress trees lining the perimeter of our homestead. The game was to maneuver under the branches, jiggle the tree trunk enough to shake loose the raindrops so that it seemed like it was raining again. Then duck away before the drops got on us. There were dozens of trees so we could do this repeatedly. I would shriek and squeal and the dog would bark and dash this way and that. Inevitably, we both got wet. I’d try to dry myself off and the dog would shake the water off her fur right back on to me. On and on we would go, feeding off each other’s joy, compounding our happiness.
We got up to all kinds of mischief. We were thick as thieves that dog and me. If we were lucky, we would find a wild hare in a thicket to chase or go after the neighbors’ unsuspecting chickens on our side of the fence. Otherwise, we would go watch flying termites struggling out of a termite hill or ladybugs hopping from leaf to leaf. When it was too dark to be outside, we would skip on back home.
My mother would open the back door to find me smelling like fresh dirt and wet fur. The dog would be squatting next to me with mud caked on her paws, looking both guilty and remorseful. She could never hide that we’d been up to no good. Mom would look at her last born, and sigh the sigh of a thousand exhausted mothers with bigger fish to fry. Then she’d let me in the house and I’d have that wrenching feeling again because I couldn’t bring my dog with me. Those were the days.
Anyway, here’s a list of some of those classics, completely free for your digital library. Enjoy your read!
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
A scientist and gentleman inventor in industrialized Victorian England claims to have irrefutable proof that time is not simply a concept—it’s a whole other dimension. When he reveals the prototype of a time-traveling machine to his peers, he’s met with skepticism at first…until he returns one week later, disheveled, bloody, and with a fantastic story to tell.
A cornerstone of speculative science fiction, The Time Machine launched the time-traveling genre, influenced generations of writers, and is recognized as a prescient vision of twenty-first-century fears—those of an impending environmental nightmare and the irreversible fate of a dying planet.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Bequeathed a rare diamond by her late uncle, heiress Rachel Verinder has no idea it was stolen from an Indian temple or that it has a cursed history. When the diamond disappears on her eighteenth birthday, multiple suspects—including Rachel’s suitor, Franklin Blake—are implicated in its theft. Determined to prove his innocence, Franklin begins his own investigation. Did one of his fellow Englishmen steal the jewel? Or was it whisked back to India? The case, which unfolds through multiple narratives, takes startling twists and turns in pursuit of the truth.
Widely considered the first great detective novel written in English, The Moonstone is one of Wilkie Collins’s most famous works.
Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup
Born into “the blessings of liberty in a free State,” Solomon Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Bayou Boeuf region of Louisiana’s Red River Valley. Twelve Years a Slave is the chronicle of his captivity at the mercy of sadistic plantation owner Edwin Epps, who tested Northup’s tenacity and self-control under the most brutal conditions. Until fate brought a Canadian abolitionist to Epps’s farm, Northup thought he would never draw another free breath.
To this day Northup’s harrowing memoir is recognized as the most reliable, accurate eyewitness account of the daily lives of slaves. As a significant historical reference, it is unsurpassed. As an authentic narrative of a man starved of his freedom, it is unforgettable.
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
Nora Helmer has a secret—a necessary lie that, when discovered, breaks her provincial bourgeois home and awakens her to the oppression of her marriage and the suppression of her own discontent. For Nora, it’s also an opportunity to escape from her controlling husband and a chance to be recognized not only as a wife or a mother but as a human being.
Upending expectations for domestic drama and the traditional roles of men and women, A Doll’s House shocked the world, sparked debates about gender and marriage, and changed theater history.
The Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang
The vengeful King Schahriar agrees to stave off the execution of Queen Scheherazade until she finishes a particularly compelling story. Her plan? Bleed one tale into another. Through fanciful histories, romances, tragedies, comedies, poems, riddles, and songs, Scheherazade prolongs her life by holding the king’s rapt attention.
With origins in Persian and Eastern Indian folklore, the stories of The Arabian Nights have been reworked, reshaped, revised, collected, and supplemented throughout the centuries by various authors and scholars—and are continually redefined by the modern translations of the Western world.
Fun Fact: The Tarzan book series actually comprises 24 books! If you read just one book a month, it would take you two years to finish it. How about that?
Tarzan Of The Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
John Clayton III, an orphan boy, comes of age in the western coastal jungles of Africa following the tragic deaths of his aristocratic parents. Raised in the ways of the apes by his adoptive mother, Kala, he is renamed Tarzan and ascends to king through feats of revenge and courage.
When a group of explorers brings the beautiful Jane Porter to the jungle, a lovelorn Tarzan decides to follow her to the United States to win her love. On his journey back into human society, Tarzan must decide whether to return to the jungle or reclaim his past.
Fast-paced and suspenseful, Tarzan of the Apes was wildly successful and generated two dozen sequels; and many film, radio, and comic-book adaptations.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Orphaned at birth to labor in a workhouse, Oliver Twist is barely ten when he flees for London. There he befriends young Jack Dawkins, who educates the innocent Oliver in the ways of survival. When Jack draws Oliver into a gang of juvenile pickpockets, tutored by the unscrupulous Fagin, Oliver’s corruptive influences grow. But for a boy taught only wrong, Oliver must hold on to what he knows is right.
In Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens furiously condemns the realities of nineteenth-century England and rewards those who can escape them still pure at heart.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
When young Jim Hawkins decides to follow a map to buried treasure, he must befriend or outsmart memorable characters such as pirate Long John Silver, captain Billy Bones, and island man Ben Gunn. Mutinous plans, mysterious deaths, and a tangle of double crosses keep Jim guessing all the way to the prize.
Peg-legged pirates, colorful parrots, and plundered riches—they’re all here in Robert Louis Stevenson’s original seafaring adventure. Inspired by real-life seafarers, Stevenson captures the adventurous spirit of the times and the imagination of readers, young and old alike.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Whether he’s sneaking doughnuts, mooning over a pretty girl, or snookering the local boys to do his work for him, Tom Sawyer is the consummate schemer—but his charm and easygoing nature keep him from being in anyone’s bad graces for long. However, when Tom teams up with his friend Huck Finn, their sleepy Missouri town had better watch out.
Based on Mark Twain’s memories of growing up along the Mississippi River, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is both an idyllic picture of boyhood and an affectionate satire of adult conventions.
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