Archive for May 2011

Free Classics: “The Girl from Montana” by Grace Livingston Hill

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at ClassicKindle.com, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog, ClassicKindle.com, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

At one time I had almost all of Grace Livingston Hill’s books and I have probably read all of her novels. She wrote dozens and dozens of romances. The ancient copies I had were the only books I have ever seen that had actually been eaten by bookworms. But it was so hard to find her books that I kept them and read around the holes!

These are old-fashioned romances, usually about someone meeting a partner across class boundaries. Her heroines are often naïve, but with great native intelligence. There is a strong religious theme to the books. Usually the heroine has a religious awakening along with falling in love.

I know a religious aspect is off-putting to some people. All I can say is I did not feel preached to. Maybe that is because the books are about old-fashioned girls from an earlier time. Here is an excerpt from today’s free classic book, The Girl from Montana:

At one stopping-place a good woman advised Elizabeth to rest on Sundays. She told her God didn’t like people to do the same on His day as on other days, and it would bring her bad luck if she kept up her incessant riding. It was bad for the horse too. So, the night being Saturday, Elizabeth remained with the woman over the Sabbath, and heard read aloud the fourteenth chapter of John. It was a wonderful revelation to her. She did not altogether understand it. In fact, the Bible was an unknown book. She had never known that it was different from other books. She had heard it spoken of by her mother, but only as a book. She did not know it was a book of books.

She carried the beautiful thoughts with her on the way, and pondered them. She wished she might have the book. She remembered the name of it, Bible, the Book of God. Then God had written a book! Some day she would try to find it and read it.

“Let not your heart be troubled”; so much of the message drifted into her lonesome, ignorant soul, and settled down to stay.

This is a typical judgment from one of Hill’s heroines:

Geraldine Loring was almost—well, fast, at least, as nearly so as one who was really of a fine old family, and still held her own in society, could be. She was beautiful as a picture; but her face, to Elizabeth’s mind, was lacking in fine feeling and intellect. A great pity went out from her heart to the man whose fate was in that doll-girl’s hands.

“Fast” is not good in Hill’s world and is an outdated condemnation to us. But clear eyes, keeping your word and having a will of steel is never out of fashion and that is why these are still enjoyable romances.

Download your free copy of “The Girl from Montana” here >>

BookLending.com Most Wanted – Week of May 9, 2011

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

3. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

4. The Bargain by Mary J. Putney

5. My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler

6. Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

7. Kentucky Bride by Hannah Howell

8. Tamara’s Child by B K Mayo

9. Switched (Trylle Trilogy, Book 1) by Amanda Hocking

10. The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

11. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

12. Fixing Freddie by Paula Munier

13. Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy by Susan Ray Schmidt

14. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee

15. Sabine by Moira Rogers

16. Falling for You (Pearl Island Trilogy) by Julie Ortolon

17. The BITCH-PROOF SUIT (Romantic Comedy) by De-ann Black

18. The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister

19. Turned (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals) by Morgan Rice

20. Just Perfect (Perfect Trilogy) by Julie Ortolon

21. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

22. Why Me? by Sarah Burleton

23. Vegas Moon (A Donovan Creed Novel) by John Locke

24. Anchor: a Northern Shifters novel by Jorrie Spencer

25. Abandon by Meg Cabot

Free Classics: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant – Volume 1

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at ClassicKindle.com, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog, ClassicKindle.com, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

General Ulysses S. Grant’s post-war career got a bad rap. He goes from being victorious Civil War general to the worst President ever and then passes from our view. But the last thing he did in life was write a great memoir, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant – Volume 1. He did it to save his family from poverty.

This is a stunning book! It was popular at the time; a bestseller and a critical success.

In the winter of 1838-9 I was attending school at Ripley, only ten miles distant from Georgetown, but spent the Christmas holidays at home. During this vacation my father received a letter from the Honorable Thomas Morris, then United States Senator from Ohio. When he read it he said to me, “Ulysses, I believe you are going to receive the appointment.” “What appointment?” I inquired. “To West Point; I have applied for it.” “But I won’t go,” I said. He said he thought I would, AND I THOUGHT SO TOO, IF HE DID. I really had no objection to going to West Point, except that I had a very exalted idea of the acquirements necessary to get through. I did not believe I possessed them, and could not bear the idea of failing. There had been four boys from our village, or its immediate neighborhood, who had been graduated from West Point, and never a failure of any one appointed from Georgetown, except in the case of the one whose place I was to take. He was the son of Dr. Bailey, our nearest and most intimate neighbor. Young Bailey had been appointed in 1837. Finding before the January examination following, that he could not pass, he resigned and went to a private school, and remained there until the following year, when he was reappointed. Before the next examination he was dismissed. Dr. Bailey was a proud and sensitive man, and felt the failure of his son so keenly that he forbade his return home. There were no telegraphs in those days to disseminate news rapidly, no railroads west of the Alleghanies, and but few east; and above all, there were no reporters prying into other people’s private affairs. Consequently it did not become generally known that there was a vacancy at West Point from our district until I was appointed. I presume Mrs. Bailey confided to my mother the fact that Bartlett had been dismissed, and that the doctor had forbidden his son’s return home.

I have read a lot of military memoirs and this one stands out among some very good books. It is especially unusual in that the best memoirs are usually by the non-commissioned officers. It is kind of a commonplace that the generals get their way during the war, but the soldiers they command get the last word. This book is the exception.

Download your free copy of Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant – Volume 1 here >>