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Nothing can beat free books

I love books. And I love free stuff. Can you imagine how much I love free books? My Kindle is packed full of them. But you don't need an e-reader to take advantage of free reads. Project Gutenberg offers more than 36,000 free digitized titles to anyone with a personal computer, tablet, smartphone or iPod.

It's a lot to slog through, though, so I've curated a list of my favorites from www.gutenberg.org.

Luddites, don't fret. These classics are available in wide supply at the public library.

"Anne of Green Gables" by L. M. Montgomery. Great mother-daughter reading.

"Art of Money Getting" by P. T. Barnum. This one is right up your alley. I can't imagine any Discount Diva reader not enjoying this book by the greatest showman on earth.

"Aesop's Fables" by Aesop. Perfect bedtime reading with the kids.

"2BR02B" by Kurt Vonnegut. Oh, Kurt Vonnegut — I love you so! This science-fiction short story takes place in a world where aging and diseases have been conquered.

"Essays" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Come for "Nature." Stay for "Self Reliance."

"The Bible." The world's best-selling book of all time is free. My personal favorite book inside is Romans.

"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. A complicated madwoman in the attic that will haunt you for days.

"Germinal" by Emile Zola. About a coal-miner's strike in France during the 1860s. Descriptions of the characters' meager meals will make you drool.

"Dubliners" by James Joyce. A collection of 15 short masterpieces.

"The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling. The kids will love it. You will, too.

"Frankenstein" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. I just downloaded this for Halloween. Throw in "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" and "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.

"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" by Frederick Douglass. The autobiography of an incredible man who taught himself how to read, escaped slavery and went on to become a dynamic speaker, writer and activist. Also the reason I'm trying to convince my husband to let us name our future son Frederick Douglass Christmann.

"Tess of the d'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy. A Victorian tragedy? Count me in!

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. You already know the story, but it's a delightful, quick read—especially by the fire in December.

"Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy. So much more than an Oprah's Book Club selection.

schristmann@buffnews.com or call MoneySmart at 849-4612. Follow the Diva at www.Facebook.com/ DiscountDiva

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