Saturday, June 26, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge # 26

Our task this week was to explore Google Books from a non-genealogy research perspective to learn more about the tool and how we might use it.

The Classics

Even though I’ve read a lot of books for as far back as I can remember, I’ve often thought there were some classics that never made it on to my reading list. Seeing “The Classics” listed on Google books seemed like a good place to start this week's challenge.

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – The entire play is available on Google Books. In high school, I opted to see the film starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. I struggled with Richard III and still can’t tell you what it was about. And I preferred Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet over Mel Gibson’s. So I guess I never actually read that much Shakespeare, even though I bought a used copy of his complete works on Bookins a while back. Nice to know his work is available online.

Other Classics available on Google Books:

Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities

Jules Verne – Around the World in 80 Days (again, saw the movie – the original one with David Niven)

Dee Brown – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – there is an illustrated version that has beautiful artwork.

F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby – This is probably still my favorite piece of fiction – a limited number of pages are available on Google Books. Since discovering one of the branches of my family tree lived on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota just a few blocks from Fitzgerald, I’ve had a renewed interest in going back and re-reading some of his books.  On Google Books, I discovered an earlier published version of The Great Gatsby called Trimalchio. Fascinating!

Mark Twain – Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer and Life on the Mississippi

Mari Sandoz – Cheyenne Autumn and Capital City

It is very clear, that with Google Books, you can always have a library on your laptop.

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