The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

A classic book haul which cost me nothing at all!

on October 1, 2016

Hello you gorgeous individuals and a very happy Saturday to you!

It’s been a while since I posted a book haul, but I’m excited to share this one with you because it was completely FREE! All of the books I downloaded in this haul are classics, or at least old enough to be public domain, therefore you can get them on your e-reader for approximately zero dollar.

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The free e-books on Kindle have quite grim and boring covers, so to brighten up this post, I’ve taken it upon myself to find prettier/more interesting covers for each, because I’m shallow, y’know:

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James


I’m not sure if this is paranormal or merely psychological, but it’s some kind of creepy Victorian novella set in a creepy Victorian house, and I’ve always wanted to read it.

The Haunted Hotel – Wilkie Collins


Well, duh! I’m kind of imagining a Victorian version of The Shining, but that’s probably an inaccurate guess as to what this is about! Nevertheless, I’ve read Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and really enjoyed it, so I’m excited to pick this one up. It looks spooky!

Bleak House – Charles Dickens


Confession time: I have never read any Dickens. Not even Oliver Twist. And I’ve never touched the beautiful edition of A Christmas Carol I bought myself approx. five million Christmasses ago. I’m not sure if Bleak House is the best place to start with Dickens, but I vaguely know the story, having watched some of the BBC adaptation, and as it was free, I thought why not?!

Villette – Charlotte Bronte


I was supposed to read this novel for one of my university modules, but I gave up halfway through. Partly because there’s a lot of French dialogue, and I couldn’t be bothered to keep flipping to the notes at the back for the translations. But I think this would have been good if I’d persevered, so after I’ve finally read Jane Eyre, I’m going to give this another go.

The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman


I read this when I was studying gothic short stories for my dissertation, but I’ve never owned a copy. This story, about a women’s descent into madness after being confined in a room with yellow wallpaper by her husband, is disturbing, creepy, and brilliant. I can’t wait to re-read it.

The Railway Children – E. Nesbit


I loved the movie of The Railway Children when I was a tiny human, but as far as I can remember I’ve never read the book. I’m so excited for all the childhood nostalgia reading this will bring.

The Secret Passage – Fergus Hume


I have to admit, I have no idea what this book is about and have never heard of the author, but with a title like that, of course I was going to download it. Secret passages are everything.

Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy


I’ve loved both the Hardy novels I’ve read, and I’ve heard amazing things about this one, although I’ve also been warned it is somewhat devastating. I’m stocking up on tissues before I settle down with this book.

The Monk – Matthew Lewis


Gothic novel about a creepy, rapey, murderous monk? I’m not sure what I’m going to make of this one, but as I love creepy stuff, and as this has been recommended to me by several people, I’m going to give it a go.

Walden – Henry David Thoreau


This is a memoir written by an author who moved to a remote house by a lake in the middle of nowhere and spent two years there alone. I’ve heard that this is basically a book about mindfulness (although as mindfulness is a fairly new buzzword, I’m sure it’s not directly referred to as that in the book), and as that’s something I’m trying to practice at the moment, I thought this might be an interesting read.

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – M.R. James


My friend Kat recommended this collection to me a while ago, and until now, I hadn’t realised it was completely free on Kindle. I love creepy ghost stories, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to love shivering over these ones this Halloween.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare – William Shakespeare


Okay, so when I said this book haul cost me nothing, I lied a tiny bit, but the COMPLETE WORKS of Shakespeare only cost me about 49p or something. For an English graduate, I’ve read very little Shakespeare, and I’ve decided I want to remedy that. The main inspiration behind this download, however, is that I’m attending a talk by Margaret Atwood (author of The Handmaid’s Tale) in November, and she’s talking about her new book – a retelling of The Tempest.

Edgar Allen Poe: The Complete Tales and Poems – Edgar Allen Poe


This collection wasn’t entirely free either, but it cost me next to nothing, and I’m so excited to get stuck in. I love Poe’s poem The Raven, and I’ve been obsessed with Annabel Lee ever since I read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare earlier in the year. I literally had that poem stuck in my head for months afterwards. I’ve never read any of Poe’s short stories, and I don’t know why, because they are textbook Gothic and creepy, and I’m all over that stuff like a rash.

So that’s a wrap for this month! What books did you add to your shelves or e-reader this month? Have you read any of these books? And what’s your favourite classic? Recommendations always welcome!


39 responses to “A classic book haul which cost me nothing at all!

  1. Great haul. I seriously need to follow your example and read more classics. I haven’t read much Dickens but did pick up Christmas Carol last year and really enjoyed. I do remember reading Villette many years ago and enjoying but I studied enough French at school to get the gist without having to check translations. It is worth it but then I love all things Bronte 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! Yeah – I’m kind of making it my mission to read more classics, because I’ve probably only read about 3 in the 4 years since I finished my English degree. I’m glad you enjoyed A Christmas Carol – I’m determined to finally read it this Christmas. It’s so bad, I say this every year, then forget, then kind of miss my seasonal window to read it! And it’s good to know Villette is worth persevering with – my French is terrible, and when I was at university, I had a brick of a phone that didn’t have internet. Now I have a phone belonging to this century, it should be easier for me to translate! Have you read all of the Bronte’s books? Which is your favourite? I’ve only read Wuthering Heights, but I’ve got Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on my shelf, and I’m really excited to read them!

      • I went through a Bronte phase many years ago and read them all. My favourite always has been (and probably always will be) Jane Eyre. It’s probably my all time fave of the classics although in fairness I haven’t read that many, mostly Bronte and Austen 🙂

      • mudandstars says:

        Ooh, that’s great! Jane Eyre is next on my list – I’m really exited to read it, there seems to be so much love for that book in the blogging community (and the world in general!) 🙂 And what’s your favourite Austen book? I’ve only read Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion, but I’m getting a really nice set of all of her novels for my birthday this month 🙂

      • Persuasion is up there but my favourite is probably Northanger Abbey. Possibly a bit of an odd choice but I like the MC and her active imagination 🙂

      • mudandstars says:

        I loved Persuasion! I think Northanger Abbey will be first on my list, it sounds really good! 🙂

      • The MC loves her novels and has an overactive imagination so should be perfect 🙂 I hope you enjoy.

      • mudandstars says:

        She’s basically me then! 🙂 Can’t wait!

  2. Darrick Dean says:

    Check out ebay – I have done some large and cheap book hauls there.

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh thanks for the tip – I’d actually never thought of doing that, but it’s a great idea. I’m trying to save money at the moment because I’m leaving my job to do a college course, so I need all the cheap books I can get 🙂

  3. What a great collection of classics! Gotta love public domain 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh thank you! I know, it’s amazing! I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing this sooner. I started feeling guilty about how many books I was downloading, and then realised I didn’t need to, because they were free! Such a good feeling 🙂 Have you read any of these ones?

      • I’ve read the Yellow Wallpaper, parts of Walden, several Shakespeare plays and Poe stories. 🙂

      • mudandstars says:

        Ooh awesome! I love The Yellow Wallpaper. What’s Walden like? I am so excited to read the Poe stories. Do you have a favourite? I think I might have to invest in a nice edition, because the Kindle version I got doesn’t seem very well formatted/edited. I’ve got my eye on a pretty hardback one in my local book store!

  4. Yay!! Free books are amazing! I see some good books in this haul! I have to start reading more classics.

    • mudandstars says:

      Yesss, free books are the best! 🙂 I love the fact that I don’t have to feel guilty for how many books I’ve just downloaded, because they didn’t cost me a thing. And yeah, I decided to make it my mission to read more classics too – there are so many I haven’t read but really want to. Which ones are on your TBR?

  5. MISH says:

    Great haul!! The Haunted Hotel caught my attention, the cover looks so eerie.

  6. Favourite classic without a doubt is Pride and Prejudice! I read the whole thing in one day ❤ I have found quite a lot of free e-books as well, I have some classics, like Les Miserables but also other, more modern YA to NA books 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      I’m a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice too. My mum’s getting me a really pretty set of Jane Austen’s books for my birthday, so I’m planning on re-reading it soon 🙂 Ooh have you read Les Miserables yet? I really want to read it as I love the musical, but I always find myself getting intimidated by how long the book is!

  7. Such a great Haul! I’m loving all the classics XD My favourite classic’s are To Kill a Mocking bird, The Little Prince, and Oscar Wildes Plays (especially the importance of being Earnest)

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! Yeah I’m in such a classic mood right now 🙂 I loved To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve never read The Little Prince though – I saw that Netflix made a film of it recently, and I’m really temped to read the book soon. There’s a really cute tiny edition of it in my local bookstore that I’ve almost bought several times! I’ve not read any of Oscar Wilde’s plays, but I really want to – I read The Picture of Dorian Gray recently, and I LOVE his writing style.

      • I enjoy Wilde’s plays so much! I hope you read them and love them there are seriously hilarious XD My faves are The Importance of being Ernest and Lady Windermeres Fan 🙂

        Definitly pick up the Little Prince, it’s such an amazing story for children and adults, the netflix movie was pretty well done as well, I enjoyed it 😀

  8. Oooh, I love this!! I took advantage of a bunch of free classics earlier in the year when I told myself I was going to read more this year. That kinda didn’t happen though 😂 I am so so glad I read The Yellow Wallpaper though that was incredible. I really want to read The Turn of the Screw and more Poe (I’ve only read The Raven). I added The Haunted Hotel and Ghost Stories of an Antiquary to my TBR too.

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha, yep, I am the worst for doing that too – I always have such good intentions, and then I don’t end up reading them until several years later! 😛 Which free classics did you buy? I totally agree – The Yellow Wallpaper is fantastic. Glad you’ve added some of these to your TBR too 🙂 Let me know how they are if you get to them before I do!! 🙂 By the way, I’m hoping I might do your Halloween Readathon – I might have to unofficially do it though, as I’m struggling to write posts right now, even TBRs. But I love all things Halloween ❤

  9. Ahh I love a good free classics haul!! I’ve done this before- and it’s so satisfying cos they don’t cost a penny! Turn of the Screw is amazing!!! One of the best books I’ve ever read! And I adore Yellow Wallpaper!! Oh wow- I hope you enjoy Dickens!! And strangely I’ve never read Railway Children either! And I remember our convo about Hardy- hope you like it! And I know what you mean about Shakespeare- I still haven’t read a ton of them! I need to remedy that!

    • mudandstars says:

      Ooh I’m excited that you enjoyed Turn of the Screw so much -I’ve wanted to read it for ages! And ooh have you read any Dickens? If so, which would you recommend? And yess our conversation inspired me to download Jude – I’ll definitely let you know how I get on – it sounds like I’ll need someone to discuss my emotions with haha!! And yess- I’ve read a few Shakespeare plays at school, and seen a couple, but there are so many I haven’t – including Hamlet, which I feel like everyone has read but me! – so I definitely need to read some more. Which Shakespeare plays do you like most?

      • Yes- a fair few- my favourites are david copperfield and great expectations 🙂 I tried reading Bleak House shortly after watching the BBC adaptation (which is so good) but couldn’t get into it cos it was too soon after watching the programme- I’m going to have to try it at some point! haha I’m glad!! well I’m always happy to discuss Hardy!! Ahh I know right (and heads up- Hamlet is seriously amazing!!!) I think my favourite is King Lear though- cos that one made me cry!!

      • mudandstars says:

        I agree, the BBC adaptation of Bleak House was fantastic! It’s been a long time since I watched it, so hopefully I’ll be able to get into the book 🙂 And I definitely want to read Great Expectations, and David Copperfield too! Yay for discussing Hardy – can’t wait 🙂 And oooh I really need to read Hamlet soon. King Lear is brilliant – I did it for my A Levels, I think it’s probably my favourite too, although I do have a soft spot for Romeo and Juliet. I saw a production of R&J last year that was really hilarious, and kind of refreshing because it’s usually done so seriously and tragically haha.

      • It really was! Yeah that’s a good idea- I’m trying to leave enough time before I try again 🙂 Ahh I totally understand- I love R&J (and am a fan of the Dicaprio version!) Ahh that’s awesome!! hahaa although it is admittedly quite tragic!

      • mudandstars says:

        Aww I love the Dicaprio version too, although definitely v tragic. 😥

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