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The Adventurer’s Free E-Books

May 19, 2014



If you are the type of traveler that brings a tablet or E-reader on your voyage, or if you are stuck inside and want a literary escape, I’ve compiled a list of free E-books that might pique your interest. They are all available on Project Gutenberg (which lays claim to 45,541 titles), but often are also available free through your device’s E-Store.

I, personally, have a Samsung tablet. I’ve found the Google Play Store has a great “Top Free” section for further inspiration. I’ve got a couple more books in the queue and will add anything I find interesting.

Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!


Three in Norway (By Two of Them) by Walter J. Clutterbuck and James Arthur Lees (1882)

A personal account of what is likely the first canoe trip in Norway, written with English charm and humour. Of particular interest to me, as it takes place in what is now Jotunheimen National Park.


Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K Jerome (1889)

Another English travelogue, apparently they have a thing about traveling in threes! This one is an account of a two week (fortnight) boating holiday up the River Thames. Humourous, easy read. You can still recreate the trip today, apparently the inns and pubs they mention are still open!


Climbing on the Himalaya and Other Mountain Ranges by Norman Collie (1902)

An account of mountain climbing from the early days of the sport. Mostly focuses on the Himalayas, they were surrounded in mystery at the time as Europeans were excluded from entering Nepal at the time, but also has chapters on the Canadian Rockies, Norway’s Lofoten Islands, the European Alps, and various peaks in Great Britain. Can be a bit rambly in places, but it’s easy to skip to the good parts.


King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard (1885)

A classic “Lost World” tale. Legendary hunter Allan Quartermain (also of League of Extraordinary Gentleman fame) leads a group of Brits in search of the legendary King Solomon’s diamond mines in Africa (many adventures ensue).


The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (1922)

One of two free offerings by one of the best mystery writers of all times. An English post WWI adventure with a twisting plot I won’t attempt to summarize.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

Probably needs no introduction, but a great easy reading marine adventure tale.


The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)

An account of the Chilkoot Trail during the 1898 gold rush from the perspective of a sled dog. A must read if hiking the Chilkoot Trail. White Fang is also available, but I haven’t read it yet.


South! The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition, 1914-1917;

Written by Ernest Shackleton himself, an account of his failed attempt to cross the Antarctic and one of the most incredible survival stories of all time.


Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

A classic “man vs nature” tale that pits the captain of a whaling ship against a legendary white whale.


The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1600s)

Very long book about a meandering journey of a crazy Spanish guy who believes he is a Knight of yore and his mostly faithful assistant Sancho Panza. Written in the 1600s and a great read if you have a lot of time on your hands (maybe if you’re through hiking the PCT!)


The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island by Johann David Wyss (1812)

I don’t think I’ve actually read this one, but as I have saw the movie as a child, I feel qualified to add it to the list. Classic “deserted” island tale. Easy to read and a great way to take a mental vacation from the problems of modern civilization.

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