Looking for a good book? Perhaps one of these free books about books will help you find what you are looking for.
Best Books for Kindergarten Through High School by Donna Hess (BJU Press)
Originally published in 1994, Best Books is now available from the publisher as a free two-part download. Hundreds of books are reviewed with comments intended to help us choose literature that will “help young people develop literary and spiritual discernment.”
Books are alphabetically listed by author in categories K-3, 3-6, 6-8, 6-8: Books for Analysis and Discussion, 8-12 and 8-12: Books for Analysis and Discussion. The books listed in the Books for Analysis and Discussion categories are included so that a reading can be “followed by a guided discussion in which the story is interpreted and evaluated using sound literary and biblical principles.”
Guidelines for Choosing Books helps us evaluate books for “literary quality and moral tone.” Best Books also includes a Biographies and Autobiographies section with titles listed by subject.
The Book-Lover: A Guide to the Best Reading by James Baldwin
James Baldwin was Editor-in-Chief for American Book Company (a large textbook publishing company in the late 1800s), a teacher, and the author of over fifty books including Fifty Famous Stories Retold and The Story of Siegfried.
The Book Lover, originally published in 1884, was in its thirteenth edition in 1902 when published with this opening preface, “Book love has ever been my passion; of its beginning I have no recollection. Although its early opportunities to manifest itself were slight indeed, yet it seemed to me so natural and so very necessary, that as a child I thought everybody ought to be possessed by it in the same manner as myself. That any person could live indifferent to the allurements of books was a matter of constant wonderment.” The author concluded the preface by offering what he hoped would be “a safe Guide to the Best Reading.”
In this digital era, we have access to many, if not most, of the books mentioned in this guide. Some selections have withstood the test of time and are still in publication. Others, more obscure, deserve a fresh look.
The books are listed alphabetically by author in the following categories: Books of Power, What Books Shall Children Read, Books Relating to Ancient History, Books relating to Modern History, Geography and Travels, Philosophy and Religion, Political Economy and the Science of Government, Study of English Literature, and “The Hundred Best Books.”
His chapters on choosing and reading books should also be of value.
The Book-Lover is available online as a free .pdf download.