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Books and e-books

Are computers replacing books??  Not according to these sites!  If you love to read, check these web sites for recommendations about what to read next! 

Bartleby.com -- features the Harvard Classics (a 70 volume set of many great classic books), the Oxford Shakespeare, Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, children's fables, and many more books you can read for free online. Individual books from the 20-volume Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction can be downloaded as free PDF ebooks. 

Best Children's Books -- selected by a family of teachers, this site identifies some of the best books for specific subjects and reading levels.

BookBrowse -- "Your guide to exceptional books."  Provides reviews, excerpts from the books, author bios, reading guides, and more to keep you reading!  Browse the site by genre, title, or author, or search for a specific author or title.

BookSpot -- book reviews, recommended reading lists, links to electronic books, etc.  Book clubs can also find discussion questions and other resources.

Hennepin County (MN) Library's Find a Good Book -- this site helps you find recommended books in specific genres.

Kent (Mi.) District Library's What's Next? -- use this site to find titles in a series; for example, you can find out the correct order of Lilian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." series.

Locus Index to Science Fiction -- one of the best places to start when you want to know about books in the science fiction genre: who wrote what, when was a book published, etc.  Indexes are available for science fiction published from 1984 through 2006.

Looking for e-books? These sites offer free books you can download for your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Bookyards -- more than 18,000 free ebooks, from biographies to history to sports to fiction.

Ebook Friendly: 25 Sources of Free Public Domain Books -- This list gets updated annually, and includes some of the places listed here as well as sites around the world.

Feedbooks, DigiLibraries, and Smashwords -- All three sites offer free ebooks, both classic and recent originals. Feedbooks and Smashwords also have new ebooks you can purchase.

Online Books Page -- "Listing over 1 million free books on the web." This site pulls together e-books from other websites to give you a single point to find titles.  Includes prize winning books like Newbery Books and winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature or Pulitzer Prize in Letters; a section on books banned through the ages; and a celebration of women writers.  Also includes a single point to find professional and academic journals with freely accessible archives online.

OpenLibrary -- Register to read or borrow from the collection of over 1.7 million scanned books in this collection! 

POWER LibraryUse POWER Library's eBooks to read books both new and old on your computer screen, even some children's books. Or kids can use BookFlix to improve their reading skills and have fun at the same time. From the main POWER Library page, just click on the resource you want to use.  Home users will need to type in your Pottsville library card number in order to use these databases.

Project Gutenberg -- 42,000 free titles and counting from the first producer of free ebooks. Many of the books are available in multiple formats, including Kindle. 

Read Easily -- This site provides books in formats where you can control the size of the text and color for those who need high-contrast pages, and the books are easily read by Text to Speech software for those who are blind or visually impaired.

Story Time for Me -- Aimed at children ages 1-8, this site provides free online stories that children can watch and read along. The initial collection is small, but they plan on adding more stories each month.  

Looking for what's hot?  Check out these bestseller lists:

ABA Indie Bestseller Lists -- the top-selling hardcover and paperback books at independent bookstores across the country, divided into national, regional, and specialty bestseller lists.

New York Times Bestseller Lists -- free registration is required to access one of the most widely used bestseller lists; there's also a link to the book review section

Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists -- what are the hottest audio and children's books?  Click on the "Bestsellers" tab at the top of the page, then scroll down to the "Bestsellers by Category" section (right side of page).  Choose from audio, hardcover fiction or nonfiction, etc.  A link at the bottom of each bestsellers list lets you view lists from previous months. 


Candle and Soap Making -- This page features a large collection of articles and illustrations, tips and troubleshooting, plus a newsletter archive.  

Counted Cross Stitch, Needlework, and Stitchery Page -- The star of this site is the Needlework FAQs section, complete with stitching tutorials, tips on creating charts, software reviews, stitching techniques, and fabric guides.  There are also links to free patterns and sources for supplies.

FreePatterns.com -- Videos and illustrations demonstrating different stitches, presented by Annie's Attic, set this site apart.  Select a technique from this page (crochet, cross stitch, knitting, plastic canvas or quilting), then click on "Stitch Guide" to see a list of available stitches.  This site also offers free patterns for a wide variety of crafts.  Note that free registration is required in order to access the patterns.

Index To How To Do It Information -- Who keeps track of all those projects published by magazines?  This site does!  Whether you want to learn how to make a wood shed for your back yard, how to use acrylic paint for the best effect, or how to make a tatted doily, this index can help you out.  The index provides citations for magazine articles from 1963-1999.  If the magazines aren't available at the Pottsville Library, talk to us about using Interlibrary Loan to get a copy of the article for you.

Knitty: grassroots knitting -- This site has lots of free patterns contributed by a wide variety of designers, plus knitting-related articles.  Pattern difficulty is indicated by "mellow" (beginners), "tangy" (intermediate level), "piquant" (for seasoned knitters), and "extraspicy" (lots of experience and patience needed).

Scrapbooking.com Magazine -- The Features section contains articles on different techniques like chalk marbling or creating background papers.  The Newsletters are primarily lists of suppliers, but they also have a good Q & A section.  Scrapbooking basics can be found in the Archives.

-- This site is great for printable projects to do with the kids, such as pages to color or similar craft projects.

Woodworker's Central -- Helpful sections on this site include what not to do with your woodworking tools, a large collection of tool reviews, pictures of wood samples, and woodworking plans.  

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Games and Trivia

Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia -- check out this list before your next Scrabble match, and knock out your competition!

Cool Quiz -- "Trivia, quizzes, puzzles, humor!"  Need we say more?

Food Reference Website -- puzzles, "Today's Events in Food History", food festival listings, quotes, recipes, humor, ... plenty of ways to have fun with food!

How Stuff Works -- Find answers to questions like, "How Crying Works", "How St. Patrick's Day Works", "How to Start a Community Garden" or "How Basketball Works." Look under "Toys" to learn how a yo-yo works or how See-and-Say can speak without batteries. Check out the section on "How Identity Theft Works" to learn how to protect your name and your bank accounts.

JigZone -- like to do jigsaw puzzles?  This site provides free puzzles to do online:  choose a picture and how many pieces you want to work with (from 6 to 247!).  Warning: this site might be addicting!

Oxymorons -- Has the phrase "jumbo shrimp" always bothered you?  Check out this site for hundreds of examples of contradictory statements.  Browse by subject, view newly-added oxymorons, or just look through the entire list.

Scribbler -- When you're feeling really bored, try playing with this site.  Start by drawing something using your mouse, then start the Scribbler and see what it adds to your drawing.  View the gallery (link is at the bottom of the page) to see what others have drawn.

Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages -- A virus warning window pops up on your computer:  is it for real, or is it a hoax?  This site can clarify the issue, along with thousands of other questionable stories that have circulated by word of mouth, by Facebook and Twitter, or by email for years.  Is it true?  Check here first!


Cranky Critic -- movie reviews (the reviewer states how much they'd be willing to pay for a movie ticket: the higher the price, the better the movie), interviews, rumors, and more.

Internet Movie Database
information about movies currently in the theaters and at your local video store, as well as facts about the stars; even helps you find out what movies are playing where and at what times!

Rotten Tomatoes -- movie reviews and previews (movies are rated by tomatoes:  a red tomato means a movie is "fresh", a green splot means it's rotten); reviews are written by movie experts.

Yahoo! Movies -- showtimes, movie trailers, even short films are available at this site; also lists top box office hits.


Other Fun Stuff


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  Updated April 21, 2014.

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