What's a Book You Wish Was in the Public Domain?

Everything except LibriVox (yes, this is where knitting gets discussed. Now includes non-LV Volunteers Wanted projects)
ColleenMc
Posts: 2173
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » February 7th, 2021, 6:21 am

Okay so just to keep everyone from wishing for Harry Potter or Stephen King, let's make a pretend world where copyright ends 50 years after publication. So anything written before (counts on fingers) 1971 is now public domain. What book or other work would you leap to the Launch Pad with?

My very first thought is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a book I stumbled over in a box of old Nancy Drew books that had been passed around the family -- my mom and my aunt had had the box as pre-teens in the 1950s and it went off to cousins or something, and came back to me when I was around 9 or so. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn wasn't really a YA book but I devoured it anyway and remain in love to this day with the extremely detailed picture of growing up as a poor kid in Brooklyn around the turn of the century. It would make a pretty cool dramatic reading I think.

Sadly it was published in the 1940s so its PD date is nearly 2 decades off, but if I could wish a book into the public domain, that's the first one I'd reach for!

After that I'd start in on old school mysteries -- Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe, and the noir kings Hammett, Cain, and Chandler. Tho Hammett's earliest short stories are already there and many of the others are just a few years over the horizon!

What would you wish into the public domain if you could?

Colleen
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

KevinS
Posts: 11004
Joined: April 7th, 2019, 8:32 am
Contact:

Post by KevinS » February 7th, 2021, 6:46 am

Haha! I don't know where to start! I'm going to limit myself to three books or three authors. But first I have to take my post-sleep nap. (Post-sleep nap you ask? I would not wish to explain it. It comes with age, and certainly not with wisdom.)

mightyfelix
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 7811
Joined: August 7th, 2016, 6:39 pm

Post by mightyfelix » February 7th, 2021, 9:45 am

Well, that's easy. Narnia and LoTR!

Also, Watership Down was published in... (Googles it) ...1972. So if it's 50 years after publication, then I could read that next year! :D
(But in real life, it won't be until 2087, when I am 101 years old. :( )

ColleenMc
Posts: 2173
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » February 7th, 2021, 10:00 am

Oooh those are good ones!

Colleen
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

KevinS
Posts: 11004
Joined: April 7th, 2019, 8:32 am
Contact:

Post by KevinS » February 7th, 2021, 11:15 am

The works of Edwin O'Connor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_O%27Connor); Hemingway (I'd start with Islands in the Stream; and all of Carlos Drummond de Andrade published before 1971(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Drummond_de_Andrade.)

DACSoft
Posts: 1438
Joined: August 17th, 2013, 8:51 am
Location: Connecticut, US

Post by DACSoft » February 7th, 2021, 12:07 pm

Nineteen eighty-four, by George Orwell (1949) - timely

Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes (1943 - historical fiction) - read it when I was a youngster. The image of him, as a young lad, employed as an apprentice to a silversmith, burning his hand (effectively fusing his fingers together as I recall), and leaving it entirely crippled and useless (all due to a jealous prank by a fellow apprentice), has stuck with me to this day.

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (1954)
Last edited by DACSoft on February 7th, 2021, 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don (DACSoft)
Bringing the Baseball Joe series to audio!

In Progress:
Baseball Joe in the Big League; Whispering Tongues; The Story My Doggie Told to Me
Next up:
Baseball Joe on the Giants; The Arrival of Jimpson

Availle
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 19555
Joined: August 1st, 2009, 11:30 pm
Contact:

Post by Availle » February 7th, 2021, 12:11 pm

Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. One of the most touching books I've ever read.

The Temple of the Golden Pavillion by Yukio Mishima. A masterpiece even though I think Mishima sucks as a person.

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. Thrilling biography, even though most of it must be fictional.

Anything by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Beautiful short stories.

Anne Frank's Diary. Of course.

Anything by Peter Hoeg - but there we move past the 1970 cutoff. :lol:
Cheers, Ava.
Resident witch of LibriVox. "I ain't Nice."

--
AvailleAudio.com

ColleenMc
Posts: 2173
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » February 7th, 2021, 12:19 pm

These are all such fascinating choices, thanks for answering my question y'all! Feel free to keep 'em coming...

Colleen
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

Availle
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 19555
Joined: August 1st, 2009, 11:30 pm
Contact:

Post by Availle » February 7th, 2021, 3:15 pm

Oh, be honest - you asked because you were running out of books to read during lockdown. :P
Cheers, Ava.
Resident witch of LibriVox. "I ain't Nice."

--
AvailleAudio.com

commonsparrow3
Posts: 3001
Joined: January 17th, 2013, 9:16 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Post by commonsparrow3 » February 7th, 2021, 5:25 pm

ColleenMc wrote:
February 7th, 2021, 6:21 am
My very first thought is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a book I stumbled over in a box of old Nancy Drew books that had been passed around the family -- my mom and my aunt had had the box as pre-teens in the 1950s and it went off to cousins or something, and came back to me when I was around 9 or so. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn wasn't really a YA book but I devoured it anyway and remain in love to this day with the extremely detailed picture of growing up as a poor kid in Brooklyn around the turn of the century. It would make a pretty cool dramatic reading I think.

Sadly it was published in the 1940s so its PD date is nearly 2 decades off, but if I could wish a book into the public domain, that's the first one I'd reach for!
Oh, Colleen, how I love this book! It was my grandmother's favorite novel, and we read it aloud together many times over the decades. I still have some scratchy audiocassettes of the time we read aloud this book on New Year's Eve 1999, as we waited for midnight of a new century together. Grandma was born in 1916, yet so much of Francie's world of the 1910's was still there in the 1920's as Grandma grew up. Whenever she and I read this book together, we were always pausing as something in it triggered a memory for her, and she would tell me about it. Also, she would recollect things her mother had told her -- and her mother grew up in the pre-WWI years described in the book. To this very day, reading this book returns me vividly to memories of Grandma and her world, so it remains special to me. If I am still alive and kicking at LibriVox when this book enters public domain, I will start right in recording it, in memory of her. (I used to have a now-defunct book blog, and the very first post I ever wrote for it was about Grandma and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.)

SonOfTheExiles
Posts: 2421
Joined: December 20th, 2013, 1:14 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by SonOfTheExiles » February 7th, 2021, 7:03 pm

Two words ... "Ian Fleming".

So many of you would make such perfect Bond villains for Dramatic Readings.

You know who you are. :lol:

Cheers,
Chris
"Sorry, my tongue got in the way of my eye-tooth, and I couldn't see what I was saying..."

Come and assist Doctor Pangloss instruct the Baron in the proper use of his conjugals and declensions in our new play "The Heir At Law"

JoannaHoyt
Posts: 262
Joined: January 10th, 2021, 8:27 am
Location: Orwell, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by JoannaHoyt » February 7th, 2021, 7:20 pm

Ooh, that's a fun question.
Ursula Le Guin--The Left Hand of Darkness, A Wizard of Earthsea...
Elizabeth Goudge--The Castle on the Hill (probably, despite the few bits that make me cringe, because the rest is so good) and The Scent of Water (without a doubt)
Peter Beagle--The Last Unicorn
C.S. Lewis--Till We Have Faces (I think I could read Orual convincingly)
Various poems by W.H. Auden and by Langston Hughes
Peter Maurin's Easy Essays
Various short pieces by James Thurber, perhaps especially "Am Not I Thy Rosalind?"

And yes, amen to "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"--the reading of it is clearly already taken, so I'd just enjoy listening to Colleen's and/or Maria's version
Last edited by JoannaHoyt on February 9th, 2021, 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

TheDinosaurPlanet
Posts: 25
Joined: January 18th, 2021, 4:38 pm
Location: In the mountains of Virginia

Post by TheDinosaurPlanet » February 7th, 2021, 7:50 pm

The Chronicles of Narnia, for sure. Technically a book series, but they are masterpieces of Lewis. As a writer, the prose is beautiful and I long to write they way he does.
- Antonio @ https://librivox.org/reader/15663

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –

- Emily Dickinson

ColleenMc
Posts: 2173
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » February 7th, 2021, 8:29 pm

commonsparrow3 wrote:
February 7th, 2021, 5:25 pm
ColleenMc wrote:
February 7th, 2021, 6:21 am
My very first thought is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a book I stumbled over in a box of old Nancy Drew books that had been passed around the family -- my mom and my aunt had had the box as pre-teens in the 1950s and it went off to cousins or something, and came back to me when I was around 9 or so. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn wasn't really a YA book but I devoured it anyway and remain in love to this day with the extremely detailed picture of growing up as a poor kid in Brooklyn around the turn of the century. It would make a pretty cool dramatic reading I think.

Sadly it was published in the 1940s so its PD date is nearly 2 decades off, but if I could wish a book into the public domain, that's the first one I'd reach for!
Oh, Colleen, how I love this book! It was my grandmother's favorite novel, and we read it aloud together many times over the decades. I still have some scratchy audiocassettes of the time we read aloud this book on New Year's Eve 1999, as we waited for midnight of a new century together. Grandma was born in 1916, yet so much of Francie's world of the 1910's was still there in the 1920's as Grandma grew up. Whenever she and I read this book together, we were always pausing as something in it triggered a memory for her, and she would tell me about it. Also, she would recollect things her mother had told her -- and her mother grew up in the pre-WWI years described in the book. To this very day, reading this book returns me vividly to memories of Grandma and her world, so it remains special to me. If I am still alive and kicking at LibriVox when this book enters public domain, I will start right in recording it, in memory of her. (I used to have a now-defunct book blog, and the very first post I ever wrote for it was about Grandma and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.)
What a wonderful memory! I’m so glad you shared it!

Colleen
Colleen McMahon

No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Banzai

MaryinArkansas
Posts: 1055
Joined: October 4th, 2008, 8:06 pm
Location: Arkansas

Post by MaryinArkansas » February 7th, 2021, 9:11 pm

Definitely "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" Another I would pick is Daphne DuMaurier's "Rebecca" Great book. Excellently written.

One of my favorite fairly recently deceased, so still in copyright authors is Budd Schulberg. Author of "What Makes Sammy Run" and other great books and stories. Perhaps best known for his screenplay for "On the Watefront" which has one of the most quoted movie lines:

https://youtu.be/uBiewQrpBBA
Mary

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” – Samuel Johnson

Marsupial's Books

Post Reply