Atacama Desert [image] by Frodosleveland - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34783600

Happy New Dystopia!

We’re not in the habit of distributing a bundle with multiple stories by the same author. This because we think it’s just so much more fun to create bundles by searching for disparate stories that go so well together. But sometimes an author submits pieces to us that are simply so perfect together that we cannot help ourselves and we just need to share them with you. This week is such a week.

The winter season has thoroughly started now and most days it gets me in the mood for some great dystopian fiction. If you feel the same then look no further! In this bundle we have two great stories by writer George Economou, who’ve we’ve hosted on this blog before. Economou is a professional drinker born in Athens, Greece in 1990, has recently finished his Master’s degree in Science Studies at Aarhus University and is currently living in Athens, sending out CVs to any job ad he comes across. His first novel, The Elixir of Youth, was published in Greece in 2010, and his English short stories have appeared in horror outlets, such as Black Petals, Blood Moon Rising, and the inaugural issue of The Chamber Magazine.

The first story in this bundle is Mediocrity. It is set in the future where, through means of eugenics, humans have become perfectly equal and identical. The story’s told by a brilliant young man, who due to vanity, plays an integral part in the destruction of society.

The second piece in this bundle is The Town and the Boy, which is a sci-fi, dystopian story set in a world where reading, intellect, and being in any way different is penalized; a story about certain ideals taken to the extreme, as well as the inability to change the past.

Happy New Dystopia bundle .ePub [download]
Happy New Dystopia bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

Do you know so great dystopian fiction (or non-fiction!) we should read this winter season? Let us know in the comments.

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Brown Lady of Raynham Hall: claimed photograph of the ghost by Captain Hubert C. Provand. First published in Country Life, 1936. Fair use via https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26302476.

Ghosts from Europe [Repackaged]

This is the second installment in the series of repackaged Ghosts stories that we distributed earlier in the year but wanted to redo to deliver a better quality bundle.

Since I’m traveling from Europe to America today I thought I’d put to together two ghost stories by European authors for you, and save the stories by American authors for the last installment in this repackaged series.

The first in this bundle is The Roll-Call Of The Reef by Arthur Quiller-Couch, who was a British writer from Cornwall and was best known for his literary criticism as well as his opus The Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900. The Roll-Call Of The Reef is also a well-known work of his that was inspired by the wrecking of the HMS Primrose on the Cornish coast in 1809. The piece follows a story-in-a-story format and is described as more sentimental than scary in its homage to serviceman lost in a tragedy.

Today’s second piece is The Gray Nun. Its author Nataly von Eschstruth was German and the daughter and wife of military officers. She was a prolific writer of story stories, novels and plays which characteristically reflected back through the generations establishing faults that the main protagonists (and with them the readers) were to break free from. The Gray Nun is a ghost story of hers.

European Ghosts .ePub bundle [download]
European Ghosts .mobi bundle [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
The Roll-Call Of The Reef by Arthur Quiller-Couch
The Gray Nun by Nataly von Eschstruth

Have you read a great short story about servicemen in the line of duty, or know a great European ghost story? Let us know in the comments!

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Charles Dickens. Portrait by Jeremiah Gurney - Heritage Auction Gallery [Public Domain] via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8451549

It’s a Dickens Christmas

It’s hard not to let the time of year influence our bundles and so all pretense is out the window. As our first ever Christmas bundle we present: “It’s a Dickens Christmas”, a collection of Christmas stories by Charles Dickens, hand-curated for you by the Jumbelbook team.

Charles Dickens hardly needs an introduction. Born in 1812, Dickens left school at a young age but despite his lack of formal education was a prolific English writer and social critic. Over the course of his career, he wrote fifteen novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, and edited a weekly journal for twenty years. His most famous Christmas story is A Christmas Carol. Here, though, we bundled some of his lesser-known short stories with a Christmas subject.

The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain is a novella about holiday spirit more than Christmas itself, in which a teacher named Redlaw is changed for the better when he seizes the opportunities to let go of past torments.

The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In is a narrative that is meant to sway the reader to the morality proposed by Dickens, which virtues of course cannot yet be found in the main character, Trotty Veck, a poor elderly messenger, but which he comes to realise as the tale progresses.

The Holly-Tree is a sweet tale-within-a-tale in which a dejected lover ends up snowed in at the Holly Tree Inn and hears the story of two young lovers who run away to get married. This piece shows off Dickens’s well-known sentimental side with a ‘don’t lose hope’-theme.

The last in our bundle is The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home. This is a departure compared to Dickens’s other Christmas tales, as this piece abandons social commentary and current events to solely be a simple fantasy hero story within a domestic setting.

It’s a Dickens Christmas .ePub bundle [download]
It’s a Dickens Christmas .mobi bundle [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain by Charles Dickens
The Chimes by Charles Dickens
The Holly-Tree by Charles Dickens
The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens

Do you have a tale of a snowed-in christmas, or some holiday wisdom to impart? Let us know in the comments!

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The Gift of the Magi by O.Henry (book cover). [Public domain] Fair use via https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31695396.

‘Tis the Season

December has officially started and with so many people around the world celebrating different holidays, much of our time is taken up this month with preparations.

For me personally this month sets me in mind of trees and gifts so this week I thought I’d put together a bundle with two stories whose subjects are trees and gifts.

The first is The Man Whom the Trees Loved by Algernon Blackwood, who was a prolific English writer; best known for his ghost stories and weird fiction. This story is an example of weird fiction that revolves around a couple who live on the edge of a forest. The man, David, develops a fascination with the forest, which deeply scares his wife, Sophia.

The second is The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. William Sidney Porter, who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry, was an American short story writer, whose stories are known for their surprise endings. This piece is no different. The Gift of the Magi is a story about a young couple, Jim and Della, who are short of money but desperately want to buy each other Christmas gifts. In their creativity they succeed in doing so but things do not turn out the way they imagined.

Tis the Season bundle .epub [download]
Tis the Season bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
The Man Whom the Trees Loved by Algernon Blackwood
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Have you ever had a fascination no-one understood, or has a gift you bought ever had an unexpected result? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Mary Noailles Murfree

Ghosts by Murfree [Repackaged]

Earlier in the year when we reviewed the first few bundles we created, we came to the conclusion that they would not stand up to the quality we would produce now. Today we’re starting a second round of repackaging by taking the Ghosts bundle, ripping it apart and repackaging it as three individual (better quality) bundles.

The first re-bundle is a set of ghost stories by Mary Noailles Murfree, who was an American author of novels and short stories, and is considered the first significant female writer of Appalachian literature. Born near the town of Murfreeboro, which was named after her great-grandfather, Murfree was lame since childhood and spent her childhood reading and studying the local Appalachian culture, which led her to became known for the realism of her accounts in her writing.

The two stories in this bundle are His Unquiet Ghost and The Phantom Of Bogue Holauba. Murfree’s style is often praised for eloquent writing which forms an extraordinary contrast with the dialect of the characters.

Ghosts by Murfree bundle .ePub [download]
Ghosts by Murfree bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
The Phantom Of Bogue Holauba by Mary Noailles Murfree
His Unquiet Ghost by Mary Noailles Murfree

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Frances Hodgson Burnett by Herbert Rose Barraud (1845-1896). Image is in the Public Domain via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=246112.

Manners

This time we have collected a set of stories on the subject of manners by prolific writer Frances Hodgson Burnett who was a turn of the 20th century feminist, most known for her children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885–1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).

This first is Surly Tim: A Lancashire Story, which is a rare sad story of Burnett’s; described as melodramatic with a Christian message. The piece is set in Lancashire where Burnett spent her childhood.
Then there is Mère Giraud’s Little Daughter; a sweet piece with an open ending that may cause some feelings of nostalgia. Be warned!
Lastly, Seth is described as an early feminism piece with a somewhat surprising ending that concerns mine work and the changing attitudes towards women, and which is of interest to fans of Burnett’s more mature work.

Manners bundle .ePub [download]
Manners bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were hand-curated for you by Jumbelbook in .ePub and .mobi format and sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
Surly Tim: A Lancashire Story by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Seth by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mère Giraud’s Little Daughter by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Did these stories make you nostalgic for Lancashire, or something else? Let us know in the comments!

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Secret Agent [illustration] by Ben Crowder - from: Flickr, license: CC BY-SA 2.0 via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19091142

American Detectives [Repackaged]

Here is part two of the repackaged Detective bundle [see Part I here]. This time we have two stories for you from American and Canadian literature.

The Leak by Jacques Futrelle is a story about a leak in a financial institution which is costing the firm a substantial amount of money and with which master detective Professor August Van Dusen is tasked to uncover.
Futrelle was a turn of the 19th century American journalist and mystery writer who died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912.

The second is The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain, a tragic story published in 1882. This piece centers around a Siamese white elephant that disappears en route to Britain where it was to be presented to the queen, and the detective team that is tasked to find it.
I was also going to write an intro to Mark Twain here but does he really need one? ;)

Detective bundle .ePub [download]
Detective bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
The Leak by Jacques Futrelle
The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain

Have you ever lost a million dollar or a white elephant? No? Me neither. Lost something else significant? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Creator: H. Allison & Co. Photographers. By Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/proni/6044974475/ via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53050382.

Family

Family can be a wonderful thing but we all know that it doesn’t always come easily. Today we have three stories that centre around strained or problematic family relationships.

The first piece is In His Absence by Marilyn Duarte and is a non-fiction excerpt of memoir.
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Marilyn writes screenplays, stage plays and works of nonfiction. She received the Audience Choice award at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario for her screenplay, BRAZILIAN WAX, which she co-wrote, and was invited to join the CBS and HBO sponsored story development workshop and writer’s lab hosted by NALIP in Los Angeles, California. She is a Hambidge Fellow, and a DISQUIET alumna. You can find more information on her website at marilynduartewriter.com.

The second story is The Father with Two Faces by Alexander Findlay. This is a piece about the experiences of an ordinary man; a father and an Evocatus (returning soldier) named Gaius Aquilius, who faces the duality of returning from violence and raising children.
Alexander Findlay was born in Durban, South Africa in 1985. Whilst he majored in Linguistics and French, Alex took some electives in English and Classical Civilizations and has always been passionate about literature and history. Alex currently resides in Israel where he works as a Cameraman, Photographer and Editor. Writing has always been his passion but he took a long time to commit before completing his first project, The Father With Two Faces.“. If you enjoy Alex’s writing and wish to read more by this author as he progresses in the craft, you can follow him on Facebook @wildwolfcreative.

The last piece in the bundle is Catori’s Sea Moth by Shelby Curran. It is a story that explores themes of family, coming of age and the construction of government. When Catori discovers a rare treasure on her socialist island, she is faced with the ghosts of her past and the wrath of her people.
Shelby Curran recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in English: Editing, Writing and Media. She currently works as an Editorial Assistant at Scholastic. Her work has appeared in The Miami Herald, Panoply (Editors’ Choice), Snapdragon Journal, The Write Launch and elsewhere. You can follow her on Instagram @shelbyecurran.

Family bundle .ePub [download]
Family bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

Have you found the secret to family bliss? Let us know in the comments!

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AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR. Image extracted from page 052 of Lapland Life; or, summer adventures in the Arctic Regions. ... Second edition, by MACKINNON, Donald Hilaro Ouseley Dimsdale. Original held and digitised by the British Library; from Flickr. [Public Domain] via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34957448.

English Detectives [Repackaged]

Having distributed bundles on this blog for a while now, we came to the conclusion that the first few bundles we did would not stand up to the quality we would produce now. So we decided to take the Detective bundle, rip it apart and repackage it as two individual (better quality) bundles.
The first in the set is a two-piece of English literature stories.

The first piece is The Man Who Drove the Car by Max Pemberton. Sir Pemberton (1863-1950) was a popular British novelist and journalist. He wrote mainly adventure and mysteries and this story is no exception. The tale tells about a driver listening to and unravelling the cons of his various passengers. This piece figuratively lets you take a backseat on all the action!

The second is My Friend The Murderer by the inimitable Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame. Published in 1882, the piece tells the story of a criminal who avoids the scaffold by selling out his comrades. But kind of life remains when one has no friends left?

English Detectives bundle .ePub [Download]
English Detectives bundle .mobi [Download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories are in the public domain and were sources from Project Gutenberg:
The Man Who Drove the Car by Max Pemberton
My Friend The Murderer by Arthur Conan Doyle

Have you ever been conned or sleuthed until a mystery was solved? Let us know in the comments below! You can also sign up for our mailing list and request a custom-made short story bundle.

El viaxeru. D'Eduardo Úrculo. Photo by Astur [Public Domain] via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4377840.

Travelogues

It’s the season of travel for me again and so I wanted to bundle together a few stories by Anthony Trollope, a prolific writer who was amongst other accomplishments famous for his stories on the subject of travel.

The Man Who Kept His Money in a Box shows us that even back in the day it does not do to travel with too many riches, for what happens when they are lost?

A Ride Across Palestine is a story about people who dislike traveling by themselves. Quite controversial for the times, Trollope addresses gender-foolery and homoerotic fantasy, to such an extent that that Trollope’s contemporaries criticized him for being a “person of morbid imagination and low tone of morals”.

An Unprotected Female at the Pyramids is another piece that was ahead of its time, wherein an unmarried woman decides to explore Egypt, unaccompanied by a man. A story that highlights the plight of independent women, and more general plights any seasoned traveller will recognise.

Returning Home is a natural closing piece since it has a homeward journey as its main focus. Though as with any journey there is a risk of arrangements going astray and dispair of completing the trip altogether.

Travelogue bundle .ePub [download]
Travelogue bundle .mobi [download]

Hope you enjoy!

These stories were sourced from Project Gutenberg, the volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works:
The Man Who Kept His Money in a Box by Anthony Trollope
A Ride Across Palestine by Anthony Trollope
An Unprotected Female at the Pyramids by Anthony Trollope
Returning Home by Anthony Trollope

Have you a great travel story, or faced adversity on the road? Tell us in the comments!

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