10 most interesting books that enter the public domain in 2023

These books by Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, and A.A. Milne enter the public domain on January 1, 2023. They become available for anyone to use freely.

Every year, at least a few of the books that enter the public domain are worth adding to your reading list or reading challenge.

When the book is in the public domain, you can use or reuse it without limitations. It’s because the book’s intellectual property rights have expired or are not applicable any longer.

And every year, at least a few of these publications are books are worth adding to your

Book Riot has just released a list of the books that enter the public domain in 2023 in the United States. Unfortunately, they link to paid versions of these books on Amazon – which is against the idea of the public domain.

Why should you buy a book today, if you can get it free of charge in a few months, on public domain platforms, such as Project Gutenberg or Internet Archive?

And the 2023 public domain book list is highly attractive. You can find here Franz Kafka’s Amerika, Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Pomes Penyeach by James Joyce or Ernest Hemingway’s Men Without Women.

All you have to do is wait for these titles to be released by the public domain sites. I recommend checking out Project Gutenberg every few weeks. You can add the list of books added in the last 30 days as a bookmark to your browser. On a Mac computer, press Command+D, and on a PC press Control+D.

For your convenience, I have included the links to search term (title+author) on Project Gutenberg. Once the book is released, you will be able to find it in the search results page.

You can add books to your e-reader or e-reading app by picking up EPUB3. This file format is compatible with Kobo, Apple Books, Nook, Google Play Books – and also Amazon Kindle (mobi is no longer supported).

Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to encourage the creation and distribution of ebooks. It is the oldest digital library, with over 60,000 free ebooks.

Best books in the public domain 2023

Best new books in the public domain in 2023

1. To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is considered to be one of the most significant works of modernist literature, and a feminist classic.

The book centers around the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920.

The novel explores the complex relationships between the family members and their thoughts and feelings. The novel is written in a stream-of-consciousness style and explores themes of love, loss, and grief.

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2. Amerika

America - Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

Also known as The Man Who Disappeared, the story takes place in the United States and is about a sixteen-year-old European immigrant named Karl Rossmann.

After an incident with a housemaid, he sent away from his home in Europe to start a new life in America.

He is taken in by two cousins, but quickly finds himself in a strange and often difficult world of constant change and challenge.

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3. Men Without Women

Men Without Women - Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Men Without Women is a collection of short stories written by Ernest Hemingway, first published in 1927.

The stories focus on the inner lives of men in post-World War I Europe and the United States, exploring themes of masculinity, isolation, and loss.

The collection includes some of Hemingway’s most famous works, such as Hills Like White Elephants and The Killers.

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4. Now We Are Six

Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne

A.A. Milne

Now We Are Six is a collection of children’s poetry written by A.A. Milne, the author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh.

The book contains thirty-five poems concerned with the world of childhood. The title poem, “Now We Are Six”, is one of the most famous of all of Milne’s poems.

Other popular poems from the book include “The King’s Breakfast”, “Cradle Song”, “Binker”, and “The Friend”.

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5. Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf - Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse

Steppenwolf is a novel by German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse. It is the story of a man named Harry Haller and his internal spiritual struggle.

The novel is set in Germany in the 1920s and examines the mental and spiritual effects of modern life on the protagonist.

The novel is considered to be one of Hesse’s most important works and is among the most famous and influential novels of the 20th century.

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6. Pomes Penyeach

Pomes Penyeach - James Joyce

James Joyce

A is a collection of twelve poems written by James Joyce and published in 1927.

The poems contain a number of Joycean neologisms (“rosefrail”, “moongrey” and “sindark”, for example) created by melding two words into a new compound.

The collection covers a range of topics, including love, death, and nature.

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7. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Case Book Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It’s a final collection of twelve short stories, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and featuring the famous detective Sherlock Holmes.

The stories were originally published in The Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927. 

Among the stories in The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes are: ”The Adventure of the Three Gables,” “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client,” and “The Adventure of the Creeping Man”.

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8. Mosquitoes

William Faulkner

Mosquitoes is a short story set in a wealthy family’s summer home near the Mississippi River in the Gulf Coast region of the United States.

It follows the interaction between the family, who are summer visitors, and the local working-class people who live by the river.

The story explores themes of class, social customs, and the impact of the passage of time on a small town.

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9. Unnatural Death

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers

A mystery novel by British author Dorothy L. Sayers. It’s the third novel in the Lord Peter Wimsey series.

The story follows Lord Peter’s investigation into the death of an elderly woman who had apparently died of natural causes, but whose relatives suspect foul play.

Lord Peter must use his detective skills to uncover the truth and unmask the culprit.

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10. The Big Four

The Big Four - Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

The Big Four is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK in January 1927.

The novel features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Inspector Japp. The story revolves around a criminal organization known as “The Big Four”, whose members are determined to rule the world.

The structure of the novel is different from other Poirot stories, as it began from twelve short stories that had been separately published.

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Keep exploring. Here are other popular lists and tips:

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