I'm not a game developer, but I just happened to stumble across your question. I am a writer and journalist, and I've written about copyright many times in the past.
If you're specifically thinking of Alice in Wonderland, the answer to your question is an unqualified YES. The book is old enough that the copyright has expired everywhere in the world, so you can do whatever you like with it: Publish excerpts or the full-text within your game, base parts of the game or the whole thing on it, turn Alice into a crack addict living on Mars, whatever you want. That's what "public domain" means. It's out of copyright and ANYONE IN THE PUBLIC has the right to use it. In the U.S. especially it's sometimes difficult to know if something's in the public domain, but you can safely assume that anything from the 19th century (Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, etc. etc.) is fair game. In fact, most works up to 1922 or so are probably fair game, but then it starts to get complicated.
Yes, you should avoid making your visualizations of the characters look too much like the Disney versions, but don't let them scare you away either.
Also, if you just wanted to show a book on a bookshelf, without actually showing any of the content, you can legitimately show the title of ANY book, even if it's still protected by copyright. Copyright doesn't protect the titles of books, only the content of the story. You might want to avoid book titles that are also big franchise trademarks (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Chicken Soup for the Soul) but even there you'd probably be within your rights to use them. You just don't want to become the test case.
Good luck with your game!