Someone asked me what’s the best place to find free e-books for the Kindle. And I always say Amazon has their own page filled with links to the biggest free e-book sites around the web! “We wanted to make it easier to find these collections, which today represent nearly 2 million titles,” Amazon explains on the web page. (I’ve created a shortcut to the page — just point your web browser to amzn.to/oy4b9F.)
But the page also offers Amazon’s list of “special” ebook offers — all those ebooks which are “temporarily free” or reduced in price as part of a limited-time promotion. You can sort this list by price — from lowest to highest — so only its free ebooks are all listed at the top. I’m always impressed by the variety of ebooks available on the site. (Just browsing through it today, I found three more that I couldn’t resist buying!)
And of course, there’s another way to browse for free ebooks. Amazon also offers their own list of the Top 100 best-selling free ebooks. I’ve made another short URL so it’s easier to remember — tinyurl.com/100freekindlebooks. Of course, you can also access Amazon’s free ebook list on your Kindle. (Just select “Shop in the Kindle store,” and on its front page choose “Kindle Top Sellers.” By default Amazon lists the top 100 paid ebooks, but if you click on the link at the upper-right of your screen, you can switch to Amazon’s list of the “Kindle Top 100 Free!”)
Here’s a quick sampling of some of the great free ebooks that are available today.
Bruce Willis launched his career starring in an ’80s TV series called Moonlighting. But in 2000 his sexy co-star, Cybill Shepherd, finally told her own wild life story. (“Nobody kisses and tells like Cybill Shepherd,” gushed the New York Daily News.) Her memoir tells tales about Elvis Presley, Hollywood, and of course, Bruce Willis. But the book triggered an especially convincing response from a reviewer on Amazon, who wrote simply “I truly loved this book. I laughed out loud many times…”
Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #1: Precipice
This intriguing sci-fi book takes place in the world of the Star Wars trilogy — and judging from the book’s description on Amazon.com, it’s just as complicated. (The novel promises “the untold story of the FATE OF THE JEDI’s forgotten Sith castaways, their battle to survive, and their quest to re-conquer the galaxy!”) It’s the first book in a series — in fact, book seven was just released four weeks ago. But best of all, every single novel in this series is entirely free.
Hunting bin Laden
War correspondent Rob Schultheis remembers his first encounter with al-Qaeda back in 1984 — “an encounter that came within a split second of costing me my life.” A full 24 years later, he explored the story of why the U.S. wasn’t able to capture their most-wanted terrorist. Schultheis writes for the top American news magazines, including Time, The New York Times Magazine, and Smithsonian (as well as The Washington Post), so he approaches his story with the zeal of a real investigative journalist. The book was published in 2008, but it’s fascinating to read the conclusion he reached: that Osama bin Laden was receiving sanctuary from the nation of Pakistan.
Letters to President Obama
What’s most fascinating about this book is that it was published in April of 2009 — just months after the euphoria that surrounded Barack Obama’s inauguration. The publishers hailed their book as “a symbol of this exciting moment in history,” promising “the range of emotions and aspirations Americans are willing to share…” There’s over 400 letters “from Americans of all walks of life,” and regardless of how you feel about the President, it’s an interesting peek back into time with perfect 20/20 hindsight. The book is really more about the Americans who chose to share their thoughts in the first months of the new Presidency, and Publisher’s Weekly ultimately called it “a fitting tribute to the thoughts, dreams and efforts of the populace.”
Escape from the World Trade Center
It’s been nearly 10 years since the World Trade Center collapsed — but it’s a day that’s remembered intensenly by someone who was there. “The former insurance executive shares what she saw and endured as she struggled down 36 floors in a doomed and dying building and away from a life focused on perks, prestige, and power,” reads the book’s description. It was published just two weeks ago, but Amazon already lists this book as their #1 best-seller in the nonfiction subcategory for “Religion and Spirituality,” since (according to the book’s description) it touches on “God’s compassionate presence in the midst of inscrutable tragedy.” One reader who reviewed the book on Amazon called it “Heart Wrenching and Mesmerizing at the same time.”
Sometimes Amazon’s free ebooks are an unpredictable grab bag of new and older ebooks, written by both amateur and professional writers. For example, today I noticed there was even a free Harlequin romance (called “Once Upon a Cowboy”) plus several titles that look like flat-out adult erotica by a newer class of writers. There’s a lot of books on Amazon’s “free ebook” lists that I’d never want to read, but it still makes me smile to see them all out there, each one struggling bravely to find their own audience. I guess it just affirms my sense that when you own a Kindle, there really is something for everybody to read.
And at least in Amazon’s free ebook section — you really can’t complain about the price!