Every month Amazon picks 100 ebooks to feature in the Kindle Store for just $3.99 or less. They’re “hand-selected” by Amazon’s editors, according to the tagline at the top of a special web page. You can always reach this month’s selection by pointing your computer’s web browser to tinyurl.com/399books . And Amazon’s finally unveiled their new collection for December.
There’s lots of names you might recognize — but also a few surprises!
Dangerous Games by Michael Prescott ($1.99)
Amazon describes this as a “psychologically complex thriller” about the hunt for a serial killer with new appearances by characters from some of Prescott’s previous mysteries. In fact, it’s the first story in a trilogy about maverick FBI agent Tess McCallum and “freelance security agent” Abby Sinclair. But there’s also apparently an interesting story behind this story, since I see Prescott listed on best-seller lists at USA Today as a self-published author using Amazon Digital Services. Dangerous Games was written in 2005, but in 2010 Prescott re-released as an ebook for the Kindle and other digital readers, and by November of 2011, it was among the top 40 best-selling books, according to USA Today.
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler ($2.99)
This book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when it was released in 1985, and it actually won the prestigious annual award from the National Book Critics Circle. It’s the dramatic story of a man in a failing marriage who moves in with his two divorced brothers and an unmarried sister. It “chronicles his journey from lonely self-absorption to an ‘accidental” new life’…,” according to the novel’s description on Amazon. A movie adaptation was nominated for four Academy Awards when it was released in 1988, and it ultimately won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for a role played by Geena Davis.
Absolute Mayhem by Monica Mayhem ($1.99)
I wondered why this book had such a trashy cover, until I noticed its subtitle — “Secret Confessions of a Porn Star.” Apparently Monica Mayhem is an Australian “adult film actress,” and at the age of 33 she’s written a raunchy autobiography. According to the book’s description on Amazon, she jokingly writes in the first paragraph, “Here’s what a ‘busy day at the office might mean for me…” Apparently she started out as a stock broker, but her career took an unexpected turn…
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast by Aaron Allston ($1.99)
This is the first in a series of nine novels “expanding” the fictional universe from the Star Wars movies. It takes place after the first Star Wars movie (which, for fans of the franchise, is referred to as “Episode IV: A New Hope”.) “In a shocking move, Chief of State Natasi Daala orders the arrest of Luke Skywalker,” according to the book’s description on Amazon, “for failing to prevent Jacen Solo’s turn to the dark side and his subsequent reign of terror as a Sith Lord. But it’s only the first blow in an anti-Jedi backlash fueled by a hostile government and suspicious public.”
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield ($1.99)
This is a new motivational/self-help “manifesto” that’s drawn some pretty good reviews on Amazon. It argues that we don’t need better ideas — we just need, well, to do the work! “There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us,” reads a quote from the book on Amazon.com. “Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours…” But my favorite quote appears in one of the user-submitted reviews on Amazon. Why should we dare to actually do the work? Because “The gods, witnessing our boldness, look on in approval…”
This listing includes something I’ve never seen before. For members of Amazon’s Prime shipping service, they’ve flagged this as one of the books that can be checked out for free from the Kindle Lending Library. Of course, you can only check out one ebook a month — which seems a little wasteful, since for December they’ve cut the price by 85%. Amazon’s leaving users to select from two very appealing choices. Do you want that ebook for free for 30 days — or forever, for just $1.99?
And don’t forget — Amazon also discounts a new ebook every day. To see the special deals, just keep pointing your computer’s web browser to tinyurl.com/DailyKindleDeal