I really love browsing the discounted ebooks that Amazon makes available each month. Each month there’s a new selection (as part of Amazon’s special sale, “100 ebooks for $3.99 for less”.) Here’s my picks for some of the most interesting ebooks discounted by Amazon for the month of July.
Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson ($2.99)
The infamous gonzo journalist who wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas finally sat down to write a memoir at the age of 65 — just two years before his death in 2005. The former political/cultural correspondent for Rolling Stone finally revealed his experiences as a war correspondent during the 1983 Reagan-era invasion of Grenada — and how he escaped legal action on various charges in a 1990 Colorado trial. It was a wild life, and Amazon promises that the book even covers “his stint in the Air Force…the beginning of his journalism career; his unsuccessful, though illuminating, bid for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado in 1970 as the Freak Power candidate…and numerous examples of present-day injustice and hypocrisy–all with his characteristic mix of brutal frankness laced with humor.”
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut ($1.99)
This was Kurt Vonnegut’s second novel, according to the book’s description at Amazon, and it was immediationely nominated for 1959’s prestigious Hugo award for outstanding fantasy/science fiction. (It eventually lost to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, “in what Harlan Ellison has called a monumental injustice.”) I like how Amazon describes the book as a “picaresque” novel “which almost defies being synposized [following] lead character Malachi Constant, a feckless but kind-hearted millionaire as he moves through the solar system on his quest for the meaning of all existence…” They describe this 338-page novel as “more hopeful” than most Vonnegut stories, and Amazon’s top-rated customer review describes this as possibly Vonnegut’s very best book.
Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings by Brian Harker ($1.99)
Louis Armstrong was just 26 when he released the first jazz records under his own name, but “Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five” had deep roots in New Orleans. They’d all performed together when Louis was just a teenager growing up in Louisiana — except for the fifth member of the band, Louis’s wife Lil Hardin (who played the piano). In a fascinating analysis, music historian Brian Harker calls these recordings “a revolution” in music history, and last month Amazon picked his book as one of the Best Books of 2013 (so far). Applauding the book’s thoughtful and original approach, one jazz site calls Armstrong’s journey through his first recording group “a great adventure story” — and the book has already become Amazon’s #1 best-selling ebook about jazz.
2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke ($1.99)
Have you ever wondered what happened in the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey? 14 years after the original science fiction novel about astronauts lost in space, Arthur C. Clarke released a sequel that picks up the story, according to the book’s description at Amazon. “Nine years after the ill-fated Discovery One mission to Jupiter, a joint Soviet-American crew travels to the planet to investigate the mysterious monolith orbiting the planet, the cause of the earlier mission’s failure — and the disappearance of David Bowman.” The mission includes the computer scientist who designed the notorious HAL computer, but they stumble into what Amzon describes as “an unsettling alien conspiracy – surrounding the evolutionary fate of indigenous life forms on Jupiter’s moon Europa, as well as that of the human species itself.” When the novel was released in 1983, it won the Hugo award for the best science fiction novel of the year — and when the ebook version was finally, released this year, Amazon named it one of the best ebooks of 2013.
See all of Amazon’s discounted ebooks at tinyurl.com/399books