December 1st, 2013
Surprise! Just when you thought Amazon couldn’t discount any more proudcts, they pull out new $50 discounts on their high-definition Kindle Fire tablets. Today you can get a new Kindle Fire HD for just $119 — and a Kindle Fire HDX for just $179! Amazon snuck the deal online Sunday, billing it as an “Early Cyber Monday Deal” But the deal is scheduled to last through Monday, so here’s your chance to get a color, high-definition Kindle at a great place!
And now Amazon will even loan you the money to purchase those Kindles, at 0% interest for the first six months. They’re offering an Amazon-branded credit card which includes 6-month financing on any purchase over $149. “Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 6 months,” Amazon warns. But if your purchase is over $599, Amazon will even offer you 12 months of 0% interest!
It’s the total amount of order, not the cost of any one item — so if you buy the very cheapest Kindle Fire HD, you’ll still have to add another $31 to your order to qualify for the financing. And you can even make your purchase from one of the third-party sellers that uses Amazon as their storefront, and still get the 6-month financing with 0% interest. But watch out: the interest rate is 25.99%, so you won’t want to carry any balances for too long. Amazon is making this offer available only through the rest of December, and they’re sending one very clear message with both the zero-interest financing and the new Cyber Monday discounts.
This year, Amazon really wants you to buy a Kindle Fire HD…!
November 28th, 2013
Amazon’s offering a 30% discount on every book in their store! (“Take an extra 30% off any book offered by Amazon.com,” reads an announcement they’ve tacked onto every page in the store…) It’s just one of several special offers they’re offering for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which also include big savings on Kindles.
Amazon’s also offering special pricing on their Kindle Fire HD. The big 8.9-inch device (with a high-definition color screen) has been reduced to just $229. That’s what it’d normally cost just for the 7-inch version of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX. Amazon lowered the price when they added these tablets to their list of holiday gift suggestions.
Amazon’s also offering 30% discounts on their Kindle DX. WIth a 9.7-inch e-ink screen, it’s the largest Kindle available — and they’ve reduced its price to just $169. Currently you can also buy a used Kindle DX for just $133. This has always been my personal favorite Kindle — because the only thing better than an e-ink screen is a giant e-ink screen! :)
Of course, Amazon’s not the only one offering discounts this weekend. Best Buy’s web site will also let you purchase a Kindle for just $49. And while supplies last, Staples will sell you an original color Kindle Fire tablet for just $79. If you to go an Office Depot store, they’re currently selling the same model for just $139
So if you’re looking for a good deal this holiday, there’s some great prices on Amazon Kindles!
November 19th, 2013
She’s the best-selling novelist of all time, according to Wikipedia. In fact, there’s now over four billion copies of Agatha Christie’s novels scattered around the world — and dozens of her books are now available on the Kindle. This month Amazon is offering big discounts on three of her most intriguing mysteries. And there’s at least one more Agatha Christie ebook that’s now available for free!
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie ($2.99)
This is a Hercule Poirot mystery — one of 33 novels that Agatha Christie wrote about her famous French detective. He also appeared in 50 more of her short stories, but for the month of November, Amazon is discounting this full-length 320-page mystery. “Mystery writer Ariadne Oliver has been invited to a Hallowe’en party at Woodleigh Common,” according to the book’s description at Amazon — where inevitably, one of the guests is murdered. “[I]t retains all the trademarks of what make Christie’s intricately woven, delightfully detected mysteries so endearing and timeless,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon, calling it “quick-paced and filled with a cast of characters who seemingly all have something to gain, or hide!”
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie ($2.99)
Miss Marple is the detective for this mystery — another favorite Agatha Christie detective, who appeared in 20 different short stories. But there are just 12 full-length Miss Marple novels — and Murder at the Vicarage was the very first one. “[A] dead body in a clergyman’s study proves to Miss Marple that no place, holy or otherwise, is a sanctuary from homicide…” warns the book’s description at Amazon. There’s lots of twists in its 307 pages, warns one reviewer, and “The minute you think you have it figured out the author throws you a curve…!”
Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (Free!)
There at least one Christie novel which has actually fallen into the public domain. Secret Adversary opens on the Lusitania — a British mail ship that was sunk during World War I. “The Lusitania had been struck by two torpedoes in succession,” Christie writes in an exciting prologue that opens the book, “and was sinking rapidly, while the boats were being launched with all possible speed…” Christie introduces her some funny new “detectives” in this novel — two unemployed young men named Tommy and Tuppence — who “quite accidentally get sucked into an international mystery that reaches to the highest levels of British government,” according to one review on Amazon.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (99 cents!)
It’s Christie’s first published novel ever — and it’s also her first story about detective Hercule Poirot! (At a mysterious estate, a wealthy woman is poisoned shortly after drawing up a new will, and Poirot is asked to investigate.) I’ve seen public domain versions of this ebook available too, but currently it’s only available in the Kindle Store for 99 cents. According to one Amazon review, Christie only wrote this book because her sister dared her too. (“With his egg-shaped head and his well-groomed moustache, Poirot enters and soon becomes one of fiction’s best-loved detectives…”) And the reader also makes their first acquaintance with his sidekick Captain Arthur Hastings in this novel, who first appears “recovering from a war injury at the upper-class household known as Styles Court.” (Watch out! There’s going to be a murder!)
November 4th, 2013
Today only, you can buy a new Kindle on Amazon for just $59! And a Kindle Fire HD is just $118. Even a new Kindle Fire HDX will only cost you $195 today.
And Amazon’s offering the discounts for a surprising reason. They’re celebrating a new rule that now allows Kindles (and other electronic devices) to be used on an airplane, even during the take-off and landing. “Thank you, FAA” read a big announcement on the front page of Amazon today. They even included a link to the official press release on the web site for the Federal Aviation Administration. (“… the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.”)
To claim your discount today, Amazon’s even created an appropriate promotional code: ThnksFAA. “To say thank you, we’re taking 15%,” Amazon’s announcement explains. “You can now use your Kindle from take-off through landing!” It’s a one-per-customer discount, and Amazon’s also announcing their standard “while supplies last” disclaimer. But it’s still a nice way to celebrate the new ability to read your Kindle through the entire duration of any flight.
“We’ve been fighting for our customers on this issue for years,” one Amazon executive announced in a press release, “and we are thrilled by the FAA’s recent decision.” He called the FAA’s decision “a big win” for customers, and noted that even though the new policy was just announced on Thursday, Delta Airlines and JetBlue have already implemented the new rules on their flights.
It’s been fun to see the reactions online. One technology web site joked that Amazon was celebrating “the best way it knows how…holding a sale!” And the Washington Post notes that at one point, Amazon actually loaded up an airplane with Kindles — all of them turned on — to drive home their point to the FAA that Kindles should be allowed to operate even during a plane’s take-off.
But my favorite story came from the Boston Globe, which shared stories from flight attendants about facing children with tears in their eyes who didn’t want to turn off their videos. And there’s even a story about TV star Alec Baldwin, who in 2011 wanted to keep playing the game “Words with Friends” on his tablet, who made so much noise about it that he was finally kicked off the plane! Ironically, Baldwin got the last laugh by appearing on Saturday Night Live later that month — by playing a pilot from the same airline who believed that the actor was in the right. Don’t phones interfere with the plane’s communications system, the parody newscaster asks the actor.
“Oh, you don’t believe that, do you…? ” he replies. “Would you really get on an airplane that flew 30,000 feet in the air if you thought one Kindle switch could take it down? C’mon, it’s just a cruel joke perpetrated by the airline industry.
“And we would’ve gotten away with it, but Alec Baldwin was just too smart for us….!
October 29th, 2013
At that URL, Amazon offers a link that displays a list of every print book you’ve purchased from Amazon in the last 18 years that’s now available as a free (or discounted) Kindle ebook. “Over 70,000 books are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook,” Amazon explains in a press release — adding that every day, even more Kindle ebooks will become available. “It’s been great to see the positive response to MatchBook from both readers and publishers,” announceds Amazon’s Vice President of Kindle Content, noting that it took just a couple of weeks for the number of titles to jump from 10,000 to 70,000 — and predicting even bigger jumps in the months ahead.
I’ve never seen anything like this — and it’s stunning to see the scope of this program. “Print purchases all the way back to 1995 – when Amazon first opened its online bookstore – will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook,” Amazon explained in today’s announcement. The only bad news is I haven’t purchased many of the print editions which would qualify me for the big Kindle discount. This morning I clicked the link at Kindle Matchbook, and discovered there was only one Kindle ebook where I’d qualify for a discount: the children’s picture book Curious George.
But even that brought back a happy memory. At first I couldn’t even remember buying the book — and why had I bought it in 2006? Then I remembered a friend of mine who’d been teaching children in the Marshall Islands. I started a campaign to show her some support, suggesting to her friends online that we should all mail her one of our own favorite children’s picture books (from when we were schoolchildren). And I’d thought that the children in the Marshall Islands might enjoy the story about the happy monkey in the jungle who meets up with a Man in the Yellow Hat!
I enjoyed that experience, because it’s fun to share the joy of reading — and in a small way, I feel like Amazon is offering a similar experience. Kindle owners are getting a chance to read a lot of ebooks that Amazon knows we’re going to like — because at some point in the last 18 years, we’ve already purchased a copy! Of course, Amazon is also encouraging people to start doing their reading on their Kindles — but like a lot of stories, it all comes down to one basic truth.
Reading is fun, no matter where you do it. (Or, in the case of Amazon’s KindleMatchbook program — no matter when you did it!) :)
September 4th, 2013
I just made a startling discovery. Amazon discounted a bunch of ebooks last month — but they’re still offering those same discounts for most of those books in September! For example, I’d spotted three great ebooks last month that were on sale – and I’m delighted to see that they’re all still available at a discounted price. Amazon’s offering discounts on a Kindle ebook about one of the world’s most popular detectives, one of the world’s most popular rock and roll bands, and one very popular recent TV show.
But hurry! I don’t know how long these special discounts will last…
Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie ($2.99)
There’s a fascinating story behind this mystery novel. Agatha Christie wrote nearly 70 mystery novels during a career which spanned nearly 60 years — including 12 about a detective named Miss Marple — but in 1976, after Christie’s death at the age of 85, her very last Miss Marple novel was published posthumously. And Amazon’s now offering a discount on its Kindle ebook edition. It’s already become Amazon’s #256 best-selling ebook in the entire Kindle Store — and its #1 best-selling mystery in Amazon’s “British Detectives” category. I like how one reviewer noted that the 224-page thriller finds Miss Marple self-effacing and shrewd, “almost as if she knew she wouldn’t be around much longer”, and she warns a couple who move into a mysterious new house that a murder in the past is like a sleeping murder…which just might wake up!
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: Thirty Years Married to a Rolling Stone by Jo Wood ($2.99)
Yes, it’s Ron Wood’s wife — offering up what Amazon promises is a “behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the biggest rock bands in history. Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones’ guitarist, had already written a best-selling biography about his own life, but it’s interesting to get some perspective from one of the bandmember’s wives, who according to the book’s description delivers a “startlingly honest, laugh-out-loud memoir vividly describes life on tour, in the studio, at the legendary parties — and every raucous moment in between.” (At one point, her husband announces that he’s leaving her for an 18-year-old waitress…)
The book is illustrated with never-before-seen photographs from her personal collection, creating “a compelling piece of rock ‘n’ roll history from a woman with a backstage pass and a front-row seat,” Amazon adds, noting that mixed in with the euphoria and the recklnessness is a story that’s “Enchanting, candid, and moving… [a] page-turning fairy tale of fame and fortune.”
How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein ($2.99)
“It was not a drunken cartographer after all,” jokes one Amazon reviewer, applauding this book for uncovering the forgotten stories from American history that explain the surprisingly and unusual decisions that went into each state’s boundary lines. (“In 1846,” notes Publisher’s Weekly, “Washington D.C. residents south of the Potomac successfully petitioned to rejoin Virginia…order to keep out free African-Americans.”) Why does Delaware actually own a small part of the southwest short of New Jersey? Why does Rhode Island even have “island” in it’s name? It turns out that there’s actually answers that explain the strange shapes of all the states on America’s map. “When I lived in Mobile, I puzzled for years over Alabama’s ‘tab’ at the south,” notes one Amazon reviewer. “My guess was that it had something to do with giving the state a gulf shoreline. (Maybe for condos?)” But thanks to this book, the reviewer finally discovered the real answer: “It’s all Florida’s fault.
Note: Amazon’s also offering a discount on the professionally-narrated audiobook version of How the States Got Their Shape. When you purchase the ebook, you can then purchase the audiobook for just $3.99!
Remember: there’s also new discounted ebooks each month at
August 13th, 2013
Wow! Amazon’s just started offering a $40 discount on their Kindle Fire HD tablets! This is the high-definition version of their 7-inch color tablets, and it normally sells for $199. Amazon’s slashed the price to just $159 in what they’re describing as a “limited-time offer”.
Amazon’s promising “the ultimate HD experience” — though what’s really strange is this high-definition version of the Kindle Fire now costs just as much as a plain Kindle Fire tablet (which Amazon’s also selling for $159)! But the HD tablet offers twice as much storage space — 16 gigabytes — even though it actually weighs 2 ounces less than Amazon’s original (non-high definition) Kindle Fire tablets. The high-def model also will last three hours longer than the original version without needing a recharge, according to the specs posted on its web page at Amazon. That’s 11 hours of continuous use — versus just 8.5 hours for the original Kindle Fire.
There’ve been rumors that Amazon’s about to release an even better model of their Kindle Fire tablets, and these discounts may just be part of a larger plan. When CNN’s Money site reported Amazon’s new $40 discounts, they reported “That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Considering Amazon has unveiled a new tablet in September of the past two years, chances are they’re just trying to clear out inventory before it rolls out an updated model.” And they also pointed out a big advantage with Amazon’s high-definition tablets. ..
I was never convinced that I needed a high-definition screen — even though it offers a high “pixel density” of up to 720 pixels per inch. But CNN’s Money site points out that’s a great feature if you read a lot of ebooks and magazines on your Kindle, because it reduces the strain on your eyes. Of course, you can also use the tablets for watching movies and TV shows, and playing the games that you’d usually play on your phone — but on a much wider screen. When I first got my Kindle Fire, I even told a friend of mine that there was really only one drawback to owning a color multimedia tablet-styel Kindle. “There’s so many more things to do on a tablet. How do people ever get back to just reading their ebooks?”
But if you’re already in the market for a high-definition Kindle, now you can get one for $40 less!
August 8th, 2013
Science Fiction Author Neal Stephenson
Each month Amazon throws a big sale, with 100 new Kindle ebooks discounted to just $3.99 or less. But I’m really surprised this month by just how many of the ebooks I’d actually want to read! Here’s my picks for some of the most interesting ebooks discounted by Amazon for the month of August.
Check out all the great discounts at
Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson ($2.99)
Neal Stephenson is one of the best-known science fiction writers of his generation, and a pioneer in the “cyberpunk” genre. Now Amazon is describing his newest novel, Reamde, as “a high-stakes espionage thriller about a wealthy tech entrepreneur caught in the very real crossfire of his own online fantasy war game!” One reviewer called it one of 2011′s “smartest, fastest-moving, and most consistently enjoyable novels,” adding that it was “painstakingly-researched, deftly-plotted roller-coaster of gigabytes and gunplay, a pitch-perfect pastiche of Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy-style techno-thrillers and a comment on contemporary digitality and the ubiquity of online interconnectivity
Factotum by Charles Bukowski ($2.99)
I was thrilled to discover Amazon was discounting another Charles Bukowski book for the Kindle this month — this one described as a “beer-soaked, deliciously degenerate novel” following an aspiring writer as he drifts across America, “always needing money but never badly enough to keep a job….as he makes his bitter, brilliant way from one drink to the next.” But then I noticed that Amazon’s Kindle Store was actually showing discounts for several of Bukowksi’s books — including many priced at just $1.99. Also on sale are the novels Women and Pulp (Bukowski’s last novel), as well as a collection of poetry (Love is a Dog From Hell<) and a collection of short stories called Hot Water Music. There’s even a nice introductory collection called Run With The Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader — priced at just $1.99. If you’ve never read any Charles Bukowski, this is a great month to give him a try on your Kindle!
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: A Novel by Ron Hansen ($2.99)
“I Shot Jesse James” has always been one of my favorite movie westerns, delving into the true story of the notoriety that clung to the man who claimed the reward for killing outlaw Jesse James — because he’d shot him in the back. Apparently that same story also fascinated author Ron Hansen, who’d already begun mixing stories about America’s Old West into the novels he was writing in the 1970s. When he turned his attention to the story of Robert Ford, his novel almost immediately became a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for the best work of fiction of 1983. Nearly 25 years later, it was finally adapted into a movie (starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck), and was nominated for two Academy Awards. One Amazon reviewer this novel “a wonderful blend of history and narrative,” noting that the author’s extensive research — using old newspaper articles, courtroom transcripts, and memoirs — all helped to create an “intelligent, exceptionally well-written tale.”
Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West ($2.99)
It’s “one of the most shocking works of 20th century American literature,” according to the books description at Amazon, “as unnerving as a glob of black bile vomited up at a church social: empty, blasphemous,and horrific.” Miss Lonelyhearts starts innocently enough — a newspaper columnist is assigned to write an advice column answering questions from the paper’s readers, “but as time passes he begins to break under the endless misery of those who write in, begging him for advice.” This Kindle ebook pairs the novella with Nathanel West’s second most famous work, The Day of the Locust, another critical look at American society, and the ebook comes with a new introduction by author Jonathan Lethem (author of the novel Fortress of Solitude). When Modern Library created their prestigious list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, Day of the Locust was ranked #73!
Remember: Check out all the great discounts at
August 2nd, 2013
I’ve been amazed by just how many discounts Amazon’s started offering on their Kindle ebooks. Right now there’s at least three different sales going on, plus at least one fascinating free ebook that just turned up in Amazon’s Kindle Store. And there was some surprising news about Amazon this week — including an article about how they’re pricing their books. Here’s some fun links to both the sales and the stories — to help you celebrate the arrival of the weekend with your Kindle!
Amazon Discounts 500 More eBooks!
The best discount is a surprise discount, and browsing Amazon this week I discovered a very special announcement: “The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off!” These deals are only available through this Sunday, August 4th, but there’s hundreds of ‘em, and in lots of different categories. (Graphic Novels, Professional & Technical, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Humor & Entertainment…) And some ebooks have been discounted to just 99 cents!
A Free Kindle Single — interviewing President Obama!
“The phone rang last Thursday afternoon as the word came from the White House…” begins Amazon’s newest Kindle Single. President Barack Obama was visiting Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit Amazon’s fulfillment center for a speech about jobs and the American economy, and “Did Amazon’s Kindle Singles, by any chance, want to talk with him about it?” He ultimately sits down with the head of Amazon’s Kindle Singles program for a very candid 15-page interview. (“I think you’re the first president to have his credit card declined…” Amazon’s editor jokes at one point.) I enjoyed the sense of immediacy in this interview — it was conducted on Tuesday — and it’s already become Amazon’s #1 best-selling free Kindle ebook.
Amazon Slashes Price on Best-Sellers
Publisher’s Weekly also noticed that Amazon’s begun offering big discounts on new best-sellers — at least, in the hardcover format. On Monday, the site reported, “Amazon.com quietly began discounting many bestselling hardcover titles between 50% and 65%, levels we’ve never seen in the history of Amazon or in the bricks-and-mortar price wars of the past.” The discounted books all come from major publishers, and “are far below the usual 40%-50% range sometimes offered by Amazon, warehouse clubs and other discounters and are more typical for remainders than frontlist hardcovers.” The article notes that sometimes the hardcover books are even cheaper than their Kindle editions, and one bookstore owner complained this was “an open declaration of war against the industry.” Discounted books include Inferno by Dan Brown, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. And I was really surprised to see that the Kindle ebook edition of one best-seller was now priced at just $3.99 — The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (which Time magazine called the very best fiction book of 2012.)
Amazon Won an Emmy!
Yes, it’s true. This morning Amazon issued a press release announcing that they’d be receiving their very first Emmy Award for their Instant Video service. I’ve been enjoying Amazon Instant Video on my Kindle Fire, though you can also enjoy the same movies by accessing their page with a web browser — and Amazon’s creating their own original video programs, as well as offering a large library of movies and TV shows to choose from. The Emmy award isn’t for any TV show they created, but instead for Amazon’s whole “Instant Video” service, and the way it can offer personalized recommendations. (For example, “Customers who watched this also watched…”) Amazon’s press release points out that Amazon can also recommend TV shows (and movies) based on what kind of instant videos their customers have already watched in the recent past. And though YouTube received the same award earlier in the week, it’s still nice to see Amazon’s innovations being officially recognized by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences!
July 18th, 2013
I made a mistake when I wrote that Amazon was discounting 100 Kindle ebooks for $3.99 or less. Because there’s a lot more Kindle ebooks on sale at big discounts in other sections of the Kindle Store. For example, Amazon has another page offering “20 Kindle Books for $2 Each” — and then another page offering 30 Kindle Books for $3 Each. And Amazon’s also offering similar discounts on ebooks in popular genres, including Popular Romance and Mysteries and Thrillers.
But fortunately, you can find all of these discounted ebooks linked to on one page — the main page that Amazon’s created for their big July sale, “100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less.” (For a shortcut, just point your web browser to tinyurl.com/399books .) Here’s some of the most interesting and intriguing “finds” from all of these discount pages.
Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin ($2.99)
Yes, it’s that Steve Martin — whose goofy appearances on Saturday Night Live as a “wild and crazy guy” made him a comedy superstar in the 1970s. He moved on to big-budget Hollywood movies and a second career as a serious fiction writer, but this fascinating memoir takes a bittersweet look back to the earliest days of his stand-up career. As a teenager he’d worked at both Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, and he describes what he learned from performing jokes for an amusement park audience that had just learned that President Kennedy was assassinated. I always knew that behind the comedy, Steve Martin was an intelligent and thoughtful man, and The New York Times calls his book “smart, serious, heartfelt and confessional without being maudlin.” But I was really impressed that Jerry Seinfeld goes even further, calling it “One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written.”
In One Person: A Novel by John Irving ($2.99)
Amazon picked this as one of the best books of the month when it was released in May of 2012. John Irving has written some of the most famous novels of the last 50 years — everything from The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire to The Cider-House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. But this time, he’d written a more poltical story, according to Amazon description of the book, which calls it “precisely the kind of astonishing alchemy we associate with a John Irving novel…, brilliant, political, provocative, tragic, and funny!”
The Adventures of Shrinkman R. L. Stine ($1.99)
R.L. Stine created the popular series of scary children’s stories, Goosebumps. (One newspaper even called him the Stephen King of children literature.) But last year he released a fascinating new story about a boy who imagines a comic strip where a boy shrinks down to the size of a bug — only to discover that he actually is shrinking! “Soon he’s fighting for his life against a grasshopper, a colony of ants, and even his own dog,” reads the book’s description at Amazon, which calls the book “Funny and terrifying and filled with BIG surprises”, proving that to overcome life’s impossible challenges, sometimes you need more than just size!
Cable and Deadpool, Volume 1: If Looks Could Kill ($3.99) by Marvel Comics
Amazon’s selling lots of graphic novels in their Kindle Store from D.C. Comics, so it’s a nice treat when there’s also something available from Marvel Comics. This month they’ve discounted a 136-page collection of the first six issues of Cable & Deadpool. (At $3.99, that’s just 66 cents per issue!) I haven’t read this comic book, but I have to admit that I was intrigued by the description of the heroes href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_and_Deadpool”> on Wikipedia. Cable “is the time-traveling son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey),” and his partner Deadpool is literally insane, “a talkative mercenary for hire known as the ‘Merc with a Mouth’… ” Amazon distilled their debut collection into one tongue-in-cheek question: “Can two grown men armed to the teeth with deadly genetic weaponry live together without driving each other crazy?!”
Remember: You can always find all of Amazon’s discounted ebooks at tinyurl.com/399books
July 12th, 2013
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
July 3rd, 2013
Promising “40% Off or More”, Amazon’s just announced a special sale on Kindle accessories (and other electronics). They’ve discounted over 300 different accessories for their entire line of Kindles, including the black-and-white Kindle readers and the larger Kindle Fire tablets. And if you buy one of the qualifying accessories, Amazon will even throw in $2.00 of free music downloads!
I was stunned when I found a precision-molded skin for my Kindle Touch marked down to only $3.37! (Normally Marware sells these “SportGrip” models for $19.99) . Another $6.98 would be tacked on for “shipping and handling” — but fortunately, I’m an Amazon Prime member, so there weren’t any shipping costs. My final price was $3.37 – and it still qualified me for the $2.00 in mp3 downloads!
But Amazon’s also offering discounts on hundreds of other Kindle accessories. There’s genuine leather covers and easy-grip silicone skins, as well as dozens of cases in a surprising variety of colors! (Snake Skin! Camoflauge! Plaid…! Plus skins for dozens of professional sports teams — and even some colleges…) If you own a Kindle Fire, Amazon’s discounted the fancy “microshell folio case” — and there’s even a rotating stand that lets you prop up your tablet like its a widescreen TV. For even more protection, you can purchase a discounted “gumdrop cases” (with a sturdy hard rubber “bubble” shell for easy gripping and extra protection and falls) — and there’s also a discount on touchscreen styluses. Even noise-isolating headphones are on sale, as well as some Bluetooth speakers.
If you’re enjoying a long, hot holiday weekend, maybe this will give you a good excuse to stay indoors and shop!
June 30th, 2013
Wow! Amazon’s just announced a big $30 discount on their 7-inch Kindle Fire HD tablets. Normally they’d cost $199, but Amazon’s just lowered their price to just $169. “Save $30 on the ultimate HD experience,” reads the announcement on the front page of Amazon.com.
This is a “limited time offer,” Amazon warns in the fine print, so I can’t say how long this offer is going to last. One shopping site reported this was part of Amazon’s larger sale for the 4th of July — though they had trouble getting that officially confirmed. (“Amazon does not provide an end date for this Kindle Fire sale,” they noted in their article, adding that “We contacted them to ask about this, but have not received a response by publication time…”)
Amazon’s also giving away $5.00 worth of free game and app downloads now with each Kindle Fire through their special “Amazon Coins” program. If you already own a Kindle Fire, Amazon’s already applied that credit to your account, but it’s nice to see that they’re also making the same offer available to new Kindle Fire owners. Remember, you can browse Amazon’s selection of apps for the Kindle FIie at tinyurl.com/FreeAmazonApps. And the apps will also run on Android smartphones and tablets.
It’s nice to save $30 on a Kindle Fire – and it’s a bigger discount than Amazon usually offers. On Mother’s Day, Amazon announced a special code for a twenty-dollar discount on a Kindle Fire. Usually Amazon only offers larger discounts are only available on the expensive large-screen Kindle Fire tablets — like the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.
Maybe Amazon’s calculated that they’ll earn back that $30 when their customers start using the tablets to buy all their ebooks (plus music and videos) from Amazon. Or maybe they’re just willing to lose a little money if it gives them a chance to steal some customers from other tablets, like the iPad and the Nook. But whatever Amazon’s game plan, they managed to sum up the significance of this sale in just three words they’re displaying now on their page for the Kindle Fire HD.
“You save $30…”
June 19th, 2013
Every month, Amazon offers a special discount on over 100 different Kindle ebooks — and I’m especially excited about their selection for June. For the first time, they’re offering a discount on an ebook that I’d actually just started reading — and for an extra $1.99 more, they’re also offering a full audiobook version, too! The sale is called “100 eBooks for $3.99 or Less”, and like every month, you can see the whole selection by pointing your web browser to:
But in addition, Amazon’s also offering “20 Kindle Books for $2″ at the bottom of the same page (including the classic western, The Sixth Shotgun by Louis L’Amour for just $2.00). And there’s even another link promising 30 Kindle Books for $3 Each.
Here’s some of the most interesting discounted ebooks this month.
To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West by Mark Lee Gardner ($1.99)
This book gives you the real history behind the legendary outlaw and the man of justice who apprehended him — while also painting an accurate picture of the American West. I found it to be really engrossing, and one reviewer at Amazon described it as “a vivid telling of the true story behind one of the wild west’s most enduring legends.” That’s why I’m so excited that for another $1.99, I can also get the professionally-narrated audiobook, hearing the wise old voice of Alan Sklar telling it like a tale of the old frontier. “For others to survive, Billy could not,” his introduction begins. “Garrett could not. These two men perished long ago, and that is the cold truth of history, but their ghosts are still there. Billy forever calls out to us from the darkness of the past…
Saturday Night by Susan Orlean ($2.99)
The author of The Orchid Thief once asked a surprisingly interesting question — why do Americans feel that Saturday Nights are special? “To answer it, she embarked on a remarkable journey across the country,” reads the book’s description at Amazon, “and spent the evening with all sorts of people in all sorts of places – hipsters in Los Angeles, car cruisers in small-town Indiana, coeds in Boston, the homeless in New York, a lounge band in Portland, quinceanera revelers in Phoenix, and more – to chronicle the one night of the week when we do the things we want to do rather than the things we need to do.” One reviewer at Amazon described it as “exquisite voyeurism”, while another applauded her wide-sweeping research which according to Amazon leads to “an irresistible portrait of how Saturday night in America is lived.”
The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke: The Star, Volume III (Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Short Stories) – $2.99
He’s best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey — and for years he was considered one of the world’s greatest science fiction authors. This month, Amazon’s discounting a massive 976-page anthology of over 100 short science fiction pieces by Clarke, in a lavish Kindle ebook showcasing “not only Clarke’s technological imagination – but also a deep poetic sensibility that led him to ponder the philosophical and moral implications of technological advances.” One reviewer at Amazon described it as “surely the greatest single volume of short Science Fiction ever published” (and Amazon’s web page reports that “13 reviewers made a similar statement.”) He quotes the amazon first lines of one Clarke short story, which almost seem like a symbol for the author’s grand and sweeping imagination. “Many and strange are the Universes that drift like bubbles in the foam upon the River of time. Some – a very few – move against or athwart its current; and fewer still are those that lie forever beyond its reach, knowing nothing of the future or the past…”
Folly and Glory: A Novel by Larry McMurtry ($2.99)
In 2004, the famous novelist (and Texas enthusiast) Larry McMurtry completed the epic finale to his four-volume series, the Berrybender Narratives. His characters encounter real figures from history, like
Kit Carson the explorer and Captain Clark (from the Lewis & Clark expedition). Amazon’s description promises the book offers both “a sense of closure and a meditation on the nature of the American frontier.” (Though some reviewers recommend you read the entire series). “The story is gritty, with lots of hardship…” notes one reviewer on Amazon, calling the book “entertaining and enjoyable.” And Amazon’s also offering a huge discount on the audiobook version of this novel — just $2.99. (When I listened to its sample at Audible.com, the first line that I heard the narrator reading was “GIve your brother his rooster!”)
When you also purchase the audiobook, Amazon will enable their special “WhisperSync for Voice” feature, which lets you switch back and forth between the text version on your Kindle and the professionally-narrated audiobook version. (Without ever losing your place!) And of course, these aren’t the only books being discounted this month. Some other interesting titles include:
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie ($1.99)
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut ($2.99)
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting for: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness by Alice Walker ($3.99)
Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley ($2.99)
Amazon’s even offering a discount on a Harlequin Historical Romance titled “Never Trust a Rake”!
Which just goes to show that this month, there’s something for everybody…
June 11th, 2013
Father’s Day is this Sunday, and Amazon celebrates the holiday each year with a tradition of their own — with sales on Kindles! This year, Amazon is discounting the high-definition version of their Kindle Fire tablets, hoping people will buy one as a gift for their dad. It’s the third year Amazon’s offered some kind of Kindle discount as the holiday approaches, with savings of up to 20%.
Amazon’s lowered the price by $20 on all three versions of their Kindle Fire HD tablets — including the standard 7-inch model (which usually sells for $199). Both of the larger 8.9-inch versions are also eligible for the $20 discount — including the one with the built-in 4G wireless connectivity. (All you have to do to claim the discount is enter the code DADSFIRE when you’re checking out — so be sure you’re not using Amazon’s “One Click” button to make your purchase!) I’ve read the terms and conditions, but it’s mostly the standard disclaimers — that the discount is only available “while supplies last”. And they’re limiting it to just one Kindle per customer — I guess on the assumption that you only have one dad!
Of course, Amazon’s also offering discounts on other products, too. Today the front page of Amazon.com is promising “Big Savings on select Samsung HDTVs”. Even the clothing area of the site has a promotion offering “laid-back gift ideas, like classic Levi’s and more.” I checked for special offers in the Kindle Store, too, but the only thing unusual that I saw on its front page was a selection of “Classic Westerns by Louis L’Amour” — as well as a selection of 20 of Amazon’s top-rated Western ebooks. I was surprised that they didn’t even mention in the Kindle Store that you could save $20 if you purchased a high-definition Kindle Fire tablet!
But at least they’re mentioning it on the front page of Amazon — where they’re calling it the perfect gift for dad.
Browse Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD discounts at