Time is running out — and I almost forgot to share one of my favorite web pages for the Kindle! Every month Amazon picks 100 ebooks to offer at a big discount — always $3.99 or less. (Just point your web browser to http://www.tinyurl.com/399books ).I’ve looked through this month’s selection, and discovered there’s some really great books that are still available at very cheap prices! The special offer ends Monday — but then Tuesday there’ll be 100 more ebooks available at the same low prices.
And of course, every day Amazon offers yet another 24-hour special on another ebook at amazon.com/kindledailydeal. Today’s “Daily Deal” is especially intriguing if you like Matt Damon’s movies in the “Bourne Identity” series. I’ve seen all the movies based on Robert Ludlum’s books — but I didn’t know his series had continued after Ludlum’s death in 2001. Starting in 2004, seven more “Bourne” books were written — the second of which is available today for just $3.99. It’s identified as Robert LudlumTM‘s The Bourne Betrayal, though it’s written by Eric Van Lustbader. “Subsequent to his death, books written by other authors have carried the phrase Robert LudlumTM on their covers,” Wikipedia reports, “thus asserting the name Robert Ludlum as a trademark. The actual author (not technically a ghost writer) is identified inside.” It’s a Halloween miracle – an author who kept writing after he was dead!
But I’m equally intrigued by the 100 other ebooks Amazon’s priced at just $3.99 or less for the month of October. (Watch out! These deals will disappear at midnight on Halloween!) Amazon’s even ready to help you celebrate the holiday with some special “spooky” books. If you’re a fan of R.L. Stine, they’re selling two different collections of his scary short stories for just $1.99 each.
Each collection has 10 short stories, and one enthusiastic fan declared Nightmare Hour the “Best Short Story Book Ever!!” In a 2007 review on Amazon, they described the creepy plots of each of its ten stories. (“Pumpkinhead… A crazy tale of three kids who go to a pumpkin patch at night, and the terror that lurks within.” ) Even the titles of the chapters suggest lots of fun for young horror fans. There’s “Make Me a Witch,” “Alien Candy,” and even one that’s called “Afraid of Clowns.”
You can see the book’s creepy cover at the top of this post. “I hope you get the picture and buy the book,” writes the enthusiastic reviewer, “because it’s really awesomely cool and fun and terrifying to read at night!”
R. L. Stine had sold over 400 million books by 2008, according to Wikipedia, and there’s a second collection of stories available that’s called Haunting Hour. Some of its more intriguing titles are “How to Bargain with a Dragon,” “The Bad Baby Sitter,” and “Revenge of the Snowmen.” And for every parent who’s had to drive their children on a long trip, there’s even a short story called “Are We There Yet?”
I think the first really scary movie that I ever saw as a teenager was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho — and it’s the subject of a great book by Stephen Rebello. Apparently the movie was based on a real-life serial killer, according to one review, and when novelist Robert Bloch sold his book’s movie rights, he “had no idea who bought it and sold it for very little, but his reputation was made for life.” Psycho‘s startling surprises (and its “shower scene”) made the movie a legend, and a shared experience that a lot of movie-lovers still treasure. This book’s author interviewed nearly everyone involved in its production — including Alfred Hitchcock — and the movie’s star, Anthony Perkins, called it “marvelously researched and irresistible … required reading not only for Psycho-philes, but also for anyone interested in the backstage world of movie creation.” (And Time‘s movie critic called it “one of the best accounts of the making of an individual movie we’ve ever had.” )
You can probably tell that I love movies, and you know who’s reviewed every single one of them? Roger Ebert. I’m also a big fan of Roger Ebert — he once let me do a short interview back in 2001 — and now for $2.99 you can get the newest edition of his “Movie Yearbook”. It includes 500 full movie reviews — including every review he’s written in 2008, 2009, and seven months of 2010 — plus his interview with Muhammad Ali, essays about the Oscars, moving tributes to John Hughes and Walter Cronkite, plus his reports from the Cannes Film Festival. He’s a famous film critic (and a Pulitizer Prize-winning author), but what did he think of Avatar, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Inglourious Basterds? The print edition of Ebert’s book normally costs you $29.99 — so it’s a minor miracle that through Monday night, Amazon’s pricing it for just $2.99.
I never actually read the “Boxcar Children” series of mysteries — and I was surprised to learn it dates back to 1924. In fact, it was during World War I that a Sunday school teacher named Gertrude Chandler Warner first got the idea for a series of stories about four orphan children who live together in an abandoned boxcar. Nearly a century later, new stories are still being written for her characters — and in the newest one they confront zombies! “Is someone hiding information?” suggests a plot synopsis at Wikipedia.
“Or should the Boxcar Children really be afraid of things that go bump in the night?”