New Big Discounts on Kindle eBooks!

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut Hollywood by Charles BukowskiThe Return of Little Big Man A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre

Every month Amazon discounts dozens of Kindle ebooks — to just $3.99 or less! And June is almost over, making this the last week to buy the ebooks at their discounted price. It’s my favorite time to browse for ebooks, and not just because there’s usually a great selection. You can browse all these discounts over the weekend, and then visit the same page on Tuesday (July 1st) to see a whole new selection of more discounted Kindle ebooks!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s discounted Kindle ebooks, point your browser to:
tinyurl.com/399KindleEbooks

Here’s some of this month’s most interesting titles…


Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut ($1.99)

It’s one of Kurt Vonnegut’s last novel — and with one of his wildest plots. There’s a cluster of characters shipwrecked on an island who suddenly become the only survivors of a catastrophic epidemic — and the novel looks at the world which results…one million years later! One reviewer called it “the humorous, ironic and sometimes carping decline of the human race”, and at least one of Amazon’s customers described it as one of his favorite Vonnegut novels, applauding its grandiose plot and its sense of humor — concluding “in the end Galapagos is interesting, funny, unconventional, and just a great read.”


Hollywood by Charles Bukowski

Hollywood by Charles Bukowski ($1.99)

It’s the second-to-last novel ever written by Charles Bukowski. Just five years before his death at age 73, Bukowski created this 250-page portrait of one of the most extreme cultures of all — Hollywood! After living a life of drunkenness combined with some great and empathetic writing, Bukowski had been commissioned to write a screenplay about his own life in 1984. That resulted in the movie Barfly, but Bukowski wasn’t through with Hollywood yet. “In this hilarious roman a clef, Bukowski draws on his experiences while writing the script…” explains the book’s description at Amazon, adding that the book’s main character is also penning a screenplay about his early life, “as a barfly and brawler, before he became a famous author.” And you’ll recognize many real-life actors, directors, and other famous personalities — because the characters in this book are drawn straight from real life!


The Return of Little Big Man

The Return of Little Big Man by Thomas Berger ($1.99)

“Jack Crabb is now 112 years old,” begins the book’s description at Amazon, “and he isn’t done spinning yarns.” Thomas Berger’s original novel explored the life of an 111-year-old man who claimed (among other things) to be the only survivor of Custer’s Last Stand. His fantastic stories about real life in the American west inspired a 1970 movie. But nearly 30 years later, in 1999, 75-year-old Thomas Berger resurrected his own character to deliver even more tall tales. “Crabb claims to have witnessed most of the great historical events of the western frontier,” reads the book’s description at Amazon, “hiding behind a wagon after a drunken Doc Holliday provokes the shootout at the OK Corral; joining Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley on tour with their international Wild West show; even taking tea with Queen Victoria when she came out of seclusion after a quarter century!” Like the movie, the novel promises to be funny, but according to Amazon, there’s another layer to this historical fantasmagoria, which they ultimately describe as “a sidesplitting novel of surprising emotional depth.”

And the ebook edition includes a special new introduction by the now-89-year-old author!


A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre

A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre ($1.99)

John le Carre has been writing spy novels for more than 50 years. But in 2008, at the age of 76, he reached back to his own memories of working as a British spy in Germany. Or did he? The world’s changed a lot since the 1950s, and in le Carre’s novel (also set in Germany), the intrigue surrounds a mysterious young Russian smuggled into Germany, who may or may not be a terrorist. There’s also a strong female attorney defending him against deportation, and according to Amazon, le Carre’s novel quickly becomes “Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go.” They called the novel “fiercely compelling”, but more than that, describe its overall effect as “a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times…”

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s discounted Kindle ebooks,
point your browser to:

tinyurl.com/399KindleEbooks

Amazon Announces a New eBook Deal!

Kurt Vonnegut Bluebeard Defining Moments book cover - Gordon Zacks
Perry Mason - Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink Garry Kasparov - How Life Imitates Chess

It’s one of the great things about owning a Kindle: there’s so many things to read! And for the next week, Amazon’s making it even easier, with an event called “The Big Deal”. More than 400 different Kindle ebooks have been discounted through May 11th, so everybody should be able to find something.

Check out the selection! Point your browser to
tinyURL.com/TheBigEbookDeal

I spent at least a half an hour browsing through the entire selection, and here’s some of the ebooks that looked especially interesting…



Garry Kasparov - How Life Imitates Chess


How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov ($1.99)

For 20 years he ruled the chess world with some of the highest ratings of any Grandmaster. But in 2007, as he approached middle age, Kasparov turned his mind to a book which “distills the lessons he learned over a lifetime…” according to Amazon, “to offer a primer on successful decision-making: how to evaluate opportunities, anticipate the future, devise winning strategies.” Amazon describes Kasparov’s style as “lively” and “insightful” which touches on memory, intuition, and even the fine art of fantasy. And best of all, you can also pair this ebook with an audiobook partly narrated by Kasparov himself — and then sync the audiobook to the ebook. This let’s you switch from one to the other without losing your place — or to read along while you’re listening to the professional narration!



Kurt Vonnegut Bluebeard


Bluebeard: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988) by Kurt Vonnegut ($1.99)

This isn’t like other Kurt Vonnegut novels. It was published in 1987, shortly before Vonnegut’s 65th birthday, and the introspective novel explores the life of a strange 71-year-old painter. (“I promised you an autobiography,” the painter apologizes in the first chapter, “but something went wrong in the kitchen…”) Amazon describes the book as Vonnegut’s “meditation on art, artists, surrealism, and disaster,” and it’s actually his second novel with his character of the eccentric painter. “Rabo Karabekian” also appeared 14 years earlier in a brief scene in Breakfast of Champions. And through May 11, Amazon is discounting both books to just $1.99 — as well as the Vonnegut novel Deadeye Dick. And there’s also discounts on two fun collections of Vonnegut’s short stories — Welcome to the Monkey-House and Bagombo Snuff Box!


Defining Moments book cover - Gordon Zacks


Defining Moments: Stories of Character, Courage and Leadership by Gordon Zacks ($1.99)

One reviewer described these as “Masterpiece snapshots of leadership with mind-blowing take-home value” by an author who “walked the halls of power with the greatest…” At the age of 73, author/activist Gordon Zacks took a look back at the inspiring people he’d worked with over his life. “These stories are first-hand accounts of how people — some famous, some not — followed their passion, lived their purpose, and aspired to be part of something greater than their selves. These people had the courage to seize their moment and make the world a better place, revealing valuable lessons on the path to a more rewarding life.”


Perry Mason - Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink


The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink by Erle Stanley Gardner (99 cents!)

It’s a Perry Mason mystery — one of the original novels which formed the basis for Raymond Burr’s classic TV show. Through May 11th, five different Perry Mason mysteries are on sale for just 99 cents. Amazon also discounting The Case of the Velvet Claws, The Case of the Perjured Parrot, The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll, and The Case of the Runaway Corpse. I was surprised to discover that each of the original mysteries were nearly 400 pages long. But each one grapples with one of Perry Mason’s trademark mysteries wrapped in questions of law, like “Did Wealthy Fremont Sabin divorce his wife before his untimely death….?”


Remember, to see all 427 discounted Kindle ebooks, point your browser to
tinyURL.com/TheBigEbookDeal

Amazon Discounts More eBooks to $3.99 or Less!

Amazon Kindle 399 ebook sale


I love the beginning of each month, because it’s when Amazon announces new discounts on a special selection of Kindle ebooks! It’s one of the best things about being a Kindle owner — there’s always plenty of bargains to explore, which makes it easy to try out new authors and explore some new genres. And this month, Amazon’s discounted some relatively new ebooks — including an Agatha Christie story that’s never been published before!

For a shortcut to all the discounts, just point your browser to
tinyurl.com/399KindleEbooks


Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly by Agatha Christie ( $0.99)

It’s a new, never-before-published mystery by Agatha Christie — and it’s available only as an ebook! Just released in November, this novella was originally authored in 1954, and it holds a special place in the Agatha Christie canon. She slipped in references to her own local neighborhood into this story — including her very own home of Greenway — and she’d planned to donate the money earned by this story to her own local church’s fundraiser for a stained glass window. But in the end, the novella itself took a strange turn, according to the book’s page at Amazon, when Christie decided to enlarge its 75-page story into a longer, full-length mystery (which she released in 1956 as Dead Man’s Folly ). Instead the church received the proceeds from another mystery story featuring her Miss Marple character. And now the original novella version of this Hercule Poirot mystery has finally also been published!


Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut ($3.99)

This is the very first novel ever written by Kurt Vonnegut, just seven years after he’d been liberated from a Nazi P.O.W. camp in 1945, and 17 years before Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut first studied anthropology, then became a technical writer (and publicist) for General Electric — which inspired this startlingly imaginative piece of science fiction, according to Wikipedia. Vonegut had witnessed some computer-operated “milling machines” that were already cutting the rotors used in sophisticated engines and gas turbines. “Player Piano was my response to the implications of having everything run by little boxes…” the author told Playboy Magazine in a 1972 interview. “To have a little clicking box make all the decisions wasn’t a vicious thing to do. But it was too bad for the human beings who got their dignity from their jobs!”


Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende ($1.99)

Isabel Allende wrote the novel “House of the Spirits” in 1982, and she’s also won numerous awards, including induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. But just three years ago, at the age of 68, she applied her “magic realism” to the city of New Orleans, delivering this rich piece of historical fiction that’s set in the late 1700s. “Allende is a master storyteller at the peak of her powers,” reads a quote from the Los Angeles Times on the book’s page on Amazon. It’s exciting that Amazon’s included this among this month’s selections for discounted Kindle ebooks. But I was really surprised they included it in the “Romance” section — “What the Duke Desires” and “How to Discipline Your Vampire”!


What the Duke Desires by Sabrina Jeffries ($1.99)

Last year I wrote wryly about how Amazon had discounted five different romance novels which all contained the word “Duke” in their title! But give some credit to Sabrina Jeffries, who has was chosen last month to be the first romance author interviewed by USA Today for their new column about historical romance novels. Her historical romance novels reached the New York Times best-seller list — she’s written 36 of them, with titles like Never Seduce a Scoundrel and Married to the Viscount. Fans of historical romance will be pleased that a new Jeffries novel was released just six weeks ago — When the Rogue Returns — and that Amazon has discounted her previous novel to just $1.99!

The 90 Most Useful Kindle Urls

Digital Publishing vs. the Gutenberg press

Once a year, I assemble my “master list” of shortcuts to the most useful pages for Kindle owners – like all of the free ebooks, music and comic books that Amazon’s been making available. But this year there’s 40 new links which highlight all the changes that happened in 2013 that became a part of the Kindle universe!

Instead of trying to memorize a bunch of complicated URLs, I’ve created shorter, easier-to-remember addresses that still lead to the same pages.

And all 90 of them start with TinyURL.com …

FREE EBOOKS

tinyurl.com/100freekindlebooks
Amazon’s 100 best-selling free ebooks are always available on this list (which is updated hourly!) And of course, the other side of the page also shows the 100 best-selling ebooks which are not free…

tinyurl.com/ObamaKindleInterview
Amazon’s interview with President Barack Obama, available as a free Kindle Single.

tinyurl.com/AgathaChristieEbooks
All the Kindle editions of Agatha Christie’s mysteries (one of which is free!)

tinyurl.com/BackOnMurder
My favorite free Kindle mystery — a 384-page detective novel following a police detective’s homicide investigation in Houston called Back on Murder.

tinyurl.com/MrToadEbook
Read the original adventures of Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows as a free Kindle ebook.


FREE LAUGHS FROM AMAZON

tinyurl.com/FunnyFakeAmazonReviews
Amazon’s own list of their favorite funny fake customer reviews.

tinyurl.com/MoreFunnyAmazonReviews
Amazon’s second list of their favorite funny customer reviews.

Horse Head Mask from Amazon



FREE COMIC BOOKS

tinyurl.com/SupermanOne
A free Kindle edition of Superman #1

tinyurl.com/freeGraphicNovel
Amazon’s free full-length “graphic novel” called Blackburn Burrow – a fascinating horror comic book set during the Civil War that you can read in color on your Kindle Fire or Android smartphone, or in black-and-white on the Paperwhite, the Kindle Touch, or the Kindle.

tinyurl.com/FreeKindleComicBooks
All of Amazon’s best-selling free Kindle comic books. (For a shortcut to all of Amazon’s Digital Kindle Comics, just point your browser to tinyurl.com/KindleComicBooks

tinyurl.com/ComicsNewsletter
Amazon’s free newsletter about digital comic books.


FREE AND DISCOUNTED MP3S

tinyurl.com/FreeMp3List
I love how Amazon is always giving away free mp3s — and you can always find a complete list at this URL!

tinyurl.com/GrammyMp3s
Grammy-winning songs — discounted as low as 69 cents

tinyurl.com/GrammyAlbumMp3s
Grammy-winning albums — discounted as low as $5.00

tinyurl.com/SuperBowlSongs
All the songs used in ads broadcast during the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans (when the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers )



Amazon Kindle 399 ebook sale

BARGAIN EBOOKS

tinyurl.com/399KindleEbooks
Every month, Amazon picks 100 ebooks to offer at a discount of $3.99 or less. There’s always a new selection on the first day of the month, so if you visited the page on the last day of the month, you’d see 100 discounted books — and then the next day you’d see an entirely new selection!

If you’re in England, Amazon’s created a different page for their bargain ebooks — go to tinyurl.com/399booksEngland

And if you’re in France, there’s also a different URL for your (English-language) bargain ebooks — it’s at tinyurl.com/399booksFrance
 
 
tinyurl.com/DailyKindleDeal
In addition, Amazon’s also created a special “Daily Deal” page, where they pick a new ebook each day to sell at a big discount for 24 hours. Past deals have included a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming and Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night — and I’m always surprised by the variety.

tinyurl.com/DailyDealsEmail
Amazon will also just e-mail you every “Daily Deal,” so you never have to worry about missing one of them!

tinyurl.com/EbookBigDeal
Amazon’s special selection of discounted Kindle ebooks

tinyurl.com/KindleSelect25
Each week Amazon highlights 25 more books

tinyurl.com/KindleMatch
Discounts on Kindle editions of book when you’ve already purchased their print edition

tinyurl.com/CheapThrillers
Amazon’s special selection of “international thrillers” — all priced at $4.99 or less


KINDLE SINGLES

tinyurl.com/AmazonKindleSingles
All of Amazon’s short, cheap “Kindle Single” ebooks

tinyURL.com/KingOnGuns
Last January Stephen King published a 25-page personal essay titled “Guns”, which he’s selling as a Kindle Single for 99 cents.


NEW KINDLES AND KINDLE FEATURES

tinyurl.com/KindleFires

Amazon’s newest high-definition color Kindle tablets

tinyurl.com/NewPaperwhite
In 2013 Amazon released a slick new, high-contrast version of their Kindle Paperwhite

tinyURL.com/KindleDX2013
Amazon also brought back their giant 9.7-inch black-and-white Kindle DX in 2013

tinyurl.com/KindleSending
Amazon’s free “Send-to-Kindle” plug-in for web browsers

tinyurl.com/CustomKindleCovers
Convert your own photos into a custom Kindle cover

tinyurl.com/KindleSerials
There’s a new format for Kindle ebooks called the “Kindle Serial.” Famous authors will now deliver new additional installments of their ebooks just as soon as they’ve finished writing them! The link above takes you to Amazon’s “Kindle Serials” store.

tinyurl.com/PrimeInstantVideo
If you’ve signed up for Amazon’s free “Prime” two-day shipping service, they’ll also let you watch a ton of movies and TV shows for free on your Kindle Fire! (Or over the internet…) Browse through the complete selection here – everything from the original episodes of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone to modern favorites like Bones and even new shows created by Amazon (including one starring John Goodman).



Roger Ebert - 1942 - 2013

FAVORITE AUTHORS

tinyurl.com/EbertEbooks
Roger Ebert left us in 2013 — but here’s the Kindle editions for all his ebooks.

tinyurl.com/KindleElmoreLeonard
Elmore Leonard also left us in 2013 — but here’s Kindle editions of all his books.

tinyurl.com/SuckersPortfolio
An exclusive new serialized collection of seven previously unpublished works by Kurt Vonnegut.

tinyurl.com/CatsCradleEbook
Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat Cradle.

tinyurl.com/KurtVonnegutEbooks
Every Kurt Vonnegut ebook in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

tinyurl.com/BukowskiEbooks
Every Charles Bukowski ebook in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

tinyurl.com/BillyTheKidAudiobook
My favorite audiobook — a drawling narrator reads To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West.

tinyurl.com/HungerGamesEbooks
Amazon’s discounted version of the Hunger Games trilogy

tinyurl.com/BrightBooks
Classic children’s picture book revived by the loving granddaughter of author/illustrator Robert S. Bright

tinyurl.com/KindleCalvinAndHobbes
“The Essential Calvin & Hobbes” – released as a Kindle ebook in November of 2013

tinyurl.com/DilbertEbooks
My favorite newspaper comic strip is Dilbert, about the life of an office cubicle worker. In 2012, creator Scott Adams finally collected all the comic strips together into a series of ebooks that you can buy for your Kindle!

tinyurl.com/DoonesburyEbook
Doonesbury, the long-running newspaper comic strip by Garry Trudeau, is now finally available on the Kindle — in four massive ten-year retrospective collections!

tinyurl.com/PlayboyEbooks
Playboy announced for their 50th anniversary that they’d release 50 of their best interviews as 99-cent Kindle ebooks. They’re now available in the Kindle Store, including fascinating and sometimes even historic interviews with famous figures from the last 50 years, including Martin Luther King, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Ali, Bill Gates, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen Hawking, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jon Stewart.

TinyURL.com/TakeiBook
George Takei is the 75-year-old TV actor who’d played Mr. Sulu on Star Trek. But now he’s also a huge internet phenomenon — and last December, he finally released his first Kindle ebook, called Oh myy! (There Goes the Internet)

tinyurl.com/KindleSimpsons
The Simpson’s once made a joke about the Kindle — though ironically, there are aren’t any ebooks about The Simpsons anywhere in Amazon’s Kindle store – or any ebooks by Matt Groening. But at least you can watch episodes of the Simpsons TV show on your Kindle Fire tablet or on Amazon’s “Instant Video” page — including the episode where they make their joke about the Kindle!

tinyurl.com/HarryPotterKindle
One of the biggest stories of last year was the release of all J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels as Kindle ebooks.

Two Maurice Sendak URLs
Where the Wild Things Are was written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, a beloved children’s book author who died in 2012 at the age of 83. Though his books were never released in Kindle Format, you can still download the full-length novel adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are that was written by Dave Eggers at tinyurl.com/SendakNovel. And you can even buy a DVD at Amazon of the rare 1970s adaptation of Sendak’s stories into television cartoons with narration by Peter Schickele — at tinyurl.com/SendakCartoons


A LOOK BACK: MORE FUN EBOOK LINKS

http://tinyurl.com/AmazonBooks2013
Amazon’s list of the top 100 best-selling Kindle ebooks for 2013

tinyurl.com/BestBooksOfTheMonth
Amazon’s Editors pick the best new books of the month

tinyurl.com/Top2012eBooks
At the end of last year, Amazon released this fun list of their top 100 best-selling Kindle ebooks of 2012.

tinyurl.com/BestBooksOf2012
There’s another list where Amazon’s editors also choose their selections for the “Best Books of 2012”. It’s a special web page with their picks in 30 different categories, including the best print books, the best Kindle ebooks, and the best biographies, mysteries, and even cookbooks!

tinyurl.com/2011Amazon
Curious about what were Amazon’s best-selling books for 2011? This URL takes you to a special Amazon web page where they’re all still listed — 25 to a page — along with a link to a separate list for the best-selling ebooks of the year. The #1 best-selling print book of 2011 was the new biography about Steve Jobs (followed by “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever.” ) But the #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks were The Mill River Recluse and The Abbey — neither of which was even available in print!

You can also review Amazon’s picks for the best books of the autumn of 2011 at tinyurl.com/AmazonFallBooks. And here’s an even handier trick. Amazon also creates a special page each month for the best newly-released books, and they’ll always take you to that page if you point your browser to the URL tinyurl.com/BestBooksOfMay



Amazon office building in Seattle

AMAZON’S CUSTOMER SUPPORT

tinyurl.com/kindle-cs
Amazon’s Customer Service has drawn rave reviews. (If your Kindle is broken, Amazon will usually mail you a replacement overnight!) This page collects all of Amazon’s support URLs. And at its far left, there’s a special link labelled “Contact Kindle Support,” which leads to the support phone numbers for 10 different countries, as well as an online contact form.

tinyurl.com/ReturnAnEbook
Amazon lets you return any ebook within 7 days, no questions asked. Just remember this address — tinyURL.com/ReturnAnEbook — and you’ll always be able to get a refund if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.


MY EBOOKS AND GAMES

It’s my list, so of course it includes shortcuts for three very special projects…

TinyURL.com/ThrowInTheVowel
An original word game for Kindle became one of the top 100 most-popular games for the year — and I’m it’s co-author! Check out all the fun at TinyURL.com/ThrowInTheVowel, and discover why 42 people gave it a five-star review! And we’ve just released a brand-new sequel which you can see at TinyURL.com/ThrowInTheVowel2

tinyurl.com/500Quotes
My very first Android app — “500 Inspiring Quotes”. (Available in Amazon’s Android store, and also in the Nook and Google Play Store)

TinyURL.com/TurkeyBook
“For Thanksgiving, try this game. Find the guilty turkey’s name!”

I wrote a special “mystery poem” that was finally published in November as a funny, illustrated ebook. There’s cartoon-y pictures which show four turkeys in a farmer’s pen on Thanksgiving Day. The farmer’s approaching with an axe — but one of the turkeys has a plan to escape! (“Can the farmer figure out which one? And can you?”) The short “Turkey Mystery Rhyme” is only 99 cents — a real bargain for a fun, holiday smile.

tinyurl.com/OurFunnyDog
Lucca is a cuddly Cocker Spaniel dog who was rescued from an animal shelter, and he now adores his new family — my girlfriend and me! My girlfriend’s been telling her friends how she received “the best present ever” — this short collection of funny photos of her dog, along with sweetly humorous captions that tell the story of his life. (Like the day he met that white cat that moved in downstairs…) If you want to preview a “sample chapter first, go to tinyurl.com/GoodReadsDog — but the whole “short picture scrapbook” is only 99 cents, and it offers a nice peek at a very wonderful dog…


GAMES

tinyurl.com/FreeAmazonApps.
Amazon’s Android app store offers a free app every day — both for your Kindle Fire tablet and for any Android smartphone.

tinyurl.com/allkindlegames
Amazon has a web page devoted just to all the games you can play on your Kindle. (There’s over 400 of them!) It’s fun to see all the colorful game “covers” collected together into one magical toy store-like page.

tinyurl.com/kchess
Here’s the shortcut to a free web page where you can play chess against a computer. But you can also pull the page up in your Kindle’s web browser, so I named the URL “KChess”!


Free Kindle Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine cover illustration

FREE AND DISCOUNTED KINDLE MAGAZINES

tinyurl.com/FreeSciFiMag
Fantasy & Science Fiction is the famous magazine where Stephen King first published the stories that later formed the basis for The Dark Tower. It’s now available as a free Kindle magazine. It’s been publishing short SciFi stories and commentary for over 60 years — including the works of many other famous authors. In 1978 they published Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” short stories, and in 1959 they ran Robert Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” as a serial. (They also published the novella “Flowers for Algernon” and short stories by Harlan Ellison, and even published a short story by Kurt Vonnegut in 1961, which later appeared in his collection “Welcome to the Monkey House.”) Amazon’s now offering free Kindle subscriptions to a special “digest edition”. (The print edition, published six times a year, is a massive 256 pages.) The digest includes all the editorial content – editor’s recommendations, the “odd books” section, film and book reviews, plus cartoons and ‘Coming Attractions’ (highlights of each issue) – along with one short story. (And if you want the full 256-page version sent to your Kindle, you can subscribe for just 99 cents more.)

tinyurl.com/FreeKindleMagazine
Amazon once gave away free “trial issues” of the Kindle edition for several magazines earlier — and now the same URL points to a page where you can always download free magazine apps! The apps deliver full-color magazine content straight to your Kindle Fire — or to your Android smartphone. There’s one for each of these six popular magazines.

     Entertainment Weekly
     Real Simple
     National Geographic
     Time
     Better Homes and Gardens
     People

tinyurl.com/KindleMagazineDeals
Deliver magazines to your Kindle at a big discount


A VERY SPECIAL KINDLE BLOG

tinyurl.com/MeAndMyKindle
It’s my blog! (That’s the URL for its page on the Kindle Store.) If you want to tell your friends how to find me, this URL makes it easy to remember. Just practice saying “TinyURL . com/MeAndMyKindle” and soon we’ll all be sharing the latest Kindle news together.


KINDLES ON TV

I love Amazon’s Kindle TV ads — and you can watch them all online at YouTube.com/Kindle. One of my favorite ones is this British commercial for the Kindle and the Kindle Touch, at tinyurl.com/UKKindleAd

tinyurl.com/KindleFireSong
There was a spectacular new TV ad when Amazon announced their new Kindle Fire tablets. It showed the evolution of print from a quill pen dipped in ink to Amazon’s latest full-color multimedia touchscreen tablet. But I loved the song they played in the background, by a new Louisiana-based band called the Givers. (“The words we say today, we’ll say… we’ll see them again. Yes, we’ll see them again…”) I’d called it an ode to all the self-published authors who are finding new audiences on the Kindle — and at this URL, you can hear the entire song on YouTube!


tinyurl.com/AmyRutberg
Before she became “the woman from that Kindle commercial,” actress Amy Rutberg appeared in a zany stage production called “The Divine Sister.” Playbill (the official magazine for theatre-goers) had her record a backstage peek at the theatre and its cast for a special online feature — and it’s a fun way to catch a peek at another part of her career. That URL leads to the video’s web page on YouTube, and there’s also a second part which is available at http://tinyurl.com/AmyRutberg2

tinyurl.com/KindleChristmasSong
It’s that cute song from Amazon’s 2010 Kindle Christmas ad. (“Snowflake in my pocket, let’s take a sleigh ride on the ice…”) At this URL, you can download an mp3 of the song “Winter Night” by Little & Ashley.

tinyurl.com/StewartBorders
On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart did a special segment in 2011 when Borders bookstores announced that it was going out of business. (“Books! You may know them as the thing Amazon tells you ‘You might be interested in’ when you’re buying DVDs…”) Correspondent John Hodgman delivered some silly suggestions about how bookstores could re-vitalize their business model — like offering in-store appearances where customers could heckle authors while they’re writing novels. Or, simply converting bookstores into historical tourist attractions demonstrating the way books used to be sold in the 20th century.


MISCELLANEOUS

tinyurl.com/kindlemap
Ever wonder where all the Kindle owners are? Someone’s created an interactive online map, where Kindle owners can stop by and leave “push pins” showing their location! There’s big clusters on the east and west coast of America (though you could still leave the first push pin for Arizona or Nevada!) It’s an adapted version of one of Google’s maps of the world, so you can also spot “Kindlers” in Iraq, Romania, and Ethiopia. And if you click on the push pins, you’ll find the Kindler’s name and sometimes a comment. (One Kindler in Spain simply posted: “Tengo un Kindle DX!”)

tinyurl.com/GoldBoxPage
Every day Amazon also offers discounts on a new item — sometimes even expensive electronics equipment. And you can always find them all at tinyurl.com/GoldBoxPage

tinyurl.com/BurningTheBook
A new ebook by the Amazon manager who was in charge of the Kindle on the day it launched!


And here’s the most useful URL of all.

tinyurl.com/90KindleURLs

It’s a shortcut to this page — so you can find all of these URLs in 2014!

Happy New Year!

My Favorite Kurt Vonnegut Story

Kurt Vonnegut

Amazon’s still offering big discounts on the Kindle editions of books by Kurt Vonnegut. But I’d also like to share one of my personal favorite stories about the famous author — and a precious experience from a visit to Los Angeles. The Paley Center for Media preserves recordings of old and rare programs in a museum in Beverly Hills. So in 2006, I paid them a visit to watch the only television broadcast whose script was actually co-authored by Kurt Vonnegut himself!

Paley Center for Media - Museum of Television and Radio - Beverly Hills

It was an adaptation of a story which Vonnegut would later publish in “Welcome to the Monkey House,” though in 1953 the only place it appeared was the Ladies Home Journal. Five years later, Vonnegut’s sister died, within a few days of her husband, and as he adopted their children, Vonnegut wondered — at the age of 36 — whether he should give up writing altogether. But somehow in that same dark year, his name ended up on the teleplay of a very dramatic episode of G.E. Theatre.

It was hosted by Ronald Reagan, and starred a young Sammy Davis Jr. in the story of a black soldier whose troop passes by a German orphanage shortly after World War II. (One online review calls it “one of the great moments in television history,” since it was one of the first starring roles ever for a black actor on TV.) A black boy in the orphanage mistakes the lonely soldier for his father, and “Private Spider Johnson” soon has to make a very difficult choice. Reportedly even the production crew cried during the broadcast’s final scene, when the solider collapsed to his knees, sobbing.

It’s never been released as a DVD, but I watched on a viewing station at the museum. It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by the story of the orphans left behind by the war. (“Had the children not been kept there…they might have wandered off the edges of the earth,” Vonnegut wrote, “searching for parents who had long ago stopped searching for them.”) The story’s title is D.P., which stands for “Displaced Persons” — the technical military term for the desperate children. And it’s because of this story that my favorite Kurt Vonnegut book has always been “Welcome to the Monkey House”.

Earlier this month, Amazon had discounted the Kindle edition of this 354-page collection of Vonnegut’s short stories to just $8.99. (For a shortcut to all of Amazon’s Kindle ebooks by Kurt Vonnegut, just point your web browser to tinyurl.com/KurtVonnegutEbooks ) I’ve met so many people who tell me that Kurt Vonnegut is one of their favorite authors, so it’s nice to be able to remind them that he’s now available on the Kindle. Here’s a list of just some of Kurt Vonnegut’s books which are now available in Kindle editions!

Slaughterhouse Five
Cat’s Cradle
Breakfast of Champions
The Sirens of Titan
Player Piano
Welcome to the Monkey House
Mother Night
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Galapagos
Fates Worse Than Death
Slapstick
Bagombo Snuff Box
Timequake
Jailbird
Bluebeard
Deadeye Dick
Hocus Pocus
Palm Sunday

Enjoy!

Amazon Loves Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

I was surprised last week when Amazon had a special announcement about Kurt Vonnegut. And it was accompanied by discounts on some of his most famous books. Amazon’s also obtained the exclusive rights to seven previously-unpublished stories by the famous author. And right now, there’s even another short story by Kurt Vonnegut that’s available in Amazon’s Kindle Store for free!

Kurt Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969, and it was later hailed as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. But he’d already enjoyed earlier success in 1963 with a satirical science fiction fantasy novel called Cat’s Cradle. Its Kindle ebook edition is on sale now at Amazon for just $8.99.


For a shortcut, just point your web browser to
tinyurl.com/CatsCradleEbook

Amazon calls Cat’s Cradle Vonnegut’s “most ambitious novel,” and there’s a fun story about how it actually brought Vonnegut some recognition in a very surprising form. In the 1940s, Vonnegut had dropped out of the anthropology program at the University of Chicago after they’d rejected each idea he’d proposed for a thesis. “Twenty years later,” Vonnegut once told The Paris Review, “I got a letter from a new dean at Chicago, who had been looking through my dossier. Under the rules of the university, he said, a published work of high quality could be substituted for a dissertation, so I was entitled to an M.A. He had shown Cat’s Cradle to the anthropology department, and they had said it was halfway decent anthropology, so they were mailing me my degree!”

Amazon calls Cat’s Cradle “one of Vonnegut’s most entertaining novels…filled with scientists and G-men and even ordinary folks caught up in the game [who] chase each other around in search of the world’s most important and dangerous substance, a new form of ice that freezes at room temperature.” For an additional $3.95, you can also purchase the professionally-narrated audiobook edition of Cat’s Cradle on the same page. “At one time, this novel could probably be found on the bookshelf of every college kid in America,” Amazon writes in their review, adding “it’s still a fabulous read and a great place to start if you’re young enough to have missed the first Vonnegut craze.”

But it’s now also part of a fantastic project that Amazon has launched called Kindle Worlds. They’ve secured the legal right for authors to self-publish Kindle ebooks which are set in the fictional worlds created by other authors — including Kurt Vonnegut. “This is a natural extension of his legacy,” announced Donald C. Farber, a trustee of the Kurt Vonnegut Trust, “and a testament to the enduring popularity of his characters and stories.

“Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in time, is going to quickly become a Kindle Worlds favorite.”

The Kindle also has another connection to Kurt Vonnegut, according to Amazon’s press release. “In 2012, Amazon Publishing’s Kindle Serials released Sucker’s Portfolio, an exclusive serialized collection of seven previously unpublished works by Vonnegut.” Checking today, I see the 199-page collection is still available in the Kindle Store for just $3.99.

For a shortcut, just point your browser to
tinyurl.com/SuckersPortfolio

And there’s also some other great Vonnegut discounts on Vonnegut ebooks. Right now you can buy Welcome to the Monkey House as a Kindle ebook for just $8.99. This 354-page collection showcases some of Vonnegut’s great early short stories, some of which were originally published in science fiction magazines. Many of the others appeared in the most popular magazines of the 1950s, including Collier’s, Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post, and even Playboy.

For 99 cents, you can also buy a nice collection of two more short stories by Kurt Vonnegut — “The Big Trip Up Yonder” and “2 B R O 2 B”. But the second one is also available for free, with at least one Amazon reviewer calling it “A thought provoking short story.” In a future where the population has been stabilized at exactly 40 million people, every new birth requires that another life be displaced, according to their review, and “The easiest way to accomplish this is to call the Federal Bureau of Termination (phone number: 2 B R (naught) 2 B)…”

“You’ll have to read the story to find out what happens next…” they warn. adding “Just be sure to leave yourself a little time at the end to contemplate the story, and re-read or peruse various bits of it. You won’t be disappointed!”


For a shortcut to all of Amazon’s Kindle ebooks by Kurt Vonnegut,
just point your web browser to:

tinyurl.com/KurtVonnegutEbooks

100 More Kindle eBooks for $3.99 or Less

Amazon Kindle 399 ebook sale

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.

Check out the great discounts at
tinyurl.com/399books



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

More eBook Deals from Amazon!

Monopoly man gets bank error in his favor cash

I usually shop for ebooks using my Kindle — but there’s even more deals if you’re willing to shop online. The Kindle Store also has its own web page on Amazon — and I just noticed today that they’re advertising some great additional discounts on ebooks!

For example, Amazon is running a special selection of discounts that they’re calling The Big Deal. “Now through May 27, save up to 85% on more than 500 Kindle books,” Amazon promises — and the bargain prices are available in at least different categories. There’s fiction, mysteries, humor, children’s books, science fiction, history, nonfiction, biographies, romances, spirituality ebooks, and even ebooks for teenagers! Browse the complete selection at tinyurl.com/EbookBigDeal. Amazon’s discounted three Kurt Vonnegut novels — Jailbird, Palm Sunday, and Hocus Pocus to the Watchmen graphic novel by Alan Moore. An “Editor’s Picks” selection highlights Arthur C. Clarke’s The Hammer of God and The Autobiography of Mark Twain. “[N]ot all deals are available in all territories…” Amazon warns — but where the discounts are available, there’s more than 500 of them!

But that’s not the only deal being offered on the front page of the Kindle Store. Amazon will also let you choose one of 16 ebooks to receive for free. It’s a special thank-you for new subscribers for Amazon’s daily e-mail about discounted ebooks. You can always find those discounts on the web at tinyurl.com/DailyKindleDeal, but Amazon will also send you their “Kindle Delivers Daily Deals” e-mails as a reminder. If you’re interested, just go to tinyurl.com/DailyDealsEmail and click the yellow “sign up” button. (Be sure you’re logged in to your Amazon account.) The 16 ebooks you can choose from are all shown at the bottom of the page, Amazon explains, and “If you are a first-time subscriber to the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter, you will receive an e-mail with your unique promotional credit that will allow you to purchase one of the selected Kindle books below for free!”

Amazon’s also started identifying the “Kindle Select 25”. I’ve seen this when I shop for ebooks on my Kindle, but they’ve also got a link to it on Amazon’s online web page for the Kindle Store. Amazon describes it as “Our List of 25 Exciting Books for This Week,” and it’s always fun to see what they choose. Browse the whole selection at tinyurl.com/KindleSelect25

Now I just need to find someplace where I can buy more time to read!

100 More Discounted eBooks for May!

Amazon discounts 100 ebooks for less than four dollars

I was really excited about this month’s crop of discounted ebooks at Amazon. Last week I wrote about their discounts on science fiction books and thrillers, but I forgot about an even bigger sale. Every month Amazon also highlights a special selection of ebooks — their “100 ebooks for $3.99 or Less”. As always, you can find the whole collection at tinyurl.com/399books — and this month’s ebooks look especially interesting.

But in addition to that, Amazon’s also trying a new kind of sale, called “30 Kindle Books for $3 Each”. You can find them on the same page (at the bottom), giving you 130 different ebooks to choose from for less than four dollar each. This month I actually recognized some of the titles, which is why I say the selection looks especially interesting. Besides some very famous authors — and some justly famous novels — there’s at least one novel thta I’d actually characterize as “notorious!”


Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ashe ($2.99)

“Naked Came the Stranger” was one of the most bizarre literary experiments ever. It was written by 24 different authors in 1969, each describing a different romantic encounter with a predatory talk show host named Gillian Blake. Amazon describes it as “A steamy, bestselling tale of Long Island lust, written as a daring literary hoax by Newsday columnist Mike McGrady and two dozen of his colleagues.” McGrady was trying to prove that books became bestsellers solely because they contained lots of sexy scenes — and then set out to prove it, by instructing his co-authors to just emphasize the sex in each part of the book (avoiding anything that would approach literary excellence). “Naked Came the Stranger was an attempt to produce the steamiest and most wildly over-the-top novel of all time,” explains Amazon’s description, “good writing be damned. A sensation upon its first release, forty years later the book remains one of the most sinfully amusing potboilers ever published…”) And according to Wikipedia, it ultimately sold more than 400,000 copies…)


Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski ($1.99)

I’ve always been fascinated by poet/novelist Charles Bukowski, and Amazon notes his semi-fictional autobiography is widely hailed as the best of his many novels.” Written in 1982, when the author had just turned 60, it finds Bukowski describing a rough childhood in Germany, becoming an awkward teenager during America’s Great Depression, and “his adolescent discoveries of alcohol, women, and the Los Angeles Public Library’s collection of D. H. Lawrence….” It’s fun to read its reviews on Amazon, from fans who applauded “The Bard of Booze and Broads” to the woman who complained there was no redemption for the novel’s main character. (“I felt like there must be something wrong with me as I trudged through it, waiting for some kind of light at the end of the tunnel…”) But 192 reviewers have given the book a very high average of four and a half stars, and Amazon calls the book “crude, brutal, and savagely funny”.


The Third Life of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker ($3.49)

She was the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple — but it was just 12 years earlier that Alice Walker published The Third Life of Grange Copeland as her very first novel. It’s a story about a tenant farmer who leaves the Deep South, fails, then returns to the family he left behind, and according to Essence magazine, Walker “dares to reveal truths about men and women, about blacks and whites, about God and love…And we, like Alice Walker’s marvelous characters, come away transformed by knowledge and love but most of all by wonder.” If you’re a fan of the author, there’s an additional treat at the back of the book — an illustrated biography including some rare photos from her personal collection.


The Year the Music Changed by Diane Thomas ($1.99)

My girlfriend loved this book — and I thought it had a fascinating premise. It imagines the letters between a teenaged music fan in the 1950s, and a young singer named Elvis Presley, just before he became a star. I liked how Elvis really became a character in the book, and the letters capture his voice the way you’d imagine it — friendly, humble, and struggling with the onset of success. But it’s really the story of the teenaged girl, wondering why her mother is so unhappy in her marriage, and some of the passages are beautifully written. The whole story is told in the form of letters where she opens up to Elvis — with his own smaller story told in his responses — and at 260 pages, one reviewer on Amazon describes it as “a fast, intensely satisfying read.” I ultimately couldn’t resist reading this book, just because of all the enthusiastic words being used to describe it, like the review in Publisher’s Weekly which described it as simply “Warm, lively and immensely readable.”


I’m always impressed by the variety of ebooks that Amazon is selling. They’ve separated them into seven categories — Fiction and Literature, general nonfiction, kids and teens, mysteries and thrillers, biographies, romance, and science fiction/fantasy. (If you remember R.L. Stine from the Goosebumps series, you might want to try his horror novel for adults — Red Rain.) This month Amazon is also selling nearly two dozen romance novels that have been discounted, with titles like “Standoff at Mustang Ridge”, from the Harlequin Intrigue Series, and “Three Cowboys: Virgil\Morgan\Wyatt”.

There’s even one called “Confessions of an Improper Bride,” plus a title that also seems like a rebuttal — “Ain’t Misbehaving”! But Amazon’s also selling a lot of good “literary” fiction too. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-House Five is only $2.99, and there’s an intriguing novel by George Orwell about the life of an Englishman living abroad, called Burmese Days. So there’s something for everybody!

And remember, you can find the whole collection at
tinyurl.com/399books

The Kindle Touch is Back!

Finger on Kindle Touch

Amazon stopped selling the Kindle Touch version of their e-readers back in October. (If you tried to go to its web page, Amazon would simply send your browser over to their web page for the Kindle Paperwhite.) But in a kind of pre-Easter miracle, the Kindle Touch has come back to life. It’s suddenly re-appeared for sale again at Amazon.com.

For a shortcut, just point your browser to
tinyurl.com/EasterKindleTouch

I’m one of the few people who owns of of each kind of Kindle that Amazon has ever released — and the Kindle Touch has always been my favorite. In 2011 I began building a word game for the Kindle with my friend Jeff, and we’d both bought a variety of used Kindles so we could see how our game performed on the different devices! I also discovered that I really liked the jumbo-sized screens on the Kindle DX, but in the end
my favorite feature was the light weight and easy handling of some of Amazon’s later Kindles. And yet strangely, I never warmed up to the Kindle Paperwhite, so for me the best touchscreen Kindle ever made was its 2011 predecessor, the Kindle Touch.

To be fair, the Kindle Paperwhite got some glowing reviews — pun intended — but there were also a few complaints. Back in October, I noted that after 676 reviews, the Paperwhite had earned an average rating of less than 3 and a half stars on Amazon (out of a possible five), a lower rating than any previous model of Amazon’s black-and-white Kindles. Amazon seemed to be positioning it as “version two” of their touchscreen Kindles, but this just made the Kindle Touch seem more like a “lost Kindle” — the fondly remembered device that you just couldn’t buy any more. For example, one technology site remembers that the Kindle Touch was “the last fully functional device the company released that had speakers and support for audiobooks.” (And the Kindle Touch came with much more storage space — 4 gigabytes — which is double the amount of storage that Amazon built into the Paperwhite….)

I could never get past the glowing screens on the Paperwhite, but that’s probably just because I’m such a fan of Amazon’s e-ink screens. The glow from the Paperwhite just became an annoying reminder that I was still reading on an electronic device, instead of enjoying a book-like page on a naturally-lit, e-ink screen. Again, I know people who love the extra contrast and crispness of the Kindle Paperwhite. (And I still think our Kindle word game still looks absolutely gorgeous on the glowing screens of the Kindle Paperwhite…) But my favorite Kindle — out of all the ones Amazon ever made — was always the Kindle Touch.

And yet, one dark day in October, people began to notice that the Kindle Touch was now listed as “unavailable” at Amazon.com. (Along with a warning that “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”) That seemed like the end of the Kindle Touch — forever.

Which is why I’m so excited that the Kindle Touch is back on sale again at Amazon.com.

More Book Deals from Amazon

Monopoly man gets bank error in his favor cash

I knew Amazon featured 100 new ebooks for $3.99 or less at the beginning of each month. But it turns out they’re also running a second concurrent sale on ebooks — called “The Big Deal!” Amazon’s slashed the price on 200 more Kindle ebooks, to just $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, or $3.99. But if you’re interested, you better hurry — because this sale only runs through Sunday (March 25th)

Check out all the ebook discounts at
tinyurl.com/EbookBigDeal

So what ebooks have been discounted? There’s fiction, mysteries, children’s books, science fiction, history, nonfiction, some health/mind/body books, and even some choices from Amazon’s “religion & spirituality” category. 28 of the bargain-priced books are in the fiction section, including some classics that you might not expect. Four of Kurt Vonnegut’s books are on sale for only $2.99 — Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and Welcome to the Monkey House. Also available is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley — as well as Brave New World Revisited, a set of essays written 26 years after his original novel, “in which he meditates on how his fantasy seemed to be becoming a reality and far more quickly than he ever imagined.” And there’s even a collection of Ziggy cartoons — a 35th-anniversary special featuring over 200 cartoons — for just 99 cents!

But in another section, Amazon’s also offering 18 more mystery and thriller ebooks at a discount. There’s Hello Kitty Must Die, a tale of intrigue with a fascinating cultural subtext — and Heaven Preserve Us: A Home Crafting Mystery. (“Sophie Mae Reynolds makes preserves by day and answers a crisis center help referral line by night… But on her very first night, she gets a call from a man who is threatening suicide . . . and her!”) In another section, there’s nine discounted children’s ebooks — including The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (“From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory–More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards”). And the science fiction section has 11 more books at a discount, including the original I am Legend.

Of course, there’s also non-fiction titles available at a discount — 12 of them — plus another 9 discounted ebooks in a separate history section. (And there’s another 10 books in the Health/Body/Mind section.) But surprisingly, the biggest selection of discounted books appears to be in Amazon’s “Religion & Spirituality” section, where there’s over 53 titles available at a discount. “Shop for yourself, or give Kindle books — delivered when you want — to anyone with an email address,” Amazon suggests at the top of the page. “No Kindle required. Books can be read on Kindle or one of our free reading apps.”

There may be “territorial restrictions” — so I can’t guarantee these deals are available outside the U.S. But it’s still an interesting selection of titles! And if that’s not enough, there’s also another way to find cheap ebooks that I’ve just discovered. Every day Amazon offers a “Daily Deal” on one ebook — dropping its price for just 24 hours to as low as 25 cents! My problem was I kept missing the good deals, because I’d forget to check Amazon’s page. But they’ve introduced a new service where you can sign for e-mail reminders about the ebooks — so you’ll never miss a sale! For an easy-to-remember shortcut, point your web browser to tinyurl.com/DailyEmailDeal

And remember, you can check out all the ebook discounts at
tinyurl.com/EbookBigDeal

There’s so many ways to find cheap ebooks on Amazon, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of them all!

100 More eBooks for $3.99 or Less!

Amazon Kindle 399 ebook sale

It’s a special tradition. Every month, Amazon picks 100 ebooks to offer at a discount of $3.99 or less. There’s always a new selection on the first day of the month, and I’m pretty excited about the discounted ebooks for February. To see the selection, point your computer’s web browser to tinyurl.com/399books

So which 100 ebooks did Amazon choose for their big discount this month??


God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut ($2.99)

One of Vonnegut’s favorite novels tells the story of a U.S. Senator’s eccentric son, a millionaire who becomes a wandering philanthropist. Vonnegut’s next novel was Slaughter-house Five, and the New York Times Book Review says this book shows the author “at his wildest best.” But in researching this story, I discovered there’s also two free Vonnegut ebooks in the Kindle Store — both short stories. (There’s “The Big Trip Up Yonder” and “2 B R 0 2 B”). And according to Wikipedia, that second story is actually referenced in the novel “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater,” attributed to Vonnegut’s own fictitious character, a science-fiction author named Kilgore Trout.


The Borrowers by Mary Norton ($1.99)

It was one of the 10 most important children’s novels of the last 70 years, according to the judges of a Carnegie Medal awards program. In a grand English manor, a tiny family is secretly living in the floorboards of the kitchen. They “borrow” what they need for their homestead, until one day disaster strikes, and the father is seen by a little boy. The culture of the “big people” confronts the question of the existence of the little people, and the change in perspective makes this story unforgettable. “Like all great books for the young, The Borrowers can be read as an enthralling story of adventure,” writes one reviewer on Amazon, “but also contains many layers of meaning…”


The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein ($2.99)

The master of science fiction wrote this novel in 1957 — in which a hard-drinking inventor travels forward through time to the year…2000. There he discovers that the robots he’d been building in the 1950s have become a popular fixture in society — and tracks down a relative of the business partner who’d double-crossed him. It’s often been voted one of the 50 best science fiction novels of all time — and I love this explanation of the book’s title. According to Wikipedia, it came from a joke by the author’s wife about a cat that was refusing to leave its house through any of numerous doors, because it saw snow on the ground. “He is looking for The Door into Summer….”


What Would Keith Richards Do?: Daily Affirmations from a Rock and Roll Survivor by Jessica Pallington West ($1.99)

“To me, the main thing about living on this planet is to know who the hell you are and to be real about it…” So says the hard-living guitarist for the Rolling Stones, who became both a legend and a punchline after surviving a wild life of rock and roll. This 256-page collection offers a fun alternative to other self-help advice books, with quotes and analysis about what we all can learned from the life of Keith Richards himself. “I’m here because I’ve taken the trouble to find out who I am,” Richards says at one point — echoing the advice he gave to Captain Jack Sparrow in that Pirates of the Caribbean movie. (“It’s not whether you can live forever. It’s whether you can live with yourself.”) And I enjoyed how the advice was grouped into chapters with clever titles, like “Keith and Nietzsche” or “Keithisms: The 26 Ten Commandments of Keith Richards.”


Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded by Ann VanderMeer ($2.99)

This 431-page anthology offers some of the best “steampunk” science fiction around – including a short story by William Gibson, and another by “original” steampunk author, H.G. Wells. “Steampunk” is a trendy fiction genre that a lot of my friends love, a kind of reaction to our technology-saturated times (and the popularity of edgy “cyberpunk” science fiction stories.) Steampunk science fiction is often set in the Victorian era, where the most powerful technology available is a steam-powered engine!

Big Kindle Discount for 18 Kurt Vonnegut eBooks

Kurt Vonnegut

Amazon is advertising a big sale in the Kindle store for 18 novels by Kurt Vonnegut! For the next four weeks, you can buy each one as an ebook for just $3.99. For Slaughterhouse Five, that represents a 50% discount from the regular price of $7.99. “You guys really know how to empty out our pockets,” joked one Kindle owner, posting their reaction on Facebook.

In fact, within 15 hours of the announcement, 288 people had clicked its “like” icon on the Kindle’s page on Facebook. “Quite possibly my favorite author,” posted another user, adding excitedly that it was the “DEAL OF THE CENTURY”. Three different women posted an identical reaction: “love my Kindle.” And another Vonnegut fan joked that they wouldn’t need to buy any of the ebooks, because “I already have them all memorized!”

Here’s a list of the Kurt Vonnegut novels which are now available as $3.99 ebooks.

Slaughterhouse Five
Cat’s Cradle
Breakfast of Champions
The Sirens of Titan
Player Piano
Welcome to the Monkey House
Mother Night
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Galapagos
Fates Worse Than Death
Slapstick
Bagombo Snuff Box
Timequake
Jailbird
Bluebeard
Deadeye Dick
Hocus Pocus
Palm Sunday

I know a lot of my friends will be excited too, because Kurt Vonnegut has always been one of their favorite novelists. But I feel a special connection to the author, because of a precious experience I enjoyed during a visit to Los Angeles. The Paley Center for Media preserves recordings of old and rare programs in a museum in Beverly Hills. In 2006, I paid them a visit to watch the only television broadcast whose script was actually co-authored by Kurt Vonnegut himself.

Paley Center for Media - Museum of Television and Radio - Beverly Hills

It was an adaptation of a story which Vonnegut would later publish in “Welcome to the Monkey House,” though in 1953 the only place it published was the Ladies Home Journal. Five years later, Vonnegut’s sister died, within a few days of her husband, and as he adopted their children, Vonnegut wondered — at the age of 36 — whether he should give up writing altogether. But somehow in that same dark year, his name ended up on the teleplay of a very dramatic episode of G.E. Theatre.

It was hosted by Ronald Reagan, and starred a young Sammy Davis Jr. in the story of a black soldier whose troop passes by a German orphanage shortly after World War II. (One online review calls it “one of the great moments in television history,” since it was one of the first starring roles ever for a black actor on TV.) A black boy in the orphanage mistakes the lonely soldier for his father, and “Private Spider Johnson” soon has to make a very difficult choice. Reportedly even the production crew cried during the broadcast’s final scene, when the solider collapsed to his knees, sobbing.

It’s never been released as a DVD, but I watched on a viewing station at the museum. It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by the story of the orphans left behind by the war. (“Had the children not been kept there…they might have wandered off the edges of the earth,” Vonnegut wrote, “searching for parents who had long ago stopped searching for them.”) The story’s title is D.P., which stands for “Displaced Persons” — the technical military term for the desperate children.

And it’s because of this story that my favorite Kurt Vonnegut book has always been “Welcome to the Monkey House”.