Amazon Introduces a New All-You-Can-Read Deal for EBooks!

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon’s just announced a surprising new deal! Now you can subscribe to their “all you can read” service for just $9.99 a month! This lets you read any ebook from their special selection of more than 600,000 titles.

For a shortcut to Amazon’s new offer, point your browser to

And the service isn’t limited to just Kindle ebooks. Amazon’s also including thousands of audiobooks as part of the package. “With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre,” points out an Amazon Kindle executive. “You can just start reading and listening!”

And Amazon also lets you “sync” your audiobooks with your ebooks, so you can switch over to a hands-free/listening mode whenever you need to — and then switch back to continue reading at that new location in your ebook! (Amazon calls this “allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy.”) It’s a feature that’s been enabled on thousands of the ebooks available in their “Unlimited” subscription service. Just look for this “Whispersync for Voice” logo on the book’s page at Amazon.

WhisperSync for Voice

There’s even a free 30-day trial, so you can feel what it’s like to have all of these ebooks available without having to worry about price. (Plus a free three-month subscription for every single audiobook available at And yes, this subscription service also includes Amazon’s “Kindle Singles”, so you can also read the shorter new works by authors like Stephen King. Amazon’s even got some exclusive ebooks — titles which haven’t even been released yet, but which are available a month early to Kindle customers…

It’s interesting to speculate about why Amazon’s offering a subscription service. But maybe it’s because people really were shopping around for the cheapest titles. It’s hard for Amazon to make any money if people keep choosing their ebooks from Amazon’s “free” section. With this new program, Amazon will at least get $120 a year from every subscriber.

And Kindle owners will get to read as many ebooks as they want!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s new offer, point your browser to

Special Kindle eBook Discounts for July

Little Bee book cover     Ella Enchanted book cover

Murder in the Ball Park     A Dog Named Slugger

It’s one of my favorite things about owning a Kindle. “Each month we unveil a new collection of Kindle books for $3.99 or less,” Amazon explains on a special web page. It always feels like a special event, and if I don’t check out the new selection, I always feels like I’m missing something!

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

Here’s some of the most interesting titles…

LIttle Bee book cover

Little Bee by Chris Cleave ($1.99)

It’s impossible not to be intrigued by this novel’s description at Amazon. (“The lives of a sixteen-year-old Nigerian orphan and a well-off British woman collide in this page-turning #1 New York Times bestseller…”) But then they suddenly turn coy, adding “We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it… It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t.

“And it’s what happens afterward that is most important…”

Murder in the Ball Park

Murder in the Ball Park (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries) by Robert Goldsborough ($1.99)

It’s a brand new mystery starring the famous “armchair detective,” Nero Wolfe — and there’s a fascinating story behind this story. The wealthy New York City detective first appeared in a novel in 1934, according to Wikipedia, and continued delighting mystery readers for the next 40 years. And then a new author took over the series in 1986 — publishing another 11 novels over the next 28 years that continued the detective’s investigations. Amazingly, the most recent Nero Wolfe story was published in 2014, and it looks like an exciting case. “Wolfe earns a big league call-up after a senator gets taken out at the ball game,” reads the mystery’s description at Amazon. (And in an ironic touch, the story opens with a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers versus the New York Giants — two teams which have long since left Wolfe’s beloved New York City for California!)

A Dog Named Slugger

A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill ($1.99)

It’s a true and heart-warming story about a “struggling college student and the Labrador with ‘a coat like sunshine’,” according to the book’s description at Amazon, “and a tail that never stopped wagging…” The student has cerebral palsy, but when she’s matched up with a service dog, “Together, they transformed a challenge into a triumph” — and also inspired everybody that they met. I love a good dog book, and this one has already become Amazon’s #1 best-seller in their category “Animal Care and Pet Essays”. Plus, it’s also drawing rave reviews from Booklist, which call it “a touching memoir”, and “a sweet story about a woman and her dog.”

Ella Enchanted book cover

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine ($1.99)

Before it was made into an Anne Hathaway movie, this charming young adult novel won a prestigious Newbery honor back in 1998. It’s 240-page twist on the Cinderella story, according to the book’s description at Amazon. (“Instead of a demure heroine patiently awaiting a prince who will carry her off, this Ella is a feisty ball of fire with the courage and ambition to take matters into her own hands…”) But there’s one catch: an enchantment forces her to obey any orders that are given to her. It’s quite a premise, and at least one satisfied Amazon customer described it as “the best book I’ve ever read in my entire life.”

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

Save $50 on a New Kindle Fire Tablet!

Amazon Discounts Kindle Fire HDX for Cyber Monday

It’s a summer special that’s hard to resist! Amazon’s offering big discounts on their Kindle Fire tablets — including their newest high-definition Kindle Fire HDX. It’s now possible to save up to $50 on a new Kindle Fire tablet. And Amazon’s also offering discounts on accessories for your Kindle.

For a shortcut to Amazon’s discounted Kindles, point your browser to

For example, for just $119 you can purchase a Kindle Fire HD — a $20 savings over its usual price of $139. That’s for the 8-gigabyte version, but if you’d like more storage space, Amazon’s also discounting the 16-gigabyte Kindle Fire HD, to just $129. (Normally it retails for $40 more — $169!) They’re described on Amazon’s web page as “Our most affordable Kindle Fire, now in high-definition…”

But of course, Amazon released an even better tablet last year called the Kindle Fire HDX — and they’re also on sale! Right now you can get a Kindle Fire HDX for just $199. That’s a $30 savings — and Amazon will give you the same discount if you purchase a tablet with extra storage space. The cheapest model comes with 16 gigabytes of storage, but for an extra $40 you can upgrade that to the 32-gigabyte version. And even the 64-gigabyte Kindle Fire HDX now costs just $259 — a $50 discount over its usual retail price of $309!

Amazon’s touting the special as a “Back to School” deal (calling their tablets “the perfect gift for students.”) But there’s also some other gift opportunities. If you look carefully at each Kindle’s page, you’ll notice that Amazon’s offering discounted accessories as the right side of the page. You can save up to $15 on a spiffy new case for your Kindle tablet. (My last Kindle had a leather case, and while reading it was really nice to feel that soft leather-y touch.) The joke’s on Amazon, because this September I have absolutely no plans of going back to school whatsoever.

But I’m definitely going to take advantage of this sale!

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s discounted Kindles,
point your browser to

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:

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:

Four Sexy Discounted Kindle eBooks!

The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose LeeThe Graduate Book Cover by Charles Webb

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar HijuelosBig Time - The Amazing Spider-Man Graphic Novel

Kindle means variety — there’s always so many ebooks to choose from. And Amazon surprised me last week with with some of their choices for their “Big Deal” discount event. They’d discounted over 400 Kindle ebooks — and at least a few of their selections were sexy literary classics!

To see the full selection, point your browser to

The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee

The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee ($3.99)

Yes, the famous stripper wrote a murder mystery “set in the underworld of burlesque theatre,” according to this Kindle ebook’s description at Amazon. “The G-String Murders was penned in 1941 by the legendary queen of the stripteasers — the witty and wisecracking Gypsy Rose Lee…” The story’s full of twists (and a double murder), as Lolita LaVerne teams up with comic Biff Brannigan and Siggy the g-string salesman, squaring off against corrupt policemen…. It’s part of a special series called Femmes Fatales that’s resurrecting pulp fiction and hard-boiled noir detective tales for a new audience of ebook readers in the 21st century. And through May 11th they’re also discounting another Gypsy Rose Lee murder mystery — called Mother Finds a Body!

The Graduate Book Cover by Charles Webb

The Graduate by Charles Webb ($1.99)

At the age of 24, Charles Web published the ground-breaking novel which became the legendary movie chronicling a young man’s affair with the predatory Mrs. Robinson. But both the movie and the book were really about alienation, which comes through even more clearly in Webb’s original novel. While it’s laugh-out-loud funny, there’s also real angst, according to one review, as Webb “savors that that tension throughout the book, devoting large sections to rambling dialogue showing Ben’s failure to connect.” It’s fun to see scenes where this dialogue was faithfully recreated in the 1967 movie — as well as the tantalizing additional scenes that were left out!

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos ($1.99)

This novel won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for fiction — and when it appeared on the Kindle this November, it included a new afterword by the author! It became a movie and an international best-seller, but I was even more impresed with how one editor at Wikipedia condensed the entire novel into a few juicy sentences. “It tells the story of Cesar Castillo, an aged musician who once had a small amount of fame when he and his brother appeared on an episode of I Love Lucy in the 1950s. The book chronicles Cesar’s last hours as he sits in a seedy hotel room, drinking and listening to recordings made by his band, the Mambo Kings…” And if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can even read this book for free!

Big Time - The Amazing Spider-Man Graphic Novel

Spider-Man: Big Time by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos ($1.99)

If you like stories about superheroes, this is one of the best collections of Spider-Man stories I’ve ever read. But there’s some fun looks at Spider-Man’s personal life — including his relationship with a sexy jewel thief named The Black Cat! This graphic novel opens with a great story starring all of the Avengers, but it’s not just Dr. Octopus who’s attacking New York — soon there’s a high-powered new version of the Hobgoblin! (And there’s also a new character who I’d swear was modeled after Steve Jobs.) All 144 pages of this collection appear in full-color on your Kindle Fire tablet — but for many of the new e-ink Kindles, it’s also available in black and white!

To see all 427 of Amazon’s discounted Kindle ebooks, point your browser to

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

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

Amazon Discounts More Fun eBooks!

Upstairs at the White House - My Life with the First LadiesThe Forgotten Sister - Mary Bennet's Pride and PrejudiceBall Four - Jim BoutonThe New Avengers - Breakout

Today I took another look at Amazon’s discounted ebooks for the month of April — and I was stunned by how many more ebooks were on sale that I actually wanted to read! Yes, Amazon chooses over 100 ebooks each month to discount to “$3.99 or less”. But this month’s selection just seemed unusually good!

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

Here’s some of the titles that I thought were especially intriguing…

Upstairs at the White House - My Life with the First Ladies

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West ($1.99)

For 28 years, J.B. West worked at the White House — a witty and discreet man who coordinated all the day-to-day details for the presidents, their first ladies, and the rest of their families. Jackie Onassis called him “one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met,” and when he finally published a memoir, it sold millions of copies and became a New York Times bestseller. Now available as a Kindle ebook, this 381-page classic begins with stories about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as Harry and Bess Truman and Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower. It’s nice to get a personal glimpse at the lives of the people in power, and West remained in the White House through 1969, so his book also contains some very dramatic stories about the end of the Kennedy administration, as well as the transition to president Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird (and ends with the arrival of president Richard M. Nixon). “Mr. West takes the high road, and we get to enjoy the view with him,” writes one reviewer on Amazon. “Well done, Mr. Chief Usher!”

The Forgotten Sister - Mary Bennet's Pride and Prejudice

The Forgotten Sister: Mary Bennet’s Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Paynter ($1.99)

Another fresh twist on Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth’s younger sister, “marginalized by her mother, and ridiculed by her father.” You may remember the quiet and “plain” who just wanted to read books, but in this new 440-page novel, author Jennifer Paynter imagines Mary finding her own intense feelings — for an impoverished young local fiddle player. Amazon’s description calls this book “elegant” and “graceful”, offering its own new look at Jane Austen’s familiar themes. “It is only after her sisters tease her about her ‘beau with the bow’ that Mary is forced to examine her real feelings and confront her own brand of pride and prejudice…”

Ball Four - Jim Bouton

Ball Four by Jim Bouton ($1.99)

This rollicking memoir by baseball player Jim Bouton became the best-selling sports book of all-time for its wild and funny stories about the major leagues — though it was extremely controversial when it was first published in 1970. (Bouton remembers when the San Diego Padres “burned the book and left the charred remains for me to find in the visitors clubhouse…” adding that “All that hollering and screaming sure sold books!”) Bouton describes Ball Four as “the kinds of stories an observant next-door neighbor might come home and tell if he ever spent some time with a major-league team,” and one of his teammates described Bouton as “the first fan to make it to the major leagues”. Bouton went from pitching in the World Series with the New York Yankees to Seattle’s forgotten expansion team (the Seattle Pilots ) before being traded to the Houston Astros — but he collects together all the lore and the secret taboos of professional baseball in what Time magazine once called one of the 100 greatest non-fiction books ever published.

The New Avengers - Breakout

The New Avengers, Vol. 1: Breakout by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch ($1.99)

What would happen if every comic book super-villain broke out of prison at the same time? Spider-Man is about to find out, along with Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Spider-Woman. It’s six issues of The New Avengers, presented in full color on Kindle Fire tablets (and any Amazon Kindle app), and also in black-and-white for the Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite. And one reviewer notes one of the best things about this collection: “it is funny. Laugh out loud funny!”

Remember, for a shortcut to each month’s discounted Kindle ebooks,
you can always point your browser to:

Easter Special! A Kindle Fire HD for $119

An Easter Egg marks Amazon's discounts on the Kindle Fire tablets

Surprise! Amazon’s offering more discounts on their Kindle Fire tablets. This week, to mark the Easter holiday, they’ve lowered the price on their color, high-definition Kindle Fire HD tablets to just $119! And they’re also offering big discounts on their newer Kindle Fire HDX — both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s discounts, point your browser to

I guess when you’re Amazon, the word holiday is pronounced “limited-time offer”. But apparently Amazon can’t decide how much money to let you keep. Below the Kindles, they describe the offers like this.

     Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ from $379 $339.
     Kindle Fire HDX from $229 $199
     Kindle Fire HD 16 GB from $169 $129

But the final price is actually $10 cheaper for the Kindle Fire HD if you’re willing to settle for the 8-gigabyte model. That’s just $119 — while the higher price tag ($129) is only for the 16-gigabyte version of the Kindle Fire HD. And it’s only $70 more to try Amazon’s newest version of a multimedia tablet, the Kindle Fire HD. The low Easter prices tempted me into doing a head-to-head comparison of the devices!

So what’s the difference between a Kindle Fire HD and a Kindle HDX? Well, there’s 50% more pixels per inch in a Kindle Fire HDX, for one thing — so their picture should be even sharper! The Kindle Fire HDX also ships with a faster quad-core processor (versus the dual-core processor on the regular Kindle Fire HD) — though I imagine you need a fast processor just to handle all those extra pixels. With the Kindle Fire HDX, you also get a front-facing camera (and a built-in microphone) for video chats — and the larger 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX also comes equipped with a rear-facing camera. When you put them all together, you end up with very high-resolution images that you can broadcast in real-time using your Kindle Fire HDX — and it’s even equipped with 4G capabilities, so you can use the latest high-speed mobile networks.

So if you get tired of hunting for Easter eggs this weekend, you can treat yourself to a high-tech gift. Maybe it’s Amazon’s way of saying… Happy Easter!

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s discounts, point your browser to

New Amazon Kindle Fire ad

Amazon Discounts Neil Gaiman – and More!

Neil Gaiman - 1602 graphic novel cover Lost Cat book
Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesEllery Queen - The Greek Coffin Mystery

Amazon’s discounting Kindle ebooks again — over 113 of them! Every month they choose over 100 books to discount for their “$3.99 or less” sale, and this month’s selections include a mind-boggling graphic novel by Neil Gaiman, a fascinating new perspective on the life of a cat, and an ebook that one reviewer called “one of the greatest mysteries ever written”.

For a shortcut to the discounted Kindle ebooks, point your browser to

Here’s some of the most interesting selections…

Neil Gaiman - 1602 graphic novel cover

1602 by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert ($3.99)

As Queen Elizabeth’s reign comes to an end, strange thunderstorms cover all of Europe — and she summons her royal advisors, Sir Nicholas Fury and Dr. Stephen Strange. It’s a fascinating blend of real history with characters from the Marvel comic book universe, as the British monarchy confronts the appearance of “witchbreed” among them who possess unexplainable super powers. (There’s a daring blind minstrel named Matthew Murdoch, and a young boy who’s fascinated by spiders by the name of Peter Parquagh…) It’s a complete graphic novel that’s wildly imaginative, collecting all 8 issues of Neil Gaiman’s original stories (which gave Marvel comics an entire alternate universe for future stories). And it’s presented in full color on Kindle Fire tablets (and any Amazon Kindle app), and also in black-and-white for the Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite. And you’ll never guess what happens when the royal family receives a visit from the Incredible Hulk…

Lost Cat book

Lost Cat by Caroline Paul and Wendy MacNaughton ($1.99)

A loving couple loses their cat, but then it happily returns just a few weeks later. Where did it go? It’s a mystery that the couple sets out to solve in this delightful true story which is both funny and heart-warming. “Using GPS technology, cat cameras, psychics, the web, and animal communicators,” explains the book’s description on Amazon, “the authors of Lost Cat embarked on a quest to discover what their cat did when they weren’t around. Told through writer Caroline Paul’s rich and warmly poignant narrative and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton’s stunning and hilarious 4-color illustrations, Lost Cat is a book for animal lovers, pet owners, and anyone who has ever done anything desperate for love…”

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith) ($2.99)

It’s in the “romance” section of Amazon’s book deals, but this updated Jane Austen classic has a twist. Zombies! This surprise hit became a New York Times best-seller in 2009, for its fresh, original take on a classic romance about love and society in pre-Victorian England. This book playfully weaves the old plot into a new one. (“Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry?”) And while Jane Austen is listed as the book’s “co-author,” you’ve never seen Mr. Darcy in a situation like this…

Ellery Queen - The Greek Coffin Mystery

The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen ($1.99)

It’s one of America’s most famous mystery writers, and one of his first novels (when the young detective was still trying to prove himself). As the son of a New York cop, Ellery Queen was a “headstrong young genius,” according to this book’s description, and he confronts a very complicated case that involves a
blind man’s house next to a mysterious church graveyard. One reviewer on Amazon called the 299-page novel “Quite possibly one of the greatest mysteries ever written,” citing “delicious twists and turns”. They list a dazzling array of clues (and red herrings), and several reviewers came to the same conclusion: “The grand finale is mind boggling.”

Remember, for a shortcut to each month’s discounted Kindle ebooks,
you can always point your browser to:

Get a Kindle for just $49

Amazon Kindle just $49

Today only, Amazon will sell you a Kindle for just $49! And they’ve also reduced the price of their Kindle Paperwhite to just $99. “Celebrate National Reading Month” reads the headline next to the offer on Amazon’s front page – and when you click through to the offer, they reduce the offer to just six word. “Today Only: Get $20 off Kindle!”

For a shortcut, point your browser to

And for a shortcut to Amazon’s March Kindle ebook discounts, go to

Monday was “Read Across America” Day, a special event where schools (and schoolteachers) take time to celebrate the joys of reading. Last year movie star Uma Thurman read The Cat in the Hat to more than 250 schoolchildren to promote the event (which saw over 45 million schoolchildren participating!) Every child in Manhattan got a free copy of The Cat in the Hat as part of the special celebration. But today, Amazon’s celebrating the joy of reading by giving big discounts on their most popular Kindles!

The $20 discount for Amazon’s smallest Kindle comes out to a 28% savings (since it’s usually priced at $69). But the Paperwhite has consistently been one of Amazon’s more popular Kindles, so it’s nice to see Amazon’s also lowering its price.

Amazon Discount on Kindle Paperwhite

Remember, this sale is for one day only. So if you’re in the market for another Kindle — and you want to save $20 — today’s your day!

For a shortcut, point your browser to

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

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!

A One-Day Sale on the Kindle Fire HDX!

Kindle Fire HDX sale

Amazon’s just announced a big sale on their Kindle Fire HDX — a $30 discount. But it expires at midnight today, and they’re offering the sale for what appears to be a very surprising reason. “Game on, $30 off,” reads the text linking to Amazon’s discounted tablet, next to a doodle showing three NFL football players.

It’s like they’re celebrating Seattle’s victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle’s biggest opportunity yet to finally win the Super Bowl.

For a shortcut to Amazon’s special offer, point your browser to . (Enter the promotional code “GameOn30” to claim the $30 discount). It’s for the 7-inch model, bringing its price down to just $199. Earlier this month a reviewer for ZDNet even declared Amazon’s newest tablet was “far better than an iPad”!

But I had to laugh when I saw Amazon’s doodle of the football players, because most of my friends were rooting for San Francisco! For the third year in a row, the 49ers suffered yet another heartbreaking defeat in their post-season, each one capped with a spectacularly unsuccessful play that left them missing out on Super Bowl glory yet again. So I wonder what my friends would think if they’d logged onto this morning. Its front page was taunting them with a playful doodle of two hapless tackles from the San Francisco 49ers trying in vain to stop Seattle’s charging running back!

To be fair, I’ve heard other football fans saying they’re delighted that a team who has never won the Super Bowl will be getting a chance this year. (Seattle also has the distinction of being the only team to play in championship games for both the AFC and the NFC.) According to Wikipedia, their stadium even holds the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noises ever recorded. The team acknowledges their loyal and noisy fans as “the 12th man” on the field, and even raise a flag in the fan’s honor before the start of ever home game. But maybe they’ve also got another secret fan.

Maybe the 13th man is Amazon!

Get a Kindle Fire HD for $109

Amazon voted #1 in customer satisfaction

“Just Announced” reads the headline on Amazon’s front page. Amazon’s discounted their high-definition Kindle Fire tablets to just $109. And they’re offering $30 off on every Kindle Fire tablet for the next two days.

For a shortcut, point your browser to

It’s a two-day offer — so it expires at midnight on Saturday night. (That’s Pacific Standard Time — basically, “midnight in Seattle”.) Amazon’s limited the deal to just one discounted tablet per customer, and they caution that it’s only available “while supplies last”. But in a special announcement on Amazon’s home page, they’ve tied the offer to an important milestone for the company. Amazon was voted #1 in customer satisfaction — for the 9th year in a row!

It’s based on a survey of over 67,000 shoppers between November 29th and December 17th. The survey asked about their satisfaction shopping at the top 100 retailers, and there was a big surprise in the results. Amazon actually achieved a 90% satisfaction rate — the highest score ever recorded by the survey. And besides high marks for online shopping, Amazon also scored “significantly out front” of the other retailers when it came to shopping on a mobile device!

“To achieve such high customer satisfaction scores and sustain them over time is a remarkable feat,” the study concluded, “that remains unmatched by any other e-retailer.” It also hinted that customers now expect better service from retailers, but that Amazon is still keeping up with those expectations, and is “truly setting a new bar for an excellent customer experience.” Of course after such a glowing review, Amazon wanted to make sure that people noticed. So they’ve created a special page with the most positive quotes. And they’re linking to it in their home-page announcement about the big Kindle Fire discounts.

“To say thank you,” reads the announcement, “we’re taking $30 off all Kindle Fire tablets…” (Just be sure to enter the promo code MAYDAY30 when completing your purchase.) “Amazon voted #1 in customer satisfaction 9 years running…” read the big bold letters at the top of the page — under that little orange banner that says “Just announced”.

And on the picture of the discounted Kindle Fire, they’ve drawn the word “Thanks!”

Amazon writes thanks on discounted Kindle Fire

More Special Deals from Amazon

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson back cover

Amazon is giving away a Calvin & Hobbes collection as a Kindle ebook for just $10.99. It’s just one of several special deals they’re offering today, as a kind of welcome to new Kindle owners. And Amazon’s also giving away big discounts on hundreds of digital videos!

For shortcuts, point your browser to these URLs:

There’s also a collection of Snoopy cartoons by Charles M. Schulz that Amazon’s selling as a Kindle ebook for just $7.99. It’s about Snoopy as a surfer, so its title is “Cowabunga!” You can even read it on a black-and-white e-ink Kindle, though the colorful comic strip pictures will display in full digital color if your read it on a Kindle Fire. It’s over 200 pages long, so it’s a nice way to get a new look at a favorite, familiar character…

Snoopy surfing book - cover of Cowabunga

There’s also some other great discounts if you poke around through Amazon today. For example, each season of the TV show Community has been discounted to just $17.99 in Amazon’s “Instant Video” store. You can watch every episode in high-definition video on your Kindle Fire tablet — or in Amazon’s video apps, or even online in your web browser. And “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” has been discounted to just $7.99. (Also in high-definition!) You can buy a collection of 24 shorts by The Three Stooges for just $8.99 — or the original 1971 movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — and the original version of The Sound of Music is now just $9.99.

To browse all the deals, go to

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Movie

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

For shortcuts, point your browser to these URLs:

Amazon Discounts Kindles to $49!

New Amazon Kindle gift wrapped

Today only, Amazon is selling Kindles for $49! “One-Day Sale,” reads the announcement on the Kindle’s official page at Amazon. “Save $20 on Kindle, only $49 while supplies last. ” To make the point, they’d typed in $69 — and then struck through the letters. That’s a 28% discount, and it shows Amazon is getting serious about getting some new customers during the holiday shopping season…

For a shortcut, point your web browser to

Amazon discounts Kindle to 49

And the shipping is free, too. (Though they’re saying that your Kindle will arrive within “5-8 business days,” so you might to upgrade to a faster delivery option if you’re buying the Kindle as a gift.) Things always get a little crazy on Amazon’s site right around Christmas time, with a lot of unexpected new offers cropping up to steer customers towards more shopping. Amazon is also offering to deliver bottles of wine to their customers with a shipping charge of just one penny!

Maybe they think we all need a drink, after all the stress of holiday shopping? Actually, Amazon launched their own web site for purchasing high-quality wines online just over a year ago, ” the largest domestic wine selection online, with delivery available to 22 states and the District of Columbia…” There’s over 900 wine sellers who are now using Amazon’s site, and customers can just from over 7,000 different wine labels. “The holidays are a huge selling season for wine…,” one wine-maker points out, “and they probably already have their browser open to!”

Amazon’s also pointing out the you can order your gifts as last as midnight on Sunday, and still have them received before Christmas Day (on Tuesday, December 24th) — for free, if you’re a member of Amazon’s Prime shipping service. And according to Amazon’s press release, there will even be one-day shipping options available for just $2.99 per item. “Those truly last-minute shoppers can choose from millions of gifts, and order as late as midnight on Monday, Dec. 23, using Prime one-day shipping and still receive their package before Christmas!”

But with all the special deal, I’m still most interested in buying a new Kindle. $49 is an amazing price, and to be honest, I’m not buying one as a gift for somebody else. It’s the perfect chance to upgrade to a newer version at the lowest possible price. So I’m buying a $49 Kindle for me!

Remember, for a shortcut, point your web browser to

Kindle eBooks for $3.99 or Less!

Amazon Kindle 399 ebook sale

Every month Amazon discounts over 100 Kindle ebooks to just $3.99 or less. And this month, they’ve put together an unusually good selection of ebooks — many priced at just $1.99. But in addition, Amazon’s also introducing a brand new kind of discount. Now you can also purchase the audiobook edition of many of these ebooks for just $3.99. Then you can switch instantly between the written and spoken versions of the ebook when you’re reading on a Kindle Fire tablet (or a smartphone)!

For a shortcut, just point your browser to

Here’s some of the most interesting deals…

Stardust by Neil Gaiman ($1.99)

Set in the 19th-century, Neil Gaiman’s 1998 novel is “an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story,, ” according to the book’s description at Amazon. A young man has to cross the wall that separates his British town from the magical land of the faeries, “in pursuit of love and the utterly impossible. ” This story was originally published as a graphic novel with some lavish illustrations, but even this text-only version still fills 368 pages. And best of all, for another $3.49 you can also get the audiobook version — that’s read by Neil Gaiman himself!

Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard ($1.99)

There’s nine great short stories in this collection from the master of crime fiction — and each one features a female protagonist. (It’s original title was “When the Women Come Out To Dance”…) “These nine stories are the great Elmore Leonard at his vivid, hilarious, and unfailingly human best,” reads the book’s description at Amazon, noting how this collection “once again illustrates how the line between the law and the lawbreakers is not as firm as we might think.” It’s been 16 weeks since writer Elmore Leonard died at the age of 87, and this book is now sporting a new cover to highlight its special distinction. Its title story became the basis for the TV series “Justified” on the FX network — now heading into its fourth season — and tells the story of how U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens deals with an old friend who’s now living outside of the law!

In One Person by John Irving ($1.99)

John Irving wrote 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’s written a more poltical story, according to the book’s description on Amazon, which calls it “precisely the kind of astonishing alchemy we associate with a John Irving novel… brilliant, political, provocative, tragic, and funny!” And for another $3.95, you can purchase the audiobook edition, and hear the entire book — all 488 pages — read by a professional narrator.

Endless Night by Agatha Christie ($1.99)

This isn’t just any Agatha Christie mystery. ” It was one of her favourites of her own works ,” according to Wikipedia, “and received some of the warmest critical notices of her career upon publication.” A young man wandering “Gipsy’s Acre” — a stretch of rustic land said to be cursed — meets and falls in love with an attractive American woman. But before long he’s confronting a gauntlet of eccentric characters, in an unusual Agatha Christie mystery that one Amazon reviewer called “one of the most original books she’s written… A few very well placed surprises catch you off your guard!”

Remember, for a shortcut, just point your browser to

Amazon Discounts Kindle Fire HD for Cyber Monday!

Amazon Discounts Kindle Fire HDX for Cyber Monday

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!

For a shortcut, point your browser to

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…!

Amazon Announces Surprise Thanksgiving Deals!

Amazon discounts Kindle Fire for Cyber Monday - gift-wrapped for Christmas deal shoppers

Amazon’s offering a 30% discount on every book in their store! (“Take an extra 30% off any book offered by,” 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.

For a shortcut to Amazon’s book discount, just point your web browser to

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.

For a shortcut to all of Amazon’s Kindle tablets, point your web browser to

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! :)

Kindle DX discount

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!

Four Kindle Mystery Bargains by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie mystery book covers

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!

For a shortcut to Amazon’s Agatha Christie page, point your browser to

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!)

Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s Agatha Christie page, point your browser to

Amazon Thanks Airlines With One-Day Kindle Sale!

Alex Baldwin plays a pilot on Saturday Night Live

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.

For a shortcut to all the Kindle deals, just point your web browser to

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….!

Remember, for a shortcut to all the Kindle deals, just point your web browser to

Amazon Offers Free Kindle eBooks For your Print-Book Purchases

Curious George
I was really surprised when I first heard the news on the Kindle’s page on Facebook. “Imagine you bought a book from Amazon 18 years ago… and then 18 years later, you could add that book to your Kindle library for free or no more than $2.99. We call it Kindle MatchBook, available starting today.”

For a shortcut, just point your web browser to

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!) :)

For a shortcut, just point your web browser to

My Favorite eBook Bargains

Amazon Kindle 399 ebook sale

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

New $40 Discounts on Kindle Fire HD!


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”.

For a shortcut to the sale, point your browser to:

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!

For a shortcut to the sale, point your browser to:

Amazon Discounts 100 Kindle eBooks for $3.99 or Less!

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!

Browse all of Amazon’s discounted Bukowski ebooks at

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

Fun Friday eBooks!

Amazon Big Deal 99-cent ebook sale

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!

For a shortcut to the sale, just point your browser to

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.

For a shortcut, just point your browser to

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, “ 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!