The Joy of the Kindle

Somewhere between the erotic novels and the United States’ budget report are some really great free books you can download onto Kindle. “But I don’t have a Kindle!” you exclaim. Ah, but you can download the Kindle application for free onto your computer (both PC and Mac), iPad, iPhone, Blackberry phone, Android phone, or Cloud. So really, there’s no excuse.

And it’s not just the classics you can get, which are out of copyright (i.e. older than 1923). Publishers offer a lot of limited time promotional offers that you can browse through.

Frankly, a lot of them are the abovementioned erotic novels or insanely boring treatises on the U.S. budget. But if you can plow past titles like “Not Just an Orgy,” there’s some really good things you can find.

Some of the bestselling books/authors I’ve downloaded for free:

  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry
  • A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill
  • At the Queen’s Command by Michael A. Stackpole (still a free book offer right now)
  • Several novels by well-known Christian authors, including Tracie Peterson, Janet Oke, Jan Watson, and Beverly Lewis.

The free selection changes constantly, so I check every few days to see if something new has been added (otherwise you miss out on a great book that might only be available for a little while – see Outlander above). I’ll be the first to admit that there are some winners and some losers in the “free Kindle e-books” game. The good part is that they’re free… so if you read the first few paragraphs and want to bang your head against a wall… guess what? You’re not out anything but a few minutes of time.

The best part about the whole free deal is that I’ve discovered some authors I really enjoy. Lynn Austin is one. I’ve downloaded several by her at various times, including While We’re Far Apart (a WWII novel that takes a look at who is left behind) and Gods and Kings (fictionalized story of King Hezekiah).

Joyce Magnin writes clever, sweet novels with a Christian focus, and I’ve managed to get her Bright’s Pond series one-by-one (my favorite is the second book, Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, which can be read on its own. Her third in the series, Griselda Takes Flight, is still free in the limited-time offers.

Janice Thompson is another good, light-reading author, and her Fools Rush In is a sweet and fun Christian romance with a quirky main character and her chaotic and loving family. Its two sequels have been free before… you might just have to wait a little for them to come back around (the free books often do cycle back after a while and are free again).

Overall synopsis of this post: free is good; free books are awesome.


On The Power of Prayer – John Chrysostom

“Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain and the mother of a thousand blessings. It exceeds a monarch’s power… I speak not of the prayer which is cold and feeble and devoid of zeal. I speak of that which proceeds from a mind outstretched, the child of a contrite spirit, the offspring of a soul converted – this is the prayer which mounts to heaven… The power of prayer has subdued the strength of fire, bridled the rage of lions, silenced anarchy, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, enlarged the gates of heaven, relieved diseases, averted frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. In sum prayer has power to destroy whatever is at enmity with good. I speak not of the prayer of the lips, but of the prayer that ascends from the inmost recesses of the heart.”

~ On the Incomprehensibility of God by John Chrysostom

by e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)