More Free Kindle Books!

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow

As I said in this post, a lot of times the same books and authors tend to come around. Joyce Mangin’s Bright’s Pond series starts with this book, The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. It’s a series that’s great for light and thoughtful reading, and I hope the second one comes around again too, so folks can get all three in the series.

This first book in the series tackles what can happen when we raise one person to the level of saint. What happens when we expect too much from one person? People in Bright’s Pond believed that Agnes Sparrow’s prayers were always answered by God – they cured cancer, resolved ills and all manner of things. They resolve to set up signs and statues in her honor. But what happens when her prayers stop working?

Why I download what I do…

I download a lot of the free Kindle books. They seem to add a couple new ones every week or so, but around the first of the month, they take off the previous month’s selections and put in a bunch of new free books for the new month. I look at a few things when downloading free stuff:

1) What genre is it?

Sure, there might be a great new free true crime book available… but I’m sure not going to download it. Just not my thing.

2) What do the reviews say?

I don’t always go by this. Sometimes the reviews will be mixed, but the “negative” reasons are things that wouldn’t bother me (or at least wouldn’t bother me in a free book). But if I’m waffling on whether or not to bother with a book and there’s a negative review that said “It was nice until the ending” – I’m a no on downloading. (Nothing chaps my hide more than a bad ending. I’m still angry at Daphne Du Maurier over The Scapegoat.)

3) Does it simply appeal to me?

There’s several books that might not be in my usual genre, and might have no reviews at all… but if it looks interesting, I might just download it. After all, it is free.

So here’s some of things I’ve downloaded this week (but haven’t read yet).

O Little Town by Don Reid

I’m a sucker for short and sweet Christmas stories. Last week, I downloaded Christmas at Harrington’s by Melody Carson, and seriously enjoyed it… so I thought why not try this one?

I also downloaded Priced to Move: Shop Til U Drop” by Ginny Aiken, which seemed like a light and fun read (despite the annoying e-speak of U versus You). Reviews were good, and it’s set in Louisville, Kentucky, which is about an hour from where I live. It’s always fun to read a book that’s set locally, so let’s hope Aiken gets it right…

Also by Ginny Aiken, I downloaded Design on a Crime. This one I was iffy on, but I enjoy mysteries (even ones as fluffy as the reviews indicate) so I went for it. (After all, it’s free.)

And that was my haul this time around. Hopefully you’ll find something you like just as much… for free!

Kindle Freebies: Cookbooks

Tis the season… for lots and lots of cooking. So Kindle has a bunch of free cookbooks, just there for the taking. So here’s a few that look absolutely delicious…

Cuisines of the Alps by Kay Shaw Nelson

The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook by Kay Shaw Nelson

Healthy South Indian Cooking by Alamelu Vairavan and Patricia Marquardt

The Best of Polish Cooking by Karen West

All Along the Rhine by Kay Shaw Nelson

Aprovecho: A Mexican-American Border Cookbook by Teresa Cordero-Cordell and Robert Cordell

Sephardic Israeli Cuisine: A Mediterranean Mosaic by Sheilah Kaufman

And there are a lot more where that came from – so go check it out!

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.