So Now I Have a Kindle, What Do I Do With It? How to Get Started

So you received a new Kindle for Christmas. Now what do you do.  Below the jump you can find out about borrowing books, importing books, audiobooks, tracking the prices of kindle books, finding new books, getting your questions answered and more. This post focuses on Amazon Kindles, but some of the content is also true for Amazon Fire Tablets or other eink readers as well.

Free or Sale Kindle Books

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

One of the first things you want to do is check out free books.  There are a lot of free books, usually 500-600 free books a day (although many repeat at least quarterly).  You have a couple of options to find free ebooks. The ones I most I recommend are ereaderiq or ereaderperks. Both will send you a daily email of 30 to 40 recommend kindle books divided into genre, with a short summary and a book cover.  You can customize the email to the genres that you are most interested in.

There are also blogs that focus on sale books. Gospelebooks and VesselProject focus on Christian books but there are a variety of others including ereaderiq that post about kindle book sales.

You can also follow Bookwi.se.  Bookwi.se posts a free Christian Kindle books nearly every day and several days a week I post about sales. Project Gutenberg and Christian Classic Ethereal Library are excellent for finding public domain books.  Baen Publishers maintains a free library of ebooks if you enjoy science fiction or fantasy.

Amazon’s message board system also is a good place to find free or sale books.

Borrow from Your Library

Bookwi.se has a post about how to borrow books from the library.  It is fairly easy, free, and most public libraries are now participating.  If you like audiobooks, borrowing from the library can help you get discounts on audiobooks from Audible.com

Borrow from other Kindle Users

Amazon got into the borrowing and lending of kindle books fairly late in the game. But they learned from others and made the process very easy. Here is a post about how to Borrow or Lend a book. Many people do not know a lot of other kindle owners, so Kindle book sharing sites popped up. Bookwi.se has reviewed two.  Lendle and Booklending. I prefer Lendle, but it requires you to earn credits by offering up books to be loaned (most free books are lendable, so you can get some free books to build up some credits). Booklending allows you to borrow without lending, but does not have as many books. However, there is not a good reason to not check both sites if one site does not have a book you want to borrow.

10 Free Christian Kindle Books

The Jonah Complex: Rediscovering the Outrageous Grace of God by Greg Haslam

172 pages, no reviews, Lending Enabled

The message of Jonah to us today is both provocative and prophetic. It reminds us that God has a passion for reaching people that far exceeds our own. It reminds us that He is deeply affected by human sin and consistently seeks to win people back to Him by extending His outrageous grace to them.

We all have something of Jonah in us. Like him, we are often wrapped up in our own concerns. But God gave Jonah a wake-up call he would never forget, setting him back on the path to achieving his destiny – and He can and will do the same for us! We may have messed up on the past or feel disqualified from doing anything great for God, but Jonah’s life is the ultimate evidence of the “God of the second chance”.

Greg Haslam takes us on a journey to help us understand and cooperate with the will of God for our lives and highlights the power of what even one person can do if fully surrendered to the Almighty.

Living in the Seventh Day by Jeanette Britt

233 pages, 1 of 1 reviews are 5-star

Jasmine Davis, Leeza Manchester, and Cristal Richardson are thrown together by a chance meeting at the Atlanta Airport during Hurricane Allee. During the long layover caused by the killer storm, these three, diverse women, who appear to have very little in common, form a lasting bond. They go their separate ways, but it’s not long before their own well-ordered plans spiral out of control. Will their lives be blown away like their broken dreams and the six-day reign of Hurricane Allee, or will they find the faith and courage to hold on and begin again…Living in the Seventh Day?

Chasing What Matters: Finishing Without Regret by Richard Smith

163 pages, 5 of 5 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Every twenty-four hours we exchange a day of our life for something in return. At the end of our race, all of us want the same thing – to have run with such hope and purpose that we’ll be able to say, “I’m glad I gave my life for that thing.” Those who finish well never stop asking… What am I chasing in life? And if I get it, does it really matter?

6 Free Christian Kindle Books

Dawn’s Prelude (Song of Alaska #1) by Tracie Peterson

339 pages, 65 of 75 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Newly widowed Lydia Sellers discovers that through an unforeseen fluke, she is the sole recipient of her husband’s fortune. But instead of granting her security, it only causes strife as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves. Lydia, longing to put the memories of her painful marriage behind her, determines to travel to Alaska to join her aunt.

Lydia’s arrival in Sitka, however, brings two things she didn’t expect. One is the acquaintance of Kjell Bjorklund, the handsome owner of the sawmill. Second is the discovery that she is pregnant with her dead husband’s child. What will this mean for her budding relationship with Kjell? And what lengths will her stepchildren go to reclaim their father’s fortune? Lydia soon finds her life–and that of her child’s–on the line.

The Traveler’s Companion by Jerilyn Jackson

175 pages, 2 of 2 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

Have a friend going on vacation? Moving? Here’s the perfect gift! I call it “The Traveler’s Companion.” A small book, light to carry, and easy to slip into a pocket or bag. It contains devotionals which point to the true traveler’s companion, Jesus.
It’s contents are drawn from my 40 years of experiences traveling with Jesus through the mundane and the exotic.
Since the central theme is walking, it will have an appeal to all those who look for God in their daily walks, whether in foreign places or simply around the corner. It is a gentle reminder that God is with us everywhere, loves us constantly, and seeks our full commitment in everyday life.
Devotional thoughts for the traveler in all of us

A Christmas Peril (Teacup Novellas #5) by Diane Moody

145 pages, 157 of 165 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Lucy Alexander’s Teacup Novellas were inspired by a collection of vintage teacups her Aunt Lucille bequeathed to her. She’s excited about writing the next book in the series, a Christmas tale loosely based on her aunt and uncle’s love story set in the 1940s. But when a hostage situation lands Lucy’s boyfriend in the hospital, she sets her work aside to keep a bedside vigil with Mark. As the long hours of waiting stretch on, Lucy starts to read her beloved aunt’s handwritten diary. Shocked to discover a frightening story so eerily similar to the one she’s living, Lucy longs to find hope and encouragement in the pages of Lucille’s diary.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Movie and Audiobook Review)

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic and well-beloved fiction novel by Harper Lee.  The novel is from the perspective of a young girl, Scout, growing up in a small town in Alabama during the 1930s.  Aside from experiencing some of the usual adventures of a small child during that time, Scout and her brother Jem must navigate life as their father, Atticus, defends a black man who has been falsely accused of raping a white woman. Seen in some way as a story within a story, the trial shows the true character of Atticus and how some bravery and standing up for one’s beliefs and dignity really does matter.

To Kill a Mockingbird is not a perfect novel but it is about as good as it can get.  It is my impression that critics of the novel had to really search for problems with the novel.  Apart from the social lessons to be learned from the novel, the true beauty of the novel is how wonderfully descriptive and visual Harper Lee makes it.  I would credit this aspect in part to the fact that many of the characters and the events in the novel are autobiographical. It is a lot easier to be descriptive about people you know and events that you experienced. I am not sure whether I read the novel or saw the movie first, but, when reading the book this time, I would have sworn that some of the scenes from the book had made it into the movie that didn’t because they left such a strong visual impression when reading them. This might be like the chicken and the egg conundrum where the question is was the book so well-written that it was easy to visualize the scenes as if they were a part of the movie, or were the actors in the movie so adept at portraying the characters of the book that it made it easy for me to visualize them in the scenes from the book.

Amazon Fire HD 6 Initial Review

Summary: If your expectations are not an iPad, this is a good tablet, especially when you find it on sale.

A couple weeks ago when the Amazon Fire HD 6 (Kids Edition) was on sale for $119 I picked one up. (Note: The HD 7 Kids edition is still on sale, the plain HD 6 is on sale for $79, but the HD 6 Kids Edition is no longer on sale).

I had a couple of use cases that I was interested in. Primarily, I wanted to use it for myself with Scribd (review) for audio and ebooks. But I also was interested in the Kids Edition because I have a one year old. (And frequently visiting nieces that are 5 and 7).

After almost 2 week’s use, I am mixed on the Tablet as a whole, but less negative about it than I was initially.

Pros:

I really like the size. It is roughly the size of my Kindle Paperwhite, and fairly light. My 13 month old daughter has no problem at all carrying it around. The case that comes with the Kids Edition seems like it is a bit cheap but it really is really protective. It is made of foam and stands up to the one year old frequently throwing it on the floor. And because the Kids Edition includes 2 years of accidental damage warranty, I really don’t have to worry about it. The cases only come in Green, Pink or Blue, the Fire HD 6 Kids Edition itself only comes in Black (the standard HD 6 comes in Black, White, Pink, Blue and Green). The one negative of the cover is that it can get a little warm if used for a long time.

More Bookwi.se Reviewed Books on Sale (or Free)

A few of these are not from the Harper Collins sale, but they are all still on sale and this group at least, worth reading.  Earlier I posted on sale books by spiritual heroes of mine and Bookwi.se Reviewed Fiction, Bookwi.se Reviewed Non-Fiction and another Bookwi.se 10 Bookwi.se reviewed. I have noticed that Bookwi.se has been slow. If you are noticing it too, let me know. It might be time to upgrade my bandwidth. A few more books that are well reviewed or by authors that I tend to like are at the bottom of the reviewed list.

Wonder by RJ Palacio – $2.75 – Bookwi.se Review

322 pages, 5014 of 5662 reviews are 5-star

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

World War Z: An Oral Hisotry of the Zombie War – $3.00 – Bookwi.se Review

352 pages, 3730 of 4665 reviews are 4 or 5-star

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus Borg$3.79Bookwi.se Review

234 pages, 159 of 193 reviews are 4 or 5-star

World-renowned Jesus scholar Marcus J. Borg shows how we can live passionately as Christians in today’s world by practicing the vital elements of Christian faith.

More Kindle Books on Sale

There are even more books on sale everytime I look. But most the previous posts over the past couple days are still on sale, in some cases the prices have dropped. So look back over the past couple days.

God is Red by Liao Yiwu$1.99

261 pages, 32 of 35 reviews are 4 or 5-star

In God is Red, Chinese dissident journalist and poet Liao Yiwu—once lauded, later imprisoned, and now celebrated author of For a Song and a Hundred Songs and The Corpse Walker—profiles the extraordinary lives of dozens of Chinese Christians, providing a rare glimpse into the underground world of belief that is taking hold within the officially atheistic state of Communist China. Liao felt a kinship with Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society, even though he is not a Christian himself. This is a fascinating tale of otherwise unknown personalities thriving against all odds. God is Red will resonate with readers of Phillip Jenkins’ The Lost History of Christianity and Peter Hessler’s Country Driving.

25 Books Every Christian Should Read – $3.99

416 Pages, 11 Of 14 Reviews Are 4 Or 5-Star

From the creators of Devotional Classics and Spiritual Classics comes 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, the definitive guide to the most spiritually influential and important books for Christians to read. Renovaré, a community of Christians promoting personal and spiritual renewal, put together a prestigious editorial board including Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, and Richard Rohr, resulting in this wonderful resource for exploring the richness of the Christian tradition.

Arts & Entertainments: A Novel by Christopher Beha – $3.99

293 pages, 27 of 42 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Bookwi.se Note: Mentioned in John Wilson’s, editor of Books and Culture, list of best books he read this year.

Christopher Beha delivers a cutting send-up of our cultural obsession with celebrity—a deliciously witty, and ultimately tender, novel about the absurdity of fame and the complexity of love sure to appeal to fans of Maria Semple and Jess Walter.

13 Free Christian Kindle Books

It Came Upon a Midnight Crime by Christy Barritt

148 pages, 85 of 91 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Someone is intent on destroying the true meaning of Christmas—at least, destroying anything that hints of it. All around crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire’s hometown, anything pointing to Jesus as the “reason for the season” is being sabotaged. The crimes become more twisted as dismembered body parts are found at the vandalisms. Who would go to such great lengths to dampen the joy and hope of Christ’s birthday? Someone’s determined to destroy Christmas . . . but Gabby St. Claire is just as determined to find the Grinch and let peace on earth and goodwill to men prevail.

Also free book one: Hazardous Duty

Stewarding Life: One Lifetime, Limited Resources, Eternal Priorities by Paul Chappell

285 pages, 7 of 7 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

God has given you one life and filled it with resources—time, health, finances, relationships, influence, and more. How you steward these resources will determine whether you successfully fulfill God’s eternal purpose for your life.

This book will take you on a personal stewardship journey, equipping you to live effectively and biblically. It will challenge and equip you to strategically invest your most valuable resources for God’s eternal purposes.

Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody

599 pages, 939 of 1035 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

The rumblings of war in distant countries mattered little to Danny McClain. Growing up in Chicago, his world revolved around after-school jobs, a rescued beagle, his pen pal in Holland, and the Cubs’ chance to go to the World Series. Then, in December of 1941, during his first year at Northwestern University, news of the attack on Pearl Harbor hit much too close to home. After a series of unexpected events over the next couple of years, Danny found himself in the co-pilot seat of a B-17, stationed with the 390th Bomb Group in Framlingham, England.

The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir

Summary: An astronaut believed to be dead, gets left on Mars.

My reading this past week has shaken up my best of 2014 book lists. The Martian and Unappologetic have both earned places on the list. It was a good reading week.

The Martian is another example of why we need to encourage independent authors. Andy Weir wrote and released this himself, eventually releasing it on kindle and then having it picked up by a mainstream publisher and re-releasing it and eventually earning himself a place on the New York Times best seller list.

The story is straight forward. During a dust storm on Mars, Mark Watney and the rest of the crew attempted to evacuate Mars before their ship is tipped over in the storm. Watney gets lost in the storm, and because his suit readings show that he is dead, the rest of the crew takes off without him.

Non-Fiction Books Reviewed by Bookwi.se on Sale

If you have been reading along today, you have seen a ton of sale books. This is post four. Earlier was books on writing or collections of essays or short stories, then books by spiritual heroes of mine, then Fiction books reviewed by Bookwis.e and now Non-Fiction Books Reviewed by Bookwi.se. All of Monday’s post about Bookwi.se Reviewed books are also still on sale.

Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Become the World’s Largest Religion by Rodney Stark$3.99Bookwi.se Review

515 pages, 60 of 68 reviews are 4 or 5-star

In The Triumph of Christianity, acclaimed religious and social historian Rodney Stark explains how an obscure Jewish sect became the largest religion in the world and presents the real story behind the tragedies and triumphs that have shaped the trajectory of the Christian faith—and indeed, much of global history.

Also on sale by Rodney Stark: Discovering God ($0.99) and Cities of God ($1.99)

Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life by James Martin – $3.99 – Bookwi.se Review

277 pages, 117 of 132 reviews are 4 or 5-star

From The Colbert Report’s “official chaplain” James Martin, SJ, author of the New York Times bestselling The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, comes a revolutionary look at how joy, humor, and laughter can change our lives and save our spirits. A Jesuit priest with a busy media ministry, Martin understands the intersections between spirituality and daily life.  In Between Heaven and Mirth, he uses scriptural passages, the lives of the saints, the spiritual teachings of other traditions, and his own personal reflections to show us why joy is the inevitable result of faith, because a healthy spirituality and a healthy sense of humor go hand-in-hand with God’s great plan for humankind.

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely – $3.99 – Bookwi.se Review

336 pages, of reviews are 4 or 5-star

Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it’s the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

With compelling personal and academic findings, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty will change the way we see ourselves, our actions, and others.

Also on sale – Predictably Irrational ($1.99) – Bookwi.se Review

Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs – $0.99 – Bookwi.se Review

304 pages, 13 of 14 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Essayist and biographer Alan Jacobs introduces us to the world of original sin, which he describes as not only a profound idea but a necessary one. As G. K. Chesterton explains, “Only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king.”

Do we arrive in this world predisposed to evil? St. Augustine passionately argued that we do; his opponents thought the notion was an insult to a good God. Ever since Augustine, the church has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is the idea that we are not born innocent, but as babes we are corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Thus started a debate that has raged for centuries and done much to shape Western civilization.