KindleUnlimited With Narration

The feature I am most interested in with KindleUnlimited is the audiobooks. I am a heavy user of audiobooks, listening to 50 or so a year.  I have the highest subscription level in Audible and through careful buying I tend to get about 10-15 books a year free through BOGO sales or promotional credits.  And then there are other ways of getting free audiobooks.  Christianaudio gives away a book a month, I get some audiobooks to review, ya sync gives away young adult books during the summer, etc.

I already posted about the KindleUnlimited books that Bookwi.se has reviewed and my initial thoughts on KindleUnlimited. This post is about some of the audiobooks that I found and am interested in reading soon. I am only linking to books that have free audiobooks attached, a number of other books have discounted audiobooks with the KindleUnlimited subscription.

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

312 pages, 198 of 281 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is one of her greatest literary achievements and among the most influential novels of the twentieth century.

The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.

Ubik by Philip K Dick

241 pages, 197 of 237 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business—deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.

Captial in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

696 pages, of reviews are 4 or 5-star

The main driver of inequality–returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth–is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.

10 Free Christian Kindle Books

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

369 pages, 87 of 94 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Two years ago, her fiance perished during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder…

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she’s left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream–to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman’s deathbed confession reveals her fiance’s demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well–dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.

Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands

160 pages, 110 of 123 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Previously Free

Whether through our own fallen temperament, willful disobedience, or as victims of the hurtful actions of others, many of us struggle with crippling emotions, among them perfectionism, depression, and low self-worth. The pain of such emotions is often present with us even though the incidents and relationships that caused the hurt may be long past.

Healing for Damaged Emotions, first published in 1981 and since translated into over 15 languages, has helped over a million readers worldwide deal honestly and successfully with their inner hurts. Through the realistic, scriptural approach that Dr. David Seamands brings to this deeply personal subject, you too can find healing–and then become an agent of healing for other strugglers.

Hopeful Parenting: Encouragement for Raising Kids Who Love God by David Jeremiah

257 pages, 4 of 4 reviews are 5-star

The wisdom you need from the pastor you love.

Parenting is far from easy. From first steps to first dates, parenthood is filled with unique challenges. Yet there is no greater joy than nurturing one of God’s most precious gifts. New York Times best-selling author David Jeremiah presents a heartwarming look at adventures in parenting. Drawing from his own rich journey through fatherhood, Pastor David Jeremiah shares wit and wisdom on raising children in an unpredictable world. Each insightful chapter features timeless truths from God’s Word, offering encouragement for the road ahead.

The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Reposting this review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $1.99 (price matching the B&N deal of the day)
Summary: An IT worker, tasked with reading company emails, falls in love with one of the people he is snooping on.

Last year, Rainbow Rowell started getting a lot of attention for her 2012 book, Eleanor & Park.  In part, the attention was for winning several awards including the 2014 Michael Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature and in part it is because a couple of parents protested its inclusion in their student’s high school curriculum.

The protest was because at one point the two of the characters have sex.  Which is not unusual in young adult books.  But Rowell has said she did not intend to write a young adult book.  Instead she wrote a book about young adults and it was only later (after it was published in the UK and marketed toward adults and gained a following) that it was marketed as a young adult book in the US.  (And the sex was low key and off the screen.)

Even knowing this, I still have read Rowell as primarily a young adult author.  The second book that I read by Rowell was her 2013 book Fangirl.  Fangirl was about college age students but still was on edge of that young adult genre label.

I am a fan of young adult books and young adult does not deter me at all.  But I still approached Attachments (Rowell’s first novel) as if it were also young adult.

It is set in 1999-2000.  The protagonist, Lincoln O’Neill has just gotten his first real job after a very long college career.  He was hired by a local newspaper to work a night shift in IT.  The main part of his job is to police a strict email usage policy.  Most nights all he has to do is read through a couple dozen emails that were flagged by the email software and then write warnings to any offenders.

Soon Lincoln is reading emails between Beth and Jennifer.  At first, Lincoln does not send them a warning because they are joking about being caught by the email usage policy.  But then he doesn’t send them a warning because they seem nice.  After a while, the only thing he is really looking forward to at work is reading their emails.  And then Beth starts talking about a new cute guy at work and eventually Lincoln realizes she means him.  But he can never date someone after he has been reading their emails.  Especially when the emails are about him.

There was never really a point where I thought Lincoln and Beth would not end up together.  This isn’t really that type of book.  Instead it a look at how two people might fall in love without really ever meeting.

As with Rowell’s other two books there is also a coming of age theme.  In this book the characters are in their late 20s, so much older than the 19 year olds in Fangirl and the 16 year olds in Eleanor and Park.  Because the characters were older, the issues were slightly different but I enjoyed the book just as much as the first two.  And the coming of age, and what it means to be an adult, how to separate from parents and other safe people is still relevant for a novel about people in their late 20s.

The setting was a bit strange for me.  I was in my late 20s at about the same time.  So I kept feeling like the cultural references to songs and movies were off.  They all seemed like the references were too recent to have been 15 years ago.  But each time I looked, the references matched the setting.  The problem is that I am old enough that 15 years does not seem that long ago when I think about movie and music references.

I have been enjoying ‘fluff’ books lately.  I am not completely sure I would count this as a fluff book however.  It seems weightier than that, although it is certainly not a heavy literary fiction tome.  Keeping the narrator as Lincoln and only hearing the women’s voices through their emails kept it from feeling like it was romance book (although one of its categories is contemporary romance at Amazon.)  This would make a good beach read. It is light, funny, has some thoughtful movements and is well characterized.  (And if you are older than 25, you might enjoy reliving Y2K.)

The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook

Related Bookwi.se Reviews

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green is the first of five novels written by the young adult author. Published in 2005, this novel is about a young high school student who decides that he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps by attending the same boarding school that his dad went to. In order to suck the marrow out of life (side note: I read that YOLO is for people who don’t know what carpe diem means), Miles leaves the comforts of home to go off and have his own adventures. He acquires a roommate and a set of friends belonging to his roommate and through their relationships, their actions, their reactions change each other’s lives forever.

I can now say that I have read all of John Green’s novels with the exception of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which he co-wrote with David Levithan. I really enjoy John Green’s novels. Just like I have said in my other reviews, I appreciate that his novels bring excitement and eloquence to the lives of teenagers, and there is no involvement of vampires, witches, death matches or futuristic factions. I definitely liked this book better than An Abundance of Katherines and probably would tie it with Paper Towns (these three novels don’t come close to topping my love for A Fault In Our Stars).

6 Free Christian Kindle Books

The Outward Focused Life: Becoming a Servant in a Serve-Me World by Dave Workman

193 pages, 10 of 11 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Dave Workman wants to start a revolution that will turn Christians–and the world–inside out. With keen insight and sharp wit, Workman uncovers our self-motivated and self-centered tendencies and shows us how to turn them around in service to others. A collection of short chapters derived from Workman’s popular radio program, The Outward Focused Life offers busy people practical ideas that turn their thoughts from themselves to other people. This book gives readers the encouragement and energy they need to change their world one day at a time though generosity of time, money, and spirit.

A Path Toward Home by Heather Lorenz

191 pages, 13 of 14 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

As a little girl growing up in post-World War II America, Constance loved her mother’s vivid bedtime stories of a motherless prince. When Constance was six, that life ended; she spent the rest of her childhood with her uncle and aunt in Canada.

Dawn by Octavia Butler (Exenogenesis Trilogy #1)

Summary: A Woman wakes up to discover the Earth as she knows it is no longer, and the only hope of survival is an alien species that has questionable motives.

Dawn is the first book that I have finished reading from KindleUnlimited’s library.  I actually already owned the kindle edition, but the audiobook is included in KindleUnlimited so I moved it to the top of my list.

Octavia Butler is known for her strong African American female leads, unusual in the science fiction world. Butler’s first real hit, Kindred, was semi-fantasy. A time travel book that takes a 1970s African American woman back to her 1820s era slave owning ancestor.  Kindred is an excellent book, one that I highly recommend and the best of Butler’s books that I have read so far.

The other of Butler’s books that I have read is Butler’s last book that she wrote before she died, Fledgling, a vampire book that was written about the time of the Twilight vampire craze.

So Dawn, as an Alien abduction novel, is yet again completely different.  Butler does a great job building suspense, letting you know what the main character is feeling and making the aliens, alien. It is one of the common thoughts of science fiction writers that if we do find aliens, that they will be so alien that we will have a hard time relating to them or even understanding why we don’t understand them.

9 Free Christian Kindle Books

In High Places by Tom Morrisey

324 pages, 22 of 24 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

A Breath From Tragedy, a Whisper from Glory

For Patrick Nolan, every climb tells a story. And now maybe it’s his own …. He’s right at the rim, staring over the cliff’s knife edge and wondering how things went wrong so quickly.

It all started after arriving home from a weekend climbing trip with his father, Kevin. That’s when word reached them. In a silent moment, they’d lost the person most important to them–her death raising unanswerable questions and dangerous doubts.

Launching a new life in a new town to escape their pain, son and father find themselves in danger of being torn apart forever. As his father seeks a route to solace on the dangerous high face of the rock, Patrick finds a path to hope with the unlikeliest of allies–a pastor’s daughter. Together they must discover the one answer that can bring Patrick and Kevin back from the brink of the precipice

Sometimes There’s No Place to Go But Up

Ramblings from the Shower by Faye Bryant

212 pages, 22 of 22 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

What do you think about in the shower? And where do those thoughts take you? In “Ramblings from the Shower,” author Faye Bryant shares some of the thoughts that have come her way during the mundane task of everyday hygiene, and how those thoughts have compelled her to ask, “What about this, God? What do You think?” Follow along as Faye shares through personal experience and revelation her conclusions on just what God does think.

Is it possible to “be who you be”?

What does it mean to hear and follow “God’s heartbeat”?

Does God really have a sense of humor? Does He really laugh?

From a modern day “Good Samaritan” story, through the sea of emotions accompanying a battle with melanoma, to an honest open-heart discussion of the pain of divorce, this author shares thoughts, wit and wisdom gained from her many conversations with the Lord. Along the way you will read how she found comfort and hope in knowing that God is more interested in how we worship rather than what we wear, how we treat others rather than how we might appear, and how He wants us to trust Him that He can do good in our lives, even when things look really, really bad.

The Decree of Ester: Changing the Future Through Prophetic Proclamation by Aaron Fruh

192 pages, 9 of 9 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

In the last days the saints will be falsely accused. Even today Christians feel the sting of judgment. But despite widespread discussion of the end days, modern Christians have left out a major truth from public dialogue and personal practice: the power of spiritual proclamation.

Using Esther as an example, Aaron Früh gives readers practical strategies for overcoming the false accusations of the enemy and writing decrees that change the course of their lives and prepare them for Christ’s return. Just as Esther reversed the curse on the Jewish people in Persia, modern Christians can write their own decrees of protection and provision.

Anyone interested in the state of our nation today, including pastors, intercessors, worship leaders, and teachers, will find valuable insight and practical help for healing the individuals and communities around them.

Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the Deepest Cravings of Your Inner Chick by Karen Scalf Linamen

178 pages, 8 of 11 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

When life makes you crazy, reach for the chocolate: it’s cheaper than therapy and you don’t need an appointment. Beloved humor author Karen Scalf Linamen is back with her first new women’s book in five years, and she’s got a stash of sweet treats in her purse to share.

Why do women choose comfort food when they are really craving something else? What if they could stop settling for second best and give their souls what they are really seeking? Would they be content? Perhaps they would glean a deeper understanding of their emotions. Most importantly, they might be able to get into their skinny jeans and stay there. With her trademark wit and insight, Karen Linamen helps women everywhere discover what they are really hungering for–and laugh out loud in the process.

Letters from Home by David Snyder

127 pages, 10 of 11 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

We are all on a journey. We are wanderers looking for our home. The only problem is some have forgotten about home.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus sends seven letters to seven churches. In His letters He gives them a wake-up call, urging them to remember.

The instructions He gives in these letters are vital for every believer to understand, especially as we enter the last days.

As you read this book you will discover the heart of the Father who is calling His children to get ready for home. Your faith will be strengthened and you will learn how to live like you are on a journey home.

Rhythms of Grace by Marilynn Griffith

433 pages, 31 of 41 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Grace Okoye was a promising young dancer when her career was cut short by a brutal assault that left her scarred for life. Twenty years later, when her past gets in the way of her happiness, she heeds the invitation of her dance instructor and returns home to help hurting children and rediscover the rhythms of grace. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a man who already seems to know her beat. But for all they share in common, the biggest thing in Grace’s life is noticeably absent in his–faith. She’s finally found the love of her life, but can she choose between him and God?

Real, raw emotion and the promise of redemption run through this soulful new book from Marilynn Griffith.

Restorations (Oregon in Love #1) by Bonnie Blythe

177 pages, 68 of 79 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

In a small Oregon community, Sara Andersen finds herself in possession of an old farmhouse in desperate need of renovations. Brian Farris is a builder who is new in town, but intimately acquainted with Sara. His purpose is not to restore only the house, but his relationship with her. The only problem is that Sara doesn’t believe Brian has undergone any soulful renovations of his own.

The Way Home (Seven Brides, Seven Brothers #1) by Belle Calhoune

155 pages, 7 of 8 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Christian Romance. Seven boys were adopted from the foster care system by Alec and Maggie Donahue, a loving Irish couple living in Breeze Point, Cape Cod. Now grown men, the brothers are making their way in the world in their chosen professions, each hoping to find love that will last a lifetime.

The Caretaker

Blue Donahue, an internationally-known journalist, has come home to Breeze Point, Cape Cod to celebrate his parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary. When his father suffers a stroke, Blue, along with his six adopted brothers, is thrown into a tailspin. When he comes face to face with Sarah, the love of his life, his heart awakens to all the possibilities stretched out before them.

Sarah Dalton, an emergency room nurse, can’t believe her eyes when her ex-fiancé, Blue Donahue, comes crashing into her hospital. Four years ago their relationship crashed and burned when Blue showed up two hours late for their wedding. Now, she’s forced to face the only man she’s ever loved as he deals with a family crisis.

The hurts of the past loom large between Blue and Sarah. But as circumstances drive them together, they find that the love they thought they’d lost has endured. And, with faith and truth, they may be able to create a love stronger than any they’d ever dreamed possible and get their happily ever after.

Seven Brides, Seven Brothers Series

Uncommon Sense (30 Truths to Radically Renew Your Mind in Christ) by Michelle Stimpson

110 pages, of reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Face it: Life in Christ cannot be lived according to the world’s system. But how can you know if you’re still in the dark? How can you tell the difference between common sense and truth?

In this straightforward weapon of mass victory, author Michelle Stimpson exposes widely accepted beliefs that pose as “common sense” but actually contradict the gospel of Christ.

With biblical reference, Michelle deconstructs worldly ideals such as:

• You Need High Self-Esteem in Order to Succeed
(No, you don’t. You need high God-esteem.)

• Experience is the Best Teacher
(No, it’s not. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher.)

• People need tough love
(Our love for others cannot be “tougher” than God’s love for us.)

• You Need to Balance Your Christian Life with Your Real Life
(Your life in Christ is your real life.)

Believers will leave this book with both a greater revelation of the finished work of Christ and an ear to recognize deceptive philosophies that undermine the very power at work in their lives.

 

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

Summary: Dresden, not quite as much of a mess this time, is searching for the Shroud of Turin, everyone else is trying to kill him.

Dresden is Chicago’s only professional Wizard.  Essentially he is a Private Investigator for supernatural issues.  That is when he is actually working and not trying to save the world from certain destruction.

Death Masks comes fairly closely on the heals of Summer Knight.  The Red Court (the vampires) have declared war on the White Court (the Wizards) and in particular on Dresden. So the vampires are still trying to kill him.  The local crime lord,who Dresden has previously had an uneasy truce with, seems to have some of his goons after him as well.  And Susan, his (maybe ex) fiancée who is part way through her transformation to a vampire herself after trying to save Dresden in book 3, is back in town.

All of that is in addition to an actual job, finding the Shroud of Turin, which was recently stolen.

Michael, a Knight of the Cross, who was last in Grave Peril (#3) and is one of my favorite characters, is back.  Michael is Catholic and devout and carries a sword around while defeating evil, raising his brood of kids, working as a contractor and keeping his wife happy.  This time he is joined by two other Knights that are trying to save Dresden.

7 Free Christian Kindle Books

Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free by Tullian Tchividjian

212 pages, 125 of 131 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Previously Free

In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.

This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.

Hometown Favorite: A Novel by Bill Barton and Chip Arnold

368 pages, 16 of 17 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Talented, handsome, and personable, Dewayne Jobe rose from humble beginnings in rural Mississippi to play college football in Southern California and beyond. One of the best wide receivers in college ball, Dewayne is assured a promising career in professional football and easily finds success both on and off the field. Not only is he a great player, he’s got the wife, the kids, and the pristine white picket fence to boot.

But catastrophe looms right around the corner and ultimately strikes with a crushing vengeance. Will Dewayne’s faith and character stand the test of such tragedy? Or will he lose everything–including the love of his life? This modern retelling of the story of Job will capture readers with the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people–and how good people can survive.

Love Letters From the Edge by Wanda Sanchez and Shelly Beach

296 pages, 6 of 6 reviews are 5-star

Millions of women in the United States battle with after-effects of suffering so great they’ve developed post-traumatic stress disorder—the same suffering experienced by soldiers who’ve gone through war. Sexual and physical abuse, catastrophic accidents, abandonment, natural disasters, invasive medical procedures, and many other painful and overwhelming events can trigger symptoms they are little equipped to deal with and hard-pressed to recognize. Love Letters from the Edge provides a voice for those struggling to express this pain and reveals intimate encouragement for those in desperate need to hear God’s words of love and deliverance.

Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy — And What We Can Do about It by Steve Forbes with Elizabeth Ames

In Money, Steve Forbes provides a brief history on the development of money and monetary systems, and then spends a lot of time explaining his opinion about the recessions in the 2000s—its causes, consequences, and fixes. It should be no surprise that Forbes argues that loose money and over-regulation of the financial markets–not the opposite–are what caused our recent financial difficulties, and he traces the source of trouble to the decoupling of the dollar from a gold standard.

In the period since the Federal Reserve began meddling with the economy (1913) and the U.S. abandoned the gold standard (1973), government (and individual) debt has exploded, the purchasing power of the dollar has plummeted, and our economy has been subjected to a roller coaster ride of booms and busts, including the recent recession in the 2000s. To remedy our economic sickness and usher in an era of growth and stability, Forbes argues, we should return to a sound monetary system based on a gold standard.

Forbes spends a lot of time explaining that as a medium of exchange money has no inherent value; its purpose is to serve as a measurement of the value of other things. The government has (or should have, rather) an interest in setting and maintaining a consistent means of measuring value. Forbes writes, “Just as we need to be sure of the number of inches in a foot—or the minutes in an hour—people in the economy must be certain that their money is an accurate measure of worth. When the value of money fluctuates, as it so often does today, it produces uncertainty in addition to unnatural and often destructive marketplace behavior—artificial booms and busts that breed malignant economic and social consequences.”