February 2015 – $3.99 or Less Sale

Every month Amazon has a bit more than 100 books on sale for $3.99 or Less. This month there is 115 books. Below are some of the books that looked interesting to me, but you can check out the whole list. One new section in the sale is Audiobook and Ebook bundles for $8 or less. There are 54 books in that list. All of the ones I looked at were $3.99 add ons for the audiobook, so the ebook (usually $1.99 or 42.99) plus $3.99.

Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon – $1.99

432 pages, 211 of 291 reviews are 4 or 5-star, audiobook is discounted to $3.99 with the purchase of the kindle edition

In the bestselling tradition of espionage novels by John LeCarre and Alan Furst, Istanbul Passage brilliantly illustrates why Edgar Award–winning author Joseph Kanon has been hailed as “the heir apparent to Graham Greene” (The Boston Globe).

Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even expatriate American Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs in support of the Allied war effort. Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong—an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, and a potential war criminal on his hands—Leon is trapped in a tangle of shifting loyalties and moral uncertainty.

Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Istanbul Passage is the unforgettable story of a man swept up in the dawn of the Cold War, of an unexpected love affair, and of a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick – $2.99

307 pages, 189 of 221 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, audiobook is discounted to $3.99 with the purchase of the kindle edition

Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It sounds like a standard case. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. Substance D doesn’t just alter the mind, it splits it in two, and neither side knows what the other is doing or that it even exists. Now, both sides are growing increasingly paranoid as Bob tries to evade Fred while Fred tries to evade his suspicious bosses.

In this award-winning novel, friends can become enemies, good trips can turn terrifying, and cops and criminals are two sides of the same coin. Dick is at turns caustically funny and somberly contemplative, fashioning a novel that is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

Also on sale for $2.99 by Philip K Dick – Ubik (Bookwi.se Review), The Three Stigmatas of Palmer Eldritch, and The Man in the High Castle

Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (1882-1940) by James MacGregor Burns – $2.99

547 pages, 31 of 39 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

This first of Burns’s definitive and award-winning two-volume biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, mapping the personal and professional development of one of America’s most brilliant politicians, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving president in US history, reshaping the country during the crises of the Depression and World War II.

January End of the Month Reminders

Today is the last day to:


13 Free Christian Kindle Books – Jan 30

Mentalpause and Other Midlife Laughs by Laura Jensen Walker

177 pages, 28 of 36 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Do you often forget the words for common things, like “husband” or “sink”? Have you suddenly found subzero temperatures pleasant? Are your body parts starting to move south for the winter, spring, summer . . . ?

Midlife and menopause can be . . . what was I going to say? Oh, yeah, they can be challenging times. But there are plenty of reasons to be thankful, too. Laura Jensen Walker went into early menopause after her bout with breast cancer. In this book, she celebrates life and helps you laugh in the midst of hot flashes and memory loss.

As in Thanks for the Mammogram!, Laura shares hilarious vignettes and words of wisdom from her experience and those of other women who have “been there, done that,” are there, or are headed into “mentalpause.” Don’t worry when you find yourself entering “fuddy-duddydom” or looking at your mother’s face in the mirror; turn down the air-conditioning and join Laura for a lot of laughs instead.

Who Is My Neighbor? Lessons Learned From a Man Left for Dead by Wayne Gordon

208 pages, 1 of 1 reviews are 4-star, Lending Enabled

An “expert in the law” once asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life–and his question initiated a very interesting conversation. The Law says to “love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus pointed out, so the next logical question is, “Who is my neighbor?” Rather than offering an exhaustive list of neighbors and non-neighbors, Jesus told a story . . . the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Out of that famous parable, Dr. Wayne Gordon draws more than forty characteristics of the man who was beaten, robbed, and left for dead on the road to Jericho–the character Jesus created to show Christians how to recognize their neighbors. Dr. Gordon brings that character vividly to life in Who Is My Neighbor?, and helps readers use Jesus’ parable as a reference point for their interactions in their community and the world. And as readers catch Jesus’ vision of neighborliness, they will also find practical suggestions for meeting needs and changing the lives of those around them . . . that is, their neighbors!

Letters from Grace (Love and War #1) by Rachel Muller

348 pages, 36 of 38 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Is loving a man in uniform worth the risk?

Scarred from the death of her fiancé in World War II, Grace Campbell must learn to love again. Lieutenant Luke Brady could make falling in love easy…except he’s going to war. There’s one thing that can keep a thread tied between them—letters. But the suave Dr. William Keller enchants Grace with his charm and proposes marriage. She must choose between them. Will she settle for comfort and safety or risk losing everything on the Normandy beaches?

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Summary: Our current system of caring for the elderly and sick could be better.

Mortality is something that no one really likes to consider. However, Atul Gawande, a general surgeon and author of a number of books thinks we need to spend a lot more time thinking about it. (Notice the subtle, but brilliant blade of grass on the cover.)

Being Mortal is about our end of life health and care system. Because Gawande’s father is an immigrant from India, he opens the book talking about the difference between the older systems of family care (and what is still practiced in many parts of the world including India) and our Western independence focused system of care. While Gawande thinks there are many things to be said for being around family and multi-generational living, the reality is not always good. Those that do not have children have no system, the children’ may need to give up opportunities if it requires moving away, and regardless, the elderly themselves would often prefer to be on their own.

Prior to Social Security and Medicare, most elderly were in poverty and approximately 2/3 of the residents of poor houses (think Dickens) were elderly. Those poor houses were still operating in the US until being slowly shut down in the mid-20th century.

9 Free Christian Kindle Books (Jan 29)

The God Who Sees You: Look to Him When You Feel Discouraged, Forgotten or Invisible by Tammy Maltbry and Anne Christian Buchanan

240 pages, 37 of 40 reviews are 4 or 5-star

For anyone who ever feels invisible, unnoticed, or unappreciated, here’s an invitation to rediscover the biblical God who sees you.

Tammy Maltby wants women to know their lives matter. So she invites you to explore the real-life implications of knowing God sees you, He loves you passionately, and He’s intimately involved with every aspect of your life. God wants you to see Him too and to partner with you in bringing about His kingdom.

When you take this reality to heart, you will live more honestly, confidently, and fearlessly—because everything looks different once you really see the God who sees you.

Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey

355 pages, 42 of 51 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

West Indies, 18th centuryYoung Ted Bascombe is rescued by notorious pirate Captain Henry Thatch, finding himself caught up in a world of crime, adventure, and a daily fight for freedom….

Key West, 21st century
Marine archaeologist Greg Rhode embarks on a treasure-hunting expedition in the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys, but he’s as beguiled by a beautiful diver with different-colored eyes as by the lure of pirate gold….

The Hunt Is On!
Interweaving these two stories, pro deep-sea diver Tom Morrisey spins a multilayered tale of two young men’s quests to escape their past by losing themselves to adventure on the high seas. Romantic and thrilling, this unique novel explores the timeless truth that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Hometown Favorite: a Novel by Bill Barton and Chip Arnold

368 pages, 18 of 19 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

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.

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer with Anna Haggard

Reposting this 2013 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $2.99.

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer with Anna HaggardTakeaway: Serving God and others can be its own reward, and that is the root of the spiritual danger.

I have spent my whole adult working career in the Christian non-profit world.  I have witnessed a number of situations where there has been burnout, mistreatment of staff (in the name of doing good), failure of leadership, leaders ending badly and more.

Peter Greer is the CEO of Hope International, a micro-credit non-profit working in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, South American and Eastern Europe. In a very readable, and story laden book, Greer (and his co-author Anna Haggard) walk through 14 different spiritual dangers that particularly affect those that are trying to do good, especially doing good in Christ’s name.

8 Free Christian Kindle Books

The Reunion: A Novel by Dan Walsh

305 pages, 325 of 336 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free, audiobook is discounted to $3.99 with the purchase of the kindle edition

There are people in this world we pass right by without giving a second thought. They are almost invisible. Yet some of them have amazing stories to tell, if we’d only take the time to listen . . .Aaron Miller was an old, worn-out Vietnam vet, a handyman in a trailer park. Forty years prior, he saved the lives of three young men in the field only to come home from the war and lose everything. But God is a master at finding and redeeming the lost things of life. Aaron is about to be found. And the one who finds him just might find the love of his life as well.Expert storyteller Dan Walsh pens a new tale filled with the things his fans have come to love–forgiveness, redemption, love, and that certain bittersweet quality that few authors ever truly master. Fans old and new will find themselves drawn into this latest story about how God cares for everyone.

Guilty of Love by Pat Simmons

319 pages, 66 of 78 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

When do you know the most important decision of your life is the right one? Reaping the seeds from what she’s sown; Cheney Reynolds moves into a historic neighborhood in Ferguson, Missouri, and becomes a reclusive.
Her first neighbor, the incomparable Mrs. Beatrice Tilley Beacon aka Grandma BB, is an opinionated childless widow. Grandma BB is a self-proclaimed expert on topics Cheney isn’t seeking advice—everything from landscaping to hip-hop dancing to romance.
Then there is Parke Kokumuo Jamison VI, a direct descendant of a royal African tribe. He learned his family ancestry, African history, and lineage preservation before he could count.
Unwittingly, they are drawn to each other, but it takes Christ to weave their lives

into a spiritual bliss while He exonerates their past indiscretions.

Dreaming of a Father’s Love by Sharon Lavy

443 pages, 42 of 45 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free, audiobook is discounted to $1.99 with the purchase of the kindle edition

In the rich back drop of the farming cradle of the Ohio Valley, a peaceful lifestyle seems possible. Highly likely … at least on the surface. It’s 1973. And three young women want to discover their place in this male dominated world.

Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer

Takeaway: Honesty is refreshing, although a bit surprising in a memoir.

Like pretty much every Evangelical I have been a big fan of Veggie Tales. I bought them for myself, for others, for my church nursery. I also used to live in Chicago when where Big Idea was based and Lisa Vischer was a Wheaton College alum only a few years before me. (And I briefly met her in the fall of 94, excited to meet the voice of Junior Asparagus.) As Visher rightly discerns, it was not moms of young families, but College students that really helped spread Veggie Tales to the masses.

Vischer’s story starts with his childhood, his early creations, his parent’s divorce and his desire to become the next Walt Disney before diving into the creation of what became Veggie Tales and Big Idea.

The story of Veggie Tales is interesting (although occasionally it is a bit technical and overly detailed.) But what makes this book worth reading and an early contender for one of the best books I read in 2015 is that this is an hostest story of failure.

Sale Fiction Kindle Books

The Firm by John Grisham – $2.99

541 pages, 580 of 669 reviews are 4 or 5-star

When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought that he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on their way. The firm leased him a BMW, paid off his school loans, arranged a mortgage, and hired the McDeeres a decorator. Mitch should have remembered what his brother Ray–doing fifteen years in a Tennessee jail–already knew: You never get nothing for nothing. Now the FBI has the lowdown on Mitch’s firm and needs his help. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice–if he wants to live.

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer – $2.99

413 pages, 138 of 157 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Milo Weaver has nowhere to turn but back to the CIA in Olen Steinhauer’s brilliant follow-up to the New York Times bestselling espionage novel The Tourist (Also on sale for $2.99)Now faced with the end of his quiet, settled life, reluctant spy Milo Weaver has no choice but to turn back to his old job as a “tourist.” Before he can get back to the CIA’s dirty work, he has to prove his loyalty to his new bosses, who know little of Milo’s background and less about who is really pulling the strings in the government above the Department of Tourism—or in the outside world, which is beginning to believe the legend of its existence. Milo is suddenly in a dangerous position, between right and wrong, between powerful self-interested men, between patriots and traitors—especially as a man who has nothing left to lose.

The ABC Murders (Hercule Poirot) by Agatha Christie – $3.99

240 pages, 143 of 166 reviews are 4 or 5-star

There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way though the alphabet. There seems little chance of the murderer being caught — until her makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans …

Bookwi.se Note: A ton of other Agatha Christie novels are also on sale including some of the best known And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express

5 Free Christian Kindle Books

Parenting With Purpose: Winning the Heart of Your Child by Paul and Billie Kay Tsika

224 pages, 1 of 1 reviews are 5-star

How Do You Become The Parent You Always Wanted To Be?

Almost anyone can be a parent, but what does it take to become a truly great parent? Everyone is looking for the secret to successfully raising their kids, and that secret starts with purpose.

Relationship coaches, Paul and Billie Tsika openly share their struggles and victories in raising three children throughout their 45-year marriage. They even take you behind closed doors and bring their own kids’ perspective into the book, having them share the good and bad of how they were parented.

A Christian Walks in the Footsteps of Buddha by John Mabry

299 pages, 4 of 5 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

From December 2013 through March 2014 Christian pastor John Mabry went on a most amazing pilgrimage — to visit the most significant sites of the Buddha’s life and to reflect deeply on what he saw, in conversation with his own faith. From there, his journey took him to Nepal, Thailand, Taiwan, and back to India as he followed the distribution and development of Buddhism around the world. Part travelogue, part history lesson, part comparative theological reflection, this record of that adventure captures both the frailty and profundity of the human religious quest.