August Free MP3 Audiobook – Anna and the King of Siam

Every month gives away a free MP3 (or M4B if it is your preference) audiobook.  This month the book is the inspiration for the musical The King and I.  It is was also nominated for a 2013 Audie Award for Inspirational Nonfiction. 1406900421_0.png

Anna and the King of Siam by Maragret Landon

16 hrs and 45 mins, 3.9 stars based on 38 ratings at Audible

Anna Leonowens, a proper Englishwoman, was an unlikely candidate to change the course of Siamese (Thai) history. A young widow and mother, her services were engaged in the 1860′s by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and be the tutor to his children and favored concubines. Stepping off the steamer from London, Anna found herself in an exotic land she could have only dreamed. It was a lush landscape of mystic faiths and curious people, and king’s palace bustling with royal pageantry, ancient custom, and harems. One of her pupils, the young prince Chulalongkorn, was particularly influenced by Leonowens and her Western ideals. He learned about Abraham Lincoln and the tenets of democracy from her, and years later he would become Siam’s most progressive king. He guided the country’s transformation from a feudal state to a modern society, abolishing slavery and making many other radical reforms. Weaving meticulously researched facts with beautifully imagined scenes, Margret Landon recreates an unforgettable portrait of life in a forgotten exotic land. Written more than fifty years ago, and translated into dozens of languages, Anna and the King of Siam (the inspiration for the magical play and film The King and I) continues to delight and enchant readers around the world.

August $3.99 or Less Sale

Every month Amazon has a new $3.99 or Less kindle sale of around 100 books.  This month it is 127 books, 75 of which are whispersynced with audiobooks and 42 of which are a part of the KindleUnlimited library.

Below are a list of the general books from the sale that look interesting.  Tomorrow I will post on the Christian books from the sale.  Only one book has been reviewed by, so I will repost that review tomorrow.

The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough – $2.99

698 pages, 448 of 481 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Audiobook is discounted to $3.99 with purchase of Kindle Book

The National Book Award–winning epic chronicle of the creation of the Panama Canal, a first-rate drama of the bold and brilliant engineering feat that was filled with both tragedy and triumph, told by master historian David McCullough.

The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale.

The 39 Clues Book 1: The Maze of Bones by Rick Rioran – $2.99

226 pages, 238 of 271 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Audiobook is discounted to $3.49 with purchase of Kindle Book

The first book in this groundbreaking multimedia series sends readers around the world on the hunt for the 39 Clues. Written by #1 NYT bestseller Rick Riordan, and backed by $100,000 in prizes!

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: “You have a choice – one million dollars or a clue.”

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world’s most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 Clues hidden around the world will reveal the family’s secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what’s important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

Also $2.99 is Book 2-One False Note an Book 3-The Sword Thief

Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie – $1.99

240 pages, 36 of 44 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Audiobook is discounted to $3.99 with purchase of Kindle Book

Whilst organising a mock murder hunt for the village fete hosted by Sir George and Lady Stubbs, a feeling of dread settles on the famous crime novelist Adriane Oliver. Call it instinct, but it’s a feeling she just can’t explain…or get away from.

In desperation she summons her old friend, Hercule Poirot — and her instincts are soon proved correct when the ‘pretend’ murder victim is discovered playing the scene for real, a rope wrapped tightly around her neck.

But it’s the great detective who first discovers that in murder hunts, whether mock or real, everyone is playing a part.

Riding The Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey by Rachel Simon – $2.99

308 pages, 80 of 99 reviews are 4 or 5-star

In the ten years since Rachel Simon first invited the world to board the bus with her and her sister, Cool Beth, readers across the globe have been moved by their story. Now, in an updated edition, Rachel Simon reflects on changes in her life, Beth’s life, and the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The highlight is Beth’s update, which is in her own words. A new reader’s guide is also included. Join these two unforgettable sisters on their journey, this time in an even deeper and richer way.

July End of Month Reminders

Today is the last day to:

2 Free MP3 Audiobooks – Red Badge of Courage & Divided We Fall

Each summer YA Sync gives away two free MP3 audiobooks a week, one new modern book and one classic, usually thematically linked.

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

10 hr and 42 minutes – 4 stars on 2 review at Audible 

From the author of Words in the Dust: an actionpacked YA novel set in a frighteningly plausible near future, about what happens when the States are no longer United.

Danny Wright never thought he’d be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enrolled in the National Guard because he wanted to serve his country the way his father did. When the Guard is called up on the governor’s orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowdcontrol mission… but then Danny’s gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd. By the time the smoke clears, 12 people are dead. The president wants the soldiers arrested. The governor swears to protect them. And as tensions build on both sides, the conflict slowly escalates toward the unthinkable: a second American civil war.

With political questions that are popular in American culture yet rare in YA fiction, and a plot that’s both excitingly provocative and frighteningly plausible, Divided We Fall will be Trent Reedy’s very timely YA debut.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

4 hrs and 33 minutes – 3.8 stars based on 57 ratings at Audible

Bored with farm life, and anxious for some excitement, Henry Fleming sets off to join the Union troops fighting the Civil War. An inexperienced fighter, he is anxious to get into battle to prove his patriotism and courage. He swaggers to keep up his spirits waiting for battle, but when suddenly thrust into the slaughter he is overcome with blind fear and runs from the field of battle.

He is ashamed when he joins the wounded, for he has not earned their “red badge of courage” and becomes enraged when he witnesses the death of his terribly maimed friend. In a confused struggle with his own army’s retreating soldiers, he is wounded but not by enemy gunfire. In an effort to redeem himself in his own eyes, he begins to fight frantically and, in the heat of battle, automatically seizes the regiment’s colors in a daring charge that proves him truly courageous.

10 Free Christian Kindle Books

The Road to Reality: Coming Home to Jesus from the Unreal World by KP Yohannan

213 pages, 32 of 34 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

Do you find yourself conforming to the culture rather than transforming it? Do you ever wonder, “Is this what Christ meant by “Follow Me”?”

For more than two decades, The Road to Reality has helped thousands to escape from the plastic Christianity of our age and find true freedom as devoted servants of the Lord Jesus. In this prophetic and practical book, K.P. Yohannan will point the road back to authentic New Testament Christianity and help you take your first steps toward living with simplicity and purpose. Grounded on timeless biblical principles, this revised edition of The Road to Reality is for a new generation hungry for reality in their lives.

Jew in the Pew: A Memoir by Jenny Berg Chandler

277 pages, 19 of 19 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Jew in the Pew is a memoir of a year of my life as a Jew in a church… When we moved to a quaint little seaside town in Florida, away from the traffic and sinus pressure of Philadelphia, it never occurred to me that in the midst of that subtropical paradise some spiritual genetic time bomb would go off. I was no longer okay with going to church and raising our kids the way we had been. More than ever I missed all the Jewish things with which I had been raised. The white bread, mayonnaise Christian world began to chafe like corduroy on sunburn, which is seriously unfortunate since my husband was Baptist. It was time to face my past, what we were doing in our present and decide who I wanted to be in the future. The only way I knew how to do that was to spend a year writing furiously.

Mortal Fire by CF Dunn (Secret of the Journal #1)

384 pages, 33 of 39 reviews are 4 or 5-star

When Emma D’Eresby – a 29 year-old, self-contained Professor of History – leaves her Cambridge college for a post in an exclusive university in Maine, USA, she hopes to learn more about a curious 17th-century journal in the College library. Instead, it leads her to a secret that should never have been uncovered. In the States, Emma meets the enigmatic 33-year-old surgeon, Matthew Lynes, a quiet and thoughtful widower. Driven to learn more about him, Emma takes the unique journal from the College library in which she believes there are clues to his family’s English past. Meanwhile, the sinister Professor Kort Staahl mounts a psychotic attack on her. Matthew’s courageous intervention saves her, but as he nurses her back to health, his unusual attributes raise questions he is unwilling to answer. As Part One ends, she returns to her claustrophobic family, avoiding her domineering father and wrestling with despair …

Also free are books 2 and 3 – Rope of Sand and Death Be Not Proud

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity by Frank Viola

315 pages, 139 of 161 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Previously Free, Audiobook is discounted to $2.99 with purchase of Kindle Book

Author Frank Viola gives readers language for all they knew was missing in their modern church experience. He believes that many of today’s congregations have shifted from God’s original intent for the church. As a prominent leader of the house church movement, Frank is at the forefront of a revolution sweeping through the body of Christ. A change that is challenging the spiritual status quo and redefining the very nature of church. A movement inspired by the divine design for authenticity community. A fresh concept rooted in ancient history and in God Himself.

Ubik by Philip K Dick

Takeaway: Is anyone better at writing paranoid fiction than Philip K Dick?

Philip K Dick was brilliant and deeply troubled.  Which seems to make for a good science fiction writer.  Ubik, a 1969 novel, is set in 1992, when psychic powers are common.  Joe Chip works for a ‘prudence organization’.  Prudence organizations specialize in helping people or businesses protect themselves from psychics.  So they use anti-telepaths to protect people from having their minds read by telepaths or other anti-psychics to counter the variety of different psychic powers.

The other plot point you have to understand is ‘half-life’.  In this future, when people die, if they can be preserved in time, they can live in ‘half-life’, a sort of preserved life of the mind.  You cannot life forever this way, but your body is preserved and you can communicate with people outside your preservation chamber.  But at some point you sort of fade out and are reincarnated.

There is basically no way to discuss this book without spoilers, so if you don’t want any spoilers for this 45 year old book, you should stop reading because I am going to disclose pretty much the whole book.

7 Free Christian Kindle Books

Mad About Us: Moving from Anger to Intimacy With Your Spouse by Gary and Carrie Oliver

225 pages, 10 of 10 reviews are 5-star

Carrie and Gary Oliver have written a practical book to help couples focus their passion in ways that lead to trust, understanding, and intimacy. They want Christian couples to develop Christ-centered marriages, and that includes dealing with fear, frustration, and anger–issues that prevent intimacy. They demonstrate how the energy–or passion–of the God-given emotion anger can be harnessed in ways that build and strengthen a marriage relationship and free couples from one of Satan’s most destructive weapons–unhealthy anger.

Runaway Heart by Teresa Slack

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

Running at the first sign of opposition is nothing new to Kyla Parrish. She’s never held onto a relationship for more than a few months, and she’s quit more jobs than most people apply for. Until Will Lachland. He’s the first man who ever made her think of getting serious about something, about putting down roots. But she can’t forget her mother’s ominous warning. Men are users. They take and take and leave nothing but a shell of who she’s meant to be.

Fear of losing her heart to anyone or anything has kept Kyla running all her life. This time she runs from Chicago to the family farm where she spent her happiest childhood summers. A new life and a new chance at romance seem like the answer to her prayers. But things are never as simple as they seem. Can she find the love she longs for even though she can’t forget Will? Or is something else, something greater, calling her heart toward home?

This unpredictable Christian fiction romance full of surprises and humor will encourage readers while reminding them how much fun falling in love can be..

A Farmer’s Daughter: Recipes From a Mennonite Kitchen by Dawn Stoltzfus

224 pages, 39 of 41 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Welcome to the warm and inviting kitchen of Dawn Stoltzfus, a young Mennonite wife and mother who was raised on a dairy farm where simple, wholesome food was a key ingredient of the good life. In A Farmer’s Daughter, she opens up her recipe box, wipes away the crumbs and wrinkles from the well-loved recipes, and shares them with cooks and food-lovers everywhere. She offers us over two hundred delicious recipes that reflect the comfort foods she learned to cook from her mother, the same hearty and creative recipes she made and sold at The Farmer’s Wife Market.

Among the Unseen by Jodi McIsaac (The Thin Veil #3)

Summary: Cedar, the new Queen of Tír na nÓg, is trying to adjust to her new life and new powers.  But all the Unseen (the magical creatures of Earth) have started dying. 

The Thin Veil trilogy is one of the increasing numbers of books published by 47North or one of Amazon’s other publishing imprints.  And I think it is fairly similar to the others I have read, better than most self published books, but still not quite to the upper levels of quality of all books.

The Thin Veil trilogy follows Cedar, her daughter Eden, and others through discovering that the Celtic gods were actually an immortal race from another world, and that Cedar is the lost daughter of the last king.

Similar to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series or the Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott, this is a modern look at ancient mythology.  But the Thin Veil series is adult fiction (although I would have read it as a teen and I don’t really have any content warning other than some sexual innuendo.)

This is a good light beach read fantasy.  Nothing heavy, but not terribly original either.

The main story arc of the third book is about the sickness and death of the magical creatures on earth.  There was an ancient spell that protected the creatures from humans as long as humans believed in them.  But now that humans have stopped believing in them, they have started dying.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Rowen

Reposting my 2013 Review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $1.99.
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Summary: Fun mystery set in the early 1930s with a down on her luck 34th from the throne Royal.

I have to admit, that being a new parent and trying to keep up with work and enjoying my new daughter and trying to get enough sleep, I have just not been interested in reading anything heavy.  I have already finished more than my goal of books for the year (which is a new record number of books), so I don’t feel pressed to read to review.

Consequently I have been reading fun books.  And this is a great example of a fun book.  Georgie is the younger sister of a Duke.  She is 34th in line for the throne in 1932.  But that does not mean things are going well for her.  She is 21, her brother has stopped giving her a living allowance.  Her father has died after losing all of the family money in American investments, her mother left her father when she was a young child and has been sleeping her way through all of the rich and famous of Europe since then.

Georgie has had enough of her current life stuck in a cold drafty castle in Scotland with her very sweet, but fairly hapless brother and her distant and condescending sister in law.  So she heads to London to make her way on her own.  But things are not that easy.  She does not really have any job skills.  And she can’t take just any job, because there is society to think of and her cousin (the Queen) will find out.  If she doesn’t figure out a way to take care of herself, she is going to be sent off to the country to be a lady in waiting for a great aunt (the last remaining daughter of Queen Victoria).  She will never find a husband (or have any fun) out there.

Things are really not going all that well when she comes home to find a dead body in her bathtub.  I assume this is homage to Dorothy Sayers’s first Lord Peter Wimsey book Whose Body? which also has a body in a bathtub as the center of the mystery.

8 Free Christian Kindle Books

Amish Love of a Lifetime by Sadie Palmer

112 pages, 29 of 33 reviews are 4 or 5-star

Rebecca Bieler and Isaac Schuster have been best friends their entire lives, but she believes they could be more. As with all important decisions, there are risks involved. If Isaac feels the same way, love could blossom between them. But if he doesn’t have romantic feelings for her, it could put a terrible strain on their friendship. Along the way, Rebecca’s patience will be tested, but in the end her faith in God will be the guiding force to see if they can achieve the love of a lifetime.

Habits for Life: The Power of Habit and the Power of Now by Benjamin Chapin

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

The habits we have shape our reality on a daily basis. Whether they are good or bad depends on YOU and what you chose to do with your habits. This book is not a series of case studies and medical study, instead has been designed to help you make real progress and changes with your daily habits. I have made some huge changes in my own life and now I am sharing the knowledge I have gained through the experience. My desire is you enjoy the book and are able to get some real positive changes into your habits.

To Be Free by LR Teague

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

What reviewers are calling “Refreshingly different, honest and real”!