The popularity of the Little Free Library has swept around the world and become a neighborly way to share used books with others. The concept is simple: Build a small structure to protect the books; place it in an accessible location; add a few books from several genre for children, teens and adults and spread the word that anyone is welcome to take a book and/or leave a book.
No good deed goes unpunished as a 9-year-old boy in Leawood, Kansas, learned when he was ordered to remove his Little Free Library or face fines when at least two people complained to the city. After much press and citizen outcry, the city council graciously decided to exempt the small structures from the city’s ordinances. Read more about this brave young man here.
Another article tells other stories of local governments trying to stifle the free exchange of books.
In this time of 24 hour/7 day political stories, we are reminded that people need to be involved in the process to work for the best government possible.
My Reading/Listening List
These books that I’ve read or listened to in the last month are ones that I recommend. NOTE: All were purchased when selling for cheap prices.
• The Negotiator by Dee Henderson ($8.32) – Inspirational romantic suspense by one of the best in the business, first book in the O’Malley Series
• Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer ($9.99) – Third book in the Clifton Chronicles, a family with trials, tribulations and an occasional happy event
• At the Scent of Water by Linda Nichols ($4.99) – Amazing inspirational novel of second chances
• Taken by Dee Henderson ($8.64) – Stand-alone inspirational suspense
• Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson ($8.99) – Very good WWI historical fiction
• Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury ($7.99) – Grab a hanky and read this phenomenal novel by a popular inspirational author – a tale of forgiveness
• Lullaby by Ed McBain ($4.99) – 87th Precinct police procedural – good read with several plots. Build your 87th Precinct library with these three books for $1.99 each
• Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt ($7.99) – Another very good legal mystery (not a thriller)
• Circle of Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini ($11.99) – Very good contemporary women’s fiction – solid series that I’m slowly collecting
• Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – $7.99 – A quirky story filled with contemporary characters that are spot-on
• Murder Gets a Life by Anne George ($7.99) – Another Southern Sisters cozy – good, quick read
• Starry Montana Sky by Debra Holland ($4.99) – Sweet historical romance; fast read
• Clementine by Sara Pennypacker ($4.99) – A beginning chapter book for children – cute and entertaining; love how she names her kittens!
• Conspiracy in Death by J. D. Robb ($7.99) – Another solid novel in the Eve Dallas series of futuristic mysteries
• Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ($9.99) – A different novel about office life, email security and working folks
• At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon ($9.99) – The first book in her popular series
A Cheap Read – Historical Mystery
Enjoy a Maggie Hope historical mystery this weekend when you buy this novel for $1.99.
His Majesty’s Hope ($1.99) World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive—a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad—and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine.
Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war—and of her own past.
All-New Echo Dot – Now only $49.99
Amazon has announced the second generation of the Echo Dot, available for pre-order now for only $49.99. If you order five, you will receive one free (see ordering instructions). Order 10, you will receive two free (see ordering instructions). Delivery begins October 20. Buy the Dot in white now, too.
• Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more
• Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
• Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others
• Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
• Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer
• Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, and more
The Book of General Ignorance ($1.99) Challenging what most of us assume to be verifiable truths in areas like history, literature, science, nature, and more,The Book of General Ignorance is a witty “gotcha” compendium of how little we actually know about anything. It’ll have you scratching your head wondering why we even bother to go to school.
Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t know!
Read books to live longer
Book readers live longer than non-readers according research.
More than 3,500 people over the age of 50 participated in a large health study, answering questions about reading. In the 12 years of follow up, compared to non-readers, those who read more than three and a half hours a week are 23% less likely to die. Book readers lived an average of nearly two years longer than non-readers.
You can read newspapers and magazines and still out-live non-readers, but not as long as book readers.
According to Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale:
People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read. And the survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables.
Read more about the study here and here.
About those upgrades
Please! No more updates until you have them perfected. The last few have been disasters.
Remember the one you sent to my 8.9” Kindle Fire that caused my device to deregister? Admittedly, it was an inconvenience to get that fixed, but my Fire has never been the same. New books, apps, and music no longer appear on the carousel. Strangely, audiobooks do.
I’ve tried to convince the Fire to correct itself by rebooting, deregistering/re-registering and sending new books directly to it. The book I sent directly appeared on the Books tab, but not the carousel. I’ve accepted that I will not have the Fire I once had.
Recently my everyday reader, the Voyage, has been giving me fits. I wanted to remove a newly download book from the home page. “Remove from Device” was not available. The option was “Delete this Book.” You may not know this, but if I choose to delete a book, my Voyage will never be able to find it again. The book is in my Amazon archive and I can send it to the device from Amazon’s website, but my Voyage will not retrieve it.
I rebooted the Voyage and had the Remove from Device option for a few books. New books downloads required a reboot to bring Remove from Device back.
Being a dutiful Kindle owner, I went to the support page
and looked for updates. A new version was available and I downloaded it to my laptop and side-loaded it to my Voyage. Surely my frustrations were gone!
No, things were worse. The publisher’s book covers no longer appeared. The title and author appeared in cover-shaped box. Remove from Device is available on some books, but not all.
I spoke to a customer care rep and explained to him what happened and he told me that according to the manual, only Remove from Device is available. I can’t have a Delete this Book option because it isn’t on his list. Sigh. That’s a whole ‘nother column.
This last week the book covers have returned. I’m still frustrated at not being able to remove books from my home page.
Amazon, I’ll be happy to be a beta user of your updates. I will find those bugs before you push to users and all of us will have a better experience.
Up to 60% off select series bundles
Amazon has bundled 60 fiction series published under its imprint and has reduced the price when all books are purchased at one time. The bundles have 2 to 6 books. Most bundles average less than $2 per book.
There are specific instructions on how to get the great bundle price, so please read the details at the top of the page.
Click here to browse the 60% off select series bundles
Read While Your Book Ships
Earlier this week I ordered the CD audiobook of The Promise – An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel by Robert Crais for only $2.25. When I completed the transaction and learned that the CD would arrive on August 31, this appeared on the screen:
More information was provided:
While I didn’t download the sample to get a head start on this book, I do like the idea that Amazon is making it available. Have any of you taken advantage of this early start while you wait on physical delivery?
Are you cleaning out your bookshelves? Or do you frequent tag sales, garage sales or other events where you might acquire hardbound books for a great price? Here’s a suggestion for recycling those books into a charming piece that would be a wonderful addition to a home’s library, den or any room that welcomes a bit of whimsy.
As noted in the website where I found these, “The stools have wheels – but they are quite heavy, so they don’t slip away.” You can read the article here.
Free Audiobook Novella
Pre-order The Dispatcher, a thrilling sci-fi novella by John Scalzi for free through November 3, 2016.
Delivery is October 4.
The Dispatcher Description: Zachary Quinto brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.
One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.
Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.
It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.
Follow up on Texture Premium
Last Thursday the Housekeeping post discussed Texture Premium – a subscription service that gives you access to more than 175 magazines for only $14.99 month.
Texture is offering an even better deal: For a limited time, if you buy a 6-month subscription for $89.95, you will receive a promotional code for a free 7″ Fire tablet.
From the webpage:
Limited-time only – Free Fire 7” Tablet with Special Offers (8 GB) ($49.99 value) with a qualifying purchase of 6-month subscription.
The Free Fire Tablet offer is not available with purchase of a monthly subscription. A promotional code applicable towards a Fire 7” tablet (8 GB) with Special Offers will be emailed directly from Texture approximately 8 days after a qualifying purchase of a 6-month subscription to Texture Premium.
While supplies last. Restrictions apply, see full terms and conditions here.
When you get to the webpage for Texture Premium, click on the “WITH FREE FIRE TABLET” button as shown below to access the deal.
Students – Get 6-months of Prime FREE courtesy of Sprint
Students with a valid .edu email address are eligible for six free months of Amazon Student Prime.
This free membership gives students free 2-Day shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, free Kindle books to borrow, free unlimited photo storage and exclusive offers and discounts.
Also, if a Prime member refers a friend to become a Prime member, each one gets a $5 credit.
When signing up, students must provide the valid .edu email address and specify their college, year and major.
After the free 6 months, students will automatically continue receiving Amazon Prime benefits at 50% off – a cost of only $49 a year – for up to four years with automatic renewal. The student may cancel at any time.
NOTE: Prime music is available after the upgrade to membership at 50% off.
Texture Subscription – 175+ Magazines
If you are an avid magazine reader, a subscription to Texture Premium may be the best-priced option for you to receive digital-formatted titles. For $14.99 a month, you will have access to more than 175 mags on up to five devices. There’s no long term commitment and you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Top titles include: Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Garden, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bon Appetit, Consumer Reports, ESPN The Magazine, Forbes, GQ, HGTV Magazine, National Geographic, The Oprah Magazine, People, Popular Science, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Shape, Sports Illustrated, Sunset, The Atlantic, Time, Travel + Leisure, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, and more.
Texture is your all-access pass to the world’s best magazines. Enjoy all the top titles across every category on your phone and tablet.
For one low monthly price, you’ll get:
• Unlimited access to the best magazines
• To share your account on up to 5 devices
• Entire issues plus digital extras
• Stories when they hit newsstands and often earlier
• An easy-to-search archive of back issues
• Stories and collections curated daily for you
• Downloads for offline reading
• A modern magazine experience like no other
Click here to purchase Texture Premium Subscription
Cheap Reads – Dog Days of August!
The dog days of August are in full swing and publishers have reduced the price of books featuring the popular four-footed friends. Buy these three novels for only $1.99 each.
Stepdog ($1.99) Can Rory rescue Cody (a dog) and convince Sara that they belong together—with Cody—as a family? First they’ll need to survive a madcap adventure that takes them through the heart of America.
Sit! Stay! Speak! ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself.
Dog Crazy ($1.99) As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.
Talk about perfect timing. Earlier this summer a friend introduced me to the greenbaglady, Teresa. She tells her story and purpose on her blog:
Green Bag Lady is an eco-friendly art project started by artist Teresa VanHatten-Granath in 2008. Teresa and her international teams of volunteer “Bagettes” make bags out of donated fabric and give them away for FREE in exchange for the promise to refuse paper + plastic when shopping….Join us! Let’s change the world…one bag at a time.
In June I entered her giveaway hoping for one of the patriotic bags. I won and received a colorful bag perfect for groceries, tennis shoes, just about anything. Just a week later, I needed 10 bags for an event that my husband was promoting. Off went the email requesting help and within a week the box of bags arrived. Teresa and her team became my heroes.
Today through Monday you can go to greenbaglady.blogspot.com and enter to win one of 17 whimsical back-to-school themed bags. Enter your email address in the comments (Follow her instructions to disguise your email so it doesn’t get picked up by spam bots). She selects winners and sends out free bags. And if you don’t win this time, she has a give-away every month.
Remember, you have to enter in the comments on greenbaglady.blogspot.com for a chance to win. She has clear instructions for you to follow.
Register to win a free bag, reject paper or plastic when you go shopping and support Teresa in her efforts.
Reality and a few changes
Seven summers. This is our seventh summer of bringing great reads at great prices to you. Way back in the beginning, we were rookie bloggers and the Kindle 2 was the hottest e-reader ever. The novelty of the device and having an unlimited number of books at the touch of a button fueled buying sprees.
The newness and novelty have passed. Most of us have calculated that we will have to live into our 100s to read our archive inventory. We now hover over that one-click buy button a bit longer before buying.
That’s the natural maturation of any emerging technology – boom, then a decline to a level point. Daily Cheap Reads has run the cycle. After a time of boom, our sales have declined and have leveled to a much lower amount than our glory days. Amazon has made changes to the commission structure and their aggressive direct marketing to Kindle book buyers have also contributed to the decline.
Because of the declining revenue, we decided to make a changes to reclaim a few hours of our time each week. For now the changes will be small, such as no bold type or italics in posts starting tomorrow. (I might forget since I’ve been doing it for a very long time. Patience please.)
Another change is that Housekeeping posts during the month of August will be on the first and third Thursdays.That may become the regular schedule.
We appreciate each person who comes by to visit and purchase through our blog. We rely wholly on Amazon commissions as we do not to sell advertising space, giving you an uncluttered browsing experience.
Thanks for your continued support of our site!
The Same Book, Different Covers
The Kindle version of Brave the Heat is currently available free. If you download it, you can purchase the companion audiobook for $3.49.
Audible.com (right above) has a very different cover than Kindle. You have to wonder which one is the more accurate portrayal. The audiobook gives the idea of a small town, sweet romance. The one of the left is edgier and gives the impression of a spicy romance.
Free Short Listen
Audible.com is offereing a free novella, Every Beat of My Heart by Bella Andre. You do not need to be a member of Audible to download.
Description: What do you get when two Sullivans pick the same wedding date? Two super-sexy grooms. Two beautiful brides. Two very unconventional (four-legged and furry) ring bearers.
And Sullivans from around the word coming together to celebrate vows of forever with auto mogul Zach Sullivan and dog trainer Heather Linsey – and pro baseball star Ryan Sullivan and sculptor Vicki Bennett.
This is the double wedding millions of Sullivan fans have been waiting for….
The offer ends August 8.
Cheap Delectable Mystery
A runaway international bestseller and winner of Spain’s top literary prize, Little Indiscretions is part ingeniously entertaining whodunit and part sparkling social satire. Buy it today for only 99 cents.
Little Indiscretions (99 cents) Business is slow for Nestor Chaffino, pastry chef to the rich and famous, until he’s invited to cater a party in a villa on the Costa del Sol. When Nestor is found frozen to death in a walk-in freezer with a notebook in his hand, the party guests gathered that evening are the natural suspects. But who could have it in for a harmless cook?
The answer, it turns out, is just about everyone who happens to be staying in the house. Nestor, while quietly stirring his sauces and whisking his egg whites, had decided to publish a compendium of gastronomic secrets that revealed, along with the culinary tricks of his trade, more than a few damning details of the hosts’ and houseguests’ private lives. To what lengths would they go to ensure that Nestor maintained a more permanent sense of discretion?
Do you have a TBL list?
Audiobooks have become the new darling of the publishing world. They are now the fastest-growing format in the book business today. In 2015, sales were up 21% over the previous year.
The money that publishers are making increased too. Downloaded audiobook revenue in the U.S. grew 38% last year from 2014.
Sales in 2016 are continuing the trend of rising sales and revenue. Audiobook producers are answering the demand by using more celebrity narrators, full-cast productions and early releases of audio versions.
Confession from Paula: I’m an audiobook addict. I listen while preparing posts for this site, while preparing meals, while doing light tasks at my desk job, while in the car, while exercising and any other time possible. In the seven months of this year I have listened to 138 recordings – 130 were full-length books. I also have a lengthy TBL (to-be-listened) list.
Read more about the growing popularity of audiobooks in this article in the Wall Street Journal.
Handmade by Amazon
Amazon has its own Etsy-type marketplace – Handmade.
The site is chockful of practical and eclectic items for yourself or gift-giving. You can limit your browsing by a particular category. I like that I can filter by the resident state of the artist.
You can buy handmade Kindle covers or clever tablet stands.
I probably have at least 427 cookbooks in my Kindle library. Having this tablet stand would make things easier in the kitchen. Perhaps you will find the perfect something for your home.
Cheap Reads – Historical mysteries
Buy these two historical mysteries for only 99 cents each today.
Egypt (99 cents) The future of Egypt lies in the hands of the Medjay’s chief detective Rahotep. Rahotep on a high-stakes adventure across enemy empires and rogue states on a top-secret mission to secure the fate of the dynasty.
Tainted Innocence (99 cents) England, 1524. In Cambridge, the College of the Young Princes brings together all manner of people—with all manner of secrets. Among them is Bryony, an illiterate laundress and a stranger to the town, who lives in constant fear that her unusual upbringing and lack of friends will leave her vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft.
When Matthew Hobson, a scholar at the college, is found murdered and wrapped in linen that Bryony lost, she immediately becomes a suspect. But she is not the only one.
Were you born to be a reader? Or did you develop the habit?
Bustle.com posted an article citing 14 signs you were born to be a reader. Not all of them were applicable to me, but a dozen were. I’ll consider that to be an affirmative that it was pre-determined that I would be a life-long reader.
One of the signs is “your family reads a lot.” Definitely true with us. We grew up reading and just kept right on through college and adulthood. Our sister who lives in New Mexico took a sabbatical from her job and spent five months last year caring for a relative. In that time, she read 180 books and novellas – that’s more than one a day.
The list includes research findings that reading reduces stress and links to this article in the United Kingdom’s Telegraph. “Even six minutes (of reading) can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds” studies have shown. That’s nothing short of amazing. Next time you feel stressed, grab your Kindle and take a 10-15 minute reading break.
Download the free Kindle version of The Three Musketeers and download the audiobook free, too.
Book Description: When d’Artagnan goes to Paris to become a Musketeer, he embarks on a swashbuckling adventure with the legendary Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. If they wish to trump the nefarious Cardinal Richelieu, it’s got to be “all for one, one for all.”
Justice League Graphic Novels
If you love superheros, now is the time to fill your Kindle or Fire with Justice League Graphic Novels. Nearly 100 graphic novels featuring the Justice League are selling for only 49 cents each. Some of the books are around 24 pages in length, while others are more than 200 pages. You might want to buy Justice League of America (2006-2011) #1, a 224-page over-sized first issue written by Brad Meltzer. It’s only 49 cents today!
You can also buy Injustice Graphic Novels for 49 cents each. There are 80 of these selling supercheap.
If you are really into comicx, browse these 1,872 graphic novels which are selling for only 49 cents each.
Read a suspense novel this weekend when you buy these two for only 99 cents each.
Never Tell a Lie (99 cents) It all started with the yard sale. Ivy was eight months and one week pregnant when she insisted that she and her husband, David, clean out the junk from the old Victorian house they’d bought three years before.
It turned out that the customer asking about the lime-green glass swan dish—the woman who looks just about as pregnant as Ivy—was Melinda White, a former high school classmate of David and Ivy’s. When Melinda was a child she used to play in their new house, she explained. Would it be all right if she took a look around? David took Melinda inside. And she never came out.
212 (99 cents Audiobook $3.99) When a student is murdered following a series of threatening messages posted on a college gossip site, NYPD detectives Ellie Hatcher and J. J. Rogan are assigned the case. As they dig deeper, however, they discover the victim was only one of many-and the killer isn’t finished.