Today on Amazon’s Gold Box, Get Up to 60% Off “Downton Abbey: Seasons 1, 2 & 3 Deluxe Limited Edition”. Preppers and backpackers will also find a good deal on the MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter in the Lightning Deals.
Today’s Android App Deals of the Day are 50% off The Kissing Hand a read-to-me picture book from Oceanhouse Media ($1.99), Relaxing Breathing Exercises from Breathing Zone ($1.99), Remote Desktop from Splashtop ($2.49) and NeoCal Advanced Calculator from Hudren Andromeda Connection ($4.99). That last one may seem a bit pricy, but is a steal compared to the calculator I got for graduation (back in the dark ages, of course).
The MP3 Album Deal of the Day is The Classic Christmas Album by Barbra Streisand ($5.00); buy the CD album (perhaps as a gift?) and the MP3 edition lands in your account, as well (which means the CD only cost $2!). Today’s Black Friday Music Deals include John Mayer, Paul Simon, Elton John, Placido Domingo and a sampling of Christmas albums.
If you were working on the Audible Listening Rewards last month, check your Audible account for the credit (if it’s not there, a quick chat usually clears it up). Those expire at the end of the month, so be sure to use them before then.
Today’s Kindle Daily Deal is Eight Books He Will Love, $2.99 or Less Each (most are 1.99). Nearly all of these also have companion audiobooks, as well, mostly priced at $0.99-$1.99.
Cat’s Cradle ($1.99), by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat’s Cradle (1963) is Vonnegut’s most ambitious novel, which put into the language terms like “wampeter”, “kerass” and “granfalloon” as well as a structured religion, Boskonism and was submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for a Master’s Degree in anthropology, and in its sprawling compass and almost uncontrolled (and uncontrollable) invention, may be Vonnegut’s best novel.
Written contemporaneously with the Cuban missile crisis and countenancing a version of a world in the grasp of magnified human stupidity, the novel is centered on Felix Hoenikker, a chemical scientist reminiscent of Robert Oppenheimer… except that Oppenheimer was destroyed by his conscience and Hoenikker, delighting in the disastrous chemicals he has invented, has no conscience at all. Hoenikker’s “Ice 9″ has the potential to convert all liquid to inert ice and thus destroy human existence; he is exiled to a remote island where Boskonism has enlisted all of its inhabitants and where religion and technology collaborate, with the help of a large cast of characters, to destroy civilization.
Vonnegut’s compassion and despair are expressed here through his grotesque elaboration of character and situation and also through his created religion which like Flannery O’Connor’s “Church Without Christ” (in Wise Blood) acts to serve its adherents by removing them from individual responsibility. Vonnegut had always been taken seriously by science fiction readers and critics (a reception which indeed made him uncomfortable) but it was with Cat’s Cradle that he began to be found and appreciated by a more general audience. His own ambivalence toward science, science fiction, religion and religious comfort comes through in every scene of this novel.
Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks ($1.99), by Ken Jennings
It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere.
Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the “unreal estate” charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.
From the “Here be dragons” parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade school to the postmodern revolution of digital maps and GPS, Maphead is filled with intriguing details, engaging anecdotes, and enlightening analysis. If you’re an inveterate map lover yourself—or even if you’re among the cartographically clueless who can get lost in a supermarket—let Ken Jennings be your guide to the strange world of mapheads.
Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge ($2.99), by Peter Orner
Peter Orner zeroes in on the strange ways our memories define us: A woman’s husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor of Illinois and loses much more than an election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick. Employing the masterful compression for which he has been widely praised, Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in startling, intimate close-up.
Whether writing of Geraldo Rivera’s attempt to reveal the contents of Al Capone’s vault or of a father and daughter trying to outrun a hurricane, Orner illuminates universal themes. In stories that span considerable geographic ground–from Chicago to Wyoming, from Massachusetts to the Czech Republic–he writes of the past we can’t seem to shake, the losses we can’t make up for, and the power of our stories to help us reclaim what we thought was gone forever.
Grub Line Rider ($1.99), by Louis L’Amour
The fury of the Wild West explodes in this thrilling collection of classic Louis L’Amour short stories. Most folks would call Kim Sartain an easygoing, peace-loving man. But the few who crossed the young drifter knew there was nothing he liked better than a good fight. When cattleman Jim Targ challenges Sartain’s right to ride across an unclaimed stretch of meadow, Sartain decides he’ll do better than ride through: He’ll put down stakes there and homestead the land. Soon there’s more at risk than land and pride when Targ hires a gunman to teach Sartain a permanent—and deadly—lesson.
Open Range ($1.99), by Lauran Paine
Boss Spearman knew the end was near for open range men like him, cattlemen who drove their herds through the country to graze and then moved on. Local stockmen were staking claims to grazing areas throughout the West. Spearman had no quarrel with that, but he wasn’t about to let anyone intimidate him or attack his men without putting up a fight. So when Denton Baxter’s threats turned to murder, Spearman knew he had to get justice—any way he could.
The basis for the movie Open Range, starring Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, and Annette Bening!
Final Price: A Paul Chang Mystery ($1.99), by J. Gregory Smith
Wilmington, Delaware is one of those cities that feels more like a small town. Neighbors know one another, and businesses cater to the needs of the citizenry. But what happens when the local car salesman suffers one lost sale too many, when one more customer decides to buy from the competition because the price is too high, interest rates aren’t friendly, or that shade of blue just won’t work? In J. Gregory Smith’s electrifying thriller, Final Price, Shamus Ryan’s frustration works like a thorn under his skin until psychotic urges take over and he commits murder—serial murders, in fact—his victims chosen from prospective clients who dared to walk away. With Smith’s chilling scenes of massacre, readers are pulled into the vortex of a warped mind, one man justifying heinous acts, and two detectives running a race against time, trying to solve seemingly random killings. Paul Chang, a Chinese-American homicide detective, is struggling to understand why these murders are taking place. Assisted by his neurotic partner, Nelson Rogers, Chang goes after the killer with logic, tenacity, and no small measure of fear.
Written from the perspectives of Detective Chang and Shamus Ryan, readers quickly find themselves seeing the world in unique—and often disturbing—ways they never expected. With dark humor and gritty suspense, Smith has crafted a refreshing and surprising thriller.
Legacy of the Dragon: A Paul Chang Mystery ($1.99), by J. Gregory Smith
For former NYPD and Delaware State Police detective Paul Chang, retiring to open his own agency with former partner Nelson Rogers should mean leaving behind politics and scapegoating. Instead, corrupt Colonel Byrd of the state police and his lackey Clyde Foley harass Chang at every turn, and their unwanted attention puts his fledgling business on the brink of bankruptcy.
With the police on his back and the agency taking sleazy cases he never thought he’d have to, Chang erupts under the job’s pressures and sees his personal demon, an alter ego he calls the dragon, emerge. Only the training from his martial arts teacher and old friend Shu can keep Chang sane. But when someone tries to frame him for the stalking of his ex-wife and a journalist, the harassment turns deadly and the lives of everyone close to him are in danger. Unable to wait for events to take their course, Chang must unleash the dragon.
The second installment of J. Gregory Smith’s Paul Chang mystery series, Legacy of the Dragon is a riveting exploration of the profound impact the sins of the past have on our present.
Send in the Clowns: A Paul Chang Mystery ($1.99), by J. Gregory Smith
TV news anchor Laura Stark thought she was finally free of Max, her bizarre ex-husband. But a series of sinister pranks convinces her that Max—a trained circus clown—is stalking her again.
Since she broke a controversial news story that made her a persona non grata with the New York City Police Department, Laura turns to a pair of quirky Delaware private detectives for help. Paul Chang, a former NYPD cop with a mean streak, and his prescient, scrawny sidekick, Nelson Rogers, are convinced that Max is up to no good. But they can’t be sure exactly what the prankster wants from Laura. Meanwhile, Laura scores scoop after scoop from an anonymous tipster, breaking big stories about a billionaire’s murder and an unlikely peace treaty brokered by the mayor of New York. Chang suspects Max has some connection to the exposés—and a grandiose plan that goes far beyond simple stalking. Can Chang and Nelson catch Max before the mad jester turns the city into his own three-ring circus?
The third novel in the Detective Chang mystery series, Send in the Clowns juggles a twisted tale of obsession and political intrigue.
Today’s Kindle Romance Daily Deal is India Fan ($1.99), by Victoria Holt [Sourcebooks Casablanca]. Another of her novels, Time of the Hunter’s Moon, is also on sale for $1.99 (be careful on which edition you pick).
With Over 100 Million Books Sold, Victoria Holt is the Queen of Gothic Romance.
Blackmail. Arson. Murder. Obsession.
Beautiful as its peacock feathers may be, the priceless fan hidden deep within the Framling mansion has a legacy of death and destruction. And Drusilla Delany has no idea she’s been marked by its curse…
But the fan’s dark past might prove less of a danger than Fabian Framling himself. Dark, brooding, and dominating, will he be the one to save her from the fan’s cruel fate…or cause her demise?
Today’s Kindle SciFi/Fantasy Daily Deal is Earth Abides ($1.99), by George R. Stewart [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt].
The cabin had always been a special retreat for Isherwood Williams, a haven from the demands of society. But one day while hiking, Ish was bitten by a rattlesnake, and the solitude he had so desired took on dire new significance.
He was sick for days — although, somehow, he never doubted that he’d live through the ordeal. Often delirious, he did awake at one point to find two strangers peering in at him from the cabin door. Yet oddly, instead of offering help, the two ran off as if terrified.
Not long after that, the coughing began. Ish suffered chills followed by fever, and a measles-like rash that had nothing to do with snake bite broke out on his skin. He was one of the few people in the world to live through that peculiar malady, but he didn’t know it then.
Ish headed home when he finally felt himself again—and noticed the strangeness almost immediately. No cars passed him on the road; the gas station not far from his cabin had an air of abandonment; and he was shocked to see the body of a man lying by the roadside near a small town.
Without a radio or phone, Ish had no idea of humanity’s abrupt demise. He had escaped death, yet could not escape the awesomeness of the catastrophe—and, with an eerie detachment, he found himself curious as to how long it would be before all traces of man’s civilization faded from the Earth.
At the same time, he couldn’t help wondering whether others had survived, and whether even a handful of human beings would
Today’s Kindle Non-Fiction Daily Deal is Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph ($0.99), by Jennifer Pharr Davis [Beaufort Books]. This looks to be a fascinating book and is super-discounted, with a list price of $25!
In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis became the overall record holder on the Appalachian Trail. By hiking 2,181 miles in 46 days — an average of 47 miles per day — she became the first female to ever set that mark. But this is not a book about records or numbers; this is a book about endurance and faith, and most of all love. The most amazing part of this story is not found at the finish, but is discovered through the many challenges, lessons and relationships that present themselves along the trail. This is Jennifer’s story, in her own words, about how she started this journey with a love for hiking and more significantly a love for her husband Brew. Together, they were able to overcome rugged mountains and raging rivers, sleet storms and 100 degree heat, shin-splints and illnesses. They made new friends and tested old friendships; they shared together laughter, and tears — a lot of tears. But, through it all, they fell more in love with one another and with the wilderness. By completing this extraordinary amateur feat, Jennifer rose above the culture of multi-million dollar sports contracts that is marked by shortcuts and steroids. This is the story of a real person doing something remarkable. Jennifer Pharr Davis is a modern role-model for women — and men. She is an authentic hero.
Today’s Kindle Teen Daily Deal is Altered ($2.99), by Jennifer Rush [Little, Brown Books for Young Readers], with the companion audiobook for $4.99.
They were made to forget. But they’ll never forgive.
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch, at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, light-hearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who’s stolen Anna’s heart.
When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape. Anna’s father pushes her to go with them, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs.
On the run, with her father’s warning in her head, Anna begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about herself. She soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.