Open Library is an amazing non-profit project (partially funded by California State Library). It is trying to catalog book (and e-book) titles and their locations, thus creating a gigantic library. As Open Library owners describe, “One web page for every book ever published”. The idea is to be able to find any book’s location – be it in a store, library, or in electronic version. Open Library is an open project. Anyone can (and is encouraged to) participate: adding book titles, editing the existing catalogue, fixing typos. Also, their software and documentation are also open. There is no registration required for downloading free e-books. However, you need to register on Open Library if you want to participate in the project.
I have to warn you: finding where to download a free e-book is not really intuitive in Open Library. To find a free e-book, you need to type the book title/author’s name in the search bar (there is also an advanced search option, where you can also look for a book by ISBN, subject, place, person, or publisher); check “Only show e-books”. On the results’ page the list of books will have one of three icons – borrow, DAISY, or read. All the available e-books have the “read” icon beside the book title. Press “read”. It should open the book in read-online mode. Press the icon “i” on the top right corner, next to the “play” option. It will open a menu with available e-book formats: PDF, Plain Text, DAISY, ePub, and finally, my favorite, “Send to Kindle” option. Ta-da!
As you might have noticed, other than “read”, there are two more icons appearing in the Open Library search results: “borrow” and “DAISY”. “Borrow” finds the book in the closest to your current location library (it searches by zip-code); and DAISY is a format for vision-impaired readers. According to Open Library, DAISY offers “the benefits of regular audiobooks, with navigation within the book, to chapters or specific pages.” You can find out more about DAISY on their official website. As far as I understand, DAISY format is not that easily accessible. One needs to get a key issued by the Library of Congress NLS program.
Quite frankly, I think I’m very impressed with Open Library’s book catalogue idea and its execution.
What is the first thing a new Kindle owner does? Right! The dance of joy. Okay, but the next thing?
As for me, it was the diving into the ocean of Amazon’s free classics I always wanted to read, but did not have the patience to. Now – guess what, when I’m stuck on an airplane, frankly, I have no escape. Also, getting free classics from Amazon, with their 1-Click feature, is the most convenient way for me to upload the books on Kindle.
Great Expectations – one day I’ll read it, maybe, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I haven’t read it yet. Click.
Well, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is my sacred text I always have on my bedside. Click.
The Picture of Dorian Gray – to have it in my pocket always available for re-reading. Upload.
The Sayings Of Confucius – to impress one professor I know. Click.
The Prince – for the same purposes as the book mentioned above. Click.
However, remember that with free cheese there is always a catch. According to Amazon’s reviewers, some of these books are sloppily edited (missing certain passages and such), which completely ruins the experience if you are trying to savor one of your most favorite books. On the other hand, if you want to get familiar with some works for the general education purposes and you are not planning on conducting an in-depth analysis of this or that character, then perhaps the imperfect, but free editions will suffice for you.
Also, Amazon has a page with limited time offers for certain e-books. Some e-books are listed for a nominal price, some are cheaper than usually, and some are free.
In a rather interesting move, Amazon seems to have increased the general utility of their Kindle. It could, in fact, be on its way to becoming a must-have for vacation-goers this summer. Sure there’s the expected advantage of being able to lug a pile of books to the beach in your pocket, but the sightseers are targeted now too.
In short, it’s been reported that Amazon has recently acquired exclusive rights to sell the always helpful Michelin Driving guides. When added to the functionality of browser-based mapping programs like Google Maps, you can find yourself with an entertaining way to tour the nation without ever getting sidetracked. At present, such offerings as a driving tour of California Wine Country or a run around the Florida Keys are going for a mere $3.99. There’s certainly no shortage of other material there for the taking either, with popular publications like the Zagat Restaurant Guides, Frommer’s Travel Guides, and the Regional Hiking series already available at reasonable prices.
As a fun aside, as you prepare for the upcoming vacation weather, remember that road trips with kids are much more tolerable when they’re having a good time and for the moment Amazon can be very helpful there too with the majority of the popular Series of Unfortunate Events books being available free of charge to Kindle customers for what will likely be a very limited time!
Joseph Conrad is famous not only for his works adapted into well-known films such as Apocalypse Now and Sabotage; he also stands out as he was a Polish-born novelist who learned to speak English fluently in his twenties and then wrote in English, too. Many books are available now in Kindle edition, some of them for free.
Heart of Darkness first appeared as a series in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1899 and was published as a novella in 1902. It was partially based on Conrad’s experiences in the Congo as he served as a steamer captain. Though the book is famous on its own, Francis Ford Coppola made it even more well-known, having adapted the novella into Apocalypse Now changing the Congo to Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. “Assigned by an ivory company to take command of a cargo boat stranded in the interior, Marlow makes his way through the treacherous forest, witnessing the brutalization of the natives by white traders and hearing tantalizing stories of a Mr. Kurtz, the company’s most successful representative.”
The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (published in 1907) is set around the life of Mr. Verloc, a London businessman and spy. The book is different from other Conrad’s works as it does not deal with the usual seafaring themes; instead, it is considered a political novel since it describes revolutionary groups and anarchists. Alfred Hitchcock had adapted the book for his movie Sabotage released in 1936. “This absurdist story is noted for its adept characterizations, melodramatic irony, and psychological intrigue.”
Lord Jim (published in 1899-1900 in Blackwood’s Magazine) is believed to be based on true facts, though Joseph Conrad never admitted that openly. As a ship with pilgrims travelling to Mecca is about to sink, the crew members abandon the vessel and the passengers. Having faced the court for this crime, the first mate Jim redeems his guilt in a remote settlement in the Indonesian archipelago. “The novel, which explores the nature of the human spirit, is a delicately crafted picture of a character who reaches the status of literary hero.” The book was twice adapted into movies: by Victor Fleming in 1925 and by Richard Brooks in 1965.
Joseph Conrad on Kindle
As part of celebration its 60th anniversary, several Harlequin are available for free on Amazon.com according to official Amazon Kindle Blog:
- The Bride’s Baby by Liz Fielding. “Events manager Sylvie Smith is organizing a glittering fund-raising event: a wedding show in a stately home. She has even been roped into pretending to be a bride…a bride who’s five months pregnant…”
- Dancing in the Moonlight by RaeAnne Thayne. “Lieutenant Magdalena Cruz had come home-And all she wanted was to be alone…”
- A Very Special Delivery by Linda Goodnight. “It was the surprise of a lifetime for recluse Molly McCreight when single dad Ethan Hunter entrusted her with his infant daughter while he delivered medicine to an elderly man during an ice storm…”
by Janice Kay Johnson. “When a blizzard strands Fiona MacPherson and her students in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, their only hope of survival is to seek shelter at Thunder Mountain Lodge…“
Stranded with a Spy
by Merline Lovelace. “When Mallory Dawes, suddenly infamous in the States, decided to take that vacation to France, her problems were just beginning: a lost passport. A car swept out to sea…”
His Lady Mistress
by Elizabeth Rolls. “When Max, Earl Blakehurst, meets Verity he sees a downtrodden servant. He doesn’t recognize her as the daughter of a colonel under whom he used to serve, the girl he’d once helped years before…”
by Nancy Warren. “Dylan Hargreave thinks I’m an actress paid to pose as his girlfriend at a North Carolina society wedding. How did this happen to me, of all people…”
According to Amazon Blog, following Kindle books by Random House will be available for free until May 31, 2009:
- Settling Accounts Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove. “In this well-thought-out alternate history, the first in a new trilogy, Turtledove combines elements of the Civil War and WWII with disturbing results. Confederate President Jake Featherstone has launched an undeclared war of revenge on the U.S.A…“
- His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. “In this delightful first novel, the opening salvo of a trilogy, Novik seamlessly blends fantasy into the history of the Napoleonic wars. Here be dragons, beasts that can speak and reason, bred for strength and speed and used for aerial support in battle…“
- Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt. “Pratt is a deft storyteller whose blend of suspense, magic, and dry humor kept me entertained and turning pages. Blood Engines is one of the most absorbing reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time, gluing me to the couch…“
- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. “The bastard sons of kings play a noble role in fantasy: not only were King Arthur and Modred by-blows, but it is often suggested that Merlin himself came to power from the “wrong side of the bed.” While Hobb’s offering has a few too many illegitimate heirs backstabbing around, this is still a delightful take on the powers and politics behind the throne…“
- Red Mars by Stanley Robinson. “The first novel in the astounding trilogy, Red Mars chronicles the lives of the first arrivals to Mars. The planet that the settlers find is empty of life and many of the pioneers want to begin changing the ecosystem right away to be suitable for human life…”
All of these books are ranked pretty high in the Kindle store now. And although I have plenty of books lined up for reading right now, I will download these while they are free and before I forget so I can read them some time later.
Just a heads up on current amazon promotion running until March 9, 2009. I’ll mak a habbit of regularly updating on this topic which I have recently neglected.
If you buy “Murder In The Latin Quarter” by Cara Black, you will receive “Murder In The Marais”, another installment in the mystery series about detective Aimee Leduc for FREE.
If you are interested, details and interview with Cara Black can be found on official Amazon Kindle Blog.
While this is technically not free, costing $1 comes pretty close to it. Book publisher Orbit is running a promotion allowing Kindle owners to download one of their books per month for one dollar.
Almost free eBook for March 2009 is Empress By Karen Miller. It’s a fantasy story of Hekat, who is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader. But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen.
This is the second post in the Free Kindle Books series…
It so happens that there are 4,800+ books that Amazon.com has made available for Kindle owners to download for free. Books are delivered via WhisperNet just like the paid books. But price is $0.00 (you save 100%).
You can find these books by sorting your search results by price from low to high. If you are in luck free books will be on top of the list. You can browse the complete 400 page list.
I’ll gradually build complete list of these books and make it available on this website. For now here is a list of free books by my personal favorite, Mark Twain.
P.S.: As I was building the Mark Twain list I’ve noticed that althogh Amazon website features 4,800+ titles, many books are split into multiple parts so number of actual titles available is lower.
As promised, following on from last weeks promotional e-book “Nate” by Beth Williams” by Samhain Publishing, this week you can download their second promotional e-book “Giving Chase by Lauren Dane” absolutely free from today (August 4) until August 10.
Here is the book synopsis;
Together they find a special love?can it survive the threat stalking her?
Some small towns grow really good looking men! This is the case with the four Chase brothers. The home grown hotties are on the wishlist of every single woman in town and Maggie Wright is no exception.
Maggie has finally had it with the men she?s been dating but a spilled plate of chili cheese fries drops Shane Chase right into her lap. The sheriff is hot stuff but was burned by a former fianc?e and is quite happy to play the field.
After Shane?s skittishness sends him out the door, Maggie realizes that Kyle Chase has had his eye on her from the start. Now that Shane has messed up, Kyle has no intention of letting anything stop him from wooing her right into his bed.
Despite Maggie?s happiness and growing love with Kyle, a dark shadow threatens everything?she?s got a stalker and he?s not happy at all. In the end, Maggie will need her wits, strength and the love of her man to get her out alive.
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and some violent situations.
Download Giving Chase (Kindle Edition) by Lauren Dane – free until August 10.
Amazon and publisher Grove/Atlantic from today will be giving away a free copy of the new novel “Spirit House” by Christopher G Moore to Amazon Kindle customers, beginning today Kindle owners can go to the Kindle page for “Spirit House” and download a free copy of the e-book via Whispernet.
The electronic version will be available from today (August 1), in advance of the book’s release in print on 28th August, which will cost $10.40.
Morgan Entrekin, the president and publisher of Grove/Atlantic, said that the deal with Amazon “is a great way to expand Moore’s audience even further.”
So head on over and get your free copy, here is the book description;
In the nearly twenty years he has lived in Bangkok, Christopher G. Moore has written nine novels starring Vincent Calvino, a disbarred American lawyer working as a PI in the dark and steamy Thai capital. Internationally acclaimed, the prizewinning novels have been translated into ten languages. Now Spirit House, the first novel in the series, is finally available in North America.
A farang is dead and the Bangkok police have a confession the next morning from a young paint-thinner addict. He claims he killed Ben Hoadly, an expat Brit, but Calvino has his doubts when he sees heavy bruises on the kid’s face. In no time Calvino is working both sides, out to find the killer for Hoadly’s wealthy father, and eager to clear the addict’s name for a beautiful friend who runs a charity in the slums. With the help of his best friend, Pratt, a Shakespeare quoting Thai police colonel, and his loyal assistant, Ratana, Calvino plunges into the dangerous world of addicts, dealers, fortune tellers, inexpensive hit men, oversexed foreigners, and professional bar girls. Spirit House is a thrilling introduction to Vincent Calvino and Christopher G. Moore’s Bangkok.
UPDATE: Link to the Kindle edition of “Spirit House”
Source: New York Times
Just a quick update following on from the previous post.
Tor.com has made 24 e-book available to download, you can now download some of them directly from Amazon.com and get them delivered to your Kindle through Whispernet.
The book available from the list of 24 are;
1. Mistborn: The Final Empire
2. Old Man’s War
4. The Outstretched Shadow: The Obsidian Trilogy: Book One
5. Crystal Rain
6. Lord Of The Isles
7. Through Wolf’s Eyes
8. Reiffen’s Choice
9. Sun Of Suns
You can get them by following this link.
Source: Amazon Kindle official blog
UPDATE: Thanks to reader Tracey Rowley who informed me that Amazon had put up a new link for all the free Tor.com content, right now there are 15 e-books available–there were 20 before–which you can download to your Kindle via Whispernet:
Samhain Publishing is having a promotion with two of their e-books, for this week only you can download Nate by Beth Williams over Whispernet onto your Kindle absolutely free.
Samhain Publishing is pleased to announce our very first Amazon Kindle ebook giveaway! The title is Nate from Beth Williamson. The free download period begins on Monday, July 14th through Sunday, July 20th. This title is the first in the Devils on Horseback series from Williamson and we’re thrilled to share this exciting series with readers. As an FYI, Williamson recently signed with Kensington in April 2008.
Our next Kindle giveaway will be in August. That title is Giving Chase from Lauren Dane. I will send out a notice with all the details once they are finalized.
Here is the book description from Amazon.com
Amidst the post-war chaos that rains down around them, a controlling man and a desperate woman must choose between life and love.
Book one of the Devils on Horseback series.
Nate Marchand grew up as the only son of the town drunk. As a Confederate soldier, he found that order in the chaos was the only thing that kept him sane. Numbers, information, keeping everything in its proper place became second nature. The chaos of the war and its aftermath sent him into a rigid state that he couldn’t seem to overcome.
He and his friends, nicknamed Devils on Horseback, leave behind the aftermath of war to start fresh in the west. Their new business venture flounders and desperation drives them to take whatever work they can. The Devils are hired to remove the Taggert family from land claimed by Samuel O’Shea, the largest landowner in Grayton, Texas.
When he meets Elisa Taggert, his entire world shifts beneath him. Attracted, bewildered, and off-kilter, Nate ignores his conscience in favor of his wallet.
The simple task of removing a woman, a boy, and an old man, along with a small herd of cattle, resembles a Medieval siege. Nate wrestles with what he knows is right with what he must do. Will his love for Elisa overcome his need for survival?
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, violence.
Sounds thrilling, look out for Giving Chase by Lauren Dane next week.
Download Nate: Devils on Horseback Book 1 (Kindle Edition) by Beth Williams
Source: nice mommy evil editor