Continuing in my efforts to bring out some good popular fiction ideas in time for that last minute Kindle gift giving, I’ve made it through another batch of surprisingly good books I’d never heard of before. In what I can only assume is a completely bizarre connection to the holiday season that I was previously unaware of, I was urged by enthusiastic readers to highlight the following recommendations! It’s clearly still one of the hottest trends in popular fiction, so today I present you with a Vampire-themed gift collection:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Seth Grahame-Smith
This is the second work by the author of the popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As with that one, it’s impressive how well he managed to mix the new supernatural additions with the period-specific information and tone. I was impressed to the point of grabbing myself a dead-tree copy too.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what it would be like if one of our favorite presidents was actually an axe-wielding defender of humanity with motives for gaining the presidency beyond simple politics(and really, who doesn’t wonder that from time to time?), then this one will fit quite well. It’s subtly done, shows a great deal of historical research, and doesn’t go over the top in the slightest. Strongly recommended.
The Kindle Edition is $9.99
Night Pleasures – Sherrilyn Kenyon
This is an early installment, if not the first, in Kenyon’s popular supernatural romance series. The underlying conceit is that vampires are real, originating in a conflict among the greek deities, and that some of the greatest (and most handsome) heroes in history have been recruited to be the super-powered immortal protectors of humanity against them.
Once these heroes agree, their jobs are their lives until such time as they manage to find true love. Seems like a great deal at the time, I’m sure, but after a few hundred years it gets old, setting the stage for all sorts of action, romance, and drama.
The Kindle Edition is $7.99
Dracula – Bram Stoker
I questioned adding this one to the list at first. Not because it isn’t a great idea, but because it is free and therefore un-giftable in the usual sense. That said, I think it’s worth pointing out as something worth grabbing, especially when buying for a kid who finds the usual “classics” to be more than a little but boring or unapproachable.
Let’s face it, this is where it all started as far as the Vampire craze. Everybody has heard of it, but how many people have gone further than seeing the movies? It’s a good read, even today, and will provide an interesting counterpoint to the popular conception of everybody’s favorite form of undead monster.
The Kindle Edition is FREE
Hopefully this opens up some ideas for you in time to do some good! Kindle lovers definitely provide some great opportunities for last minute buying that don’t involve driving all over town. I know it’s made my life easier, and with luck I’m not the only one. Remember, the person you’re buying for doesn’t have to be a Kindle owner since the apps are everywhere these days! As always, if you have any recommendations you want to share, let me know and I’ll see what I can do!
Once again, we have some last minute gift suggestions for the Kindle lover in your life. We’ve got some old favorite, some new ones I’d never heard of before, and a good time all around. Here you go, and I hope you find them both useful and enjoyable!
The Autobiography of Santa Claus – Jeff Guinn
This is a somewhat interesting holiday read bringing some history, some myth, and some imagination together to make an account of Santa’s “life” so far. There are some criticisms that I can see the validity of when it comes to the exclusively Christian bent on the whole Santa thing, but to get really upset you’d have to be taking it seriously. Taking fictional autobiographies seriously is bad, right?
Anyway, doing my best to avoid giving away the story, readers can expect reindeer, an impressive array of historic figures, lots of magic, some information about the usefulness of chimneys, and much more. If you like a fairly light read, perhaps with the kids, I’d say you can’t really go too far wrong here. The history seemed just a little bit spotty, personally, but it’s loads of fun.
The Kindle Edition is $10.99
World of Warcraft: The Shattering – Christie Golden
Normally, I’m not a fan of novelizations of games and movies. They just tend to feel…half-baked somehow. This one comes across as a little bit of a surprise, though. I won’t claim that it’s among the best books I’ve ever read, as a book, but it was impressively thorough and well written.
Now, what makes this really stand out is the World of Warcraft association. This is the most popular video game…well, ever, I suppose? Chances are good that you, like me, know at least a few people who play at least as a guilty pleasure from time to time, if not regularly! I’m told that the storylines in this add impressive depth to the new and amazingly popular expansion pack to the big game that really make it worth the investment.
The Kindle Edition is $12.99
Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris
This one actually got multiple hits on my recommendation request, so I jumped on it and read it right away. I think that it might be an acquired taste? Seriously, though, it’s a vampire romance book. If that combination of words works for you, this is the book you want. Same goes for if you or somebody you know is a fan of HBO’s True Blood series, since it is based rather closely on these books in the first place. I’ll admit, it would never have occurred to me to name a vampire Bill, so it’s got that going for it!
It’s the story of a down to earth, but somewhat unusual, woman living in a version of the United States that has just started legally recognizing vampires as citizens, and her adventures. It’s also the start to a fairly long and popular series that I’m told only gets better as you keep going. Definitely seems like a good one for the romance lover you’re buying for.
The Kindle Edition is $6.99
That’s what I’ve got so far! Keep ‘em coming and I’ll try to keep up. Hopefully, this will give some ideas to help make the most of the shipping-free gifting option that the Kindle makes possible.
I think it has been established by a lot of people that the chances of the Kindle, or any kindle-like device, eliminating the paper book are slim. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, but it adds a certain element of uncertainty to the book purchasing decision. Do you want to have something to put on your shelf? Something that you can crease and write in and pile up with a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day? Or would you rather always know that you can have your book at the push of a button? Sometimes it’s just nice to know that wherever you go you can have a huge selection of books to choose from without destroying your back carrying around a whole library.
It tends to come down to a personal decision based on preference, price, and the nature of the book in question. I wouldn’t mind spending an extra few dollars for that first edition hardcover from an author I like. Maybe I’ll never get around to having it signed or anything, but it’s nice to see it on the shelf and there’s something to be said for having something you care about right there in your hands. When my options are eBook or Mass Market Paperback, though, the choice swings the other way pretty abruptly.
This becomes significantly more complicated, of course, when it comes to giving gifts. We all know people for whom books always go over well, but it’s getting hard to decide if the fact that somebody really likes their Kindle is grounds for not providing a physical copy to unwrap and open. It feels almost anticlimactic to say “Hey, I got you something! Check your email to unwrap it!”, but if the person you’re gifting at is an eBook fanatic or doesn’t have much space for dead tree products, it would seem to make more sense at a glance. How do you decide?
For me, a lot of it comes down to the person and the circumstances of gift giving. Do they travel a lot or commute daily? eBook. Will I be there for the unwrapping or is this a distance-bridging gift exchange? If I’m not there to hand it over, eBook. No more impersonal than an Amazon box in the mail. If, on the other hand, this is a family gathering sort of thing, paper is the way to go. The nieces and nephews won’t be too happy, at least in my family, with something intangible.
Now that we can be fairly certain that the eBook is here to stay, I would say there’s no harm in throwing the occasional bit of Kindle media out there, if you think that it will be enjoyed. Worst case scenario, the recipient can always choose to take that gift card for the value of the eBook rather than accepting the gift. If you get really lucky though, you might just introduce somebody you care about to a whole new assortment of reading options to enjoy.
As I’m sure at least some of us have observed by now, the holiday season is upon us. Jingles are jingling all over town, lights are popping up in many a neighborhood, and you can no longer approach a shopping mall without a certain sense of trepidation. As in the case of the Amazon Black Friday Deals, use of the internet(and in this case specifically the Kindle Store) can save you loads of hassle. We reported a while back that it was now possible to send out any Kindle eBook as a gift so long as the intended recipient has a valid email address. Seems like a great way to avoid the crowds, if somebody you care about happens to like their Kindle.
Here’s a couple that struck me as good places to start, given the people I have to buy for this year:
Storm Front – Jim Butcher
This series, The Dresden Files of which this book is the first, took me by surprise. I’m told that Butcher has an impressive following these days, but I was only turned onto him recently by a friend.
It’s a fun mix of urban fantasy and detective fiction set in modern day Chicago. Just this first book dishes up sex, drugs, demons, vampires, mob bosses, angrily overworked police, and even a life or death car chase of sorts. You can tell that the author was still figuring some things out in this first book, but it would be a hard book to dislike. This one’s going to my younger brother, who claims he “isn’t into reading” and just got his Kindle for the internet utility and its usefulness as a storage space. I think i can turn him around.
The Kindle Edition is $9.99
Lamb – Christopher Moore
Chances are good that you’ve heard of this book before. At least, many of the regular readers I know seem to have at least had it recommended at some point. There is a reason for this! A good book will often get a chuckle out of me from time to time. This book had me laughing so hard that I had to catch my breath. This was a regular occurrence!
Yes, this is a book about Christianity in its way. As such, it will upset some people by default. Others, specifically a certain type of Christian, will see it as offensive if they choose to take it literally. To these, I say that it is fiction, it is hilarious, and I can’t think of a single person I know who won’t be getting a copy whether they think they’ll like it or not.
The Kindle Edition is $10.99
All this is predicated on the assumption that your gift recipients have the ability to read eBooks, of course, but if they don’t have a computer, cell phone, tablet, etc, maybe they need a Kindle device more than they need the books, eh? Anyway, for a lot of people this time of year is where you get your best chance to share your favorite reads with the people around you. Not a year has gone by since I was a kid when I haven’t given and received dozens of books. If you are similarly inclined and perhaps interested in sharing some quality Kindle reading material, drop me a line.
If I get some good responses, I’ll do what I can to spread the word. I can’t promise that every book recommended will be read or reviewed, but I will do my best to get through at least a book a day for the next month or so. Just please, no Tom Clancy…