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How to Find FREE E-books

Since I love to read, my library is starting to overflow.  Once a year I usually purge and take more current titles (still in pristine condition – usually my fiction books) to the library for donation.

Last year I got an iPad 3 and I have gotten hooked on it’s convenience. During my flurry of app downloading, I found the free Kindle app, but didn’t think I would really use it since I definitely like to kick it  “old school” when it comes to reading:  I want to hold, feel, smell and experience the book in the literal, not digital sense.

That has changed.

It all began when starting an investigation at Amazon.com to see if I would be lucky to find some interesting e-books for free in order to experiment with the Kindle app. (And I absolutely love a bargain!) Did you know you can find a listing of 100 FREE Kindle e-books?  Yep.  Go HERE.  It’s updated daily.  You can also find lists of Kindle e-books for $3.99 or less, and you can search for e-books by category.

Have a Nook?  You can find great e-book bargains HERE.

Since then, I have come across these excellent resources I can recommend for finding e-books for free (or nearly free).  Click on the name to go to their website.

Gospel e-books  (Kindle e-books only)
Book Bub (Kindle e-books only)
eReaderGirl (Kindle, Nook; PDF)
David C Cook Publishers – (Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBook and more)
There are surely more out there, but these sites promote what is current in Spiritual Growth, Inspirational Fiction, and Marriage/Family books.

Although I do not own a Nook, I did find that Barnes and Noble’s The Nook Blog promotes free e-books on Friday

Be sure to follow any available Twitter feeds of free e-book promoters (my first three recommendations are all on Twitter).  It is important to remember that most promoted e-books are only free for that specific day, so if you click on a link the following day, don’t assume that the book is still free.  Look for a $0.00 price before clicking through to the check out.

The great thing about Kindle e-books, even free e-books, is that once you buy, you own them for life.  You can also use them across any device that is associated with your Amazon.com account.  For instance, I have the iPad, but my hubby purchased a Kindle Fire for himself.  We use the same Amazon.com account, so any books I may have “purchased” for free through our account are accessible for his Kindle, and vice versa.

If you don’t have a smart phone, tablet or a Kindle/Nook, no worries!  There are apps for your computer too.  Both Nook and Kindle have apps for your computer, and with Google Play, you can read on the web.

Especially with our tough economy, it can be hard to keep up with a reading habit!  I hope that these e-book hints will help you increase your reading for this year.Some choices for my 2013 reading list will be free e-books that I downloaded in the last couple months.  While I still like to have that actual book in my hand, the digital option is catching on with me quickly!   Knowing that I can download a book and read it at my leisure without ever “unowning” it, plus still have the ability to highlight different quotes and passages, has become more appealing.

Know of a website that offers free e-books?  Please comment and let us know where to find it!  Thanks!

Need Reading Ideas for 2013?

Thanks for visiting again today!   If you are new here, Welcome!  Please take a moment to subscribe to my blog, or click on the icon to follow me on Twitter.

Yesterday I posted nine different ways to get more out of a book.  Today I wanted to share part of my 2013 reading list.  Yes, just “part” of my list, because as the year moves forward, I like the flexibility of adding any newly released books to the stack or a treasure I may find while scouring the shelves at my local library (or Goodwill!)

Like Crystal at the Money Saving Mom, I always make sure that I have a mixture of spiritual growth, business/leadership/productivity, fiction/biography and family/marriage related books on the list.  While it is important to learn, grow and stretch, it is also important to have some fun reading too.

Here’s just the start of my list (not in any specific order) of what I’m planning to read this year.  If you want more information on the book, simply click on the title.

Spiritual Growth:
Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman

Family / Marriage
Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldrich
Grown-up Girlfriends by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver
Becoming God’s True Woman by Nancy Leigh Demoss
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

Business/Leadership/Productivity
Love Does by Bob Goff
Are You Fit for Life? by Jack Graham
Resolved Primer: A Look Into the 13 Resolutions by Orrin Woodward

Fiction / Biography
Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly

My goal is to read 51 books this year.  If you want to keep up with what I am currently reading, check out my reviews or what I plan to read, you can click on the Goodreads widget on the right hand column of this website. You can also click on the “Book Reviews” tap at the top of my blog for a list of posts related to my book reviews.

If you want to see what Crystal is going to read this year, go to this post at her Money Saving Mom blog for even more ideas (she has listed 48!)

Is there a book that you already know you want to read this year?  Please post it in the comments here!

Tomorrow I will have some fun stuff for you — how to get FREE books to add to your reading library!  Be sure to stop by for that!

Nine Ways to Get More From a Book

First of all – Happy New Year to you and thank you so much for visiting!  Please choose to “follow” my blog or subscribe to my Twitter feed.  2013 is going to be an eventful year here at the blog, and you won’t want to miss anything!

The knowledge I am about to share today is not original; I will fully disclose that I “borrowed” this from a must-read leadership book: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. If you have not read this book, or it has been years since you have (perhaps in college when you “had” too), then I highly recommend that you add this to the top of your 2013 reading list.  In fact, it has been a couple years since I have I picked up my copy, so I will read it again too, just to show it’s that important.

The reasoning behind writing this post is two-fold: (1) I realized that it would be a good routine to reintroduce for my 2013 reading list, and (2) I had to start it now so that I would not miss any of the fantastic nuggets as I read “Wonderstruck” by Margaret Feinberg.

Here is my paraphrased and condensed version from Carnegie’s Nine Ways given in the introduction of his book:

1.  Have a deep desire to learn something from which you are about to read.  Don’t read to read; decide at the beginning that you are reading to learn.

2.  Read through each chapter twice. Right, I said, “two times.” This really works!  The first time you tend to read at your faster pace; the second time you will undoubtedly find something you missed before. You may be tempted to move to the next chapter, but wait until you’ve read the current chapter twice, unless you are reading entirely for entertainment.

3.  Stop frequently to think about what you are reading.  Again, don’t read just to read, but ask yourself how you can apply what you are reading.

4.  Keep a highlighter by you at all times so you can immediately mark those things that jump out or are important to remember, or make comments or notes in the margins.

5.  If you want to get a real, lasting benefit from a book, don’t think that reading through the book once will work. Take time throughout the year to go back to your highlights or notes to refresh yourself so it will continually be applied.

6.  “Learning is an active process.” says Carnegie.  We learn by doing, so if you want put into practice what you are learning, then do something about it right away.  Choose one principle you read and find a way to put it into practice that very day.

7.  While Carnegie suggests here to give a family member or colleague a dime (this was 1936!) or dollar  when caught violating a learned principle, I like this approach much better:  Find a reading buddy or accountability partner whom you trust.  This will be your “go-to” person who will promise to work with you and to encourage you as you put into practice what you’ve learned.

8.  Go back and check yourself on your progress.  This is where a journal or day timer (if you aren’t a wordy person) comes in handy to chart your progress daily or weekly.  See where you would like to make improvements and what lessons you are learning.

9.  Keep track of successes! A gratitude journal, conversation over coffee with your accountability partner, or even tweeting or Facebook messaging your success to the author will help you celebrate (and the author will appreciate the encouragement too!).  Buy a new copy of the book and share it with another friend.  Not only will you be inspiring your friend, but you will also begin to grow a community who can work together towards learning new principles, scripture or lessons.

While Carnegie’s list was written with his leadership theme in mind, I know that these principles will help with the majority of non-fiction and inspirational books we are reading today.

Nothing is better than reading.  We are losing so much by spending the majority of free time in front of electronics and forgetting the Classics and those books (past and present) written to help, teach and inspire.  Let’s commit to reading more about successes instead of watching the depressing drama of people on TV.  Let’s decide that we will read more about improving ourselves and helping others succeed instead of watching 24 hour news channel stories that can be so negative.  (I’m not saying that knowing what is going on in our country is not relevant; I am saying that we should not constantly dwell on it, but do something instead!)  Let’s make our New Year’s resolution to read more, and everything else we want to accomplish will more than likely come to pass.

I hope these timeless principles will help you as you choose and read through your 2013 reading list.  No reading list yet?  I will share mine tomorrow, but another fantastic list that can help you get started was shared  by Crystal, the Money Saving Mom.  She blogged about her 2012 “plan to read” list HERE and her Top 20 of 2012 HERE.  (Her whole blog is great!)

More fun reading ideas tomorrow, plus later this week how you can get  titles for your 2013 reading FREE!

To order a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” for only $7.99 for your own library, you can follow this link to place an order through our leadership website. Thank you!!!

Book Review: “His Mighty Warrior”

a mightyThe latest book that I read on behalf of Blogging for Books was a children’s devotional called, “His Mighty Warrior – A Treasure Map from Your King.”  Since this was a children’s book, who better to help me review this selection than my nine year old son, Joshua.  He absolutely loved doing this devotional book!

“His Mighty Warrior” begins each devotion with a letter, many times addressed to “My Warrior” and written as from God Himself, plus a scripture verse and a prayer.  The letters encourage boys to be someone with great character:  how to be courageous, respect rules, handle conflicts and disappointments, choose words, honor others and so many other subjects that are important to boys as they grow up in this day and age.  There are 50 devotions in all, enough to choose one each week of the year.
Not only is the subject matter relevant to boys and well written, it has a wonderfully padded cover book (excellent for gift giving) with wonderful illustrations, drawn to encourage the imagination of boys.  We have found this book to be a great encouragement and useful resource for discussing many topics and issues. 

Book Review: "The Blessing"

This book is definitely on my top ten list!  John Trent, in this revised and updated edition of the book, explains in great detail the importance of giving your child special blessings as they are growing up.  A blessing is a great give of unconditional love and acceptance that can transform the future of your child.  By using the Old Testament story of Jacob receiving the first born blessing from his father Issac, Dr. Trent explains the importance of the blessing and the five elements to understanding the blessing.  Did you not receive the benefit of a blessing from your parents:  Dr. Trent also tells what happens if you missed that important element of your younger years.  I highly recommend this books to parents of children of all ages — it is a vital part of parenting our kids that we don’t want to miss out on!

A bonus to this revised addition is the activities and video clips that you can watch online at TheBlessing.com. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Secrets of the Vine for Women

It’s summertime, and it is a great time to finish more books from my “gotta read” stack!  My two boys and I set aside a minimum of 30 minutes each day to get engrossed in our latest books.  We have all signed up for the summer reading programs at the Bee Cave Public Library, and Josh (my 8 year old) has already completed 400 minutes!  It is fun to pick out books with him and get him interested in the latest books series.  He loves Horrible Harry (by Suzy Kline) and is now starting the A to Z Mystery series (by Ron Roy).  It really is true that when you keep your child reading over the summer, they spend less time getting back into the groove when school starts again.  Matt (14 years old) is also reading several books from our personal book shelves, the latest being “The Compassionate Samurai” by Brian Klemmer.  Matt has learned and matured so much from the books he has read over the past few months — we are proud of him for taking the initiative to read more than just books for entertainment.  As for myself, I have also learned so much from the several books I’ve read lately — more than what I could ever post here!  Parenting, marriage, leadership and biblical training . . . . I am feeling the stretch marks! 

The book I finished today for Blogging for Books is “Secrets of the Vine for Women” by Darlene Marie Wilkinson, which is a small book but with a big message!.  She is the wife of author Bruce Wilkinson, who wrote the first Secrets of the Vine book.  Darlene Marie takes his book further by associating many of the teachings right to women. 

The book is based on John 15, where Jesus states the he is the vine, and we are the branches.  But what exactly was Jesus trying to explain by this example?  If it is hard to understand, it will become more clear as you read the author’s story of the vinedresser and his daughter, and how the vinedresser was able to make his vineyard prosper.  Through her story, we learn about how God is our Vinedresser, Jesus the Vine itself and how God is disciplining, pruning and abiding in us as the branches.  Another plus is the study guide in the back of the book for each chapter.  Although this is a short book to read, it is definitely one to read again while doing the study guide in order to get even more from the book.

I hope this is one book you will add to your “gotta read” stack soon.  Will you please vote for my review at Blogging for Books?

Book Review: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey …

I have read other books by Karen Scalf Linamen, and I appreciate her honesty and heartfelt delivery in her writing.  Her newest book, “The Chocolate Diaries”, that I read for Blogging for Books” is no exception.  She is straightforward, but inserts joy and humor as she relates how she has learned “sweet secrets” along her recent rocky road of life.  I appreciated the inclusion of other uplifiting stories of those who have overcome obstacles and what they did to embrace a sweeter life.  This is an easy read, and a great one for a book club — she includes thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter for discussion (along with a fun chocolate recipe submitted by readers!)  My favorite chapter is #6 — “Eat Chocolate, Write More, Feel Better” where Karen gives some great hints and ideas for journaling that can help you through the rocky and sweeter times of life.