Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Last week, as I was buying a few discounted ebooks on Amazon, I thought to myself: wouldn’t other people want to know these ebooks are on sale? Yes, they would, I replied. What smart ideas she has.

Lots of crappy books are on sale every day on Amazon. Well, I guess “crappy” is subjective. But amidst the dross you can find some really good books. My plan is to share what I find with you every week, maybe on Saturday mornings, we’ll see. But we all know that good intentions don’t always pan out so, warning, I may fall down on the job.

On the Bookshelf: Ebook Sales

As of earlier today, these ebooks were marked down but act quickly if you want a bargain. Check out last week’s ebook sale list too—some of those books may still be on sale.


Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid ($1.81)

I heard the author of a different Georgian cookbook interviewed on one of my cooking podcasts and the food sounded amazing, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.

ebooks on sale - Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin


Ulysses by James Joyce ($1.89)

I read War & Peace last year—and it was excellent, five stars—so why not tackle this one too. I held out for the Oxford World’s Classics edition to go on sale.

How to Read (and Love) James Joyce’s Ulysses: The Least You Need to Know by Kenneth Davis ($2.99)

But I’m no fool, I’m going to need help so I bought this too.

The best of Muriel Spark is on sale right now. One of Scotland’s finest writers, Spark achieved fame with the publication of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1961—which, unfortunately, isn’t on sale. Catch these $2.99 deals while they last.

Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie ($1.99)

“This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel follows two American academics in London—a young man and a middle-aged woman—as they each fall into unexpected romances.”

The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago ($2.99)

“A proofreader realizes his power to edit the truth on a whim, in a ‘brilliantly original’ novel by a Nobel Prize winner.”

No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym ($2.99)

“Barbara Pym is the twentieth-century literary heiress to Jane Austen, praised by the Huffington Post as ‘the thinking girl’s romance writer.’” “Three lonely people come together in this poignant and witty novel of thwarted dreams, scandalous secrets, and star-crossed romance.”

Journey to Munich: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear ($2.99)

Isn’t there a new Maisie Dobbs show on one of the networks or Netflix? Here’s a taste, the only one in the series on sale.

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown ($1.99)

“Based loosely on the life of a real English witch finder named Matthew Hopkins, the story is narrated by his sister, Alice, who, pregnant, must return to her brother’s household in the village of Manningtree after the death of her husband in London. As Matthew’s ward, Alice can only watch as her brother’s behavior spirals into fanaticism and cruelty.”

A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher ($1.99)

“At a Manhattan planetarium in 1965, ten-year-old Enzo is whisked away from his adoptive aunt, Mala. His abductor turns out to be a relative: his great-uncle Junius Samax, a wealthy gambler who lives in a converted Las Vegas hotel surrounded by a priceless art collection. In Samax’s magical world, Enzo receives a unique education and pieces together the mystery of his mother’s life and the complicated history of his adoption.”

The Black Rose by Tananarive Due ($1.99)

Based on a true story: “Born to former slaves on a Louisiana plantation in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker rose from poverty and indignity to become America’s first black female millionaire.”

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton ($1.99)

“The unforgettable story of two outsiders—a lonely scientist in the Arctic and an astronaut trying to return to Earth—as they grapple with love, regret, and survival in a world transformed.”

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh ($1.99)

I read this one for book club and remember liking it. “The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience…for Victoria Jones…after a childhood spent in the foster-care system…she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life.”

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow ($1.99)

“This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society’s ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.”

An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King ($1.99)

“China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. ‘An Excess Male’ is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a state that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.”

ebooks on sale - second-hand book seller in Paris


The New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement by Lindsey Tramuta ($2.99)

I heard this author on a cooking podcast and was happy to discover her book on sale. I miss Paris. Jim has no desire to go so I’ll probably visit again without him some day.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rimes ($1.99)

People love this book, so we’ll see. “The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life.”

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West ($2.99)

Named a best book of the year by many: “an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can’t be funny.”

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala ($1.99)

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, the author lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in a tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North by Blair Braverman ($1.99)

“A rich and revelatory memoir of a young woman reclaiming her courage in the stark landscapes of the north.”

My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth by Wendy Simmons ($1.99)

“Wendy shares a glimpse of North Korea as it’s never been seen before. Even though it’s the scariest place on Earth, somehow Wendy forgot to check her sense of humor at the border.”

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston ($2.15)

“First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, [a] candid, funny, bold, and poignant autobiography, an imaginative and exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.”

House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest by Craig Childs ($2.99)

We spend time most years hiking somewhere in the red rock country of Utah or Arizona—Anasazi land—and have been lucky enough to see their art and buildings, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a World of Revolution by Daniel Mallock ($1.99)

“The story of the greatest friendship in American history and the revolutionary times in which it was made, ruined, and finally renewed.”

American Jennie: The Remarkable Life of Lady Randolph Churchill ($1.99)

“Brooklyn-born Jennie Jerome married into the British aristocracy in 1874, after a three-day romance. She became Lady Randolph Churchill, wife of a maverick politician and mother of the most famous British statesman of the century.”

When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys by Thomas Maier ($1.99)

A “history of the deeply entwined personal and public lives of the Churchills and the Kennedys and what their ‘special relationship’ meant for Great Britain and the United States.”

Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship ($2.99)

An exploration of “the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II.”

The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency by Kathryn Smith ($1.99)

The story “of arguably the most influential member of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, FDR’s de facto chief of staff, who has been misrepresented, mischaracterized, and overlooked throughout history…until now.”

The Women Who Wrote the War: The Riveting Saga of World War II’s Daredevil Women and Correspondents ($1.99)

A “portrait of Margaret Bourke-White, Martha Gellhorn, and over ninety other female reporters,” “many of whom left comfortable lives behind to chronicle events on the battlefields of Europe and Asia during the Second World War.”

You can see how I rated the books I’ve read recently on my Goodreads “Read” shelf.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you!

 Photo of the Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin by David Iliff, Wikimedia Commons, license: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo of the bouquiniste, second-hand book seller, in Paris near the Cathedral Notre-Dame of Paris by Behn Lieu Song, Wikimedia Commons

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