AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or modern, 1 non-fiction or speculative—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.
This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of a diversity of authors speaking to readers through short stories and personal experiences, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 8th.
- Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles, read by Guy Lockard, Kim Mai Guest, & Bahni Turpin from publisher Listening Library. An YA anthology of thirteen pieces (10 short stories, a graphic novel, and a 1-act play) about various topics including coming out, coming of age, coping with gentrification and poverty and untimely death, etc. in a variety of genres ranging through from realistic contemporary fiction to adventure to romance.
Hope Nation edited by Rose Brock, read by a full cast, published by Listening Library. A collection of inspirational personal experience essays and life stories from leading YA authors known for their works across various genres, including sf/fantasy adventure authors Renée Ahdieh, Ally Condie, and Marie Lu, contemporary romance authors Nicola Yoon and David Levithan, and many more.
This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.
You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.
Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 8th, available worldwide.
As a special treat to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, two full-length audiobooks are being offered as a special promotion, free for a limited time courtesy of retailer Libro.fm and publisher HarperCollins’ HarperAudio imprint.
The two titles are available through Saturday, April 25th (UPDATE: the freebie period has been extended through Sunday April 26th, Pacific Daylight Time) as DRM-free MP3s (requires account signup with billing address but no payment info), and can also be gifted to your friends’ emails for them to claim later. You can find them by scrolling down Libro.fm’s special promotional page which includes their other charitable sale offers for the event or directly by clicking the titles below.
- On Cats by the acclaimed late German-American poet and novelist Charles Bukowski, read by Roger Wayne, unabridged. A compilation of the author’s literary and personal reflections as well as poetry, written about the various cats encountered throughout his life, as well as the species inspiring him in general
Wanderlust, USA: An Über-Curious Guide to Sassy American Pastimes by German actor, comedian, and YouTube personality Flula Borg, read by the author himself, unabridged. A 6-episode audiobook-original humorous ethnographic travelogue adventure through the US in order to visit and experience the scenes of eccentric recurring cultural events including the Iditarod dog-sledding race in Alaska, Elvis Week in Mississippi, Revolutionary War-era historical reenactment in Lexington and more, and getting to know the history and communities behind them and their enduring popularity.
Offered worldwide through April 25th (at least until midnight Eastern Time, and possibly also Pacific Time), available DRM-free at Libro.fm.
As a special treat to celebrate the United Nations’ annual World Book Day event, 9 titles from assorted countries in various genres of fiction and non-fiction from the exclusive Amazon Crossing and Amazon Crossing Kids translation imprints are being given away, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Amazon.
The selection includes a sampling of international goodies for all ages and genres, from kids’ picture books to literary fiction from award-winning authors as well as genre thriller, romance, and historical sagas, and also true crime and memoir.
All the titles are listed with their Kindle store links @ the special World Book Day promotion page (change your local store as applicable from the provided drop-down; selection may vary by country) and include:
- Out of the Silence: After the Crash by Uruguayan rugby player Eduardo Strauch with Uruguayan-Argentinian author Mireya Soriano, a memoir about his experiences as a survivor of the famous 1972 plane crash carrying his rugby team in the snowbound Andes mountain, which left them stranded for months before rescue
- The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Swedish author Jan Stocklassa, a retrospective true crime recounting of the late bestselling Swedish crime novelist of the acclaimed “Millenium” trilogy’s pre-fame journalistic attempt at investigating Swedish prime minister Olof Palme‘s unsolved murder
- Along the Tapajós by Brazilian author Fernando Vilela, a children’s picture book recounting two siblings’ adventures along a river to rescue their pet tortoise
- Life by the late Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning Chinese author Lu Yao, a 1980s-era retro-historical contemporary literary novel about a stubbornly idealistic young man from a rural village trying to make it in the big city
- The Girl in the Tree by Yudus Nadi Literature Award-winning Turkish author Şebnem İşigüzel, a contemporary literary coming of age novel with f/m romantic elements about two young people in Istanbul during a time of violent unrest and political upheaval
- The First Mrs. Rothschild by Israeli author Sara Aharoni, a Steinmatzky Prize-winning epistolary historical biographical novel with f/m romantic elements about young lovers in starting in a Jewish German ghetto in the 1770s, who eventually rise to found the famous banking dynasty over the course of the ensuing decades, told in the form of the titular character’s journals
- The Price of Paradise by Spanish author Susana López Rubio, an historical f/m romantic saga, about the decades-long forbidden love affair between a young Spanish immigant and a local mobster’s wife, starting in 1940s Cuba
- Your Perfect Year by pseudonymous German author Charlotte Lucas, a heartwarming contemporary literary novel about second chances
- Hard Rain by South African author Irma Venter, 1st in the Rogue series of mystery/thrillers with f/m romantic elements starring a journalist and a photographer set throughout Africa, with this installment introducing to each other on an assignment in Tanzania as one of them becomes a suspect in the murder of an IT billionaire
Offered in most countries worldwide through just before midnight Pacific Time on Friday, April 24th, available at Amazon.
The Mahabharata: Peter Brook’s Epic in the Making by British author Garry O’Connor, a former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company turned novelist, biographer, and theatre critic, is a semi-biographical behind the scenes theatrical creative process memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published in 1989 by Hodder & Stoughton.
The book provides an insider’s behind the scenes look at the creative and practical processes behind the making of award-winning British playwright and film director Peter Brook‘s The Mahabharata, originally a play based upon the ancient Sanskrit Hindu mythological epic which was then turned into television and film, following from start to finish its conception and writing and initial media reception, to the global theatrical tour and subsequent decisions made adapting from stage to film and shooting on location during the 1980s, etc.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Mahabharata: Peter Brook’s Epic in the Making by Garry O’Connor [Indian Myth-Based Theatre & Film Creative Process Memoir]”
Worlds Apart: My Experiences in China (1953-5) and the Soviet Union (1962-5) by the late British author Humphrey Trevelyan, a notable ambassador to many key international diplomatic posts during his long career, is a mid-20th century historical political events cum expat life memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published in 1971 by Macmillan.
This diplomatic career memoir covers Lord Trevelyan’s experiences as the British Ambassador to China in the 1950s after the Communist Revolution, and in the Soviet Union during the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, giving an inside view of both the various tense political situations which his embassy dealt with, as well as travel and everyday life in Peking and Moscow and surrounding regions both in the expat compounds and the local area attractions, with insightful retrospective political analysis of the times and cultures involved.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Continue reading “[Free eBook] Worlds Apart: My Experiences in China (1953-5) and the Soviet Union (1962-5) by Humphrey Trevelyan [20th C Diplomat Expat Travel Memoir]”
Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World by English author Lesley Downer, a former expat in Japan, journalist and historical novelist, is an ethnographic cultural history and expat memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published in 2000 by Headline Books.
The book presents an accessibly-written cultural history cum personal ethnographic memoir of Japan’s geisha—from the predecessors of the profession in the artistically accomplished ladies-in-waiting of the Heian period, to the courtesans of later eras, to the present day—and the various other professions that grew up around supporting them, some passing down the family business through centuries, with the author herself invited to spend several months experiencing the training and daily activities of the geisha in Kyoto while living among them.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Continue reading “[Free eBook] Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World by Lesley Downer [Japan Cultural History & Ethnographic Expat Memoir]”
AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).
This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of the private lives of famous people, available until 7am Eastern Time on July 18th, are as follows:
- Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman, a recounting of the deep friendship between iconic 19th century Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh and his younger brother Theo who supported his artistic dreams, drawing upon their extensive letters to each other; read by Phillip Fox, from Dreamscape Media, available worldwide
- Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld, the first memoir of star basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, covering his childhood days to his early sports career and the various inspirations and influences and his experiences growing up during the Civil Rights era; read by the author himself, from Hachette Audio, available worldwide
Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on July 18th, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).
The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by the late Swiss author Ella K. Maillart, an adventurer, travel writer, and photographer, is a vintage 1930s cross-continental travelogue and memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for June, and was originally published in 1947 by Heinemann and was eventually the basis for the 2001 film The Journey to Kafiristan. The reprint edition contains a new foreword by magazine editor and columnist Jessa Crispin, as well as the author’s own original photographs from the journey.
The travelogue is an account of Maillart’s groundbreaking journey and troubled friendship with fellow Swiss and openly LGBT writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, as they traveled by car from Switzerland through to Afghanistan at a time when European visitors were rare, and the two of them interacted with the locals dealing with various oppressive political and socioeconomic conditions while also struggling with their own personal issues.
Offered worldwide through June, available directly from the university’s website.
Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by Ella K. Maillart [Vintage Travelogue]”
Chinese Diaries: 1941-1946 by the late US-resident British expat author Robert Payne, a notable mid-20th century historian, novelist, English literature professor, and biographer who had actually met and conversed with a number of his famous historical subjects, including Hitler and Mao Zedong, is a memoir cum travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1945 and 1947 in two volumes as Forever China and China Awakes, with this combined reprint edition containing approximately half the original text in this installment
This section of Payne’s personal diaries form a 1940s-contemporary wartime travelogue memoir of his expat experiences leaving Singapore for China as World War II expanded further into the Pacific, taking him from his initial posting at the British Embassy to eventually teaching at universities at Chungking and Kunming in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, and recording his first-hand observations of the effects of the war upon his students and broader Chinese society, as well as his own encounters with the local people and their culture.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Continue reading “[Free eBook] Chinese Diaries: 1941-1946 by Robert Payne [China Expat Travelogue & War History Memoir]”
The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Canadian expat UK-resident author Barbara Taylor, an historian and professor of humanities at Queen Mary University of London, is a retrospective memoir cum history of mental health asylum treatment, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for April, and was a finalist for the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize for best Canadian work of literary non-fiction.
The memoir recounts the author’s decades-long struggle with anxiety, which eventually became severe enough to lead to a stay at the historic Friern Mental Hospital in North London in the 1980s, and the perception and treatment of mental illness in England during a turning point era which led to the closing of many asylums and the changes as their former patients were funneled into underfunded community care to mostly fend for themselves, with limited support available from knowledgeable professionals and loyal friends coping with their own mental health issues.
Offered worldwide through April, available directly from the university’s website.
Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor [Award-Nominated 20th C Mental Health Treatment History & Memoir]”