The Dragonflies: The Story of Helicopters and Autogiros 1919-1970 by Yorkshire-born British author Robert Jackson, a former pilot turned prolific author of military & aviation thrillers and history, is his vintage aviation history, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published in 1971 by Arthur Baker Ltd under the title The Dragonflies: The Story of Helicopters and Autogiros. This book covers the history of helicopters in modern times, with a brief overview of early medieval and Renaissance attempts at envisioning this form of flight, and then going on to the actual 20th century development of viable versions of it and various uses (primarily focused on military and search & rescue operations, but also a few chapters for travel and news reporting, etc.) up until the then-present day (circa 1971).
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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Libraries and Enlightenment: Eighteenth-Century Norway and the Outer World by Gina Dahl is her history of the rise in popularity and availability of books about travel and discovery and their impact on society, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Aarhus University Press in Denmark.
This is an accessibly-written academic book about books, specifically the impact that the greater availability of books about things outside of early modern Norway had on the people of Norway, who were able to do “virtual travel” to other worlds by means of armchair-discovering the foreign places and cultures described in said books. While this does concentrate mainly on the availability of and impact of such books in Norway specifically, some of it also appears to cover the greater trend for such travelogue and discovery-type books in the wider world of the Enlightenment, also examining the attitudes expressed by the authors of particular well-known titles and their apparent reception by the popular audience.
Offered DRM-free worldwide through the month of February, directly from the publisher.
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Looking for Strangers: The True Story of My Hidden Wartime Childhood by poet and translator Dori Katz, a Holocaust survivor who is also a professor emerita at Trinity College, is her memoir cum travelogue concerning her childhood spent in hiding during WWII, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is her personal memoir about rediscovering her half-forgotten childhood spent in hiding in Belgium during the war by reconnecting with the persons and places in her life during those years and afterwards as she travels back to them to find out more about what really happened from an adult perspective. The narrative is done in a series of interleaving chapters which jump through time as chapters which follow the author’s period era reminisces are interspersed with the modern-day (circa the 1980s) search for more information and her thoughts about the memories she has uncovered.
Offered worldwide, available through January.
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As a special holiday treat, publisher Open Road Media is making free literally hundreds of ebooks in every genre, for a limited time.
ORM was founded by ex-Random House editors, and has made a specialty of bringing back into print older works by well-known authors in their fields, as well as publishing newer works by them as well.
The freebies in their catalogue includes authors such as Howard Fast (author of Spartacus, the novel which the movie was based upon), Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple, also the basis of a film), Pearl S. Buck (Nobel Prize winner), and many more.
A very brief sampling of the genres and authors available (there’s literally probably something for every taste):
- For non-fiction: history (Walter Lord, author of A Night to Remember, which a film about the Titanic was based upon); political history (Rebecca West); literary & arts criticism (Mary McCarthy); travel writing (Laurence Durrell); cookbooks (James Beard); biographies (Marion Meade); autobiographies (Candy Darling, a celebrity involved with Andy Warhol); author advice (Richard Curtis, a former literary agent)
For fiction: science fiction & fantasy (Andre Norton, Jane Yolen, Robert Silverberg, Poul Anderson, all SFWA Grandmasters); historical fiction (Cecelia Holland); westerns (Paul Lederer); murder mystery novels (Susan Dunlap); suspense thrillers (Geoffrey Household); LGBT novelists (National Book Award-winner Paul Monette, Jane Rule, and more); romance (Elizabeth Chadwick); YA suspense (Caroline B. Cooney); YA fantasy (Bruce Coville); YA horror (Diane Hoh); childrens’ picture books (The Berenstain Bears series)
Offered in the US only, at Amazon only, through December 20th or 21st. Unfortunately, it looks like the promotion was withdrawn early on the 19th. Nice while it lasted, though.
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Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones, a Professor of Geography at the University of Hawaii, is his non-fiction sociopolitical book about the current refugee crisis, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Verso Books.
This is an accessibly-written pop academic title which covers the various recent crises involving refugees, examining the global responses to and underlying contributing factors of, with a special focus on cross-border mobility as related to economic disparity.
Offered DRM-free worldwide, available through midnight GMT on November 19th. ETA: this offer appears to have been quietly extended through the weekend.
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Pilgrimage to Dollywood: A Country Music Road Trip through Tennessee by Helen Morales, Argyropolous Professor of Hellenic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is Cultural Music History Travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of the the University of Chicago Press.
The author is a Dolly Parton fan as well as an academic, and this is based upon her road trip through various country music tourist attractions and artist shrines, giving both her travel impressions as well as the history and background of country music and the cultural impact of genre and the musicians involved. Offered through the month of April, available worldwide DRM-free.
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