Digital Book Bargains for Surviving Social Distancing

Heyo. I hope things are well for you, or at least as well as can be expected in pandemic times. Who would have guessed we’d be living 1918 2.0 when we rang in this new year?

It’s been quiet round the blogs, I know. I’m lucky enough to be an essential worker – my day job is doing tech support for a company that has contracts with several hospitals. Yep, hospitals at the center of the first COVID-19 outbreak in the US. And my partner works in a grocery store. Nerves definitely wracked. It’s been hard to brain over the last six weeks. But Washington State has a sensible Democratic governor who listened to experts and took sensible steps early on, so on the whole we’re faring pretty well. We might even get to spend some time in the parks come summer.

Once my brain was able to switch from survival mode, we’d laid in adequate supplies for surviving quarantine if we got sick, and new routines had been established, I got to reading. And I’m even getting round to book reviews! You can expect some good stuff forthcoming.

Since most of us are still social distancing until May, I wanted to let you know about a few (okay, many) books on sale in the Kindle Store this month that might help you while away the time. I’ll be reviewing them in depth later, but get them now while they’re on sale if they strike your fancy.

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden

This book is basically the perfect eclectic mix for people who like gemstones, jewellery, history, sociology, economics, and snark. There’s even a bit of geology here and there! Highlights include pearl fights in the Elizabethan era, the necklace that helped doom Marie Antoinette, and how the end of feudalism in Japan led to the invention of cultured pearls. There are diamonds, emeralds, glass beads, golden eggs, and watches, and so much insight into human history.

Currently $1.99 on Kindle

Maids, Wives, Widows: Exploring Early Modern Women’s Lives, 1540–1740 by Sara Read

Interested in British history, or how women of the past lived? Treat yourself to this. It covers women of nearly all classes, and shows how they dealt with things like running a household, getting an education, and working for a living. You’ll also learn how they coped with menstruation in an age before pads and tampons, and childbirth before hospitals. There are truly hilarious ideas put forth on the functioning of female bodies by men, and very patient women of the time correcting them.

Read bases as much as she can on the writings of the women themselves. It’s refreshing to hear women’s voices unfiltered through men’s viewpoints.

Currently $1.99 on Kindle; free to borrow for Amazon Prime members
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup

I haven’t finished reading this one, but I’m already going to tell you to buy it. If you love Agatha Christie, poisons, chemistry, medicine, and/or mysteries, you’re going to adore this book. There are fascinating facts about Christie’s life, how mystery writers of the golden age approached their craft, and insight into the poisons Christie used to murder characters. Even a poison as well-known as arsenic seems fresh in Harkup’s hands.

Currently $2.99 on Kindle
No Apparent Danger: The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado Del Ruiz by Victoria Bruce

I’ve reviewed this book. You need this book. If you haven’t got this book already, now is an excellent time to pick it up.

Currently $1.99 on Kindle

Honorable Mentions: here are some books I haven’t read yet, but which look pretty darned tasty, especially on sale.
Influenza: The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic by Jeremy Brown
The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen
End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World by Bryan Walsh
I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi
How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People by D.L. Hughley
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis
Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence by Kristen R. Ghodsee
All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator by Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy
Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People–and Break Free by Stephanie Sarkis
In the Country of Women: A Memoir by Susan Straight
On Spice: Advice, Wisdom, and History with a Grain of Saltiness by Caitlin PenzeyMoog
The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies by Thomas Mcevilley

Image shows a tablet on a bed with a book loaded; the cover is a craggy mountain scene. A black and white tuxedo cat is tucked into a loaf on the pillow beside it.
Misha with ebook.
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Digital Book Bargains for Surviving Social Distancing
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