I was surprised when my husband told me that outdoor retailer REI has had a campaign the last few years to #OptOutside on Black Friday. They don’t open their stores, at all. I’m taking inspiration from them today: I’d rather be reading, and decorating the tree, and making Chex Mix with my kids than shopping. I walked to one local shop earlier this morning, and have a few online purchases I’d like to make, but today my big plans are decorating, coffee, and books.
If you want to do some shopping–gift giving or otherwise–or score a great bookish deal, we are running a sale in the MMD shop.
For the first time ever, classes are on sale for $10 each.
You can take these classes on your schedule, and watch and replay as many times as you’d like. We’ve gotten terrific feedback on all three, and know that each class can make a real difference in your reading life, whether you start today or in the new year. Choose the one that most grabs you, or snatch up all three while they’re cheap.
Our fabulous Leuchtturm journals are buy one, get one half off with the code BOOKMAIL. These are my very favorite journals, whether you use yours for your to-do list, deep thoughts, bullet journal, or reading log.
It’s Black Friday every day
If you’re looking for something to read, we curate a list of the best ebook and Kindle deals almost every day. You can get the latest hand-curated deals emailed to you every day by signing up right here.
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As you can see below, today’s deals are particularly good (no surprise). I hope you find something great to read at a great price. (We post deals every day right here, and recommend you subscribe to the deals email for updates.)
PLEASE NOTE: Amazon says we can’t include prices on our site, but we assure you these prices are solid. (We curate based on U.S. prices; international readers can follow these steps to find deals that will always be valid in their region.) Click here to see all prices in one place, or click through the buy button on each book for details.
This family drama kicks into gear with a runaway almost-bride: when Georgia's fiance reveals a shocking secret, she flees her final dress fitting and drives hundreds of miles—in her wedding dress—to her family's boutique vineyard, The Last Straw. But when she gets home she discovers that she's not the only one who's been keeping secrets. I enjoyed this one from page 1: the storytelling is excellent, and the author explored so many interesting themes about relationships. (I have complicated feelings about how those relationships resolve—which would make this a fantastic book club novel.) The story is set at a small family vineyard in Sonoma County; the title comes from the number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine. More info →
This twisty thriller was a Book of the Month pick for me. I was intrigued by the premise: a travel writer takes an assignment aboard an exclusive luxury cruise ship. Shortly after arriving, she wakes in the middle of the night to the sound of something heavy being thrown overboard. She's sure it's a body ... and yet no one is missing from the boat. She's compelled to figure out what really happened, which puts more than her own life in danger. Strongly reminiscent of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. More info →
In this enemies-to-lovers romance, bridesmaid Olive steels herself to get through her twin sister's wedding, which forces her to spend the day with her sworn enemy and best man Ethan. But when the rest of the party falls prey to food poisoning, Olive and Ethan find themselves on an all-expenses-paid honeymoon trip to Hawaii, determined to leave each other alone—until they are forced into pretending to be newlyweds to save Olive's job. They quickly discover that pretending can be a whole lot of fun. Fun and funny, this one had me fondly reminiscing about my own tropical honeymoon. More info →
See spins a tale of female friendship spanning eighty years, set against the backdrop of history in an incredible setting—the very real South Korean island of Jeju. On Jeju, women are the breadwinners, making their families’ livings by free-diving into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, harvesting seafood to sell, while the husbands stay home with the children. This tradition has gone on for thousands of years, and we see it lived out in the lives of Young-sook Mi-ja. The two girls become fast friends as seven-year-olds in 1938, but their respective marriages take them down different paths, and bring unforeseen tensions into their relationship. (The real historical events woven into the pages make for heartrending reading.) A second storyline, set in 2008, gives readers hints of what may have caused the rift between the girls, but it’s only in the final pages that all is revealed. A fascinating, rewarding story of strong women, little-known history, and human resilience. More info →
Award-winning British novelist Helen Oyeyemi writes bewitching speculative fiction. Her most recent work is reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, in which gingerbread plays a significant role. Perdita Lee and her mother Harriet appear to be your average British school girl and hard-working single mom. But all is not as it seems. In addition to their unique living situation, they make a very special gingerbread. Their fellow Londoners are less-than-enthused with the recipe, but it's a specialty from the country of Harriet's youth, an off-the-map land called Druhástrana. Harriet's long-lost childhood friend loved the gingerbread, and Perdita is intent on finding her. This imaginative novel follows Perdita's journey, and the audiobook narration is lovely. Whispersync narration available. More info →
I've had this for years but only recently dug into it, as lately I've been sitting down with hefty cookbooks and reading them like novels. This is especially easy to do here, because the first half of the book consists entirely of enjoyable stories and explanations about the cooking process, as Samin examines how each of the key elements—salt, fat, acid, and heat—affect a dish. I especially enjoyed the way she drew from her experience at Chez Panisse, sharing stories of kitchen disasters that happened because one of these elements had gone horribly awry. Once you understand the essentials, Samin leads you into the recipes held in the book's second half. This book made me want to get cooking, and the gorgeous illustrations and flavor wheels make it particularly fun. More info →
This is an amazing value on Chirp this month. Chirp offers digital audiobooks that can be listened to on their site or in an app. The ebook is not on sale. I have such fond memories of watching Jeopardy! as a family when I was growing up, and I was deeply saddened by Alex Trebek's passing. His reflections in this volume are sure to be nostalgic and illuminating as he shares anecdotes from over three decades of hosting the show. More than a history of his hosting career, this volume includes Trebek's musings on parenthood, education, and spirituality. In a nod to the show, each chapter title is in the form of a question. More info →
Readers, this book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for forever. If you've read it and loved it, I could use a push to pick it up. Bridie Devine, infamous female detective and supernatural consultant, gets called to work on her most intriguing case yet. Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, possesses mysterious powers that have collectors and curiosity hunters circling. Bridie comes in to figure out who kidnapped Christabel, while grappling with her own complicated childhood experiences. Full of lush descriptions of Victorian London and a heaping dose of Gothic mystery, this ghostly novel makes for an interesting genre mash-up. More info →
Libro.fm is running a sale on several titles this month. They're my go-to for audiobooks these days; read more about Libro.fm here. No membership required for most sale prices, including this one. The ebook is ALSO on sale. From the publisher: "Spring, 1924. Recovering from a broken wartime engagement and a serious illness that left her near death, Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr vows that for once she will live life on her own terms. Breaking free from the stifling social constraints of the aristocratic society in which she was raised, she travels to France to stay with her free spirited aunt. For one year, she will simply be Miss Parr. She will explore the picturesque streets of Paris, meet people who know nothing of her past—and pursue her dream of becoming an artist. A few years after the Great War’s end, the City of Light is a bohemian paradise teeming with actors, painters, writers, and a lively coterie of American expatriates who welcome Helena into their romantic and exciting circle. Among them is Sam Howard, an irascible and infuriatingly honest correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Dangerously attractive and deeply scarred by the horror and carnage of the war, Sam is unlike any man she has ever encountered. He calls her Ellie, sees her as no one has before, and offers her a glimpse of a future that is both irresistible and impossible." More info →