Spotify Word: Stream audiobooks, podcasts poetry and more for free

If you are looking for free audio content, Spotify’s Word genre offers a diverse of spoken word materials, podcasts, audiobooks, poetry , short stories and more.  Right now the collection is somewhat small, but is growing.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find:

  • A collection of public domain audiobooks including works like The Great Gatsby and The Secret Garden.
  • An interesting selection of poetry, including readings by Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost and W.B. Yeats.
  • A diverse literature and short story selection, ranging from Dickens to Russian and French literature.
  • Radio dramasand spoken word performances in crime, sci-fi and vintage categories. (There’s even an selection of audio dramas from the sci-fi classic, Blake’s 7.)
  • A collection of speeches, including famous speeches by Martin Luther King, Joseph Campbell and Noam Choamsky.
  • Want to learn a foreign language? There are lessons in audio courses in Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese and even Irish.
  • There are also playlists for self-help, spirituality and guided meditation

All of this content is available on Spotify’s free tier. The only downside is that while Spotify allows ad-supported on-demand listening for free on desktops and tablets, the service is shuffle only for smartphone users on the free tier. If you want to take full advantage of the content on your phone, you will need to be a Premium subscriber.

As audiobooks and more spoken word content continue to rise in popularity, the addition of  the Word genre is a big plus for Spotify. What do you think?

Apple does audiobooks: Great First Listens for free

Audiobook lovers, Apple Books wants you! This week, they are offering up a collection of six free audiobooks called Great First Listens. The books are all classics in the public domain and all have celebrity narrators

The six titles are: .

I have to confess that I downloaded all of these! While I enjoy audiobooks in general, I particularly love hearing beloved classics turned into audiobooks. Language constantly grows and evolves and many of the books we consider classics have a much more formal feel than today’s writing styles offer. I think classics thrive as audiobooks because the narration tends to make the stories even more accessible to the modern listener.

Any of these strike your fancy?

Kindle First Books for September 2017

Every month, Amazon allows Prime members to download one upcoming book from one of Amazon’s imprints for free. Everyone else can purchase one book for $1.99. The books are chosen by Amazon’s editors. (These deals are for US customers only.)

This month’s books are:

The Naturalist (The Naturalist Series Book 1) by Andrew Mayne – Thriller

Mad City: The True Story of the Campus Murders That America Forgot by Michael Arntfield  – True Crime

The Designer by Marius Gabriel – Historical Fiction

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll – Suspense

A Beautiful Work In Progress by Mirna Valerio – Memoir

Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa – Literary Fiction

Previously, Amazon would allow you to download a second upcoming title for only $1.99. While that offer is no longer available, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, all of these books will be available to read for free when they are released on October 1, 2017 as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Prime members can also sign up to receive a monthly e-mail announcing new Kindle First picks.

Daily Links and Deals: Bookstagramming: It’s a thing

daily_links_1Today, a look at an the notion of posting book pictures on Instagram. Also, a lawsuit over manipulative upgrades to Windows 10, what Comcast thinks about streaming and a glimpse of how seductive (and dangerous) free Wi-Fi really is. In deals, Rock Band 4 bundles and savings on headphones.

Daily Links for Friday, July 29, 2016:

Comcast’s Still Not Sure There’s Any Money In This Whole “Streaming” Thing (The Consumerist) It seems abundantly clear that Comcast doesn’t get the whole streaming and cord-cutting thing….

Florida men sue Microsoft over ‘coerced’ upgrades to Windows 10 (Computer World) Is this going to have the impact of the Internet Explorer case? This will be an interesting one to watch.

Bookstagramming: It’s a thing (Crain’s Chicago Business) Even people who only read ebooks (like me) like pretty pictures of books. What’s not to love? PS: It doesn’t necessarily indicate digital fatigue.

The dangerous cost of ‘free’ Wi-Fi  (PC World) It might surprise you to see just how willing people are to contact to a free Wi-Fi spot….

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Bringing Delaney Home (A Cates Brothers Book) by Lee Kilraine.

In Today’s DealsRock Band 4 – Band In A Box Bundle and select AKG Over the Ear and JBL In-Ear Headphones.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Reawakened by Colleen Houck. The Romance Daily Find is Sit, Stay, Love by Dana Mentink.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Everything I Left Unsaid A Novel by M. O’Keefe. The Extra Daily Deal is Radio Shangri-La
What I Discovered on my Accidental Journey to the Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm.

Google Books has a selection of Hot Book Deals.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Tor.com starts ebook club, offers free book monthly

three-bodyScience Fiction publishing imprint Tor has announced the start of a book club for SF/F ebooks. And to make it really, really easy for you to join in, they are giving away a free ebook every month.

The new program started July 11 and the first book is Hugo and Nebula Award nominated The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu. Books are available in both mobi and epub formats. The book is a free download through July 17, 2016.

This is a good value. :)The Three-Body Problem is currently $9.99 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. And FYI: All of Tor’s books are DRM free so they should be readable on any device that reads mobi or epub files.

You can participate in book discussions on Tor.com, The next new book will be available August 1, 2016.

The fine print: This offer is only available in the US and Canada due to territorial restrictions. You must sign up for the Tor ebook club newsletter to participate. Even if you already receive the regular Tor newsletter, you still have to sign up separately for the ebook club list in order to get the link for the free book.  Each book is available as a free download for only one week.

For more info or to sign up for the newsletter, see Tor’s ebook club page here.

Free Microsoft Ebooks (2016 Edition)

ms_booksIt is that time of year again. Every year, Microsoft’s Eric Ligman, Director of Sales Excellence, offers free Microsoft ebooks on his blog. The books offered come from various authors and publishers and consist of tech books, how to resources and reference guides for Microsoft productls.

Titles are mostly PDFs with some EPUB, MOBI, Zip, and DOCX formats as well. Formats vary according to title. Topics include:

  • Windows 10
  • Office 365
  • Office 2016
  • Power BI
  • Azure
  • Windows 8.1
  • Office 2013
  • SharePoint 2016
  • SharePoint 2013
  • Dynamics CRM
  • PowerShell
  • Exchange Server
  • System Center
  • Cloud
  • SQL Server
  • and many more….

The giveaway started on July 10 and doesn’t list an end date, so I don’t know how long these will remain free. There is more info on Ligman’s blog here.