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Daily Deals: Modern classic literature (or books that might be on...

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal are 25 romances that are $1.99 and under. They are almost all Montlake romances. Lately many of the KDD have been Montlake romances or Amazon published books. Hope Amazon moves away from promoting just their own stuff.

Why We Can't Wait MLKWhy We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr.. $ 3.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Dr. King’s best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963

In 1963, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action.

Often applauded as King’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. The book also includes the extraordinary “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which King wrote in April of 1963.

It occurs to me that I’ve watched several speeches of MLK but I’ve never read a book of his. Obviously I need to remedy this.

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The Sheltering Sky   by     Paul BowlesThe Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The Sheltering Sky is a landmark of twentieth-century literature. In this intensely fascinating story, Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans’ incomprehension of alien cultures leads to the ultimate destruction of those cultures.

A story about three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky explores the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

The positive reviews for this book are pretty incredible and while the book sounds challenging to read, it also seems to offer great rewards. One reviewer said
“A masterpiece of understatement, plot is always secondary to theme in Bowles’ writing; the real changes take place in the minds of the characters who must face an immensity of experience they cannot even hope to understand much less prepare themselves for.”

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty SmithA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Betty Smith was born Elisabeth Wehner on December 15, 1896, the same date as, although five years earlier than, her fictional heroine Francie Nolan. The daughter of German immigrants, she grew up poor in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the very world she re-creates with such meticulous detail in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

“Brooklyn is the small town — but on a gigantic scale — that the New Yorker ran away from,” she wrote. “In jeering at Brooklyn’s mores and ideology, your New Yorker may be trying to exorcise his own small-town background.”

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

I wonder what Smith would think of Brooklyn today.

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Black Boy Richard WrightBlack Boy by Richard Wright. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi amid poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a “drunkard,” hanging about in taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot.

Black Boy is Richard Wright’s powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.

In this once sensational, now classic autobiography, Richard Wright tells with unforgettable fury and eloquence what he thought.

An editorial review wrote “When first published,Black Boy was considered by many to be an angry attack on the racist South because of Wright’s hard-hitting portrayal of the racism he faced, not to mention his already-acquired reputation as a “protest writer.” But the book’s value goes deeper than that: Wright bears witness to the American struggle for the right of self-definition.”

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Violetta Vane
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 12:22:00

    Just a note that having read the Sheltering Sky, it’s definitely a book with beautiful style and gorgeous lyricism. But when when it comes to race, ethnicity and colonialism, it’s kindergarten-level fetishistic Orientalism. Seriously, Rudyard Kipling has more complicated stuff than this.

  2. Carolyne
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 13:05:30

    I found Black Boy on my parents’ paperback shelf as a child and read it–maybe I picked it out because the title made me think it was a book for kids, but then again, I thought all those grown-up paperbacks were mysteriously fascinating and made my way through anything I could reach. It was harsh and certainly unforgettable, something I did need to reread as an adult to understand it. Not an easy read, but definitely recommended.

  3. cleo
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 13:09:09

    Why We Can’t Wait is well worth reading – I read it in college and re-read it almost 20 years later, after Obama was inaugurated in 2009. It was fascinating (also shocking) to see what’s changed and what hasn’t – both since he wrote it and since I first read it. It includes his Letter from a Birmingham Jail – which is still quite powerful, including where he talks about being disappointed with the White Liberal.

  4. Nicole
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 21:56:31

    I am going to spend the rest of the night imagining Betty Smith in 2013 Brooklyn.

    So awesome.

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