Hundreds of orbs are sailing through space, moving toward Earth. ETA: six days. Nobody knows what in the open-face hell is going on, but there’s no shortage of speculation and panic. The government has already been caught lying about what they know, and society is on the brink of collapse.

The family at the center of this adventure novel is attempting to get from New York City to a vacation home in the Colorado mountains, where they plan to hole up and hopefully ride out whatever is to come. You might find this difficult to believe, but they encounter quite a few problems along the way.

I read this one a couple of months ago, and had a great time with it. I like how the titular invasion is something ominous and threatening, but not actually happening until deep into the book. And even then… it’s not exactly clear what’s going on.

But there’s always book two… and three… and four. This is the first entry in the so-called Alien Invasion Series, which contains seven books. I plan to read them all, and own most of the novels already. This first installment is free today, and probably tomorrow. Oh, these guys know what they’re doing.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

In Times Like TheseI finished reading this one a few weeks ago, and had a great time with it. As the title suggests, it’s, you know, an adventure story involving, well, time travel.

It begins with a group of friends waiting out a thunderstorm in a dugout, hoping to get their planned softball game in once the rain and wind moves on and becomes somebody’s else’s  problem. But it’s not to be. A power line is knocked loose by the storm and drapes the dugout, blasting our new pals ass-over-tits. When they regain consciousness, something feels a bit off, and it doesn’t take them long to learn the reason. They’ve woken up in freaking 1985!

The novel is a lengthy, fun ride. The characters are likable and real, and there’s no shortage of twists and turns in the plot. Will they figure out a way to return home to 2009? Will they even want to? Along the way they meet plenty of memorable characters,  and encounter any number of compelling situations. It’s highly entertaining. And today it’s free for Kindle. If it sounds like your kind of thing, you won’t be disappointed.

Dead MountainIn February of 1959, in the old Soviet Union, nine college students departed for a challenging hiking excursion and never returned. What rescue workers found has been the subject of more than 50 years of speculation and debate. It’s one of Russia’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

The hikers’ bodies were located in random spots away from their camp, as if they’d scattered in a panic. Some were not wearing shoes, there were various causes of death, and one was missing a tongue. Also, there was evidence that their tent had been slashed with blades from the inside-out.

What circumstances could lead to such a scene? All nine students were elite hikers, with years of experience. Of course, there have been no shortage of theories. The most interesting involve a secret military exercise gone awry, and/or visitors from outer space.

There are several books about this incident, but Dead Mountain appears to be one of the few serious ones. The author traveled to Russia several times, where he examined original documents from the investigation, interviewed relatives of the deceased, and even spoke with a hiker who started out with the group but had to turn back because of illness. He also ventured into the mountains and visited the spot where the hikers set up camp.

I read this book a few months ago, and loved it. You get to know the students and their personalities. You travel with them by train at the beginning of their doomed excursion. Then you take part in the rescue mission. It’s the kind of thing that’ll stick with you. I recommend it highly, at any price. But today it’s $1.99 for Kindle. You simply can’t go wrong.

Please note: At the end of the book the author presents his own theory of what happened. I don’t know if I buy it, but it’s interesting. It also doesn’t detract from the overall story. This is a good one, my friends.

Jurassic ParkI’ve never read this book. I saw the movie at some point, but don’t remember much about it. There’s a good chance I was drunk, but that’s neither here nor there. Didn’t Newman get eviscerated during the first reel? It’s all very unclear to me.

I’ve also never read a Michael Crichton novel. He was super-popular, which was a strike against him in my eyes, back during snobbier times. Plus, his shit was science-heavy, wasn’t it? Funk dat.

But, I’ve heard and read so many people say that Jurassic Park the book is an absolute blast to read, I added it to my Kindle Wishlist somewhere along the line. It feels like two years ago. And today my patience paid off, once  again. I snagged that baby for $1.99.

I don’t know what’s going on with it. It might be a one-day price reduction, so grab it now if you’re so inclined. I’m going to wait for a gray winter day, and get into this thing. Should be fun.

Martian coverIt’s funny how I keep saying “this is not my usual kind of book,” over and over again. Perhaps it’s time to reexamine the definition of my “kind of book?”

In any case, I read this one a few months ago and got all caught-up in it ‘n’ shit. It’s a story about an astronaut mistakenly left alone on Mars. His fellow crew members believed he’d been killed, and were forced to evacuate quickly during a storm. So, when he regained consciousness he realized he was now on his own. On Mars.

It’s a really fun book. The astronaut is the narrator, and is a regular guy with an enormous amount of training. He goes full-Macgyver with whatever equipment he has at his disposal, and is also really sarcastic and funny. This thing is suspenseful and exciting, and also full of laughs.

Another cool thing about it? It was originally self-published. The author was unknown, traditional publishers wouldn’t give him the time of day, and his book is now an international phenomenon. There’s also a movie version coming, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. So suck on that, traditional publishers!

As I type this The Martian is $5.99 for Kindle. You’ll have a blast with it. Here’s the trailer for the film:

Jaws coverI was eleven years old when this book was released, and it felt like all of America was reading it. I saw it everywhere: at bus stops, swimming pools, by the Burger Chef works bar. That doesn’t really happen with books anymore, because we’re all reading on Kindles or tablets, and can’t see covers. It’s too bad, really.

The Spielberg-directed movie was great, of course. Until the very end, anyway, when they blew the shark up. That always bothered me, because it seemed so over-the-top and Hollywood-like. It was the only bum note in an otherwise fantastic flick.

The book is different than the movie. Not completely different, of course, but substantially so. I just read it for the first time a few months ago. It’s good. It holds up, and I enjoyed the ride.

I wonder if the publisher temporarily lowered the price on the Kindle version to $1.99 because of all the shark attacks in the news this summer? It’s a fairly cynical thought, therefore probably right on the money. In any case, if you’re looking for some old-school 1970s thrills, you can’t do much better than this classic.

Hunger Games coverThis is another book I haven’t read yet, but feel fairly confident in recommending. Especially at today’s price of $2.99 for Kindle.

It’s not my kind of thing, generally speaking. I don’t usually go in for swords and arrows, and characters running through the woods in animal pelts. Ya know? But, people I admire rave about this thing, because of the storytelling and writing. So I’ll probably give it a shot some day. It’s sitting patiently on my Kindle, waiting for me.

There are almost 25,000 reviews of this book at Amazon, and the first Harry Potter only has 10,000. That’s a phenomenon, right there.

If you’re interested, now’s a good time to buy. And if you’ve read it, what are your thoughts?