The land of the free (and the no additional cost): 20 things to read/watch/hear

The land of the free (and the no additional cost): 20 things to read/watch/hear

Today (July 4th) is the 241st “birthday” of the United States of America.

I wanted to do something to observe that, but also tie it into something that would be fun and helpful for my readers. To celebrate the “Land of the Free”, I thought I’d list 20 things that are available through Amazon that are free or no additional cost.

By “no additional cost”, I mean that you may already be paying something for a subscription (I’ll explain that below), but reading/watching/hearing these will not cost you anything over that amount.

Some things are simply free to anybody who has an Amazon account…I’ll designate those as “free to all”.

I would guess that the majority of my readers have

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

You may have gotten it mainly for the free shipping, in which case the ability to borrow these items really will seem free. However, it’s possible that the Prime Video, or Prime Music, or

Prime Reading (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has influenced your decision to get or keep Prime.

I’ll mark that as AP for “Amazon Prime”.

People typically pay $99 a year for Prime.

While there are other possibilities (including the KOLL: Kindle Owners’ Lending Library), I’m only going to use one more designation in this listing: KU, for

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The typical price for KU (Amazon’s book “subser”…subscription service) is $9.99 a month (although it is on sale right now for “Prime Day”).

Anything in Prime Reading is, I believe, also in KU.

Please note that these are free or no additional cost at the time of writing (and I’m starting writing this on July 3rd Pacific Time), and that may have changed by the time you see it. Please check the price before you click, tap, or eye gaze (the last in Virtual/Augmented Reality) that Buy button.

Finally, what are the criteria for conclusion? Just stuff that catches my eye. 🙂 I’m often surprised at what is available this way. I’ve thought about it: could someone be culturally literate in the USA only through Amazon FONAC (Free Or No Additional Cost)? Well, until they have the 1977 Star Wars, the answer is no. 😉 However, there are some classics here that everybody knows.

I’ll make a comment about each one…even though some of them probably don’t need anything. I’ve either already read/seen/heard them, or there’s some reason to suggest them:

Here we go:

  1. Movie (AP): Star Trek Beyond (the latest movie in the Star Trek series, it was the 16th highest grossing movie in the USA in 2016. We have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, and it feels to me like video streaming is becoming the paperback of the movies…popular releases come out a year later in a smaller, cheaper format) | without Prime (buying not borrowing): $9.99
  2. Book (AP): Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (I know, I know…I mention this probably every time I talk about Prime Reading/KU, but it’s amazing! The book just celebrated twenty years since the original publication of the British edition ((with a slightly different title, and some changes to language)), and I believe this series will be read 100 years from now, as The Wizard of Oz series is still read today) | without Prime: $8.99 (the other original books are also available FONAC)
  3. Book (AP): She Can Run (She Can Series, Book 1) by Melinda Leigh (ranked 152 paid in the Kindle store at time of writing, with 4.3 stars out of 5 and 1,470 reviews…this is the first book of six by a bestselling romance author) | $4.99 to buy
  4. Book (free to all): Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle (simply brilliant, and Holmes is a very contemporary character, even today. I wrote my own Holmes parody in this blog…A Kindle Abandoned)…I also publish these one short story or chapter a day in 221B Blog Street, but this way, you could binge it 😉
  5. Movie (AP): The Wizard of Oz (1939) (Yes, this is the Judy Garland version…”Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more…”) | $9.99 to buy in SD
  6. Magazine (AP): Entertainment Weekly (June 16, 2017 issue) (the Mary Poppins remake is the cover story) | $4.99 for the current issue (not this one)…and they have an incredible deal of $10 for a one-year subscription right now!
  7. Album (AP): Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) | (hottest ticket in town!)
  8. Album (AP): Rumors (Fleetwood Mack): (released in 1977, it’s one of the best selling albums of all time, and includes “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way”)
  9. TV Series/Movies (AP) : Star Trek: The Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, the original crew/Next Gen movies, the Animated Series, Enterprise…it might not quite be a five year mission to watch all of these, but it would take a long time!
  10. Book (free to all): The Complete Works of Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility…)
  11. Album (AP): Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (and Abbey Road and the White Album and…)
  12. Book (AP): Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman (New York Times bestselling non-fiction)
  13. TV series (AP): Orphan Black (intense fandom is around this series, and remarkable acting performances. Note that the first episode…um, includes a Not Safe For Work scene that might otherwise surprise viewers)
  14. Movies (AP): 2016’s Best Picture Oscar nominees (Moonlight which won, Manchester by the Sea)
  15. Magazine (AP): National Geographic (June 1 issue)
  16. Most read books per Amazon Charts (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (AP): The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan, Beach Lawyer by Avery Duff, Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner (note that this is not in order, but they are all in the top 20 right now…Harry Potter books are also in that group)
  17. Nostalgic “kids” TV/movie shorts (AP) (Cartoon Classics, The Best of the Three Stooges in Color…I’m not a fan of “colorizing” black and white movies but this is a good set of five including Disorder in the Court…note also that there may be things in the cartoons and the Stooges which are not considered politically correct today)
  18. Movies (AP): recent smaller highly-rated movies (Mr. Holmes, What We Do in the Shadows, Captain Fantastic)
  19. Music playlist (AP): Echo Favorites (this is sort of like the Most Read Chart for Echo listeners…it’s overwhelmingly contemporary, but not necessarily this week…and outside of that, somewhat eclectic, which I like: Girl Crush, Fight Song, All About That Bass, Ask Me How I Know, Chandelier…interesting what people ask to hear, and I wonder how much of it is sort of a personal soundtrack, asking for a particular song to fit a particular moment)
  20. Kindle Singles (AP) (when I think about summer reading, one of the things I consider is reading short pieces, like magazine articles…there are 101 Kindle Singles listed right now in Prime Reading)

Well, that’s twenty! I actually considered doing 241 when I started this, and while that would have been easy, it would have taken a long time to do and a long time for you to read! I feel like I’m leaving out so many things! Feel free to make more suggestions to me and my readers by commenting on this post. I notice I didn’t do any that were KU and not Prime Reading…maybe next year. 🙂 Here are some links to help you with more discovery:

Enjoy your Fourth!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 
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