by Rick Broida December 20, 2016 4:00 AM PST @cheapskateblog
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Much as I love podcasts, especially those that strive to make you a more awesome person, nothing beats a good audiobook. I can think of no better companion on a long drive, flight, train ride or whatever -- especially when it's free.
What's this? Free audiobooks? It's true. Yours truly had a little tete-a-tete, a little meeting of the minds, with the good folks at Audiobooks.com, and came up with this exclusive deal: two free books of your choice plus two free Christmas books, all when you sign up for a trial subscription and use promo code CNETDEALS.
The free Christmas books: no less than "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," narrated by the delightful Walter Matthau, and "The Night Before Christmas," narrated by Jeff Bridges. Yes, they're both pretty short, but perfect for this time of year. Note: These titles will appear in your account within one business day after you sign up.
As for the other two, they're entirely up to you. Audiobooks.com may not have quite as extensive a library as Audible, but there's no shortage of great titles from renowned writers. (Quick recommendation: "The Girl on the Train," by Paula Hawkins. Fantastic audiobook.)
Because this is a subscription service, you'll need to provide a method of payment -- even though you won't be charged until after 30 days. You can cancel if you decide to, but Audiobooks.com offers very competitive pricing: $14.95 per month for one book per month, plus members-only discounts on additional titles. The mobile apps (for Android, iOS and Windows Phone) also afford access to over 6,000 free titles.
So, yeah, this is a pretty great trial. Just take note that the four-freebies offer ends Friday, so don't wait too long to sign up! And if you have your own audiobook recommendations to share, by all means do so in the comments.
Bonus deal: Ah, Pebble, we hardly knew ye. The recent acquisition/shuttering of the company has been a bum deal for not only users, but also third-party accessory makers. One of them, Nomad, is doing something cool: giving away a Pebble accessory for just the cost of shipping.
Specifically, you can get a Nomad Pebble charging adapter for free; you pay only a $4 shipping charge. There's a limit of two per person, but shipping is the same regardless of quantity. Nomad offers a key-shaped charging cable for the original Pebble and two key chain-friendly charging adapters for the Pebble Time -- one for micro-USB, one for USB-C. Both were originally going to sell for $14.95.
If you're planning to squeeze every last minute from your Pebble, or think you might scoop one up on sale, you might as well grab one of these. Nice move on Nomad's part; I applaud it.
Bonus deal No. 2: Want to know one of my all-time favorite toys as a kid? A radio-controlled car. Think you know a kid who'd feel the same? Today only, Techrabbit has the Parrot Mini Drone Jumping Sumo for $60 when you apply CNETMD10 at checkout. That price includes free two-day shipping, meaning it'll arrive in time for the holidays.
Originally $160 (!), the Jumping Sumo isn't your average drone: It doesn't fly. Rather, it rolls on two wheels, controlled by your phone or tablet. A built-in camera feeds ground-level video to that screen. Oh, and it can jump up into the air.
I played with one of these things when it first came out; it's really fun. In fact, some mean teenagers took it away and had even more fun with it. Because, seriously: a radio-controlled rolling vehicle that streams live video? What's not to love?
This is new, not refurbished, and therefore comes with a one-year warranty. Teenagers notwithstanding, I think it'd be great fun for younger kids who maybe can't operate flying drones.