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Apple's secret e-book giveaway

Not happy that iBooks is now a permanent part of iOS? Maybe these eight freebies will help soften the blow.

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Fire up iBooks for freebies from James Patterson and some other well-known authors. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If you recently upgraded to iOS 8 or purchased an iPhone 6, you may have noticed that Apple's iBooks app is no longer an optional download -- it's part of the operating system.

On the plus side, it's now stocked with some free books:

  • "Private," by James Patterson
  • "Pretty Little Liars," by Sara Shepard
  • "The Way of Kings," by Brandon Sanderson
  • "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents," by Julia Alvarez
  • "Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born," by Brandon Mull
  • "Lost in Shangri-La," by Mitchell Zuckoff
  • "Be My Love," by Lucy Kevin
  • "Justice League: Origin," Issues 1-4, by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

So a little something for everyone: fiction, chick-lit, YA, history, comics and so on. You can get any or all of them from within the iBooks app. (If you don't see a splashy promo screen the first time you launch it, just search the store for any title listed above. You can also tap Top Charts and then browse the Free section for these and other, more perennial, giveaways.)

I've heard of James Patterson, of course, and I've read "Lost in Shangri-La" -- a definite page-turner and a great read for guys, especially those who like military history and/or enjoyed "Unbroken."

Incidentally, "Private" would normally cost you $7.99 if purchased for Kindle, while romance novel "Be My Love" isn't even available for that platform. Many of the other titles, however, are also currently free in the Kindle Store, so if iBooks isn't your cup of e-tea, you don't necessarily have to use it.

If you've read any of the above titles, hit the comments and let your fellow book fans know which ones are worth their time.