2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

I participated in this challenge for the past two years and was so sad to see the host did not bring it back this year… Until I just found that a different blog is hosting it in 2017! I am so happy! This is just what I needed to stay motivated with my Netgalley reads. I am confident this is the year I will reach that elusive 80% feedback rate.

This year, I plan that at least two thirds of the books I read are from Netgalley. Since I am aiming for a total of 1 book per week that will make my yearly goal 35. I feel confident that I will read more, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself. After all, this is supposed to be fun, right?

If you want to sign up for the 2017 challenge click the image:

 

Let me know if you do!

2017 British Books Challenge

I have found myself reading a lot more British literature lately and for the most part I have been very pleasantly surprised.

I was lucky to find this amazing challenge, hosted by Tales of Yesterday:

 

The goal is to read 12 books in 2017 by either of the following:

– Authors who were born in the UK, live in the UK and are published in the UK
– Authors who were born overseas but are CURRENTLY living in the UK and his/her books were/are being published in the UK first
– Authors who were born in the UK are currently living overseas but his/her books are being published in the UK first

Click the image to sign up and make sure you read all the rules if you want to be eligible for the prize.
Sadly I cannot as I am from Portugal.

I still want to participate in the challenge and am quite excited to do so.

I think I have had quite a good head start! Here are the books I read in January:

Fungoid by William Meikle Scottish, living in Canada.

Fungoid by William Meikle
Scottish, living in Canada.


A Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw, both by Sarah Ward
England

Dreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock, England

Dreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock
England

The Fire Child by S K Tremayne, England.

The Fire Child by S K Tremayne
England

Never Out of Sight by Louise Stone - Born in Africa, lives in England.

Never Out of Sight by Louise Stone
Born in Africa, lives in England

Hope's Peak (Harper and Lane #1) by Tony Heale - England

Hope’s Peak (Harper and Lane #1) by Tony Heale
England

And here are the ones I have read/plan to read in February and March:

Blink by K.L. Slater - England

Blink by K.L. Slater
England

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris - Born in England, lives in France.

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
Born in England, lives in France

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances - England

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
England

The House by Simon Lelic - England

The House by Simon Lelic
England

Little Girl Lost (DI Robyn Carter #1) by Carol Wyer - England

Little Girl Lost (DI Robyn Carter #1) by Carol Wyer
England

And that’s it for now!

Do you enjoy British literature? What genres are your favourite?

What do you think of this challenge? Do you plan to sign up?

Reading Resolutions

Over the past year my reading time drastically stooped due to work and other obligations but reading remains my #1 pastime and so even though I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on me I do find that setting goals helps me stay motivated.

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So here is what I hope 2017 will bring me:

1. Yearly Challenge
I have been reading around a book per week so I decided to set my yearly challenge on GoodReads to 52. Should be doable.

2. Netgalley Challenge
I am so thankful to this site. Thanks to it I have had access to wonderful books that I most likely would not have read otherwise. My long-term goal is to reach that elusive 80% feedback rate but for now I will settle for not getting below 70%.
I also intend to make Netgalley books at least two thirds of my total books read.

3. New Genre Challenge
Last year I read psychological thrillers for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed them.
I tried a couple of general/women’s fiction and liked them as well.
So this year I would like to keep trying to read stuff I normally wouldn’t. I have started with Crime novels and it has been a positive experience so far.

4. Mix it up
I need to read different genres and in various formats in order to prevent the dreaded reading slump. I have found this system works for me quite well, so I will be reading the odd paperback and listening to audiobooks in the middle of my Kindle reads.

5. Take a break
Last but not least, reading needs to be enjoyable so if I feel I need to take a break in order to keep it that way then I will. Sometimes I do need to watch a movie or play Sims or whatever. I find that when I get back to reading I do so with much more enthusiasm.

So those are my new year reading resolutions. My method of writing the review right after finishing the book should remain the same so I don’t expect things to change on that front.

What are your reading resolutions for 2017?

An Old Year Resolution

It’s already mid-November! Is it just me or is this year flying by?

So as you may know I am an avid Netgalley fan.
In fact, most of the books I read are provided by them.

For the last couple of months, my feedback rate has been hovering maddeningly close to 70%. Usually 67 or 68 and a couple of days ago it actually got to 69. However, there are so many amazing titles just waiting to be requested that I simply cannot resist.

Well no more! I vow that before the year ends I will get that rate to 70%. I shall commit to not requesting more books or at the very least to focus exclusively on Netgalley books. I have actually requested several different genres so it should not be a chore.

Who knows, maybe next year I will finally get to 80%, which not only gets you a spiffy new badge but increases your chances of getting accepted.

Wish me luck!

The Versatile Blogger Award

I am late, oh so late!

 

I have not done one of these in ages!
I don’t know her name but thank you for nominating me, Ajoobacat!
You should definitely visit her blog, her reviews are concise and very informative and have helped me on several occasions to pick out my next reads.

Rules:

Show the award on your blog
Thank the person that has nominated you
Share 7 different facts about yourself
Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

Seven facts about me:

1. I am extremely awkward in social settings but I thoroughly enjoy one on one interactions.

2. For the past few months I have woken up at 5ish am regardless of what time I went to bed and just cannot get back to sleep.

3. Some of my happiest moments are spent around nature, just feeling/listening/smelling it or reading as well.

4. Reading is definitely my #1 hobby but it has been increasingly difficult to find a book that sweeps me off my feet.

5. I don’t watch movies or shows on my computer.

6. For several months now I have switched from morning coffee to around 4 cups of tea and have found it makes me feel better and perks me up just as much, not to mention I get the liquids I need and never get otherwise.

7. I cannot recall ever buying an e-book.

15 Blogs I Nominate:

I am picking awesome people who take time to check out my posts and whose blogs I thoroughly enjoy.
So, in no particular order:

1. Sarah @ http://www.sjhigbee.com/

2. Emma @ https://emmathebooklover.wordpress.com/

3. Kim @ https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

4. Rosie @ https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

5. Koeur @ https://koeur.wordpress.com/

6. Paul @ https://photopaulm.com/

7. Nicola @ https://rustandstardustblog.com/

8. Diana @ https://mythsofthemirror.com/

9. Cathy @ https://746books.com/

10. Angela @ https://booksandopinions.com/

11. Loreen @ https://coffeeandcatsblog.wordpress.com/

12. Daniela @ https://bookstogetlostin.wordpress.com/

13. Geoffrey @ https://highteadreams.com/

14. ? @ https://abooknation.wordpress.com/

15. ? @ https://wearevoracious.wordpress.com/

2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

I participated in this challenge in 2015 when I caught word of it and it helped me tremendously in getting through my ever-growing Netgalley list.

This year, I managed to tackle 52 books from Netgalley, an average of one per week! Might not seem like much but there were times when I would just look and nothing seemed to strike my fancy or I would just request or even *gasp* buy a new book even though my physical and e-shelves were bursting.

I went through some pretty terrible books… But I kept digging and ended up finding some gems as well.

So I cannot recommend this challenge enough, it was well worth it.
It can be quite motivational, if you don’t let it overwhelm you and read only Netgalley titles.

So if you want to sign up for the 2016 challenge click the image:

 

Did you participate in 2015? How many books did you read?

Let me know if you will be participating in 2016!

Day 212: Celebrations and Updates

Hey folks!

Since I missed my 6 month anniversary last August 19th, I figured I would make a post about other achievements I got in the meantime today, the 7th month anniversary.
Since the last update, Ana’s Lair got the following badges:

1337 likes!

200 Followers!

200 Followers!

Updates:

– I decided to get rid of the Authors text index in Books page. It is just too time-consuming updating two indexes, so I figured people would rather see the book covers and kept that one.

– The Polls page was pretty useless so I took it out.

– Added a new page: Chats. At the moment, it only features an index of my Random Chats feature posts. If I ever get around to doing other Chats, I will be keeping track there as well.

 

Thank you all who helped Ana’s Lair achieve these marks. It helps keep me motivated to blog.

As always, any and all suggestions are welcomed.

The Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to thank Josie at Josie the Bookworm and Raven at Dreamy Addictions for nominating me for this award.
Their blogs are amongst some of my favourites, and I definitely recommend that you visit and follow them!


The Award


The Rules

1) Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
2) Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post.
3) Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
4) Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.
5) Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night. That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!


Original Post

Click here to view the original post.

Quote from it:

Blogging has changed our world. Like the Internet as a whole, it’s changed the way we communicate, exchange information, and simply how we spend our time. People of all kinds, from nearly any country, of nearly any social or political status, can create a blog and work their way into having a dedicated readership, or just experiment with the freedom it gives. Celebrities, world leaders, your next-door neighbors, ordinary citizens—every single one of us has the chance to be heard. To be part of a global community. This is the blogosphere, the blogging world, and each individual blogger helps to make it what it is.

So, why not celebrate this wonderful thing? No, I’m not talking about a special day, month, or year dedicated to blogging. I’m not even talking about celebrating blogging. I am talking about celebrating the bloggers themselves. Because, without them, such a diverse, free and fun thing wouldn’t exist.

Now, how shall we celebrate? With an award, of course!


About Ana’s Lair

Ana’s Lair began without many prospects. Initially, it was only supposed to be a place where I would post my reviews, which I already put up on GoodReads.

When I got into Negalley, I noticed having a blog could influence whether my requests got approved or not, so I figured, why not?

I was browsing a blog, I don’t know whose anymore, and it was a WordPress blog, so this became my platform out of pure coincidence.

I clicked the sign up button out of curiosity, browsed all the themes, fell in love with this one at first sight and created it just for fun.
Initially, the blog was called MistLuna, as that is usually my nickname online, or just Luna.

Soon enough, I was copy pasting my reviews from GR, but I never really intended to develop the blog much further than that. I didn’t and still don’t have any html skills, which limits me a lot.
Boy, did that change. I found a couple of people willing to help me with the ‘coding’ and then there’s, of course, our best friend Google. In a short amount of time, blogging became one of my favourite things to do, almost as much as reading!

So I changed the blog’s name to Ana’s Lair. It has become my little niche, where I share my opinion about other things besides book reviews. Those are still what you will find here most often but, over the course of these roughly 5 months, my blogging interests have certainly broadened. I also enjoy posting movie reviews, videoclips from time to time, and other random stuff.
I created a new feature called Random Chats to discuss all sorts of things that appeal to me and believe others may enjoy talking about, and am already thinking of new things to implement in the blog.

Most of all, I love sharing my opinion, meeting people from all over the world, and receiving feedback from everyone. I have been lucky enough to only have had kind words posted here. Folks are just so nice!

It has been a blast, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

At times, I am not going to lie, it’s hard work keeping the blog active. Everyone goes through periods where they are just not inspired to write. It is difficult to come up with something. As I mentioned in another tag, the way I deal with that is by writing up rough drafts whenever an idea pops up, work on it over the course of whatever time is required for me to feel good about the post, and publish it when I feel I have not posted in a while.


Advice for New Bloggers

I have only been blogging for 5 months, so am in no way an expert…

There are, however, a few things I would like to mention:

  • Most often than not, beginnings are difficult. It takes time to get views and followers. Do not get discouraged!
  • If you are not blog savvy as me, experiment! Create a draft and play with all the buttons. Don’t be afraid to explore all the options and reach out for people to help you get started. If you don’t know how to do something, ask! Folks are really nice in the blogosphere, someone is bound to come and help you.
  • Reach out to other people. If you take the time to visit other blogs, like, and comment on the posts, sooner or later they will be curious about you and visit your blog as well.
  • Write about what makes you passionate. Never write for obligation. It’s a sure way to make you lose interest.
  • Most of all, have fun! If you have fun while blogging and take the time to connect with people, sooner or later your blog will succeed.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you decide to do this tag, even if I have not nominated you, please post the link in the comment box so I can check out your answers!


My Nominees

  • Geoffrey @ High Tea Dreams
  • Cristina @ Tiny Obsessions
  • Candice @ Wondrous Reviews
  • Cátia@ The Girl Who Read Too Much
  • Amanda@ Amanda’s Nose In A Book
  • Laura @ Snazzy Books
  • Analee @ Book Snacks
  • Yvo @ It’s All About Books
  • Tiffani @ The Book Venom
  • Maren @ The Worn Bookmark
  • Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm
  • Kristi @ Hidden Staircase
  • Tamara @ Orange Pond Connects
  • Daniela @ Books To Get Lost In
  • Nicole @ The Bibliophile Chronicles
  • Reading Habits Tag

    Geoffrey at High Tea Dreams was kind enough to nominate me for this book tag, which I am very excited to do because the questions are right up my alley (at long last!!).
    Go visit his blog and give him a follow, will ya?

    Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
    Yep, my bed! I don’t own a really comfy chair or have any other nook, and I absolutely love to read myself to sleep, so it all works well.

    Bookmark or random piece of paper?
    Always a bookmark. I have many and some are so cute!

    Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?
    It usually depends on how tired I am and long the chapters are. Lately the books I have read have pretty long chapters, so I am unable to finish them when the letters start dancing around. I will however try to stop where I can easily get back on a track, like a clearly marked paragraph, especially if there is an empty line or some sort of a page break.

    Do you eat or drink while reading?
    You will catch me reading while having lunch and dinner fairly often, but if what I need is a quick snack then I will take a break from the book and resume when done, otherwise it’s just too distracting.
    So I don’t really snack while reading or anything of the sort, just main meals.

    Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
    Nope, too distracting. I think just about the only sound I can tolerate is waves crashing on the beach :) Or maybe birds singing. So yes, nature!

    One book at a time or several at once?
    I very rarely read more than one book at a time, unless it’s a different genre and in a different format – audiobook and e-book are the most popular combo.

    Reading at home or everywhere?
    I will read anywhere I can catch a break, but I focus much better when I am home.

    Reading out loud or silently in your head?
    Silently, though I may make some funny faces when I am deeply engrossed – I really wouldn’t know, I have rarely caught myself doing it. I may read the odd sentence out loud, if it is not making sense to me or I am not quite there yet.

    Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
    Heck no. As a rule of thumb I don’t even skim passages. I think I can count by the fingers of one hand the amount of times I have done it, and only because I felt that, if I didn’t, then I would not be able to finish the book because I was just not being able to focus.
    Other than that, I will take as long as I need to finish a book, because I feel that any book deserves my undivided attention if I am going to provide a fair review.

    Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
    I strive to keep my books as pristine as possible.
    That said, I have been known to maybe be a bit forceful on the spine, so I can try and get the book not to close without me holding it because I need my hands to urgently do something else.

    Do you write in your books?
    Never. As I mentioned above, I want to keep every single one as pristine as possible. When I am reading a paperback, I usually have a separate piece of paper or even a notebook where I can jot down my notes.

    And now I nominate…

    Every single person who has not done this tag yet and wants to!
    It’s getting hard keeping track of who’s done what and has not already being nominated!
    So please post your link here if you do it, k?

    Much love <3

    Ode to Netgalley

    Reviews Published

    If you follow my blog fairly closely, you’ll know I absolutely adore Netgalley. They are one of my main sources of books these days, if not the top one.

    I just noticed I got the Top Reviewer badge, which I have been wanting for ages!

    For those who don’t know, the Top Reviewer badge, or the Reviews Published badge, is granted to reviewers whose 3 or more reviews have been added to any NetGalley title details page by a publisher.
    You can see which reviews have been added on your Shelf, under Feedback Sent option. The icon featured in the badge will appear next to the book title.

    If you’re curious, the books in which my feedback is featured are The Box People, The Doll Maker and The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart.

    You can find more information about Netgalley’s badges here.
    Basically, there are a total of 4 badges and, currently, two more I can get (the first one is default, everyone has it): one whenever a feedback rate of 80% is achieved (I will be dreaming for that one for a while…) and the frequently auto-approved badge, if one gets auto-approved by 4 or more publishers.

    I have to admit I like this sort of feature; the badges serve as motivation and you can flaunt them when you hit a goal – like I am doing right now, eheh.

    So thank you to Netgalley for feeding my book obsession and coming up with these things!


     

    Do you have any Netgalley badges?
    Do you like featuring badges in your blog?

    The Secret Life of a Bookblogger Tag

    Hello, everyone!
    Raven over at Dreamy Addictions was kind enough to nominate me for this fun blogger tag.
    Thank you, Raven, for remembering me! Her blog is awesome and you should definitely visit it!! I particularly love her book reviews ^_^

    This will actually be the first tag I do which focuses more on the blogging itself; so far I have only been nominated for all book ones.

    So, on to the questions!


    1. How long have you been a blogger?
    I started Ana’s Lair on February 19th, 2015. So roughly four months and a half.

    2. At what point do you think you will stop?
    I suppose whenever it is no longer enjoyable, or I just don’t have enough time to put up a decent post.
    At the moment, this is one of my favourite hobbies, along with reading. But, you know, people change, so does life and priorities, so who knows what the future will bring!
    For now, I am fully committed to it and do not plan on quitting anytime soon. :)

    3. What is the best thing?
    The best thing about blogging is that I can rave and rant and overall just share my opinion about all sorts of things, though most are book related, and people actually seem to care enough to stop by, read and even sometimes like and comment on my posts. It feels great to know that I can reach people from all over the globe. And, truly, people seem to follow me from all over the place! That makes me truly happy.

    4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
    The worst thing is feeling the pressure to post. Sometimes there isn’t really anything I want to talk about, but I feel the need to try and come up with something, to keep my followers interested.
    It’s weird how sometimes I cannot think of a single thing to post, and other times there are numerous ideas. So what I do to cope with that is try and take notes whenever an idea comes up, write-up the post as I think of stuff, and schedule it when I am happy with it, so that, instead of posting several times a day, I will try to do it once a day.

    5. How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?
    Hmm I don’t really use pictures in my posts other than the book or movie covers/posters.
    There are some really interesting animated gifs out there but I wouldn’t even know how to begin looking for them and, to be honest, I prefer my text clean. Some folks post a lot of those images and, while interesting and funny, I find them immensely distracting as well. Not to mention that my eye immediately jumps to them, so I will be seeing a reaction to something I have not read yet, ya know?

    6. Who is your book crush?
    I actually stay away from romance in books as often as I can. I cannot imagine myself having a crush on a character, to be frank. When I am reading, I like to immerse myself in that world, so on the rare occasions where there is romance in the book I am reading, rather than thinking ooh, I want to meet that guy I will most likely be thinking hey, girl, look how lucky you are, you better not let him slip!. So I will be rooting for the characters, not feeling like one.
    Hope that makes some sense!

    7. What author would you like to have on your blog?
    Any author who wrote a book I truly enjoyed reading. It doesn’t matter to me if they are famous or not.
    Also, I would like to make a note that ratings are poor statements of a book’s quality and my enjoyment of it. There are books which I have rated, say, 3 stars, but still stayed with me for long.
    There are a lot of things which affect how I feel about a book and how much I enjoyed it. Sometimes, all one needs is a good editing, for instance, or a bit more cohesion to the story, for me to bump the rating up one or even two stars.
    So, if I ever do get to chat with authors in my blog, don’t be surprised if the actual ratings aren’t extremely high.

    8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
    Well, it depends where I am. Right now I am at home and wearing my pajamas!! Comfy!

    9. How long does it take you to prepare?
    To prepare my blog posts? I tend to write them over a period of days, so then I just make little adjustments before publishing.
    Other times, like this tag here, I will write everything, peruse the entire text, edit whatever I feel is necessary and go ahead and post!

    10. How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?
    So far, I have only met awesome people. I am that lucky! Not a single person has posted a negative comment on my blog; I feel truly blessed.

    11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
    I am still trying to figure that out!! I started my blog from scratch, with no supporters. I posted about it in my GR group, Book Lair, but not many folks there follow books so that wasn’t much of a boost. Quite frankly, I find it difficult to get followers and views, in general. I wonder often what I should be doing, so if you have any tips feel free to post!
    I do know a few things you should do if you want your blog to get noticed:
    – Take the time to visit other people’s blogs and comment.
    – Create social media accounts for your blog (you can find Ana’s Lair at Facebook and Twitter.
    – Try and post often!

    For the record, I am trying to come up with new things for the blog. As you can see in my June Wrap-up post, I already did new things last month. Right now I am trying to find a balance between trying new features which will appeal to current and new followers while, at the same time, not turning blogging into something extremely high maintenance or do stuff I am not comfortable with, because that would be a sure way to get this to stop being an enjoyable activity and feel more like work.
    But if you have any thoughts, do feel free to post. Maybe your suggestion will be something I can actually manage well, and include in my blogging without feeling that pressure.

    Well, I guess that’s it. Thank you so much for coming here and reading my answers, you guys!


    My nominees:
    (In no particular order)

     
    And if you think that wasn’t enough, I tag every single person reading this post!

    Please remember to post the link to your post if you decide to do this tag so I can check it out, I am very curious to know all your answers :)

    Have a great weekend, ya’ll!