December 2017 Wrap-Up

December completely flew by!

I had a week off work so that was good. I got some much needed rest.

I finished the book I had been reading since last month and it seems things are finally under way to getting my Kindle back, so I am looking forward to that.

All in all it was a lovely month!


Total Books Read: 1

Longest Read: The Light Between Oceans (362 pages)

Shortest Read: The Light Between Oceans (362 pages)

Book of the Month: The Light Between Oceans

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 57/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 47/35

December Books:


The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is a book you just cannot stay indifferent to.

It a heart-wrenching story that will make you wonder what you would do in such a situation.

The characters are extremely well developed, and the setting is wonderfully crafted as well.

I rated it 4.25/5 stars.

Where I got the books:

Kelly @ Book Obsession

  • The Light Between Oceans




Other Posts:


How was December for you?
Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!


Quoted in Print!

This year I received an amazing Christmas gift – my words were actually quoted in a print book!

The publisher wrote to me asking to use a quote from my review and I was more than happy to give them the go ahead.

Even though I live in Portugal, they actually offered to ship a copy to me, which I have to admit I was thrilled to receive.

Also, it’s Penguin, you guys! I have to say I am ecstatic.

The book is The House, by Simon Lelic.

I really enjoyed reading this psychological thriller. The writing style was quite unique, as both main characters would take turns writing in the form of a journal that served as a tool to cope with what had happened.

The characters were extremely well-developed and the story was enthralling. I do recommend it among others of the same genre.

And finally, my quote:

It is quite anonymous but I am still extremely happy with it.

Has anything of the sort happened to you? Tell me everything!

The Light Between Oceans

Title: The Light Between Oceans

Author: M.L. Stedman

Genres: Contemporary | Historical Fiction

Length: 362 pages

Source: Gift

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.25/5



Tom and his wife live on an almost deserted island, where Tom is the lighthouse’s keeper.
In one April morning, the arrival of a dinghy will force them to make a decision that will change their, and others’, lives forever.


The Light Between Oceans took me forever to finish because it was a challenge to myself, not something I would normally read. I suppose I am used to more fast paced books so I didn’t find myself looking forward to knowing what came next, more looking forward to seeing what these characters would do with what was dealt to them.

It is most definitely a character driven book, and I have to admit they conquered my heart, particularly Tom. A man with a past that haunts him every step of the way but who always tries to do the right thing. Still, even the more secondary characters had a voice, and their own way of thinking, and their own desires, and I felt compelled by them as well.

Towards the last part of the book, the story takes some twists and turns, and it took my heart along with them. I honestly could not say ‘this is the right thing to do’. I could only suffer alongside with them an hope for good closure, which I got, all things considered.

There isn’t much I can tell you without spoiling the story. It’s one of those that are best savoured if you go into it knowing the least possible, so you can also better understand the characters’ motivations. It will particularly touch you if you are a parent. Just be warned that it broaches extremely difficult subjects, and that sometimes it is nearly impossible to do the right thing, or even tell what it is.

This is an extremely well crafted book and I highly recommend it.

Read from Nov 13th to Dec 27th, 2017
GR Review

Stacking The Shelves [27] December 9th


Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I managed to add one more book to my shelves. I wasn’t expecting it as I had requested it quite a while ago.


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookseller comes a gripping literary suspense novel set in the 1960s about a deeply troubled family and three women who will reveal its dark truths.

In the autumn of 1960, Angie Glass is living an idyllic life in her Wisconsin hometown. At twenty-one, she’s married to charming, handsome Paul, and has just given birth to a baby boy. But one phone call changes her life forever.

When Paul’s niece, Ruby, reports that her father, Henry, has committed suicide, and that her mother, Silja, is missing, Angie and Paul drop everything and fly to the small upstate town of Stonekill, New York to be by Ruby’s side.

Angie thinks they’re coming to the rescue of Paul’s grief-stricken young niece, but Ruby is a composed and enigmatic seventeen-year-old who resists Angie’s attempts to nurture her. As Angie learns more about the complicated Glass family, staying in Henry and Silja’s eerie and ultra-modern house on the edge of the woods, she begins to question the very fabric of her own marriage.

Through Silja’s flashbacks, Angie’s discovery of astonishing truths, and Ruby’s strategic dissection of her parents’ state of affairs, a story of love, secrets, and ultimate betrayal is revealed.

What drove me to request this book was not only that the mystery sounds really interesting, but also because the narrative takes place in the 60’s. It seems like a truly character driven book, with a solid plot to keep the pace, so I am really excited to read this.

And that’s it for this week!

Have you read this book or do you plan to?

Are you excited about reading any particular books you got this week?

Please comment below and if you have a STS post please post it in comments.

On Ana’s Lair’s Silence

Dear Readers

I think it’s about time I posted something explaining my silence.

You may have noticed I did not post a November wrap-up post, which was a first. The fact is I didn’t finish any books that month, nor wrote any reviews on films or other stuff, so I felt it would be rather pointless.

My life has taken quite a turn these past couple of months. I posted before that I lost my Kindle. That alone made my reading time decrease a lot, as you can imagine. Physical copies are great but they don’t allow so much leeway as a Kindle does. Not to mention that all the books I want to read and review are there. I have been feeling especially guilty because an author I have reviewed for since the beginning of her series asked me to review the later instalment but just thinking of reading on my phone makes me cringe…

Also, a few months ago, namely in May, I decided to turn my life around. I constantly felt ummotivated, tired, with little or no energy to do anything or take care of myself. An opportunity came up to join a gym downstairs from my workplace and I figured, why not. I started going after work and at the same time improving my food habits, and I did start feeling better. However, I started going less and less and still eating poorly so quickly slipped back to the same routines.

A co-worker mentioned he went to the gym before work and I thought wow this guy is nuts. Then I started thinking, hmm, ever since I met him I have never once seen him tired or in a bad mood… I wonder if this is his secret.
Well, when daylight savings time came, I decided to give it a try. Technically I would still be waking up at the same time, my day would just be an hour longer.
Minus some days I took off work, I have since then been working out before work, waking up at 5h50 am, and I have to tell you, I really hope I can keep up the pace because I feel TONS better. More energy, better mood, I walk taller, better posture so less back pain… Not to mention I avoid morning traffic, trouble finding a parking space, crammed tube… I am still not able to catch a seat so reading time is again caught short but I usually manage only a couple of pages on tube rides and lunch breaks so yeah, it’s taking ages to finish the book I started last month.

After work I always have errands to run so by the time I get home I am really exhausted. I only really have the energy to play Sims on my phone and browse Wish and AliExpress – my two new things.

So I am really, really sorry about my silence. I am looking forward to fitting reading and reviewing back into my routine as soon as I am able to get another Kindle – that might take another month, though.

I hope all is well with you, and thank you so much for your continuous support of Ana’s Lair.


Stacking The Shelves [26] November 18th


Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Hello, everyone!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend so far.

Last week I requested one book in Netgalley and got it. I am still Kindle-less, so I am not sure when I will be able to read it, but it sounds really interesting.


This is a love story. This is a tragedy. This is a book about a break up so bad that when you put the pieces of the love story back together, what you get is MURDER …


Mike knows that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us complete.

But he and Verity are different. They have found each other and nothing and no one will tear them apart.

It doesn’t matter that Verity is marrying another man.

You see, Verity and Mike play a game together, a secret game they call ‘the crave’, the aim being to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and only Mike.

Verity’s upcoming marriage is the biggest game she and Mike have ever played. And it’s for the highest stakes.

Except this time in order for Mike and Verity to be together someone has to die …

This blurb makes me think the main character is demented but maybe there’s something more to it and I am looking forward to finding out.

And that’s it for this week!

Have you read this book or do you plan to?

Are you excited about reading any particular books you got this week?

Please comment below and if you have a STS post please post it in comments.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Title: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Author: Claire North

Genres: Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

Length: 405 pages

Source: Book Depository

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5


Harry is a kalachakra – he is reborn after he dies, over and over again.
While trying to figure out how to deal with this, he receives an unexpected visit towards the end of his 11th life that will change everything.


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August started well enough. I was intrigued by the concept and this character, born in 1919.

The book grasped my attention and held it but after a while the narrative grew tiresome. It jumped a lot between Harry’s different lives and I found myself often confused as to what belong in which life.

There were some twists and turns that perked my interest again but not enough to want to pick the book back up. Also, if the book’s concept involves both time travel and parallel realities, I could not see how it would be possible for the narrative to unfold the way it did. And finally, I cannot believe that Harry would be able to maintain such farce for so long without a single slip-up.

Once you have such issues with a book, it’s difficult for it to hold your attention and make you stick to it, so at times I found it quite difficult to pick it back up, as you can see by the time it took me to go through it. I do believe the book is unnecessarily long, particularly the middle, and could have had more impact if it had been more edited.

Still, it is enjoyable as a ‘what if’ work that makes you think and wonder about several issues.

Read from Oct 22nd to November 11th, 2017
GR Review