My Top 10 Book Related Sites

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.
There are a few websites where I tend to spend most of my free time online and I thought I would share them with you.
So without further ado, let us begin!


1

GoodReads revolutionized my world.
First of all, the shelves. Oh eme gee, how I needed that feature! My books are all over the place and I got to a point where I would buy a book I already owned because I could not keep track.
Then I started writing my reviews, something I had never done before.
As I am sure you know by now, this site has all sorts of amazing features. I love pretty much all of them.
I also created my group Book Lair, met a bunch of lovely folks and get to discuss books and other random stuff with them.


2

So I discovered I enjoy reviewing the books I read. Now I need books, right? However, my budget is very limited, so what to do?…
Netgalley came to my rescue. It has become my main source of free books, closely followed by the authors themselves.
Though not all requests get approved, I have to say I absolutely love this site for two main reasons:
1) I get to choose what I read;
2) I don’t deal directly with people, so feel more motivated to write everything I think in the most honest way, whereas I always feel guilty writing something negative when the author approached me or vice-versa.


3

Book Depository is the main source of my bought physical copies.
Not only are their prices great, but the shipment is free worldwide.
The orders take a few weeks to arrive, which is fine by me. Kind of like Christmas every time I get a new book, especially if I pre-ordered it (even cheaper) and forgot about it by the time it arrives in my mailbox.


4

I started following Book Riot on facebook because I found their book related pics beautiful.
Then I found they also posted great articles and got even more into it.
I can tell I will be featuring them as part of my Random Chats feature quit often.


5

This is a very recent discovery.
Like Book Depository, it has worldwide free shipment, but you can order not only new but also used books. Living in Portugal, this is a great find for me. Whenever I tried to order used books, I always had to pay shipping costs, and they weren’t cheap either…
But more importantly than that, they have all sorts of environmental friendly options. I cannot really tell you what I chose, but I payed only a few more cents to reduce carbon emissions in the process of getting the book. Or something like that. It was nice for our planet, anyhow.
Oh and have I mentioned that every time you order a book from them, they donate one to people in need? How cool is that?? These folks have their heart in the right place.
The only downside I can see is that their catalogue is quite limited.
I have placed my first order but have not received it yet, so cannot comment on that. The order confirmation e-mail I got was just adorable though so, so far, I am enjoying the experience very much.


6

I found this site maybe a couple of weeks ago.
Like Netgalley, it provides advanced reading copies in exchange for reviews – but not just e-books, physical copies too.
They seem to be automatically accepted (I have only requested one book so cannot be 100% sure), but the amount of books you may have access to request depends on several factors. Two of the ones I have realized is where you live and your Klout score – the higher it is, the bigger the catalogue you can request from.
Unlike Netgalley, you can only request a book at a time. From the day you requested it, you need to wait 5 days to post your review, and then you may request another one.


7

After finding BfB, I tried out Klout. Though there has been a bit of a controversy around the site, since the concept is that your score supposedly rises according to how often you post and therefore influence people and that is not so easily measured, I can tell it contains some features I might enjoy, particularly the Explore one. Once you set your tastes, it will display related information.
Now if it would only stop glitching… I have not been able to login to my account for close to three weeks now… If you use this site, please post in comments below whether you can, I am curious if it’s just me. Customer support hasn’t been much help. Anyway, it’s a cool site which will show you information based on your set interests.


8

Also a recent discovery but I can already tell it is going to be hard to stay away from RedBubble, and not let it tempt me.
Technically it’s not exactly a book related site, since there is plenty other content. There is all sorts of products featuring amazing art.
I ran a search for book and was lost for hours. I already ordered a t-shirt and am currently trying my best to keep from ordering the cutest mug.
Again, main issue is the shipping costs…


9

BookBub alerts me everyday to promotions and even free e-books of the genres I most enjoy reading, not only from Amazon, though that’s the site I mainly use, since I own a Kindle Paperwhite.
Because one’s TBR pile can never be big enough… Right?


10

Probably silly but my WordPress reader is still one of my main sources for all things bookish.
I have followed quite a few blogs, and most folks have been kind enough to follow me back, and I have read some very interesting stuff!
So much so that I have decided to include a widget on the sidebar showcasing all you lovely people who have taken the time to follow the blog!
Thank you so much for making Ana’s Lair what it is today and giving me the motivation to keep going.

Enough gushing!!
What are your top book related sites? I would love to know! Please post them below.

How I Read Book Tag

I have seen this tag around, first at It’s All About Books and then at The Bookish Monsters’, and I thought it might be fun to do it here.
It’s a simple one, only 7 questions to answer, so that helped. Cause, you know, I am lazy.

Here are my answers:

1. How do you find out about new books to read?
These days it’s mostly a mixture of browsing GoodReads and other blog review posts.
Sometimes I also browse Netgalley’s catalogue, but I try hard to stay away from temptation because my TBR list is already too big!

2. How did you get into reading?
Unfortunately I cannot recall much of my childhood when it comes to reading. I have a vague recollection of reading adventure and horror books for kids and thoroughly enjoying them, but I cannot remember how I got into it per se or what my first book was.
Pretty sure my mother got me into reading.

3. How has your taste in books changed as you’ve gotten older?
Now that I think about it, probably not by much! I still enjoy horror, but I also got into fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, mysteries… So I suppose I expanded my horizons a bit, but I still enjoy most of the things I used to read back then, only more adjusted to my current age group.

4. How often do you buy books?
Not nearly as often as I wish due to budget and space limitations; thankfully, I manage to exert quite a good amount of self-control when it comes to purchasing books, but probably only because I get so many free ones.

5. How did you get into book reviewing?
Well, this one is easy. I discovered GoodReads in August last year. Initially, I only used it to organize my books, through the shelves, but then I found the reviewing option and discovered that I enjoyed not only reading but also writing them! I love sharing my opinions; knowing people out there might actually enjoy reading them and getting to practice my English are welcome bonuses.

6. How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?
I try to appreciate the journey and not focus on the ending so much. Generally speaking, it does not happen too often. If I am reading a book that is part of a series I will already be expecting a disappointing ending beforehand, since those usually end in cliffhangers.
If that is not the case, well then I will probably want to rant about it. In my blog, I will hide the rants in spoiler form (blue highlight) so I do not influence folks who have not read the book and still want to.
I will also post in my GR group Book Lair, opening a new topic in Book Discussions folder, asking if anyone has read it or and wait till someone does and posts their opinion. That folder is meant for those who have already read said book, so I openly rant in those topics ^_^

7. How often do you take a “sneak peak” at the end of a book to see if there is a happy ending?
Never.
To me, a book is about the whole journey, not the ending. I think I would be doing myself a disservice by reading something out of context. Not only will it not make much sense but it would severely impair my reading experience.
No, I have never felt that tempted to find out how a book ends.


Please feel free to do this tag in your own blog and don’t forget to come here and post a link to your post so I can check out your answers!

Random Chat: Banned Books

What makes a good blurb?

Step up, take a seat, make yourself at home and let’s chat!

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
I came across this article a few days ago:

7 banned books that everyone should read

And it got me thinking… In today’s society, is it feasible that a book be banned?
Are people throughout the globe yet not allowed to form their own decisions to read a book or not, and respective opinions?

Have I even read any banned books? I have to admit I am not sure. I have not read any of the ones listed in the article.

Have you knowingly read a banned book and know the story behind its ban?
I would really like to know, please post below!

Second Chance FREE! 12th-14th June

Sounds interesting :)

Suffolk Scribblings

Two Covers

I’m thrilled to tell you that Second Chance is available as a FREE Ebook, direct from Amazon, from the 12th – 14th June. So what are you waiting for? You can download it today by clicking on one of the links below.

To get Second Chance FREE from Amazon.com click here

To get Second Chance FREE from Amazon.co.uk click here

To get Second Chance FREE from Amazon.ca click here

To get Second Chance FREE from Amazon.com.au click here

And if that isn’t a good enough bargain, you can also buy the sequel, Absent Souls, for just 99p/99c from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

To buy Absent Souls for 99c from Amazon.com click here

To buy Absent Souls for 99p from Amazon.co.uk click here

Two great books for just 99p/99c. Happy Friday!

Praise for Second Chance

“Political intrigue, neuroscience, a missing-persons investigation – this well-written novel has it all.” – Carrie Rubin, author of The Seneca Scourge

“a highly entertaining and…

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Free: Oodles by Charles Dada

This book is free on Amazon from June 2nd to 6th.

Blurb from GoodReads:
The World is approaching catastrophe.
It is mostly controlled by Oodles; can The Founder save it from its fate?
Join the adventures of the Substitutes and the Rebels as they too try to head off disaster.
What is the future of Mankind; and what is its past?

You can find the Amazon.com book here.

My first reading challenges!

I have been looking to join a reading challenge for a while now, but could not find one that I believed I would even come close to completing and that I would not feel pressured by joining.

Browsing the blogosphere today, I actually found two!!

 

2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

 

I found this challenge mentioned in The Worn Bookmark’s May Wrap Up post.

I did a quick google search and as far as I can tell the original post is the one you can get to by clicking the image above.

This challenge aims to motivate people who, like me, cannot seem to stop requesting awesome books from Netgalley and/or Edelweiss, but have a hard time keeping up with the actual reading and reviewing bit of the deal.

I was ecstatic to find this, because I do have this issue, and so this serves as a motivation to me, rather than placing any more unnecessary and unwanted pressure.

I wonder what badge I will get hmmm….

 

20 Books of Summer

 

I found this one also through The Worn Bookmark blog.

It can not get any simpler than this: Pick 20 books to read during the summer, more specifically between the 1st of June and the 4th of September.

I am 99% sure I can do this so I want to jump on board. The hard part is to actually pick 20 books, since my reading never seems to go according to plan.

I think I will include a mix of Kindle books, paperbacks and audio, to make things interesting, but the large majority will be read for review requests, either from authors or Netgalley – most likely the latter above all, so I can go for the two challenges at once.

I will be posting the list soonish, as soon as I see what I have lying around and can make up my mind!

In the meantime, you can help me! I have loads of paperbacks sitting on my shelf – ok not sure if 33 qualifies as loads but anyway – and I would love you to help me pick a couple to include in this challenge. You can find the list in my scanned shelf at GoodReads, but I will be posting the covers below anyhow. Oh and if you would like to do a buddy read of any of them, even better!

Here they are:

In the Night RoomDifferent SeasonsSomething Wicked This Way ComesThe Bad PlaceThe HauntedOdd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)The Turn of the Screw & The Aspern PapersThe Picture of Dorian GrayTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Captain Nemo #1)SepulchreJoylandErewhon (Erewhon #1)ThinnerMagic TerrorM Is for MagicThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe Host (The Host #1)The Game: The Valley (Das Tal, Season 1 #1)Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: 100th Anniversary Edition (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland #1-2)The MartianFahrenheit 451His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3)City of Endless NightThe HumansThe Night CircusSpy Glass (Glass #3)Nobody True. James HerbertMoonBird BoxA Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark MatterCujoMr Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1)


 

Do you participate in any challenges?
Which ones?
Does either of these sound appealing to you?
Tell me everything!!
And please don’t forget to post your suggestions for a paperback on my shelf which I should include in the 20 Summer Books challenge :)

Pre-ordering books

Up until very recently, I had not even considered pre-ordering a book.
But my opinion changed, and in the past couple of months I pre-ordered a few from Book Depository, namely:

So why did I change my mind?

1. Pre-ordered books are generally cheaper.

2. The fact that they won’t be out for at least a couple of months and that the (free) delivery itself takes a while makes it feel a little like christmas when you finally get the book.

3. Quite often the cover isn’t even disclosed, so that’s a surprise as well!

And before that, I preordered A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: 100th Anniversary Edition by Lewis Carroll and Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. I was very happy with all three.

Do you pre-order books as well?
Why?
How often?
Have you had any nasty experiences?

Please leave your comment in the box below!

Lake Of Sins: Secrets In Blood (Lake of Sins, #2) is out now!

Lake of Sins: Secrets in Blood comes out today! You can get it by clicking here!

You should definitely buy it, as well as the first book of the series: Lake of Sins: Escape.

Not sure how much they cost in your country, but they show up at roughly 1€ each to me right now, so don’t miss this opportunity to read some exquisit, unique fantasy at a crazy low price!

I am sure you will enjoy it even more than I did, cause I am just that picky :P

Happy reading!

Click here to read my review for Lake of Sins: Escape, book 1 in the series.

Ana's Lair

Lake Of Sins: Secrets In Blood (Lake of Sins, #2)
by L.S. O’Dea

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

Secrets in Blood is the sequel to Escape, part of the Lake of Sins series, where we meet Trinity and her breath taking fantasy, dystopian world.
In the last novel, Trinity discovered some very harsh truths about her reality, and this book follows up where Escape left us.

Review:

This was, as the previous book, quite a ride. As before, I loved many things:

– Trinity, our main character is quite likeable. She is honourable, and as Mirra keeps telling her, has too many friends. She keeps wanting to help all creatures, even under the most dangerous circumstances, but she is very mature about it most of the times and therefore tries to think things through, not going into the situations blindly, so her instinct of self-preservation remains most of the time. When…

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Book Formats

For a long time, it was paper books for me all the way, more specifically paperbacks.

Paper wonderfulness!

Paper wonderfulness!

They were quite portable – I easily put one in my handbag and read pretty much everywhere; generally speaking, never strained my eyes, as long as there was enough light; I loved the feel of the pages and even the smell; I memorized the narrative pretty well and, even though I could not remember which page or chapter I saw something, I could remember which place on the page, and whether it was the left or right page.

Ordering one and getting it on the post was a bit plus for me too.

Yay! It’s christmas!

Making my purchases from Book Depository, my #1 online shop, the orders take a while to arrive, but the shipping is free and they usually come with nifty bookmarks.
So taking that long was actually a plus for me, because I never quite knew when they would arrive and so it almost felt like Christmas.

And really… Who gets stuff in their post these days besides bills?
I still love getting handwritten letters, though so rare. Books are the best next thing.

So I resisted e-readers with all my might.

No, no, NO!!

How could anyone possibly prefer a cold, impersonal device, that strongly resembles a mere tablet, to the feel of a real book? Also, I had read this article, which seemed to justify my reservations.

But then I heard about Amazon’s Kindle the free app and figured well it’s free, might as well try it.
I downloaded it to my Android phone and was like…

Omg!

Free books.
Search function.
Adjustable font size.
Highlighting and notes function.
Dictionary incorporated, which I can use for words I don’t know.
Hundreds of books inside such a tiny device, which I already take everywhere with me.
Ability to buy pretty much any book I want with one click and have it delivered in seconds.

That’s it, I was sold. I completely gave in.
However, the font size was too small, and if I increased it I could not read many lines at a time, so I ended up making the decision I never thought I would make:
I was going to buy an e-reader.

Ta da!!
The answer to the issues I didn’t know I had.

Also, around that time authors started asking me to read and review their work.
Since I already had the Kindle app which was quite user-friendly, Amazon seemed to have the widest selection of free books, and most authors and online shops provided mobi files more often and easily than other formats, I settled for a Kindle device.
I chose Kindle Paperwhite because it enables me to read outdoors and indoors, with bright light and no light, while straining my eyes as little as possible, not to mention all features already present in the app.

I still feel what is said in that post I mentioned above is very valid. It takes me longer to get into a story and stay focused on it. One may even say I have become lazy.

But I have to admit that it has changed my world. I can read anything anywhere now. And that is the biggest perk I could ever hope for.
That said, I still love paperbacks. But my Kindle is the one I could no longer do without.

Now tell me…

What Is Your Reading Style?

I found this post on the Book Journal blog and it made me think.

I think I am somewhere between an introvert and monogamist reader. I actually don’t reread books very often (I think I reread one book during the whole of last year, The Shining), but I do tend to stick to one book at a time, the same genres (fantasy, horror, sci-fi) and try to be as thorough as possible in my reviews.

What is your reading style?
Do you think these categories fit you or are you something else entirely?

Book Journey

1a2a

Earlier this week I read a post at I’m Lost In Books and enjoyed a post about being a multi book reader.  I could relate to her reading style, as I am also a multi book reader.  I enjoyed the picture she had on her post too:

Booklikes, Book JOurney, What Kind Of Reader Are You

How cool is that?

Looking at this list I am pretty much everything listed on the left side.

Polygamist Reader:  I do usually have at least two books going at the same time and 2 to 3 audio books.  I pick up the book I am in the mood for, and often if one takes off, the other will be put aside until I finish the one.  Audio is for convenience and I have one in the car, one in the house and one on my phone.  I usually listen to a little of each of these every day.

Extrovert Reader:  I…

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Reading Slumps

If you are like me and cannot imagine your life without reading, this lovely activity has progressed beyond a mere occasional pleasure and has come to occupy quite a substantial amount of time in your life. It may very well be your favourite occupation for whatever free time you have.

However, there may come a time when, for some reason, that pleasure is lost. What is commonly referred to as reading slumps.

There are three things I try to do when I am hit by one.

1. Remember that reading is supposed to be fun.

If you are also keen on getting books to read in exchange for your review, you will most likely feel the pressure of producing a review in a fairly brief amount of time, particularly if a desired due date is provided by the author or publisher.
I try to remember that reading is supposed to be fun and that I should not feel guilty for putting it off for a while, since I will not be of much use reviewing a book I have read under pressure. I will not be giving it my undivided attention, for one, and may even begin to grudge it at some point.
So sometimes it’s just best to:

2. Take a break.

If it comes to that, then I try to put down my book or Kindle and just stop and smell the roses. Literally! I absolutely love nature. I also enjoy taking photographs. Or just browse the internet. Whatever it takes to get refocused.

3. Read a palate cleanser.

Sometimes we get frustrated because we keep reading the same genre over and over. So personally, I enjoy switching genres, and it generally works very well, allowing me not to have to go through the previous 2 options.
In order not to stray too much from my request list, I try to read short stories or novellas. You can find several for free on Kindle Store and similar sites.
Other folks enjoy reading classics. Something they know they will enjoy. Because, let’s face it, not every new author can write something that will thoroughly engage us.
The important thing is to read something different.

What are your tricks to get over reading slumps?