Category Archives: Books

markmanson

Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is THE book right now. It’s this year’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or The Little Book of Hygge – everyone wants to read it and be seen reading it. In short, the book is everywhere.

Which explains why – even though my library has 30 copies of the ebook – I waited 5 months for it. FIVE MONTHS PEOPLE.

Was it worth it?

Yes and no.

The first thing I’ll say is that if you’re going to read it, be aware that Manson uses the word f*ck (not the censored version) approximately 4000 times in the first chapter. If you’re like me and this kind of thing drives you batty, hang in there. It gets better, and in the rest of the book, f*ck is used somewhat sparingly.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way. I’m still sorta torn on how I feel about this one. On one hand, Manson has a lot of really solid advice or thought or whatever you want to call it. What he’s saying is pretty reasonable. Basically, there’s no need to care about everything, but make sure whatever you do care about is in line with your values. Oh, and have good values. And don’t strive for happiness because pursuing happiness only reinforces the idea that you’re dissatisfied and/or unhappy to begin with.

Did I just lose you?

That’s kinda how I felt reading Manson’s book. I’m no stranger to personal development books or theories; I read a fair amount of them, and have spent my fair share of time on a therapist’s couch. But even I had to stop over and over again to suss out what I’d just read. And that’s why I have such a hard time with this one. While Manson’s ideas are sound, they’re difficult to comprehend the way he’s written them. I actually think people would get a lot more out of hearing him speak about these ideas. Perhaps the audiobook version is better because of that very fact.

I didn’t hate it, and like I said, Manson has a lot of really solid stuff in here. Stuff that everyone would benefit from hearing or reading. My favorite quote from the book is one I’d like to shove under the world’s nose:

There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances. 

PREACH, Mark Manson, preach.

What do you think? Will you give this one a try, or have you already read it?

Hardcover: 210 pages    Published: September 2016 by HarperOne    Source: Library via Overdrive

Buy it on Amazon

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck on Goodreads

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

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dial meow for murder

Review: Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake

Daphne and Socrates are back for another fun mystery in Bethany Blake’s second Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series, Dial Meow for Murder. Some of you may remember how much I loved the first book, Death by Chocolate LabNeedless to say, I was not-so-patiently waiting for the next one. I needed to know what happened to the Rotties!

Speaking of, while I did find out what happened to them, it was a two-sentence-in-passing mention. Please write another book about the Rotties, Ms. Blake.

I wasn’t quite as enamored with Dial Meow for Murder as I was with Chocolate Lab. Oh, I still enjoyed it, and I still plan on continuing the series. But a lot of what was so great about the first book was all the animals, and that just felt like it was missing here. Even Socrates didn’t have much of a role. Plus, I wanted Artie back.

I do think Blake improved on the mystery, keeping it front and center for the majority of the story. Daphne was also a little more subdued, but truthfully, I missed her passion from the first book. We did get more information about Detective Black’s past, and some more about Sylvan Creek, both of which I wanted in the first book. So, happy there!

Dial Meow for Murder is still a great cozy, and I can’t wait to see what happens in book 3!

Series: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #2    Paperback: 328 pages

Published: September 2017 by Kensington    Source: Netgalley

Buy it on Amazon

Dial Meow for Murder on Goodreads

Even an experienced pet sitter like Daphne Templeton can be fooled by animal behavior: how can an adorably tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston be capable of sudden flying leaps with cat claws bared? But human behavior remains even more mysterious, especially when Tinkleston s owner is murdered on the night of a gala fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue.

Accompanied by her unflappable basset hound, Socrates, Daphne plans to take charge of Tinks the Terror and leave the crime-solving to handsome detective Jonathan Black. But while luring the prickly Persian out of hiding, she uncovers clues that might take suspicion off her own mother. Maeve Templeton already has a reputation as a killer in real estate. How far would she go to bag Sylvan Creek s most coveted property, the Flynt Mansion?

To expose the truth, Daphne finds herself donning a deranged clown costume on an autumnal adventure that might just be crazy enough to work if it doesn t get her killed. Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!

This post contains affiliate links. 

americanwar

Review: American War by Omar El Akkad

American War. What do I even begin to tell you about this book? I finished it weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. I totally understand why it was nominated for two Goodreads Choice Awards (and yes, I voted for it).

American War is one of those wonderful books that both entertains and makes you think. It follows Sara T. Chestnut, known as Sarat, as she navigates the horrors of life during the second American Civil War. As you read (or in my case, listen), you begin to realize that what the author describes isn’t that far-fetched after all. A country where North and South are at odds over resources and politics? Where red and blue become more than just an association – they become an identity? Where people turn on each other, torture each other, and hate each other?

Not so hard to imagine, is it?

Perhaps this is what makes American War so compelling, or perhaps it’s Sarat herself. This fierce, defiant, and eternally loyal little girl who grows up to become one of the most influential and terrible people in the war. And yet, for all her faults, you can’t help but empathize with Sarat. Her experiences as a child make her who she is as an adult – hard, but haunted. There’s a humanity and tenderness in her, that you wish for throughout the whole story, but only glimpse at times. Sarat is one of the most complex characters I’ve read in a long time.

American War isn’t perfect, and the lack of exposition for the war itself is most of what kept me from giving this one 5 stars. I’d rank it behind both Station Eleven and The Road, though the feel is similar. It’s an entirely plausible dystopian novel, both timely and tragic. Well worth the read.

Hardcover: 352 pages    Audio: 12 hours

Published: April 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group    Source: Purchased via Scribd

Buy it on Amazon

American War on Goodreads

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war – part of the Miraculous Generation – now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past, his family’s role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others.

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dogdishofdoom

Review: Dog Dish of Doom by E.J. Copperman

I know none of you are surprised to see that I read a book with a dog on the cover. If there’s one thing that gets me every.single.time, it’s dogs. I don’t care what the book is about, if there’s a dog in the description or on the cover, I’m going to read it. (Might just take me a while!)

Dog Dish of Doom is the first in a new cozy series from E.J. Copperman (pen name for the writer Jeff Cohen). Copperman/Cohen is no stranger to cozies – from what I can gather, Agent to the Paws is his 4th cozy series. The main character, Kay, is a showbiz agent for animals. Sounds like a fun gig, if we’re honest.

I kinda hated, Kay, truthfully. She annoyed the crap out of me, and I thought she was a bad sleuth. Part of it might have been the fact that she seemed utterly uninterested in solving the murder. Part of it might have been that she was so BAD at what she was trying to figure out. Honestly, I liked her parents more than I liked Kay. I also wanted more Bruno, but that’s kinda beside the point.

Dog Dish of Doom was a relatively short read, but also kind of a boring one. Not much happened, and as I said, there was very little sleuthing. I also got tired of reading the same phrases over and over again.

The more I think about it, the more I want to downgrade my rating to a 2. It’s probably more like 2.5, because I didn’t hate it, but I also have no desire to continue the series.

Series: Agent to the Paws #1    Hardcover: 304 pages

Published: August 2017 by Minotaur Books    Source: Netgalley

Dog Dish of Doom on Goodreads

Cozy fans and animal lovers alike won’t be able to keep their paws off Dog Dish of DoomLaugh-out-loud funny, E.J. Copperman’s series debut is “lots of fun” (Library Journal, starred). 

Kay Powell wants to find that break-out client who will become a star. And she thinks she’s found him: His name is Bruno, and he has to be walked three times a day.

Kay is the Agent to the Paws, representing showbiz clients who aren’t exactly people. In fact: they’re dogs. Bruno’s humans, Trent and Louise, are pains in the you-know-what, and Les McMaster, the famous director mounting a revival of Annie, might not hire Bruno just because he can’t stand them.

This becomes less of an issue when Trent is discovered face down in Bruno’s water dish, with a kitchen knife in his back. Kay’s perfectly fine to let the NYPD handle the murder, but when the whole plot seems to center on Bruno, her protective instincts come into play. You can kill any people you want, but you’d better leave Kay’s clients alone.

puppyfurstenberg

Review: Puppy (12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles) by Patricia Furstenberg

Oh, puppies. Is there anything better? The snuggles, the antics, the puppy breath.

Olga, more affectionately known as The Shark, at 9 weeks old. She clearly didn’t have enough toys.

I’m pretty sure my version of Heaven involves nothing but puppies. And maybe peanut butter. And beer. But definitely mostly puppies.

Patricia Furstenberg clearly has a thing for puppies too. She also knows I’m a sucker for anything with a dog, and reached out to see if I’d take a look at her new picture book. Duh. I enjoyed Joyful Trouble, and having recently been through life with a brand new puppy, knew I’d enjoy Puppy as well.

Puppy is a children’s book that goes through the first year of a puppy’s life with his new family. Each chapter is a different month, and a different adventure. My favorites were July, August, and February, probably because I could easily see Olga doing everything Pup did.

This is a fun little book that would be a great gift for a child with a new puppy, or an adult who simply wants to relive those puppy moments – without all the teeth.

Kindle Edition: 106 pages    Published: October 2017    Source: Author Provided

Buy it on Amazon

Puppy (12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles) on Goodreads

A puppy’s first year is filled with findings, wiggles and laughter.
Puppies squirm in all the odd places, sniff all the strange objects, lick everything they can and find something to splash into even when we don’t want them to!
This book of poems explores the first year of a puppy’s life, going through an adventure after the other, one month at a time.
Puppy’s first days, puppy’s first weeks in a new home, puppy’s encounters with snow and the school bag, puppy’s duty to protect… What happens when puppy is full of good intentions, yet his actions go wrong?
Read the rhymes and laugh with your little one.

“Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles: is an auditory feast for children, a fun read-aloud for parents, and treat for dog-lovers, young and old.

From the author of “Joyful Trouble”, No.1 Bestseller Children’s Historical Fiction, No.1 Most Gifted Young Adult and Top reviewed Kindle Storyteller book.

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deathoverdue

Review: Death Overdue by Allison Brook

Amidst all that heavy, spooky, emotional stuff I was reading for Haunting October, there was Death Overdue. A light cozy mystery (is that redundant?) about a haunted library, a cold case, and a poisonous cookie.

I mean, what more does a girl need?

Truthfully, a bit more than I got.

Carrie’s about to up and leave town when she’s offered – begrudgingly – a position as the new Director of Programs and Events at the local library. She – also begrudgingly – accepts, and of course, her first day on the job, someone gets murdered. At one of her events. The victim happens to be the detective who, after 15 years, has decided to reopen a long-cold murder case. He’s about to share his new evidence with half the town, when he keels over. If only he hadn’t eaten that cookie.

I’m sorry, but really? I don’t think I’ve ever read a cozy that deals with a cold case, and there’s probably a reason for that. (The poisoned cookie is par for the course, no issue there.) The first murder was pretty much a waste of time and energy, and didn’t do much except introduce a level of complexity that wasn’t really needed, never mind explored. Brook kept hammering home the idea that the two murders were related. Which, of course they were, but it added nothing and frankly, got a bit annoying.

And can we please talk about Jared for a second? The love interest slash murder victim #1’s son? Ugh. Just ugh ugh ugh. It wasn’t just that he was an awful character – cozies are full of awful characters. No, it was more that he wasn’t even a believable character. I simply couldn’t imagine an actual person saying the things he did, because he was so…stiff.

I did like the ghost though. She was fun.

Series: A Haunted Library Mystery #1    Hardcover: 329 pages

Published: October 2017 by Crooked Lane Books    Source: Netgalley

Buy it on Amazon

Death Overdue on Goodreads

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue, the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

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Bookings

Bookings: October 30, 2017

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Man, guys, I’ve read some great books lately. Books I’m excited to share with you, and books I never would have read if not for Haunting October. The older I get, the more I enjoy Halloween. I’m not sure if it’s the atmosphere or the fact that it means we’re closer to Christmas, but it’s starting to get a lot more fun.

This year, I went as a peacock. I made my costume, and it was so much fun. I loved the way it turned out! Jimmie was a turkey because I found out last week that turkeys and peacocks hate each other, and it seemed fitting. Anyone else have an awesome costume for Halloween?peacock costume

I’ve been a little behind on both my blog and my reading, so bear with me. I finally finished listening to American War. I tried listening to This is Where It Ends, but the narration was so horrific and the characters so ridiculous that I gave up after three chapters. Then I picked up The Alice Network and now all I want to do is drive places so I can listen to it. I also broke down and bought the new Stephen King, but man, I’m struggling with it. Not sure if it’s the book or my frame of mind, so I’m not ready to abandon it yet, but it’s a brick.

Other than that, I’m starting to think ahead to December and whether I want to read all sorts of cozy books for cozy weather. If you have any suggestions, send them my way!

Have a lovely week, friends!

Last Week’s Posts:

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

I Just Finished Reading:

  thisiswhereitends

I’m Currently Reading:

  alicenetwork sleepingbeauties

I’m Traveling To:

Home for a while. Still putting together plans for a ski trip, and I’m also itching for a long weekend trip somewhere. Any suggestions?

 

 

 

Linkups

bookdatesundaypostKathryn over at the Book Date hosts It’s Monday! What are you reading! It’s a way to share what you’ve just read, are currently reading, and are reading next.

Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts the weekly meme, The Sunday Post. It’s a chance to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

BirdBox

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

When I sat down to write this post, I started by saying I didn’t remember the last time a book scared me. Like, actually scared me. But then, I realized that wasn’t true. I do remember the last time a book scared me. It was Station Eleven, and that was 2 years ago. I don’t read a lot of scary books.

Which is why I was super hesitant to pick up Bird Box, even though it has a great rating and gets a lot of love. I even mentioned in my Haunting October post how nervous I was about reading it. I pretty much expected to avoid it all month, and just “happen” to run out of time to finish my spooky book list. But then one of my lovely readers said she was reading it, and I knew it would make me a fraud if I didn’t at least give it a try.BirdBox

READ THIS BOOK PEOPLE. READ IT.

And preferably with the lights on, music blaring, and a puppy next to you for comfort.

Holy hell Bird Box is terrifying. It is utterly, unspeakably, terrifying. And it’s so brilliant, too. Because what’s terrifying isn’t the story, but the writing. Malerman writes so well that it’s like watching a movie. In one chapter I squirmed because “DO NOT PUT YOUR HAND IN THAT BUCKET NO NO NO RUN AWAY.” In another chapter, I cried because “NO PUPPY NO DON’T LOOK!!!” In yet another, I cursed because “YOU STUPID IDIOT WHY DID YOU LET HIM IN?” In short, I felt every.single.emotion every character felt in the book.

I read it in about 3 hours.

Bird Box is creepier than zombies, because you don’t know what’s happening. That’s the source of the terror – the unknown. All you know is that people see something – some sort of creature – and then go mad and kill themselves. Malorie lives in a world that she can’t see. Bird Box flashes back and forth from the present, where she’s alone with two small children, and the past, where she’s living in a house with 5 other people. Gradually, you learn what’s happened to bring the story to this point, 5 years later. Throughout all this, you learn what it’s like to not be able to see what’s threatening you, to not know what’s out there or isn’t out there.

God it’s spooky. And wonderful. And absolutely perfect.

Hardcover: 262 pages    Published: March 2014 by Ecco    Source: Purchased

Buy it on Amazon

Bird Box on Goodreads

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

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monstercalls

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Next time you need either a) a good cry, or b) a reminder that you do in fact have a heart, read A Monster Calls. I’m not kidding when I say I don’t think I’ve ever cried as hard from a book. Not even when reading A Man Called Ove. It took me a good 30 minutes to stop blubbering. (And, I’d like to mention, the dogs didn’t even care.)

Lest that turn you off, please please please take my word that A Monster Calls is one of the most beautiful books you’ll ever read. Devastating, but beautiful.

The basic premise is that Conor’s mom has cancer. His dad isn’t really in the picture, and he doesn’t really want his grandmother around. It’s always been Conor and his mom, and he’d like it to stay that way thankyouverymuch. One night, after waking from yet another nightmare, Conor sees that the yew tree in his yard has turned into a monster, and is beckoning him. Turns out, the monster is there to tell Conor 3 stories, and then, Conor will tell him a 4th. That 4th story will be Conor’s “truth” – though Conor has no idea what that means.

At least, that’s the surface story. A Monster Calls is an allegory for grief, really, and done in such a way that anyone who’s ever lost someone will appreciate. Throughout the story, the Monster walks Conor through the stages of loss and grief, eventually bringing the story to a heartbreaking – yet uplifting and even cathartic – ending.

A Monster Calls is one of those books that will stay with you long after you read it. I keep thinking about the book my mom hated reading to me as a kid – I’ll Love You ForeverIt wasn’t until I was in my teens that I understood why she cried so hard every time I asked her to read it. To me, the book was a sing-songy story about having a mom – to her, it was a painful reminder that some day, we’d say goodbye. For me, A Monster Calls one was similar, but there’s a comforting aspect there too. I hope someday I have my own monster holding me.
A Monster Calls was made into a movie last year, with Liam Neeson as the yew tree. Much as I love Neeson, this is one adaptation I think I’ll pass up. Too many feels.

Hardcover: 216 pages    Published: May 2011 by Walker Books    Source: Library via Overdrive

Buy it on Amazon

A Monster Calls on Goodreads

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting – he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd – whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself – Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

This post contains affiliate links. 

book lover on a budget

Book Lover on a Budget

As any true book lover knows, reading can be an expensive hobby. I wish I was the kind of person who could restrain herself from buying books when I have a dozen to read – or, truthfully, an entire room to read. But I’m not. I love the feel of a book in my hands, and I love having tons of great books to choose from when I’m looking for what to read next. Unfortunately, my budget doesn’t always share this love.

A few weeks ago, I read a BookRiot post titled, “How To Be a Book Lover on a Budget.” I shared it on my Facebook page, and made the comment that I was surprised at several of the options they left off the list – including BookRiot’s own daily deals email. When I posted it, I realized, hey, I could do a post too! So here we are.

BookRiot included sources like the library, thrift stores, public domain sites, and free trials, so I won’t cover those here. Instead, I’m rounding out my list with my favorite sources. Many of them are ebook sites, but I’ve also thrown in a few suggestions for those of you who love physical books (I’m right there with you!).

These should keep you drowning in books for less than the price of a pumpkin spice latte.

BookRiot’s Daily Deals Newsletter

BookRiot has a TON of great book-related content (if you’re on my Facebook page, I share a lot of it there!), but they also have a daily deals newsletter. Each day, it lists one or two featured ebook deals. At the bottom of the email, there’s also a list of past deals that are still valid. I love this feature, since I don’t always read the daily deal newsletter every day. Rather than clicking through half a dozen outdated emails, I can just delete everything except the most recent, and find out what’s still on sale. Most of the deals are in the $2-$4 range, though I’ve seen a couple as high as $10. Sign up for the BookRiot Daily Deals Newsletter here.

Goodreads Deals Newsletter

If you’re a Goodreads member, you can subscribe to ebook deals based on the books you want to read. You select your genres, then they search for books and authors on your shelves. Truthfully, this is my least favorite of the deal newsletters, because I often don’t have a clue why they’ve recommended a book to me. Prices here are also usually in the $2-$4 range, and signup is easy. If you’re not a Goodreads member, get on it – it’s free and amazing!

BookBub Daily Deals Newsletter

The powerhouse of ebook deals, and my personal favorite, BookBub offers a practically endless source of free and cheap ebooks every day. Similar to Goodreads, you pick the genres you want to see deals for. What I love though, is that BookBub has tons of free books. They also provide a short, two or three sentence description in the email, so it gives you a little more information about the book. Hands down, I get more ebooks through BookBub than anywhere else. Plus, it’s easy – even my technology-averse mom figured it out and loves it! Definitely check out BookBub!

Amazon Prime Reading

Ok, I’ll admit – this one is only applicable if you’re an Amazon Prime member. Prime Reading is a library of sorts. You can check out books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and more. You can have up to 10 titles “checked out” at a time, and as far as I can tell, there’s no time limit. So, slightly better than a library, if you’re a Prime member. It may not have the newest releases, but there are still plenty of great reading options. Explore Prime Reading here.

Amazon Kindle First

This one also only applies if you’re a Prime member, but if you have a Kindle or Kindle App, you get a monthly free book as part of Amazon’s Kindle First program. Each month, Amazon editors pick a handful of upcoming books. Prime members have a few days to select one of the books. It’s sent right to your Kindle (or app), and is yours to keep. Typically, the books are from different genres – usually you can count on a thriller, a literary fiction novel, and a nonfiction/memoir, but I’ve also seen a bit of romance, historical fiction, and sci-fi on the list. I’ve yet to actually read any of my Kindle First books, but I appreciate the service!

Scribd

I wrote about my love affair with Scribd last year. My feelings haven’t changed – I still love Scribd, even though I also now have an Audible subscription (I know, I know). For $9 a month you get one audiobook credit and three ebook credits, and you can roll over up to 3 months’ worth of credits. Scribd also has a vast library of free ebooks and audiobooks, as well as a rotating selection of “Scribd Selects” every month that don’t require using your credits. The two downsides here are that you don’t get to keep the books – it’s essentially a library or rental service – and new ebooks take a while to get added to the library. New releases are almost always available as audiobooks though, so if there’s something I desperately want to read, I’ll pick it up that way. Use my link to get two free months of Scribd without having to use a credit card.

Also, I know – technically Scridb probably costs more than a pumpkin spice latte, but work with me here!

Book Swaps

Our book club does a book swap twice a year, once at Christmas, and again at Valentine’s Day. It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to broaden our reading horizons! What often happens too is that everyone really wants a couple of the books, so they come back again and again. As one person reads the book, they pass it on to the next person. I also frequently swap books with other readers in my life, like my mom and coworkers. Chances are, you have at least one book junkie near you – see if they’d like to start swapping with you!

Library Sales

I haven’t managed to make my library’s book sale in years, but last time I did, I came home with an entire bag of books for $5. Old books, new books, popular books, obscure books…you name it. Libraries often replenish their shelves, and typically sell off the old stuff to raise funds. Follow your local library on social media and get to the sale!!

On the Road

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a shelf full of books in a hotel, AirBnB, resort, cruise ship, or airport for the next lonely reader. Sometimes you have to hunt a little for them, but just ask around and chances are, you’ll find a stack of books just waiting to be perused. And if you’re a traveler, what better way to free up room in your suitcase for souvenirs!

If you do this one, though, don’t forget to pay it forward and donate a book of your own!

 

So, book lovers, what other free or almost free book sources did I miss? Tell me in the comments below!