Where Do I Get My Books From

Long gone are the days where my mother sponsored my book buying habits and thus I had to resort to multiple avenues to get my source of books! Mostly legal and one very very ILLEGAL way… Do I still do said illegal way… no of course not unless its a rich writer from 1st world country then perhaps I will take it into consideration but for the majority after finding out there are many other ways to get free or affordable books, I have renounced my life of crime.

  1. Library

The library one is pretty much self explanatory because duh library. I borrow from the two main libraries available in Miri which is Pustaka Miri and Dewan Suarah. Now to compare the two I would say that Pustaka has more selections of non-fiction as opposed to fiction and Dewan Suarah is the opposite. Some books I can’t find in Dewan Suarah I can occasionally find in Pustaka.

2. Scribd

I subscribed to Scribd after seeing a thread on twitter at how cheap the subscription is… its only $4 so about RM 13 a month and for a huge selection of books why not? Especially if the selection is both ebooks as well as audiobooks.

Although after I heard a snippet of the audiobooks on Audible… I am so tempted to try Audible because man it sounds like a movie! The snippet I heard was Neil Gaiman Sandman.

3. Netgalley

Netgalley is essentially a website where you can request for review copies for FREE! The crux of that is you have to give a review for every book request to boost your score which will allow you to request for more mainstream books. To be honest I haven’t logged into my Netgalley account in years not that it isn’t good its more towards my inclination for either hardcopy books or audiobooks. I only read eBooks if I have to or the fact that the book is really good and I only have eBook copy.

4. Bookstores

5. Review copy

This is different from my Netgalley avenue whereby this is the author contacts me personally to review their book… this rarely happens as I unfortunately am but a small book reviewer but I mean I always go for random hiatus so that makes sense… look at my blog I have yet to return…. I’m more into videos now be it on YouTube or Instagram (follow me if you want to listen to book rants!)

6. Libby

Libby is another avenue for free books and is an app where you can borrow library books in app! Its super great! If I’m not mistaken you download the Libby app and then you choose the library as national library of Malaysia and your card number you can choose between pnm001 to pnm999.

7. Google books

Yup! I get free books from google books too. Is it a good quality book? Depends.., but again free books who am I to complain kan? Also, Buku Fixi is super cheap if you buy the eBook, it’s less than RM 10 and they also provide you with FREE EBOOKS. Anything that’s free is always great in my eyes. Which reminds me, Buku Fixi has more free books so must download now!

8. Pirated Books

Okay okay I know this is a controversial issue and believe me I get it… I now don’t condone using this avenue when there are so many resources to get cheap heck even free books LEGALLY buttttttt I do remember being a young and broke young adult… thirsting to read but having no way to do so because I didn’t have transport to go to the library… my internet data was shit at best at the time… I didn’t even know Netgalley existed let alone the existence of Libby and so i resorted to downloading illegal copies of books… Since I have shared 7 other avenues how I got my books I don’t want yall to illegally download books now… 

So that’s it guys! Those are the few ways I get my books…I would say book swap with other bookish friends but ill be honest I don’t do that because my friends don’t read as much as I do and our genres don’t match hahahah.

Book Review (#96): The Guest List by Lucy Foley

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Title: The Guest List

Author: Lucy Foley

Publisher: William Morrow

Published: 2 June 2020

Rating: 3/5

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley had potential to be a 5 star read for me to be quite honest with you. It had everything that I generally enjoyed in a murder mystery whodunnit… We have

  • Intense creepy atmosphere
  • Plenty of suspects with dubious backgrounds and motivations
  • Secrets galore!

But alas, it was not meant to be a 5 star read for me. 

First, there were no characters for me to relate to as most of them seem to be pretty unlikeable and when most of the characters are unlikeable it’s not much fun to read. The only reason I persevered was because writing kept me intrigued on who had died and who was the killer… was it somebody at the wedding? Somebody close? Why did they want said person to die? What is going on? Plus, the whole guessing game of whodunit is immense fun for somebody who loves murder mysteries.

But the thing that made me change my mind that this could be a solid 5 star read was how unbelievably convenient at how every main suspect for the murder was interlinked with one another. The first few interlinking of characters with said murder victim I can understand and see how it came to fruition but all of the main suspects? Are you for real? It just made the story less convincing ya know and when that happened I couldn’t suspend my belief any further. There’s only so much suspension of belief that one can take.

Had the ending did not end the way it did, I would’ve thoroughly enjoyed this book even more but what can you do. 

Would I still recommend this book? Most definitely, it was still a good read even though at first it was quite slow.

Book Review (#92) : Anna K by Jenny Lee

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Title: Anna K

Author: Jenny Lee

Published: 3rd March 2020

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Pages: 400

Source: Legenbooksdary

 

Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather a sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

I obtained this book from Legenbooksdary as she was giving away her arcs and I chose this book specifically because I am obsessed with Anna Karenina.

Okay, perhaps saying I was obsessed is a bit much considering I have yet to read the actual book but in my defense what hooked me with Anna’s story was the Russian movie adaptation of Anna Karenina.

Bruh, I watched that movie maybe 15 years ago, so long ago I truly cannot remember where and when and how I even got to watch this Russian movie but when Anna flung herself in front of that train… That scene stuck by me… It definitely made a home in the recesses of my brain.

But let’s get started with this book review.

To be quite honest with you, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. It was a pretty meh book for me. I initially thought the book would make engulf me in the throes of family drama but reading it my feelings were more of okay this is boring I do not understand what is the big deal with all these relationships especially the relationship between Anna K and Alexia Vronsky.

And if you as a reader already feel this way regarding the relationships of the main protagonists, it is not a good sign.

I think that my nonchalance on the romances and the drama that ensues in this book is due to the characters being so young. They’re just teenagers and being an adult who is currently unemployed with nothing to look forward to in terms of a career, I honestly cannot relate. I cannot relate to how much stock they put into their romantic lives especially the insta-love that happens between Vronsky and Anna.

I just don’t understand the insta-love thing and how suddenly they’re just so obsessed with each other without any apparent reason.

At least, from what I understand in the Anna Karenina movie, Anna was in a loveless marriage and then she met with Vronsky who swept her off her feet and introduced her to a world and life filled to the brim with passion and love yet the decision she makes to be with him will ultimately seal her fate. By choosing Vronsky, Anna must forgo everything in her life; her children, her social standing, her family’s social standing and even her friends. Essentially she literally has to give up everything to be with this man and that decision eats her up from the inside until she just cracked and throws herself in front of a train.

The decision that Anna K in this book whereby she chose to cheat on her boyfriend to be with Vronsky just because her boyfriend was in an accident and she did not have the heart to break up with him just baffles me. Especially since this book is set in modern day Manhattan and there has been progress and modernization in terms of women’s rights.

Also, in terms of writing, I feel this book was more of a modernisation of Anna Karenina as opposed to a retelling that has its own plot because whilst I may say that I have yet to read Anna Karenina, I did read the first 20 pages and let me tell you that the first chapter of Anna K and the those first 20 pages in the original book is almost identical.

Another issue I find with this book is the ending which in my honest opinion is bullshit. BULLSHIT!

SPOILERS AHEAD

You’re telling me that in this book instead of Anna committing suicide due to the mental stress she has been under, the author changed it to Vronsky sacrificing himself to save Anna so it is he who dies at the end.

I am not saying that the ending should end in any form of suicide or death or whatever. I am just saying that the author had a chance to retell this story in a different manner because it is a retelling.

They could have just allowed both Anna K and Vronsky to live and then expand on the repercussions of their actions which in all honesty would have been an interesting read. Would their relationship withstand that test?

But, they didn’t so thats that.

Overall, this book was a meh with characters that were meh and I give this book a rating of……

12

Book Blogger Hop

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The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, I relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Last weeks prompt: Can you stop reading before the end of a chapter? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

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I mean, how can you stop before the chapter ends? Unless of course the chapters in a particular books is literally unending then yeah that is pretty understandable but for me personally I rarely stop reading before the chapter ends.

The only times I have done so is if I am just extremely tired of the subject matter of the book is just too intense for me that I just NEED to take a break which only happens with non-fiction books.

This weeks prompt: Do you think that overall work morale would be improved by having a “book lunch”, sponsored by the company, at least once a month, or perhaps once a week? (Participation would be voluntary.) (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

I definitely think this would improve work morale as all the staff can just relax and enjoy each others company as well as talk about books that they have read and have a discussion about it. This can lead to a tighter bond between co-workers and provide a happy working environment especially if participation is voluntary. Having this bond can also lead towards friendship outside of work that may help in having a support system or just somebody new to hang out with on the weekends.

Having these “book lunches” can also provide insight as to the perspectives of your colleagues or even your boss/superior regarding different subjects especially since every body likes different types of books.

Overall, having these “book lunches” especially if done and executed well could provide an outlet for all people in the work force to have better communication with one another and have something that they can bond over which may help improve work quality in the long term.

NOPE book tag

Damn! So much for blogging for 30 days straight… Anyhoots lets go straight to the book tag!

This book tag was created by Farah from The Farah Project.


NOPE: Ending > A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy

The Terror by Dan Simmons. It was more like I did not like the second half of the book all the way to the ending because the first half leaned more towards psychological horror/thriller that just tickled my bones and then out of nowhere (an exaggeration but whatever) the latter half became this monster horror fest that I was just not into because throughout the whole book everything was so realistic that you start to wonder is it the crew mates going insane? Is there really a monster? So I personally preferred the ending to match up with the earlier tone of the book which was psychological horror/thriller because that my friends is far more horrifying than anything on Earth especially if you know the shit that went down in this book.

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NOPE: Protagonist > A main character you dislike and drives you crazy

I honestly can’t think of any book characters to tell you the truth the only one that comes to mind is Rey from Star Wars. Lord do I hate that character! I hate her with such zest! It’s like okay I get it you’re a woman but you being a woman does not magically make you this incredible super powered being out of bloody nowhere!!!! I seriously hope the new Star Wars movie redeems itself because I really like Kylo Ren. Rey is like this annoying mosquito in your room when you’re trying to sleep but it keeps bugging you but you can’t kill it… yet.

NOPE: Series > A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. After you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

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The Heroes of Olympus series killed me man. This series just killed any enthusiasm I had for any other series ever. I invested so much time, energy and money and feelings into it to only be so sorely disappointed by how juvenile the plot and writing was. I kept trudging on thinking maybe there will be salvation at the end of this very long road but alas no. There was no salvation. The series has traumatized me so much that I just CANNOT bring myself to invest in another series.

NOPE: Popular pairing > A ship you don’t support

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Yoon Bum and Sungwoo from the Korean Manga, Killing Stalking by Koongi. If you have read the manga, I don’t even need to explain why I like this pairing but I also DO NOT support it. The mental and physical abuse… man

NOPE: Plot twist > A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like

This plot twist comes from Kill The Father by Sandrone Dazieri. Now two years later I do realize that the plot twist isn’t new or groundbreaking but the repercussions of that one plot twist at the end just makes me think of how it effed up the protagonist man.

NOPE: Protagonist action decision > A character decision that made you shake you head NOPE

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NOPE: Genre > A genre you will never read

Probably sci-fi and maybe YA. No particular reason really I just don’t read these genres that much or at all.

NOPE: Book format > Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

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NOPE: Trope > A trope that make you go NOPE

Love at first sight. Romanticizing abusive relationships AND NOT ACKNOWLEDGING THAT SHIT IS ABUSIVE and Mary Sue characters… It’s you Rey. I’m watching you!

NOPE: Recommendation > A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read

Anything written by Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas. Sorry.

NOPE: Cliche/Pet peeves > A cliche in writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes

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NOPE: Love interest > The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest

Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley. I need not say more.

NOPE: Book >  A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can’t.

NOPE: Villain > A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction

Can I say lack of knowledge or foresight? I am thinking more in line of how the girls in the book The Radium girls didn’t know what was happening to them. All they knew was that they’re in pain and that they’re dying. That’s scary. Not knowing what is happening to you.

NOPE: Death > A character death that still haunts you

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NOPE: Author > An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit

I would say Stephen King and Robert Gailbraith. Stephen King because his writing style is just not for me and Robert Gailbraith because their plot in their books are just so convoluted FOR NO ABSOLUTE REASON!

The Boujee Book Tag

Okay it is supposed to be a BookTuber book tag but I liked the questions so HERE WE GO!

The Boujee Book(tuber) Tag is created by Olive on the channel abookolive. Do check her channel out. I haven’t done book tags in so long hope you guys enjoy!


QUESTIONS

What is your average monthly budget for books?

To be honest I don’t have a monthly or even an annual budget for books and this can be disastrous in two ways. One is where I go absolutely bananas at book sales such as Big Bad Wolf Sale and just buy EVERYTHING I want to my hearts content then suffer the consequence for the next few months or I but no books at all and just borrow stuff from the library or at worst read ebooks I requested and was approved on from Netgalley.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent in a bookstore?

On my own money its about RM 200-ish. On my Mom’s money when I was a teen, its RM 500-ish.

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Are you willing to pay full price for a brand new release, or will you wait until you have a coupon or there’s a sale?

This highly depends on two things.

  1. How much do I want to read that book
  2. My current budget and whether I am willing to forgo food for the month

The second reason is painful because books in Malaysia is crazy expensive especially if they’re not locally written books. Like I am not spending RM 50 on a 300 page book when I know for a fact I will finish that book in a day.

But most of the time I don’t really want to read books so much that I am willing to spend money on them anymore especially if they are a series. I just can’t imagine spending my hard earned money that way knowing I can just make myself read ebooks. I am not a huge ebook person but hey free books are free books and when you’re strapped for cash you will read anything you can have for free.

Although I must say if I REALLY want to read that book I will buy it. It’s just that recently books I have waited on to read and paid for with my wage which was earned through blood sweat and tears and then the book is a read I did not enjoy. You can say a part of me was traumatized and has since refused to buy new books unless I am ABSOLUTELY sure I will like it.

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I am looking at you Cursed Child and fourth installment of Robert Gailbraith’s book of which I forgot its title

Would you rather buy one new book or several less expensive used copies?

This one is easy! SEVERAL LESS EXPENSIVE USED COPIES DUHHHHHH!

My shelf now are primarily made up of books I buy in used book sales unless I buy them at Big Bad Wolf book sales then yeah those are new but most of the time I just squirrel my way to the used books section and hopefully find one book I enjoy. The Asian in me is like why would I buy one book that cost RM 30 when I could buy 5 books for the same price??

What do you think is a reasonable price for a new hardback book? A paperback? An eBook?

Hmmm… difficult…

Hardback: RM 60 – RM 120

Paperback: RM 35 – RM 50

Ebook: RM 20 max

Hardback and paperback the prices I think should reflect on how thick they are and how beautiful the book cover is.

Is a signed book worth more to you? How about a first edition?

To be honest no. I don’t care. Unless I get to meet my fav historical romance authors in real life then DAMN STRAIGHT I’ll care but if not. Nah, I am pretty ambivalent over it.

What is your most valuable book (sentimental or actual value)?

My books are all only sentimental in value but my most valuable books are my Harry Potter series and also books gifted to me by friends or family members.

Will you pay more for a cover or edition you like better?

Definitely pay more for an edition I like better. I am already paying for this shit I might as well go all out and get the ones I like.

What physical characteristics does a good quality book have?

You know a book is from a good publishing company when everything just looks smooth. Like everything flows you know? From the fonts of the title that matches the color of the cover page. The coverpage art suits the genre of the book. I have no idea how to explain what is in my mind but basically you don’t get wonky fonts or models posing for the coverpage looking as still as a plywood board. Ya feel?

If you won the lottery, what bookish things would you do with the money?

I would buy books that I want basically. Its not exciting but I haven’t bought books that I wanted in a long time.

BONUS: Give us an image (actual or mental) of your dream home library!

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This is how I want my reading space to be. With a huge ass window that can open wide, which obviously have safety stuff installed so I wont fall out of it but yeah basically.

Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Okay just putting it out there that I also made a BookTube review on this book so if you want to check that out click the link!

Let’s start with the positives first so not everything is a bad vibe. When I first saw this book in the library I was really intrigued by it because the cover looked really nice and the premise looked promising.

Unfortunately, that is all the positive things I have to say for this book as for me it started to go downhill as I read past chapter 2.

I really did not enjoy this book mainly because the main character Margot Lewis is such a difficult character to get behind. She is just so unlikable it was really hard for me to empathize with her or even care about her as a character. Margot is written to be this neurotic, highly paranoid and highly strung individual and we don’t know why she is like this up until the very end and whilst this is a usual ploy used to create suspense but here in this book is just pissed me off because I can’t understand why she is acting this way and by the time I found out I couldn’t care less because Margot was akin to nails on a chalkboard for me.

I do not mind reading about characters who are mentally unstable or people who have anxiety or does overthink because Hello! I am like that too but there must be a reason. I wish the author had done a red herring which might explain to the readers why Margot is acting this way without truly revealing anything. Plus, doing it this way might have made the plot more entertaining to read which leads me to my second point…

The plot. The plot you read on Goodreads is basically everything you need to know and its nothing else making the book so dull and boring and its only 300ish pages but felt like I was reading a book three times its page count.

Last but not least was the romance. Dear Lord did the romance came out of bloody effin nowhere. I think the author did try to insert some instances of where you’re supposed to pick up that they’re going to be together but I as the reader didn’t catch up on it because I didn’t know why they would be into each other.

Like it was not explained in the book as to why they would have romantic feelings for each other. I thought they were just work buddies in this mission to UNCOVER THE TRUTH! Even from Margot’s perspective the only thing I got from her regarding her feelings for Martin was that he was hot and she felt safe with him. Why? She felt safe with him nobody knows.

Will I recommend this book? No I would not.

Will I read something written by this author? Yes, yes I would. I see snippets of brilliance, it just needs to be buffed a bit more.