As if I couldn't find enough to read between free Kindle reads and library book sales, I also review books for several sites now. And, I've just added another. Here's the rundown on the sites I review for with a brief description of each- in case you're looking to add to your To Be Read list.
BookSneeze- This was my first review site and is still one of my favorite. Thomas Nelson is one of my favorite publishers. Books can be requested in ebook or print format. (Some are only available in one or the other.) Fiction and nonfiction books are available and sometimes other media as well. Only one book at time can be requested, and you cannot request another until you post your review. As an exception, sometimes BookSneeze will offer a special opportunity to review a book on a specified date, and this special request will not count as your current book.
Tyndale- Tyndale is well-known publisher. I've been able to review a few good kids reads through Tyndale and some adult reads also. Tyndale offers fiction and non-fiction. Like BookSneeze you cannot request another book until you post a review. My main dislike of Tyndale is that often there are no new books to request. Tyndale also will occasionally offer additional books through the a special program that allows reviewers to read an extra book, post a review, and have a certificate for another copy of the book to give away. Tyndale is also offering a special program specifically for ebooks now through Net Galley (see Net Galley below).
Waterbrook (Blogging for Books)- Waterbrook's Blogging for Books program has been one of my least favorite so far. I like the selection of books- fiction, non-fiction, and occasionally kids; but I do not like Blogging For Books' contests for ratings. In order to increase your book choices and to compete for prizes, you can ask people to "rate" your review. Those with the highest ratings win monthly prizes and get a bigger selection of books. I don't like this because I don't like asking for ratings. I also think it turns things into a popularity game, and people are more likely to publish a dishonest review just to get good ratings. I've read lots of Facebook talk that indicates this contest thing may cease, so we shall see.
Creation Conversations- I've requested three books from them so far and reviewed one. There is not a listed number of books that can be requested (that I have noticed). This is affiliated with New Leaf Publishing Group, and I must admit I joined because there were several Answers in Genesis books I wanted to review. Books can be ebooks or print and there seem to be several genres available but not a large selection at a time.
Amazon Vine- Because I was posting so many reviews on Amazon- most of these sites require readers to post reviews on blogs and a consumer site- I was invited to join the Amazon Vine review program. I chose two books right off the bat and promptly hated the first. I then requested another product- Amazon Vine is not only for books- and never received it. So, I am not duly impressed. I suppose I could have followed up on the missing product, but to be honest, I was too busy and really didn't care. Amazon Vine will allow you to have multiple products at a time, provided you are submitting reviews for some percentage. (I can't remember the exact percentage now.)
NetGalley- This is my newest review site. I actually just signed up today, so I don't have a good opinion yet. Tyndale offers their ebook reviews through NetGalley which is why I signed up. Now I can request other books also. All of these books are ebooks that can be read on your computer or sent directly to Kindle. I didn't see support for any other ereader, but there may have been. In NetGalley, you request a book (or galley) directly from the publisher who will either accept or refuse. I do not think there is a limit to how many can be requested at a time.
And now, if only a website could offer me more hours in a day in which to read all these books, life would be grand. In the meantime, I'll be happily reading and reviewing and rarely ever paying money for a book again!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I am actually very hesitant to write this review today. I haven't read any of the other Dinah Harris mysteries by Julie Cave, but I was excited to have the opportunity to review this one because it sounded very good, and it was my first book to review for the New Leaf Publishing Group. The reason I am reluctant to write the review is because I actually happen to agree with the beliefs expressed in the novel. I agree very much. However, I'm going to write a fairly negative review.
Dinah Harris is an ex FBI agent. She has the opportunity to partner with one of her old friends and associates to solve a string of church bombings. As she does, she grows in her new found faith and has the opportunity to share that faith with a man who is a prisoner mentally and physically.
This sounds like an exciting novel. Suspense, mystery, intrigue- all elements that make for a good read. However, the characters were not very realistic. The events were forced and not very believable. And, the message was very preachy. The Christians in the story were too "good." The way they talked and acted seemed scripted to be "good Christians", not very believable as real people. The story line was suspenseful but would veer off on tangents that were somewhat difficult to follow. And the story jumped back and forth from a current telling of a prisoner on death row to events that happened one year earlier in a way that sometimes lost coherency.
The thing that bothered me most about the book was how "preachy" it was. And the fact is, I agree with everything. But, the author's political and spiritual agenda was very prominent. Characters in the story would launch into these monologues detailing the author's views fairly often. It just didn't fit in the story, and the book was not enjoyable for me. When I read fiction, I prefer a good story. Christian fiction, in my opinion, should have a good, clean story line with spiritual teaching/encouragement that flows with the story. I think the message in this book would have been much better in a non-fiction, apologetics book.
It is with great disappointment that I give this read a not so very big thumbs up.
I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I finished the 6th book in the Outlander series this week. A Breath of Snow and Ashes did not dissapoint. I am still very enthralled with Claire and Jamie's story. I am a little worried about reading book 7 because book 8 is not written yet and is not supposed to come out until next year, I believe.
I also read Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann this week. Kristin Heitzman has long been one of my favorite Christian fiction authors.
In Indelible, we are taken back to the small mountain community of Redford, setting of Heitzman's last book, Indivisible. Natalie Reeve, who possesses a strange, and sometimes debilitating gift, meets Trevor McDaniel, a wounded hero, in a brave and daring rescue. As she gets to know the real Trevor, she becomes caught up in a mystery surrounding him. Trevor has an unusual admirer. But, throughout the story, we come to realize that his admirer may be more victim than menace.
I love the depth of Heitzman's characters. I also love the sweet relationships that develop in her stories- real relationships that aren't always easy and perfect endings, but that have depth and meaning. Heitzman is a wonderful story teller. I can feel her stories happening around me. Her characters are always dynamic- learning about themselves and God throughout the story so that they change and grow in character and depth. Indelible was another great Heitzman read!
I have an extra copy of Indelible to give away. If you will leave me a comment telling me your favorite author (at least at the moment), I'll draw for the book on Friday, June 17th.
I received a free copy of Indelible from Waterbrook Press for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.