Friday, January 29, 2016

The Book Hunter's Guide to Blogs about Books

It's winter. You need to have a pile of books on every surface to keep you busy while you hide under all of your blankets, riding out snow storms, bitter winds, and icy sidewalks. There are many blogs by readers, for readers, to help you decide how best to supply your stacks. Check out a few of my go-to blogs for the best recommendations for all tastes of books from the past, present, and future.

For the best in lists, enjoyable writing, and great, diverse book selections, Book Riot is one of my favorites. "Book Riot is dedicated to the idea that writing about books and reading should be just as diverse as books and readers are. So sometimes we are serious and sometimes silly. Some of our writers are pros. Many of them aren’t. We like a good list just as much as we like a good review. We think you can like both J.K. Rowling and J.M. Coetzee and that there are smart, funny, and informative things to say about both and that you shouldn’t have to choose." I think you'll love reading the Meyers-Briggs types of 202 literary characters.

The Millions is staffed by some outstanding new authors including Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire, and Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven so you can expect some high-quality writing from these guys. I always look forward to adding to my to-read list from their "most anticipated" feature on GoodReads.

The Indie View is devoted to reviewing the best in self-published books. Don't dismiss the self-published book! Publishers can be quite fusty and a lot of good writing is turned down for supposed lack of marketability. Consider The Martian by Andy Weir which was originally self-published, only to be picked up later by Crown Publishing after tremendous online success, and eventually turned into a box office smash starring Matt Damon.

Io9's book reviews are written by devoted superfans of science-fiction and fantasy. If you really love sci-fi or fantasy, make Io9 your first stop for what's coming out and what you may have missed.*

Omnivoracious, from Amazon, The Page Turner from the New Yorker, The Guardian, and NPR Book Reviews are all trusted standbys for quality book reviews. Check out this post from The Guardian in their Food in Books feature: mushroom, bacon and leek pie from The Fellowship of the Ring

The Mookse and the Gripes is one I sometimes forget to look at but I'm always glad when I remember it. "The Mookse and the Gripes is a website dedicated to literature and film, from any part of the world and from any era. It was created in July 2008. In October of 2012, The Mookse and the Gripes podcast, a podcast primarily dedicated to the books published by NYRB Classics, was born."

For reviews of graphic novels, check out Shelf Abuse, "a site devoted to comic books and graphic novels, specifically indie titles and small press releases. Occasionally, a movie or video game review also makes its way here."

Try the Bookrageous Podcast for funny and thoughtful discussions among true book lovers.

Don't forget about Novelist!
Use your library card to access this helpful service used by professional librarians to tailor recommendations based on books and authors you know and love.

*P.S. All the Birds in the Sky by Io9 editor-in-chief Charlie Jane Anders is ALL OVER the blogs lately so you might want to add it to your to-read pile.

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