Goodreads Blog
blog posts (showing 321-330 of 451)
Put Goodreads reviews on your site!
Posted by Otis Chandler on January 23, 2009

We launched a variety of upgrades to out API a few weeks ago that I never blogged about. The most exciting changes were adding Oauth, and adding support to get Goodreads book reviews. This means you can now use our API to put our book reviews on your site!

There are two options currently:

The API supports a REST method (book.reviews_by_isbn and book.reviews_by_title) to return all the reviews for a given isbn or title. The reviews are capped at 300 characters, and have a "more..." link to Goodreads to read the rest (sorry - but can you blame us? We're doing this to get traffic back).

The second method is plug and play and designed for booksellers, publishers, libraries, or any online catalogue. It is a javascript plugin that you just copy/paste into your page, and presto - Goodreads reviews appear! The look and feel are fully configurable with css, so you can put your own fonts & colors, etc on it. Below is an example of how it looks with no styles.

Check out the Goodreads API

Here is a demo of the widget in action:

oprah's next literary blockbuster
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on January 21, 2009

Whether you love Oprah's reading taste or cringe at the idea of reading anything commercially successful, you can't deny that Oprah gets people talking about books. Lots of people. In 2008, 500,000 people pre-registered for her 10-week online seminars for Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, and reportedly 27 million people have since downloaded the webcast. It can't be denied that this was a landmark event in the still evolving relationship between the Internet and books.

This Monday, January 26, Oprah is hosting her second literary webcast, this time for David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Read details here and invite your friends!

Readers are still figuring out how their online activity relates to their offline reading habits. At Goodreads, we believe that reading doesn't have to be solitary. Sharing a book recommendation and discussing a book's finer points is part of the joy. I have to applaud Oprah for promoting reading. And with 576 pages and Shakespearean roots, Sawtelle can't be called a lightweight pick. Will you be participating in Oprah's webcast?
Barack Obama quotes
Posted by Otis Chandler on January 20, 2009

Today is a historic day for America—Barack Obama is now our 44th president.

Here are some inspirational quotes from his inauguration speech. You can view the full text or watch it here.

Quotes by Barack Obama:
"That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."
Add this quote »

"The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."
Add this quote »

"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."
View this quote

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Add this quote »

ps. While Barack Obama is not (yet) on Goodreads, we do have a very nice fake Barack Obama!

pps. The White House now has a blog!

Reader in Chief
Posted by Ken-ichi on January 19, 2009

Michiko Kakutani just wrote up a piece for The New York Times on Barack Obama's reading habits, a nice little followup to the WSJ's article on W. There's some crossover, of course (Team of Rivals, The Holy Bible), but as Kakutani points out, Obama seems to lean a little more toward fiction and poetry, including Invisible Man, The Golden Notebook, Moby Dick, and the poet Derek Walcott. And, as Obamarama comes to a point this Tuesday, let us not forget that the Adulated One is an accomplished author himself, though not, apparently, an active Goodreads author. Hm, maybe if we built a Blackberry application...
Alas, poor George! We knew him ... or did we?
Posted by Ken-ichi on January 13, 2009

President George W. Bush has been called many things over the past 8 years, but "bookworm" definitely wasn't on my shortlist of monikers. Yet behold! None other than champion secret-leaker Karl Rove has spilled the beans (again): our president not only reads, but he reads competitively, from Team of Rivals to Next, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number to Ana's Story. Even *gasp* The Holy Bible! I mean, we all know he's read "My Pet Goat", but the The Stranger?!

Given this demonstrated love for the printed (if not spoken) word, one can only imagine what literary heights he'll be scaling now that he has all this free time! So I'd like to make a few humble suggestions:

I'm sure you all can add to this list. Leave some comments!
API Update: Add Reviews Using OAuth
Posted by Ben Weiner on January 09, 2009

We've just added support for OAuth in our API!

With it comes a new method allowing you to build applications that add reviews on behalf of members. You can read more about using OAuth with our API in the documentation.

Register your app to get started. We'd love to hear what you're building — join the developers group and let people know.
Plaxo added Goodreads as a feed source
Posted by Otis Chandler on January 09, 2009

We're pleased to announce that Plaxo has added Goodreads as a feed source on their Plaxo Pulse update stream. This will be a great way for all you Plaxo members to share your Goodreads book reviews with your Plaxo friends!

Check out Plaxo's announcement for more details.

Site slowness
Posted by Michael Economy on January 08, 2009

The goodreads servers are currently having some networking problems. Unfortunately it's really slowing down page loads. Out host has a status page up.

We're terribly sorry!

-The goodreads team

Calling all Goodreads Sci Fi and Fantasy authors!
Posted by Otis Chandler on January 07, 2009

In March and April the Sci Fi and Fantasy Book Club will be picking their reading selection from Goodreads Authors! The group has over 1,000 members so this is a great opportunity for any Sci Fi or Fantasy writer.

To submit suggestions for SciFi (March):

To submit suggestions for Fantasy books (April):

Here's what they're reading now:
Wizards First Rule

A Fire Upon The Deep
new and improved videos
Posted by Otis Chandler on January 04, 2009

Some members have asked why a book site would need videos, but once you browse some of the amazing footage of authors speaking about and reading their books, you'll agree its a great feature. Just check out the priceless footage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle below!

Previously we allowed YouTube videos to be embedded on author pages, however now if you browse the videos page for an author you'll see we are automatically pulling in search results from YouTube for that author. We also greatly improved the display of videos and the explore videos pages.

Here are some of more popular videos:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Stephenie Meyer

Neil Gaiman

J.K. Rowling

View all popular videos »