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20 Books That Will Hook You From the Very First Page
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on February 06, 2016

Readers can be patient people, but sometimes we want a book that grabs us right from the start—a story that'll have us flipping pages after only a few moments of bookstore browsing or ereader previewing. We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's a book that hooked you from the very first page? Check out the books that received the most shout-outs below!


The Martian
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Big Little Lies
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The Kite Runner
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Beloved
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In the Woods
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The Book Thief
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Fangirl
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The Gunslinger
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Angela's Ashes
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The Time Traveler's Wife
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The Killing Floor
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The Rosie Project
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An Ember in the Ashes
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The Goldfinch
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Ready Player One
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The Shadow of the Wind
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The Eyre Affair
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A Suitable Boy
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Room
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A Discovery of Witches
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Did the books that hooked you not make the list? Don't keep them to yourself—share the titles with us in the comments!


Got a Kindle E-reader? Now Your Goodreads Want to Read List Is on the Kindle Home Page!
Posted by Sukhesh Miryala on February 03, 2016

If you read on a Kindle ereader, we know that moment you are thinking of: You've just finished a book, and you're ready for another. Now we've made it even easier to access your Goodreads to-read list! We worked with the Kindle team, and the latest Kindle ereader software update puts your Goodreads Want to Read list (and if you have one, your Amazon Wish List) front and center on the Kindle Home page. Goodreads is great at helping you find your next favorite book—now it will be simpler than ever to start reading it!


See what your Goodreads friends are reading, right from your Kindle.

Seeing what friends are reading is one of our favorite ways to discover new books on Goodreads. The new Kindle ereader Home screen rotates to show you personalized recommendations and books your Goodreads friends are reading, along with a profile photo of a friend who has it their shelves. Tap on the profile photo to see more friend activity around the book, including your friends' reviews. Tap on the book itself to download a sample or purchase and start reading! Books are always better with friends.


Our updated version of Goodreads is available in a free, over-the-air software update delivered automatically on the new Kindle, the Kindle Voyage, and the last two generations of Kindle Paperwhite in the United States, Canada, India, UK, Ireland, and Australia in the coming weeks. Can't wait? You can also visit Fire & Kindle Software Updates to download it manually now.

Wondering when your country or device will get this? Goodreads is currently available on the latest versions of Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets in the United States, Canada, India, UK, Ireland, and Australia. We don't have details to share about other devices or about introducing Goodreads to Kindle e-readers or Fire tablets in other countries at this time. However, our goal is to provide the Goodreads experience on Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets to as many of our members as possible. In the meantime, other options to consider are our iPhone/iPad app or our Android app, available from the Amazon Appstore for Android or from Google Play.

Let us know what you think of these new features!

Inspiring the Artist in Everyone: Writers and Artists Share Handwritten Lists of Their Favorite Influential Books
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on February 02, 2016

Here at Goodreads we're inspired by stories and essays and art—but what inspires the people who create them? We partnered with ForYourArt and asked writers and artists to share the books that influenced their lives and their careers. The project is called EVERBOOKS. Click the handwritten lists below to explore the recommendations.

And for Los Angeles readers, we have an extra special treat. On February 12, you can attend EVERBOOKS: Artists and Writers Read from Their Favorite Books, moderated by art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, at the Million Dollar Theater, in conjunction with Printed Matter, Inc.'s LA Art Book Fair. The event is free for ForYourArt and Goodreads readers. Learn more here.


Miranda July, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You
Janet Finch, author of White OleanderRodney McMillian, artist

Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Mungo Thomson, artist Catherine Opie, photographer

Eleanor Antin, artist

Aram Saroyan, poet and novelistAna Prvacki, artist



Adriana Ramic, artist William Leavitt, artist

Barbara T. Smith, performance artist

Joseph Mosconi, Fright Catalog artist Mary Weatherford, artist

Jesse Stecklow, artist

Aimee Bender, author Billy Al Bengston, artist

Meg Cranston, artist Piero Golia, artist

Vanessa Place, writer Lisa Anne Auerbach, artist

William E. Jones, artist



What books have inspired and influenced your life? Share them with us in the comments.

203 Years Later, We Still Can't Get Enough of Pride and Prejudice
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on January 28, 2016



January 28, 1813: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published 203 years ago today. Two centuries later? Fervor hasn't died down. It remains one of the most beloved books in the world, and new adaptations—in book and film form—are coming this year.

What is it about Elizabeth and Darcy's story that is so timeless? To answer that question (or, more accurately, to indulge our Austen addiction), we took a look at some of the most popular books inspired by Pride and Prejudice. (Check out Listopia for a comprehensive list.)


Sequels
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues
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Death Comes to Pemberley
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Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride
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Mr. Darcy's Daughters
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Retellings from a Different Perspective
Longbourn
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An Assembly Such As This
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Mr. Darcy's Diary
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Modern Updates
Bridget Jones' Diary
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Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
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Prom and Prejudice
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Complete Reimaginings
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
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Darcy's Voyage: A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas
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Austenland
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Pulse and Prejudice
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So it's a truth universally acknowledged that—even if Darcy is a vampire, Lizzie needs a prom date, or both of them are murder suspects—the world can never have enough Pride and Prejudice. Is that a good thing? We leave it up to you to decide.

Are you looking forward to more Pride and Prejudice remakes and reinterpretations?

Yes! How shall I bear so much happiness?

No! Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?



Why do you love Pride and Prejudice? (Or do you, like Mark Twain, just not get the appeal?) Let us know in the comments!


Famous Authors Who Were Not Fans of Other Famous Authors
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on January 26, 2016



Have you ever felt like some famous writers are a little overrated? Well, you're in good company—other famous writers felt the same way (and were neither polite nor cautious about expressing it). Enjoy our favorite author-on-author insults below!


Pygmalion
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by George Bernard Shaw

Not a fan: H.G. Wells
"An idiot child screaming in a hospital."


For Whom the Bell Tolls
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by Ernest Hemingway

Not a fan: Vladimir Nabokov
"As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early 'forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it."


Pride and Prejudice
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by Jane Austen

Not a fan: Mark Twain
"Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone."


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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by Mark Twain

Not a fan: William Faulkner
"A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy."


Moby-Dick
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by Herman Melville

Not a fan: D.H. Lawrence
"Nobody can be more clownish, more clumsy and sententiously in bad taste, than Herman Melville, even in a great book like Moby-Dick…. One wearies of the grand serieux. And that's Melville. Oh dear, when the solemn ass brays! brays! brays!"


Ulysses
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by James Joyce

Not a fan: Virgina Woolf
"[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples."


Inferno
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by Dante Alighieri

Not a fan: Friedrich Nietzsche
"A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs."


The Cantos
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by Ezra Pound

Not a fan: Gertrude Stein
"A village explainer. Excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not."


On the Road
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by Jack Kerouac

Not a fan: Truman Capote
"That's not writing, that's typing."


The Old Man and the Sea
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by Ernest Hemingway

Not a fan: William Faulkner
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."


The Sound and the Fury
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by William Faulkner

Not a fan: Ernest Hemingway
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"


Twilight
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by Stephenie Meyer

Not a fan: Stephen King
"Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people…. The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."



What's your favorite author-on-author insult? Tell us in the comments!


The Bowie Effect: Discovering New Books Through a Music Legend
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on January 21, 2016



"Don't you love the Oxford Dictionary?" David Bowie once mused. "When I first read it, I thought it was a really, really long poem about everything."

Bowie, who passed away last week at the age of 69, was always hungry—for art, for knowledge, for music, for being "something more than human." He achieved near-mythical status over the course of his career as a musician, actor, and cultural icon. He was also a bookworm. In 2013, he shared his 100 must-read books with his fans, showcasing his unsurprisingly eclectic reading taste. Modern classics like A Clockwork Orange and The Great Gatsby made the cut, but so did more obscure tales like Infants of the Spring and A Grave for a Dolphin.

In the wake of Bowie's death, the list has gained new life, with fellow book lovers embracing it as a way to connect and to pay tribute. In fact, you can see the effect right here on Goodreads.



The above chart shows the number of users who have recently added, rated, and reviewed The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima, one of the books on Bowie's list. (This information is available for all books on Goodreads. You can find it by clicking the "Stats" link in the top right corner of any book page.) The spike of readers adding the book occurred the day after Bowie died.




Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard, a lush historical fiction novel about the decline of a decadent Sicilian aristocracy, experienced a similar spike on the same day.




Unlike The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea and The Leopard, Vile Bodies is not its author's most well-known work. Evelyn Waugh's 1930 witty society tale is usually overshadowed by Brideshead Revisited and A Handful of Dust. But thanks to an endorsement from Bowie, Vile Bodies received more adds that day than any other Waugh book.





Meanwhile, some books on Bowie's list (like David Kidd's All the Emperor's Horses) had almost nonexistent shelving activity leading into January. The spike here, though small, represents a group of passionate readers who discovered something new, all because of Bowie.


Check out the full list of books—and add them to your Want to Read shelf here: David Bowie's Top 100 Must-Read Books.

(Top image credit: David Bowie's READ poster for the American Libraries)
Preview now available on Goodreads apps
Posted by Libby on January 13, 2016

Our popular Preview feature is now available in our Android and iOS apps! If you want to get a taste of a book before adding it to your To-Read shelf, you no longer need to be on a desktop or home computer. Now you can read sample pages wherever you are with the Goodreads apps.

Preview is simple to use. You’ll find the “Preview” icon on the book page of any of the millions of titles that have a Kindle edition. Tap on the icon and a sample of the book will open up within the Goodreads app.

Preview


If you like what you see, you can add the title to your To-Read shelf on Goodreads. And for our Android users, you can buy the full version of the ebook from Amazon or other popular retailers.

Preview


Preview is only available for members in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. (You can also access preview from the Goodreads website on your desktop or home computer if you are in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, or India. It is not yet accessible in other countries.)


Download or update the Goodreads iOS or Android app and check out the Preview feature. It's a great way to decide what to read next and get your 2016 Reading Challenge off to a strong start!

Happy Previewing!
20 Things All Book Lovers Wish Someone Would Say to Them
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on January 12, 2016



Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: What do all book lovers wish someone would say to them? In our perfect world, we'd get to hear all of these. In this world…we can dream. Check out our favorite answers and imagine the reading possibilities!


1. "Your job today is to read any book you want. Make sure you spend a good eight hours at it." (@craigtimes)

2. "Sure, I understand you need the rest of the day off to mourn the loss of a beloved character." (Brenna Godfrey)

3. "Every book on your Goodreads Want to Read list (and all you'll add in future) will be sent to you free of charge." (Fatma Teke)

4. "I've read that book as well! Let's discuss the characters, their flaws, plot twists, and what you think will happen in the next book!" (Quiana Jones)

5. "I don't mind cooking dinner today. You stay on the sofa and carry on reading." (@GingerCatBlog)

6. "Would you like to work at my book shop?" (@joreads2015)

7. "I really loved that book you recommended to me." (@imkattay)

8. "I can get you any ARC you'd like." (@bazinga_sucker)

9. "Here is your own personal door to the largest bookstore in the world. In it is every book in every edition for every genre. And you will also get paid paid for each book you read (plus a bonus for reviewing it). If you have any questions, here are the authors' contact info. Oh, and don't worry about the kids—we have complimentary nannies and housekeepers on standby." (Heather VanDyne)

10. "The Winds of Winter release date is ______. (Okay, not all book lovers, but a lot of them.)" (Richard Ketterer)

11. "Hey honey, let's spend the day getting lost in the used bookstore." (Beth Ford)

12. "What book do you recommend?" (@4evachris)

13. "There are now 25 hours in a day, and the extra hour can only be used for reading." (@SweetRobin110)

14. "Describe that series to me in great detail." (Lucy Hutchinson)

15. "Here's a TARDIS bookcase. Buy as many books as you want—they'll all go in." (Bronwen Humphreys)

16. "Yes, of course you can spend the night in the library." (Babette A. Stubits)

17. "You can have the first edition of any book you want." (Cheryl Johnson)

18. "I couldn't help but notice you love books. I've built you a library full of old classics with plenty of room to add new books. Oh, sweetheart, don't worry about repayment. Just read books to your heart's content. " (Erika L. Miller)

19. "All rainy days are hereby declared reading only days." (Kerrie Lang)

20. "I'll be quiet so you can read." (@hrm_1973)


What do you wish you could hear most? Tell us in the comments!


15 Highly Anticipated Books of 2016
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on January 06, 2016

Tell your Want to Read shelf to brace itself—books are coming. Sure, George R.R. Martin probably won't deliver The Winds of Winter this year, but who needs Seven Kingdoms and an Iron Throne when you've got spectacular tales of soldiers, stalkers, royals, and fugitives hitting shelves in 2016? (Actually we want it all, but we'll try to be patient.) We've rounded up some of the soon-to-be-released books that are getting the most adds here on Goodreads! How many do you want to read?


Young Adult
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Lady Midnight
by Cassandra Clare

Set in the same world of mythology and mystery as The Mortal Instruments, Lady Midnight kicks off The Dark Artifices, a bold new series centered on Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs's deadly quest for revenge.


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Glass Sword
by Victoria Aveyard

In Red Queen, Best Debut Goodreads Author Aveyard introduced us to Mare Barrow, a commoner with the unexpected ability to control lightning. Mare makes her triumphant return in this powerful fantasy sequel.


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The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

What do you get when you take a classic Hades and Persephone-style romance and infuse it with Indian mythology? This gorgeously written story about a Raja's daughter and the curse that will forever change her life.


Fiction
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The High Mountains of Portugal
by Yann Martel

Get swept away to Portugal in this haunting story of love and loss—and a century-old quest that unites three very different men. This is the Life of Pi author's first novel since Beatrice and Virgil was published in 2010.


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The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

You might think you know dysfunctional families, but just wait until you meet the Plumbs. Shackled with secrets, scandals, and waning ambitions, four adult siblings grapple with the fate of their shared inheritance in this dazzling debut.

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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
by Helen Oyeyemi

The author of Boy, Snow, Bird returns with this rapturous collection of short stories. Built around keys, both literal and metaphorical, Oyeyemi plays with the ideas that unlock our minds and our hearts.


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The Association of Small Bombs
by Karan Mahajan

Mansoor Ahmed watched his two childhood friends get killed by a "small" bomb. The memory of it follows him to university in America and back to Delhi, anchoring this gripping novel about the effects of terrorism.

Fantasy/Science Fiction
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The Thorn of Emberlain
by Scott Lynch

Locke Lamora is a bastard, and the popular Gentleman Bastard sequence is the story of his exploits in the Therin Throne Empire. This fourth installment sees the thief go to war on a battlefield of blood and fire.


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A Gathering of Shadows
by V.E. Schwab

In Kell and Lila's world, there are four Londons, each with its own past of magic and mayhem. The heroes of A Darker Shade of Magic are back, ready for adventure—and a newly arisen Black London.


Horror
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The City of Mirrors
by Justin Cronin

With cold ferocity, Cronin brings his apocalyptic trilogy to a conclusion. What began with The Passage now ends here, beyond a hundred-year reign of darkness, to the Girl from Nowhere and humanity's last hope.


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End of Watch
by Stephen King

It's the last ride for Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of King's Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. This time around the retired cop scrambles to protect his friends—and his city—from a supernaturally evil former foe.


Mystery/Thriller
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Hidden Bodies
by Caroline Kepnes

Some anti-heroes are more "anti" than others. Take Joe Goldberg, for instance. He was an obsessive stalker (with a romantic side) in the thriller You, and now he's officially murderous in this suspenseful sequel.


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The Passenger
by Lisa Lutz

After she ditches her husband's body, Tanya changes her identity—and it's not for the first time. She didn't murder him (she says), but her race for survival and exoneration will keep you on your toes in this tense thriller.


Romance
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One with You
by Sylvia Day

Eva and Gideon aren't rid of all their demons. But their passion, first ignited in Bared to You, is still as hot as ever in the fifth and final installment of Day's sizzling erotic romance series, Crossfire.


Historical Fiction
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America's First Daughter
by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Discover a little known chapter of history through the eyes of Martha "Patsy" Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter. Privy to secrets and scandals, Patsy shapes a country's legacy—at the expense of her own heart.



Which book are you most excited to read this year? Let us know in the comments!


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