Goodreads Blog
blog posts (showing 31-40 of 501)
Show Us Where You Read
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on May 01, 2015



Where do you read? Do you sprawl out in the park? Or do you have a cozy coffee shop with the perfect you-sized reading nook? Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, we want to see the view. We promise we won't get jealous—well, not too jealous—if you're currently reading on vacation, flipping pages on a balmy, sun-soaked beach. (Just take us with you next time, okay? San Francisco can get a little gloomy.)

Send us your photos on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #GoodreadswithaView!

16 Empowering Books for Kids
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 29, 2015

"Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it," Matilda announced in Roald Dahl's classic children's book. "Be outrageous. Go the whole hog."

Every child should be inspired to go the whole hog. Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: What are your favorite empowering books for kids? Today we've got your top picks! How many of these books did you read as a child?

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Don't see your favorite empowering kids' book? Share it with us in the comments!
15 Authors You Wish You Could Have Dinner With
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 24, 2015

Trying out a new seafood shack with Hemingway. Trading butterbeer recipes with J.K. Rowling. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually share a meal with your favorite writers? Imagine what you would say. Imagine what you would eat.

Last week we asked you on Facebook and Twitter: If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be? Today we've got your top answers. Did your favorite make the list?

Neil Gaiman
What to read before a dinner with Neil:
American Gods, Neverwhere

Possible menu item:
Laura Moon's Chili

Diana Gabaldon
What to read before a dinner with Diana:
Outlander

Possible menu item:
Scotch Broth

Agatha Christie
What to read before a dinner with Agatha:
And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express

Possible menu item:
Belgian Roast Chicken

Khaled Hosseini
What to read before a dinner with Khaled:
The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Possible menu item:
Chopan Kabob

Jane Austen
What to read before a dinner with Jane:
Pride and Prejudice, Emma

Possible menu item:
Rout Cake

Anne Rice
What to read before a dinner with Anne:
Interview with a Vampire, The Queen of the Damned

Possible menu item:
"Blood" Fondue Bar

Ernest Hemingway
What to read before a dinner with Ernest:
The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and the Sea,

Possible menu item:
The Old Man and the Sea Cocktail

J.K. Rowling
What to read before a dinner with Rowling:
The Harry Potter Series

Possible menu item:
Hogwarts Letter Cookies

Harper Lee
What to read before a dinner with Harper:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Possible menu item:
Southern Tea Cakes

Douglas Adams
What to read before a dinner with Douglas:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series

Possible menu item:
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Colleen Hoover
What to read before a dinner with Colleen:
Hopeless, Maybe Someday

Possible menu item:
"The Colleen Hoover" Diet Pepsi Cocktail

Stephen King
What to read before a dinner with Stephen:
The Shining, Carrie

Possible menu item:
Carrie Cake

Edgar Allan Poe
What to read before a dinner with Edgar:
The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher

Possible menu item:
Black Bird Pie

J.R.R. Tolkien
What to read before a dinner with Tolkien:
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings

Possible menu item:
Lembas Bread

Terry Pratchett
What to read before a dinner with Terry:
The Color of Magic, Mort

Possible menu item:
Sausage Inna Bun

Is this a dinner party you'd like to attend? Or do you have other authors—and recipes—in mind? If so, tell us in the comments!

10 Book Titles Based on Lines of Poetry
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 23, 2015

April is National Poetry Month. The couplets fly, the rhymes collide, and the air is thick with refrains and stanzas, iambic pentameters and hexameters.

Even if you're not a poet, you can find inspiration in verse. Novelists do it all the time. Poems are ripe hunting grounds for writers—and readers!— looking for big ideas and evocative turns of phrase.

To celebrate poems the bookish way, we’ve collected some of the most famous novels with titles taken from lines of poetry. Dig in and get inspired!

Gone with the Wind
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by Margaret Mitchell
"I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind"
From Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae
by Ernest Dowson


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Her Fearful Symmetry
by Audrey Niffenegger

"Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"
From The Tyger
by William Blake



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Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold"
From The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats


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The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold

"I knew a woman, lovely in her bones
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them"
From I Knew a Woman
by Theodore Roethke


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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou

"I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core"
From Sympathy
by Paul Laurence Dunbar


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A Handful of Dust
by Evelyn Waugh

"And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
From The Waste Land
by T.S. Elliot


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Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck

"But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley"
From To a Mouse
by Robert Burns


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The Dark Tower Series
by Stephen King

"Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew. "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came."
From Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
by Robert Browning

(Which Browning took from Shakespeare's King Lear)


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Let the Great World Spin
by Colum McCann

"Not in vain the distance beacons.
Forward, forward let us range,
Let the great world spin for ever down
The ringing grooves of change."
From Locksley Hall
by Alfred Tennyson


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Far From the Madding Crowd
by Thomas Hardy

"Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way."
From Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
by Thomas Gray


There are many more books titles inspired by lines from poetry—and even more from plays. Check them all out here! Which one is your favorite?


Have You Read the "It" Books of Spring?
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on April 21, 2015

Not every year has a clear "It" book—the book we all can't stop talking about, the book that's passed around, devoured quickly, and debated gleefully. For 2015, there's a surprisingly clear winner...so far! Debut novelist Paula Hawkins is living every first-time writer's dream. Her twisty, creepy mystery, The Girl on the Train, published in January 2015, might be "the fastest selling hardcover adult novel ever."


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Goodreads members have boarded the train!

In just three months, The Girl on the Train has been rated on Goodreads a whopping 122,470 times. Compare that to last year's "It" books, We Were Liars and All the Light We Cannot See, which have 114,099 ratings and 111,127 ratings respectively.

And momentum is still building:

  • Total readers who have added The Girl on the Train to their want-to-read shelf: 133,692
  • Average number of people rating or adding the book every day: 3,300
  • And it's the number 1 most-searched-for book on Goodreads since January!

What are this year's other "It" book contenders? In search of the magic formula, we looked at the most popular 2015 books of spring in several genres. Below, check out some books that are already trending as well as soon-to-be published books that are just beginning to sizzle.

Which books are you most excited to read?

FICTION
Already HotStarting to Sizzle
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NONFICTION
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YOUNG ADULT FICTION
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MYSTERY & THRILLER
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FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
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HISTORICAL FICTION
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ROMANCE
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20 Favorite Pick-Me-Up Books
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 17, 2015

The right book can chase away even the gloomiest moods. In the company of cheerful characters and playful prose, worries slip away and anxiety fades. Everyone should have at least one pick-me-up book. Last week we asked on Facebook and on Twitter: What's yours?

Today we've got some of your top answers, from laugh-out-loud capers to heartwarming stories of friendship and romance. If your favorite didn't make the list, share it with us in the comments!

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Keep on smiling with these cheerful Listopias: Popular Uplifting Books and Books That Make You Laugh.
Audiobook Lovers Listen Up! Audio Samples Now on Goodreads
Posted by Abhinav Athreya on April 20, 2015

Do you love listening to audiobooks? Now it’s even easier to choose your next audiobook thanks to the new Goodreads "Listen" feature, which will be rolled out in the coming days. We've added free audio samples for 180,000 Audible titles to the Goodreads website, where they're available to all of our members.

The new Listen feature is easy to use. Simply look for the Listen icon on the Goodreads book page.


Click on the Listen icon and the audio sample will start to play. You can listen, pause, and resume the sample. There is no need for any special software – the sample will play within your browser.

If you like what you hear, you can add the title to your “Want to Read” shelf. For Goodreads members in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, or Australia who are not yet Audible members, you can take advantage of their free trial! Once you click on the Listen icon, you will see a link to the trial. Sign up and you’ll receive two free audiobooks plus a 30-day free trial of Audible.

The new Listen feature is only available on the Goodreads.com website on your computer or laptop. It is not yet accessible via mobile web or our apps. But as always, we’re working on getting to that as soon as we can!

Happy listening!




From Butterfingers to Yahoos: Everyday Words Invented by Famous Authors
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 14, 2015

Before Google, there was the dictionary. Webster's American was first printed on April 14, 1818. For almost two centuries, it has stood as a noble authority on language, reflecting the words we use and noting how we use them.

And some of those words have been invented by authors—who, to be fair, make up things for a living. Shakespeare himself came up with 1,700 "lexical innovations". But for every Bard there are thousands of writers smashing syllables together in vain. Creating words is easy; creating words that last is not.

In honor of Webster’s American Dictionary's 197th birthday, we take a look at some of the words that have made a permanent leap from fiction to dictionary. Can you grok it?

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BUTTERFINGER
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The Pickwick Papers
by Charles Dickens

"At every bad attempt at a catch, and every failure to stop the ball, he launched his personal displeasure at the head of the devoted individual in such denunciations as 'Ah, ah!—stupid'—'Now, butter-fingers'—'Muff'— 'Humbug'—and so forth."
Webster's Definition: a clumsy, awkward person


CHORTLE
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Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll

"'O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!' He chortled in his joy."
Webster's Definition: an explosive sound that is a sign of amusement


CYBERSPACE
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Neuromancer
by William Gibson

“A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his dreams..."
Webster's Definition: the online world of computer networks and the Internet


GROK
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Stranger in a Strange Land
by Robert Heinlein

"He had begun to understand that these others did have greater acquaintance with the stuff of life...a fact not yet grokked but which he had to accept."
Webster's Definition: to understand profoundly and intuitively


NERD
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If I Ran the Zoo
by Dr. Seuss

"A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too."
Webster's Definition: a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.


BUMP
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Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare

"And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow a bump as big as a young cockerel's stone."
Webster's Definition: an area of skin that is raised because it was hit, injured, etc.


SWAGGER
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A Midsummer Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare

"What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here?"
Webster's Definition: to walk in a very confident way


TWEEN
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The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien

"...Tweens as Hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and the coming of age at thirty-three."
Webster's Definition: a boy or girl who is 11 or 12 years old


QUARK
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Finnegans Wake
by James Joyce

"Three quarks for Muster Mark! Sure he has not got much of a bark and sure any he has it's all beside the mark."
Webster's Definition: any one of several types of very small particles that make up matter


YAHOO
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Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift

"Yahoo as I am, it is well known through all Houyhnhnmland, that, by the instructions and example of my illustrious master, I was able in the compass of two years (although I confess with the utmost difficulty) to remove that infernal habit of lying, shuffling, deceiving, and equivocating, so deeply rooted in the very souls of all my species."
Webster's Definition a person who is very rude, loud, or stupid


Discover more to grok and chortle at with Paul Dickson's Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers. What's your favorite word invented by an author?


What Would Jon Snow Read? Book Recs for Your Favorite Game of Thrones Characters
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 10, 2015

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge," Tyrion Lannister told Jon Snow in A Game of Thrones. "That's why I read so much."

Unfortunately for Tyrion—and for all the characters in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series—the publishing industry in the fantasy land of Westeros leaves a little to be desired. (Unless, of course, you're mostly into historical nonfiction and songs about maidens and/or bears). But what if Game of Thrones characters were on Goodreads today? Which books would they add to their to-read shelves?

Below we've gathered some book recommendation for Tyrion, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and more. Now it's your turn!

Book Recommendations for Jon SnowAdd your own to our Listopia!

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Book Recommendations for Daenerys TargaryenAdd your own to our Listopia!

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Book Recommendations for Tyrion LannisterAdd your own to our Listopia!

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Book Recommendations for Sansa StarkAdd your own to our Listopia!

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Book Recommendations for Arya StarkAdd your own to our Listopia!

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Book Recommendations for Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger)—Add your own to our Listopia!

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Have reading suggestions for more Game of Thrones characters? (The Left Hand of Darkness or Flowers in the Attic for Jaime Lannister, perhaps?) Create your own Listopias and share your favorite recommendations in the comments.

15 Book Characters You Wish Were Your Best Friend
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 07, 2015

Some book characters create such a lasting, life-changing impression you wish they could step off the page and into your life. Imagine floating down a river—Lady of Shalott-style—with Anne Shirley, or hiking through the wilderness with Gandalf as your guide. These special characters show you pieces of yourself, and in return, you carry them around in your heart and in your head. While they may not actually exist, they’re your book best friends—and just like real-life best friends, they’re forever.

Last week we asked on Facebook and on Twitter: If you could be best friends with any book character, who would it be? Today we've got the top 15 answers, from brainy witches and wizards to quirky detectives and misfit teens.

Did your favorite make the list? If not, tell us who your book best friend is in the comments!

HERMIONE GRANGER
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Harry Potter Series
by J.K. Rowling

A know-it-all with a big heart, this Gryffindor is the one you want on your side when facing bad days and/or You-Know-Who.
Honorable Mentions: Luna, Sirius, Snape, Hagrid, Harry, Neville, and practically the entire Weasley family


ANNE SHIRLEY
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Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery

"Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think," Anne-with-an-e, former orphan and eternal daydreamer, decided after intense observation. "It's splendid to find out that there are so many of them in the world." And so many bosom book friends, too.


TYRION LANNISTER
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A Song of Ice and Fire
by George R.R. Martin

He may be largely reviled in Westeros, but Tyrion is the man—or Halfman—you’d want to hang out with in the real world. Devilishly clever, he’s also one of the only bibliophiles in the Seven Kingdoms.


JO MARCH
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Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

If you want an easygoing book best friend, Jo is probably not for you. Willful and hot-tempered, this March sister would challenge you at every turn, but she’d always be there to inspire and motivate.


ATTICUS FINCH
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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

The world would be a better place if we were all friends with this humble champion of human dignity. We need his wisdom: “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
Honorable Mentions: Scout Finch and Boo Radley


ELIZABETH BENNET
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Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Even Jane Austen wanted to be buddies with the liveliest and cleverest of the Bennet sisters. “I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print,” she boasted of her own creation.


PONYBOY CURTIS
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The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton

Sensitive and moody, Ponyboy is the best friend who would ride out life’s ups and downs with you. And together, you could both stay golden.


STEPHANIE PLUM
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Stephanie Plum Series
by Janet Evanovich

Channel your inner crime-fighter with a book friend like Stephanie. She’d encourage you to go outside your comfort zone, especially for pineapple upside-down cake.
Honorable Mentions: Grandma Mazur and Lula


GANDALF
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The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Everyone could use a pipe-smoking wizard pal who shows up unannounced with promises of adventure and burglary (but only from dragons who deserve it).
Honorable Mention: Samwise Gamgee and Aragorn


LESTAT DE LIONCOURT
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The Vampire Lestat
by Anne Rice

If you want to be book best friends with a blood-sucking vampire, it's your funeral—er, prerogative. “The Brat Prince” would take you on wild, lavish escapades before possibly turning you into a vampire.


CHARLIE KELMECKIS
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky

Feeling misunderstood? Charlie understands. The quiet and creative teen would take time to get to know the real you. He’d also give you some pretty spot-on presents.


KINSEY MILLHONE
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Alphabet Mystery Series
by Sue Grafton

Independent and street-smart, Kinsey is the book best friend for tough gals (and guys) who love solving mysteries and biting into a peanut butter and pickle sandwich.


KATNISS EVERDEEN
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The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Having trouble with a totalitarian government, poverty, or getting your side braids plaited just right? As your book best friend, Katniss would ensure the odds are ever in your favor. (And if they're not, she'll "adjust" the odds with her trusty bow and arrow.)


JAMIE FRASER
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Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon

So everyone who picked Jamie wants a strictly platonic book friendship, right? Okay, good. That's what we thought.
Honorable Mention: Claire Fraser


SHERLOCK HOLMES
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Sherlock Holmes Series
by Arthur Conan Doyle

Watson may be Sherlock's best friend in the novels (and in the TV shows and in the movies), but in book friendship land, anything is possible. But be prepared for the consulting detective's mercilessly unfiltered opinions on everything and everyone.


Check out more books featuring irresistible friendships with these Listopias: Best Friendship Books and Books Where Best Friends Fall in Love.