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Keep Writing! Authors Share Their Best Advice on Overcoming Writer’s Block
Posted by Cynthia on January 26, 2015

Have you ever been hit with the dreaded writer's block? You're typing away when suddenly the words stop flowing, the ideas dry up, and the blank page glows ominously. What is a writer to do?

Savvy Goodreaders have turned to their favorite authors for advice and guidance using Ask the Author on Goodreads. Here are the top tips they received, from pros like Elizabeth Gilbert, Lois Lowry, and B.J. Novak!

Tip #1: Rethink it!

See Melissa Marr's complete answer here.

Tip #2: Deny it!

See Nick Harkaway's complete answer here.

See Lois Lowry's complete answer here.

Tip #3: Let go of expectations!

See Elizabeth Gilbert's complete answer here.

Tip #4: Take a hike!

See Michael J. Sullivan's complete answer here.

See Richelle Mead's complete answer here.

Tip #5: Change perspective!

See Chris Bohjalian's complete answer here.

Tip #6: Procrastination is your friend!

See B.J. Novak's complete answer here.

And if all else fails, there's always Tip #7: Tough love

See Chuck Wendig's complete answer here.

How do you overcome writer's block? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below, or ask some of these authors currently taking questions! go finish that novel!
Make #timetoread on National Readathon Day! (U.S.)
Posted by Ami on January 20, 2015

Grab your latest book and charge your ereaders, bibliophiles. It's time for the first-ever National Readathon Day. On Saturday, January 24, join readers across America to make #timetoread for four hours in solidarity for literacy. (Of course, if you live outside the U.S. and want to make #timetoread, too, please join in!)

National Readathon Day, sponsored by Goodreads, the National Book Foundation, Penguin Random House, and Mashable, is a nationwide marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24th from noon-4 p.m. (in respective time zones) and a fundraiser for The National Book Foundation’s literacy programs.

Get involved on Goodreads by pledging to read any book you’d like. Visit our Readathon Challenge to share your selection with the rest of the Goodreads community. We‘ll add the book you choose to your “to-read” shelf (if it's not already there) and also add it to a special readathon-day-2015 shelf, where you can see everyone's Readathon picks site-wide!

Maybe you’re in the middle of something so good, you want four hours to finish it. Or perhaps there’s a novel that’s been on your to-read shelf for weeks that you’ve just been waiting for an excuse to start. If you need some suggestions, we’ve also shared our list of the best books of January.

If you’d like to get involved offline, check here for a list of “reading party” events. These events will be held at libraries, bookstores, and schools across the country and have been created so the community can come together to share their love of books!

Where will you be making #timetoread this Saturday? Share it with us in the comments below!
Want to Read More This Year? Join the 2015 Reading Challenge!
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on January 01, 2015

Goodbye 2014, and hello 2015! Is "read more books" on your New Year's resolution list? You can create a goal and track your progress with the 2015 Reading Challenge on Goodreads!

Your goal can be as big or small as you choose. Maybe you're aiming to read a book every other month, or maybe you know you can speed through a book a's completely up to you! Pick a number, any number, and you're on your way.

If you're not sure what to read next, we've got you covered. There are lots of ways to find books on Goodreads, and millions of book lovers are sharing their latest discoveries every day. A great way to get started is to rate books you've already read to get recommendations tailored just for you. The more books you rate, the better your recommendations will be!

You can also find inspiration in one of the thousands of reading groups on Goodreads—including many groups that host reading challenges themed to a certain genre, favorite author, or interesting topic. And don't forget you can browse the book-list bonanza of Listopia, cross your fingers and enter a book giveaway, and check out the recently announced winners and runners-up of the Goodreads Choice Awards!

Now in its fifth year, the Goodreads Reading Challenge continues to grow. In 2014, Goodreads members' collective reading goals surpassed 35 million books—what records will 2015 break?

What is your reading goal? Tell us in the comments!

5 Inspiring Quotes to Wrap Up the Year
Posted by jade on December 29, 2014

Some quotes are unforgettable. With just a few words they can move us in unexpected ways. As 2014 draws to a close, we leave you with five inspiring quotes. Which one speaks to you?

1. "Books fall open, you fall in." —David McCord
David McCord wrote poetry for children. This quote is from one of those poems and is a favorite amongst librarians:
Books Fall Open
Books fall open, you fall in,
delighted where you've never been;
hear voices not once heard before,
reach world on world through door on door;
find unexpected keys to things locked up beyond imaginings.

What might you be, perhaps become,
because one book is somewhere?
Some wise delver into wisdom, wit,
and wherewithal has written it.
True books will venture, dare you out,
whisper secrets, maybe shout
across the gloom to you in need,
who hanker for a book to read.

2. "I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." —Sarah Williams
This quote is often misattributed to Galileo, but it is actually from a poem titled The Old Astronomer by English poet Sarah Williams. The full couplet is also beautiful:
Though my soul may set in darkness,
it will rise in perfect light.
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.
Read the entire poem here.

3. "Be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud." —Maya Angelou
A beautiful piece of wisdom from the inimitable Maya Angelou, who died this year at age 86. This quote comes from an episode of Oprah Winfrey's Master Class series, in which Angelou discusses the importance of kindness. Watch an excerpt here.

4. "We read to know we're not alone." —William Nicholson
Novelist and playwright William Nicholson won a Tony for his first Broadway production, Shadowlands, about the deep friendship and eventual love between C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham, who wrote under the name Joy Davidman—this quote comes from Nicholson's script. After Gresham's death, Lewis wrote a powerful meditation on his sorrow, titled A Grief Observed, which includes this touching description:
"She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Perhaps more."

5. "Books. Cats. Life is good." —Edward Gorey
Creepy-cute pioneer Edward Gorey was a true lover of cats. They often showed up in his illustrations—perhaps most memorably in his work for T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which was the inspiration for the blockbuster musical Cats. (Listen to Eliot reading one of his poems here!) Here Gorey says it all, in just five short words.

If these quotes look familiar to you, it's because we create an illustrated quote for each issue of the Young Adult newsletter—these are some of our favorites from 2014.

Did you encounter any great quotes this year? Is there one that will guide you into 2015? Share it in the comments!

Credits: Quote #3 by watercolor artist Shana Frase. Quote #4 and #5 by illustrator Simini Blocker. (Read our interview with Simini here.) Quote #1 and #2 designed in-house.

Personalized Book Recommendations Now on Goodreads on the Fire Tablet! (U.S., Canada & Australia)
Posted by Suzanne on December 22, 2014

The holidays are here! It's time to curl up with a good book...but which one? Now you can access book recommendations personalized just for you inside the Goodreads app on Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HDX 8.9, as well as the Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX, and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. Our awesome algorithms work harder than Santa's elves to analyze more than 20 billion data points and deliver surprising suggestions—all to help you find the book you'll want to read next.

Ready to discover a new book? Go to Recommendations in the main navigation menu.

If you haven't used Recommendations on Goodreads before, simply tell us your favorite genres and rate some books, and we'll provide you with personalized recommendations. To learn more about a recommended title, just tap on the book cover and you'll see more details. The more books you rate, the better your recommendations will be!

Let us know what you think!

2014 - See Your Year In Books!
Posted by Suzanne on December 26, 2014

—Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

What books found you in 2014? Did your reading follow a theme (#readwomen, perhaps?), or did you challenge yourself to read more often? No matter what you read or how much you read, it's time for one of our favorite activities: a look back at all the books you read in 2014!

See Your Year in Books!

Want to know how many pages you read? What was the longest book you finished? Which books got your highest ratings? To see how your year of reading shaped up, head over to your Stats Page.

Last thing...don't keep your 2014 bookshelf to yourself! Share the magic of your year of reading with your friends. You'll find sharing buttons on your Year in Books page.

Was it a good year of reading for you?

Announcing the New Android Updates Feed!
Posted by Libby on December 19, 2014

Android lovers, we’re making your life more beautiful! The Goodreads Android app now features a sleek, redesigned updates feed to help you discover great books and follow what your friends are reading.

The team also released a number of behind-the-scenes fixes and smaller updates in the lead-up to this update. For example, you were able to vote in the Goodreads Choice Awards on your Android app for the first time this year – and you definitely made your voices heard! Check out all of the Goodreads Choice Award winners in the app.

Download the updated app from the Google Play Store or Amazon App Store, and tell us what you think!
Goodreads Now Inside the Kindle iOS App! (U.S. Only)
Posted by Eric Franklin on December 15, 2014

Are you one of the 55 percent of ebook readers who read on their tablets? Or have you joined the 32 percent of ebook readers who read on their cell phones? If so, we have exciting news: The latest update of the free Kindle iOS app includes some of your favorite Goodreads features! Currently available in the U.S. only, this update marks the first time you can access Goodreads inside the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad. And if you are new to reading books on the Kindle iOS app, you’ll find a special Goodreads-powered "Welcome" experience in the app.

Want to share progress updates about the latest Kindle book you’re reading? Now you can do it right on the page you’re reading, without leaving the book.

Is there a line or passage that you want to remember and share with your Goodreads friends? You can highlight it and share it right on the page as you’re reading!

You’ve finished a book! Want to record or share your thoughts? With the updated iOS app you have the option of rating and reviewing your book on both Goodreads and Amazon once you reach the final page.

How to Get Started

To get started, download the new update and open your Kindle app. Next, click on the Settings button in the bottom right-hand corner and select Social Networking. Connect to your Goodreads account and start reading and sharing!

For New Kindle iOS App Users

Are you a brand-new Kindle customer? If you haven’t downloaded a book and haven’t connected the app to Goodreads, the Kindle app includes a new Goodreads-powered "Welcome" experience. By selecting favorite genres, rating books you've read, and choosing books you want to read, you will get personalized book sample suggestions to download and read for free.

The Goodreads features in the new Kindle iOS app are currently available for U.S. members only. We don’t have any updates to share right now on when this will be available for our members in other countries or on the Kindle Android app, but we promise to share more news once we have it. Thanks for your patience on this front!

You can download the new Kindle for iOS app to your iPhone or iPad from the iTunes App Store. Let us know what you think!
Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards!
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on December 02, 2014

The readers have spoken—with a record 3.3 million votes cast in the 6th annual Goodreads Choice Awards! From the moment Opening Round nominations were announced in November, it's been a nail-biting time for the authors and their fans. Now, finally, here are the winners that you have crowned the best books of the year! Congratulations to our winners! These awards reflect what people are actually reading and loving throughout the year—it is an enormous honor to win the votes of true book lovers.

View the winners & runners-up in 20 categories »

Fan favorite Rainbow Rowell won Best Fiction in a landslide with Landline, her bestselling novel about a troubled marriage. Runners-up include Big Little Lies and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. In Best Historical Fiction, the critically acclaimed World War II epic All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr won the top honor over offerings from heavyweights like Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory.

Best Nonfiction was a much tighter race, with Marina Keegan's The Opposite of Loneliness edging out Randall Munroe's What If? by just 137 votes. Keegan, who died at age 22 in 2012, is one of two posthumous winners, both young writers who have touched countless readers with their words. The late Esther Earl has won Best Memoir & Autobiography for This Star Won't Go Out. Before her death at age 16 in 2010, Earl was the inspiration for John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, a 2012 Choice Award winner.

Best Fiction winner Rainbow Rowell shares her thanks!

In Best Mystery & Thriller, Stephen King and Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) were neck and neck, but in the end King's Mr. Mercedes took the crown by a margin of 419 votes. Readers also rewarded long-time bestsellers in Best Romance and Best Horror, where Diana Gabaldon's Outlander novel Written in My Own Heart's Blood and Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles novel Prince Lestat won the top spots.

If you're feeling interplanetary, we have two Choice winners set on Mars! Andy Weir's gritty and realistic story of a stranded astronaut, The Martian is the runaway winner in Best Science Fiction, and Pierce Brown's dystopian adventure Red Rising is the year's favorite in the Debut Goodreads Author category.

Thumbs up from Best Science Fiction winner Andy Weir.

Best Debut Goodreads Author Pierce Brown created his own slang for the dialogue in his novel.

The winners of our Young Adult and Children's categories have proven to delight readers of all ages. We Were Liars, one of our "it" books of 2014, wins in Best Young Adult Fiction, and City of Heavenly Fire wins in Best Young Adult Fantasy. Perennial favorites Rick Riordan and Mo Willems both dominated in their genres, Best Middle Grade & Children's and Best Picture Books. In fact, Riordan was the top vote-getter across all categories!

Best Young Adult Fiction winner E. Lockhart puts her heart on her hands, just like her characters.

Another big vote-getter was Deborah Harkness's The Book of Life in Best Fantasy, winning the category over runner-up Brandon Sanderson by more than 20,000 votes. In a surprise win, write-in nominee Ina Garten surged from behind to clinch the title in Best Food & Cookbooks for her latest collection of recipes, Make It Ahead. And never count out scrappy Amy Poehler, whose witty memoir Yes Please beat out Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Dunham in Best Humor>.

Best Fantasy winner Deborah Harkness, who just might have magical powers.

Other winners include The Romanov Sisters in Best History & Biography, #Girlboss in Best Business, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind in Best Graphic Novels & Comics, and Lullabies in Best Poetry.

How many of the year's best books have you read? You can check out the full vote breakdown for the top 400 nominees across 20 categories, and start building an award-winning to-read list!

Congratulations to our winners! »

Love Your Fire Tablet? We Have New Goodreads Features For You! (U.S., Canada & Australia)
Posted by Suzanne on November 20, 2014

Ever read a book and been left with a burning question? "So, what really happened to the diamond?" Or have you wanted some advice from readers before starting a book? "Is this suitable for a teenager?" We've now introduced our Reader Q&A feature to the Goodreads app for Fire Tablets to help you ask and answer questions along with your fellow readers!

Reader Q&A is just one of many new features in the latest Goodreads update now available on Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HDX 8.9, as well as the Fire HDX.

Want to share which book you're currently reading? Easy peasy—click on the About the Book link and you'll find the option there.

Can't believe what just happened in chapter 5 and need to share it with your friends on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter? Now you can share a comment and where you are in the book, from inside the book! No more switching over to our app to update your progress on Goodreads.

Other features include:
  • See updates from your Goodreads friends about what they are reading,
  • Share highlights/quotes (and add notes to these) as you read,
  • Keep track of the books you read and want to read,
  • Read reviews from your friends and from the Goodreads community,
  • Rate and review books, and
  • Import books purchased on Amazon to your Goodreads shelves to ensure you have a complete catalog of your reading.

Goodreads is available on the new Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HDX 8.9 tablets in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

We don't have details to share about introducing Goodreads for Fire tablets to other countries at this time, but our goal is to provide the Goodreads on Kindle experience to as many of our members as possible. In the meantime, other options to consider are Goodreads on our iPhone/iPad app or our Android app, available from the Amazon Appstore for Android or from Google Play.
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