Posted by Hayley Igarashi on November 26, 2015
Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: If you could invite any fictional family to your Thanksgiving dinner this year, who would you choose? Today we've got your top answers.
(Note: Due to murderous wizards, colorful weddings, and illnesses, not all the family members mentioned below survive their respective books. But this is your dream Thanksgiving, right? And in your dream Thanksgiving, everyone lives.)
by C.S. Lewis
Who's coming to dinner: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy
What they're bringing: Turkish Delight (only one piece per person!) and tea
by Harper Lee
Who's coming to dinner: Atticus, Jem, Scout, Calpurnia, and a very brief appearance by Boo Radley
What they're bringing: Lane Cake and dewberry tarts
by J.K. Rowling
Who's coming to dinner: Arthur, Molly, William, Charles, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny
What they're bringing: Meatballs and Ton-Tongue Toffee
by Louisa May Alcott
Who's coming to dinner: Marmee, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
What they're bringing: Over-boiled asparagus (thanks, Jo!) and sticky currant jelly (thanks, Meg!)
by George R.R. Martin
Who's coming to dinner: Ned, Catelyn, Robb, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon, and a litter of Direwolf pups
What they're bringing: Uncooked meat and sour cherries
by H.E. Bates
Who's coming to dinner: Pop, Ma, Mariette, Montgomery, Zinnia, Petunia, and Primrose
What they're bringing:A big picnic basket full of strawberries, bacon, and roasted pork
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Who's coming to dinner: Bilbo and Frodo—plus various hobbits and dwarves who heard there was a party nearby
What they're bringing: Cold cuts, pickles, mushrooms, carrots, and lembas
by Jane Austen
Who's coming to dinner: Mr. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia
What they're bringing: Rout cake and creamy fricassees
by Janet Evanovich
Who's coming to dinner: Stephanie, her parents, Grandma Mazur, Bob, and Rex
What they're bringing: A box of jelly doughnuts and pineapple upside-down cake
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on November 21, 2015
Calling all traveling bibliophiles! A book lover's paradise awaits in the idyllic seaside town of Oia, Santorini. Bursting with charm, music, pet hair, and stacks and stacks of irresistible reading material, Atlantis Books deserves a place on your bookish bucket list.
Reason #1: It's inside one of Santorini's iconic whitewashed houses.
This place is already a quirky architectural wonderland—and then you add books? From the cozy terraces to the low walls lined with blue shelves, this is what bookstore dreams are made of.
Reason #2: The staff embraces pets and "pre-loved" books.
Rent a cat, bring your dog, adopt a previously loved book…. You can do it all at Atlantis Books. The store feels like home, and chances are, you'll never want to leave.
Reason #3: The bookstore was founded by a group of passionate book lovers, a cat, a dog, and a van named Danny.
In 2002, Oliver and Craig fell in love with Santorini, but noticed something strange: Where were the bookstores? Encouraged by a bottle of wine, they came up with the idea for Atlantis Books. Some friends joined their noble cause, they borrowed Danny the van for book-hauling purposes, and the rest is history! (It's debatable how much the dog and cat helped, but they were there.)
Reason #4: They host festivals and concerts.
Atlantis Books knows its patrons are fans of more than just good books—they also like good food, good movies, and good music. Besides their annual Caldera Arts and Literature Festival, the store also open its doors to food festivals, film festivals, and concerts.
Reason #5: The shelves are stocked with current bestsellers, rare first editions, and English-language books about Greek culture and history.
Whether you want to study up on your surroundings or pick up an irresistible gift for the literary lover in your life (it's okay if that literary lover is yourself), you'll find it all at Atlantis Books.
Reason #6: They hold sunset readings on their ocean-view terrace.
Picture it: You're sitting down, feet up, perhaps a glass of wine in your hand. The sky is bright with golden light, and in the distance, you hear waves lapping at the shore. Then someone starts reading you a story.
If that's not paradise, we don't know what is.
What other places are on your bookish bucket list? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 16, 2015
Announcing the 2015 finalists! »
Drum roll, please! The Final Round of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards has begun! Thousands of books jockeyed for position in the Opening and Semifinal Rounds, and now your votes have narrowed the field to just 10 finalists in 20 categories. It's not over yet, so be sure to vote in the Final Round to boost your favorites to the top of the podium!
Congrats to our finalists! Many underdog authors have cause to rejoice today. Debut authors Sara Nović and Sejal Badani have made the cut in Best Fiction, and self-published authors like Tarryn Fisher in Best Mystery & Thriller and Elle Kennedy in Best Romance are holding their own in crowded fields. On the nonfiction side, it continues to be the year of the YouTubers, with Connor Franta and Joey Graceffa in Best Memoir & Autobiography, Shane Dawson and Tyler Oakley in Best Humor, and more. Of course, with so many worthy books in the running, slashing the field in half cuts deep! We had some surprise upsets that eliminated bestsellers, including Jonathan Franzen striking out in Best Fiction, Philippa Gregory falling short in Best Historical Fiction, Mary Oliver missing the mark in Best Poetry, and Hugh Howey just outside of the top 10 in Best Science Fiction.
Who will get your Final Round vote? Choose wisely!
The Final Round polls close November 23, and winners will be announced December 1. Don't miss this last chance to vote for the best books of 2015!Vote now! »
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on November 13, 2015
Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's a problem only book lovers understand? We got over 1,000 amazing responses! So even if non-book lovers don't get your struggle, remember—you're among friends here.
1. "The urge to buy books even though you still have too many books to read at home." (Rie VdWarth)
2. "Feeling sad for people who don't really exist." (Kimberly Moniz)
3. "RUNNING OUT OF SHELF SPACE!!!" (Kim)
4. "Getting interrupted when you are on the last few pages of a book." (Sobe Daya)
5. "The book hangover. When a good book finishes but you can't start a new one because you're still too immersed in the last book to move on." (Meagan Lewis)
6. "Wanting every book in a library section but knowing it is impossible to read all of them." (Richard Azia)
7. "Waiting so long for a sequel that you forget what happened in the first book." (Jessica Luong)
8. "When you're lying in bed and it's all cold in your room—and the hand holding the book freezes to death, even though the rest of you is warm under the blankets." (Alina Marie Swan)
9. "Finishing a book and having to wait a whole year to read the next in the series." (Sarah Scanion)
10. "Trying to keep the book dry while reading in the bath." (Patricia Boland)
11. "Ordering a book online and getting the book with the movie cover. A book with a movie cover just doesn't feel the same." (Anna RN)
12. "Not being able to read and eat lunch at the same time because you don't have a third arm." (Bernadette)
13. "When someone borrows your book and doesn't return it for ages!" (Pallavi B)
14. "Deciding. Which. Book. To. Read. First." (Monique Balsamo)
15. "Getting to a 'can't stop reading' spot in the book and it's 3:00am." (Joan Chesley)
16. "When you have a book with you, but it's not the one you wanted to read right then." (Virginia Osborne)
17. "Being forced to stop reading by other obligations, but choosing to ignore those obligations. Then getting in trouble." (Feel Like Fangirling)
18. "Packing for a trip and never being able to bring enough books." (Erika Gallion)
19. "Having a book fall on your face because you're reading on your back while holding the book up." (Manuel Cedillo)
20. And the ultimate book lovers' dilemma: "So many books, so little time." (Navy Reading)
Have another bibliophile-specific problem? Share it with your fellow Goodreads members in the comments! Chances are you'll find someone (or many someones) who feel your book pain.
(Top image credit: Illustration by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's Matilda.)
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 09, 2015
Semifinal Round now open for voting! »
The readers have spoken! Goodreads members cast more than 1 million votes in the Opening Round of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards. And many of those voters took advantage of the opportunity to write in a candidate, casting votes for a whopping 20,000 different books! Our number-crunching elves tabulated the results, and now we've added the top five write-ins in each category as official nominees, bringing the total number of nominees to 400 across 20 categories. Congrats to all the semifinalists!
Some formidable contenders have entered the ranks in Best Fiction, with Harper Lee, Jojo Moyes, and Jonathan Franzen each earning a write-in slot. We've also got some interesting characters playing against type, such as childhood favorite Judy Blume in Best Historical Fiction for her adult novel, In the Unlikely Event, and Kazuo Ishiguro in Best Fantasy for his quest novel, The Buried Giant. New media stars such as Issa Rae and duo Dan and Phil have deepened the already stacked competition in Best Humor, and it's now a rock-star battle over in Best Memoir, with Patti Smith vs. Kim Gordon. Finally, heavyweights such as Richelle Mead and Ransom Riggs have nabbed nominations in Best Young Adult Fantasy.
Who gets your vote? And with all this fresh blood in the running...will you change your allegiances? It's anyone's game!
The Semifinal Round closes November 15, and then only the top 10 books in each category will advance to the Final Round, which kicks off November 17!Vote for the best books of 2015! »
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 02, 2015
Vote now in the Opening Round! »
Bust out your black-tie finery, because we're unfurling the red carpet for the nominees of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards! All year long, you've added your reviews to Goodreads, sharing the work of favorite authors and raving about newly discovered gems, and now we've funneled all that reading excitement into our list of Opening Round nominees!
We analyzed statistics from the hundreds of millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads this year to select 15 worthy nominees in 20 categories, including Best Fiction, Best Fantasy, Best Memoir, and Best Young Adult Fiction. And we also accept write-in votes during the Opening Round so you can vote for exactly the book you want!
A huge congratulations to all of our nominees! Who will you be rooting for? We've got some interesting match-ups to keep an eye on this year. Newcomer bestseller The Girl on the Train is up against books from perennial favorites like Stephen King and David Baldacci in Best Mystery & Thriller. E.L. James's Fifty Shades follow-up Grey is facing some heated competition in Best Romance from Sylvia Day and Colleen Hoover. Best Historical Fiction is packed with strong contenders, including Kristin Hannah, Kate Atkinson, Paula McLain, and Alice Hoffman. Can Internet darling Felicia Day take down TV darling Mindy Kaling in Best Humor? How will Aziz Ansari fare against Ta-Nehisi Coates in Best Nonfiction? And how on earth will readers pick a winner in Best Young Adult Fantasy, where the ranks are stacked with Sarah J. Maas, Victoria Aveyard, Leigh Bardugo, and more?
Our 300 Opening Round nominees have a combined average rating of 4.17 and have been added on Goodreads more than 6.2 million times. Fun fact: We have five different author nominees named Robert, but one of them is a nom de plume (guess who!). And the record-holding author name this year is Sara(h), with 10 nominations!
You have three chances to vote. The Opening Round lasts until November 8. Vote now to make sure your favorite books make it into the Semifinals (November 10 - 15) and Finals (November 17 - 23).
Finally, as a special bonus, this year you can tell the world you voted with our shiny new "I Voted" banner. Just click the Facebook or Twitter icons after you vote to share your pick and this image.Vote for the best books of 2015! »
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 30, 2015
We've been having a spooktacular time during Horror Week here at Goodreads. We shared two-sentence horror stories, exclusive book excerpts from upcoming horror books, and 13 chilling tomes to get you in the Halloween spirit. Plus, some of the greatest horror writers—Justin Cronin, Lois Duncan, R.L. Stine, Kendare Blake, and Clive Barker—carved out some time to answer questions from readers all week.
Alan Moore has been silent. Until now.
Click here to see all 75 answers from Alan Moore, whose book, Jerusalem, will be published by Liveright in Fall 2016.
But that's not all! Find out who will be joining the undead in a zombie apocalypse (watch out for Rhiannon Frater!), and whose house to hit up for Halloween. (Hint: Full size candy bars at Scott Hawkins' house!) Also, finally an answer to this essential question: What is up with that duck in Christopher Golden's picture?
More great responses from horror writers below! We witch you a Happy Halloween!
What was your favorite part of Horror Week? Share with us in the comments below!
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 29, 2015
Hungry for bite-sized tales of terror? Come right in! We're serving up 15 blood-curling two-sentence horror stories, all taken from your submissions on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog. And there's an especially gruesome treat: Stephen King's own submission. (Because did you really think Stephen King, author of some of the scariest books in human history, could participate in something like this and not make our top 15?)
1. "The faces that stare back at me from the kitchen window don't scare me. It's the blood on their clothes that have me worried." (Michele Holguin Barchuk)
2. "I heard heavy snoring so I turned to nudge my partner, remembering in time that he died last year." (Tracy Shephard)
3. "When she got the text saying, "You die tonight," she replied asking, "Who is this?" She heard a message alert outside her bedroom door." (Kathryn West)
4. "I have a body of a supermodel. It's in the fridge." (Petina)
5."I had a dream I was stabbed to death in my bed at 2:45am, and the clock was the last thing I saw before the knife. I awoke screaming, and glanced at the clock to see it was 2:44am—and the bedroom door was opening." (James Holmes)
6."When the long winter came, Mom promised us we'd never go hungry. We never asked where she got so much meat." (Nyssa 23)
7."My mum said God always listens to little children. If I collect enough of their tongues, maybe he'll listen to me as well." (Ibrahim)
8."He stood in front of me, menacing red eyes gleaming in the dark of the night. He lifted my book above his head and TORE IT APART." (Storm Arashi)
9."As I washed my face, a voice cautioned, "Watch your back." Startled, I looked up into the mirror to see my reflection pointing behind me." (Karin Pike)
10."I love the sound of her voice. Too bad it's muffled by six feet of earth." (Christopher Provost)
11."A disembodied voice echoed out of the darkness, raspy and low. 'Student loans.'" (Alisia Strautins)
12."She had a roast on the table despite the empty shelves at all the markets. They could always have other children. " (Brendan)
13."I woke up with a picture of myself sleeping on my phone. I live alone." (Lisa Kuik)
14. "Five years after Timmy's sister drowned, he found her standing in his closet. Her eyes were full of water." (Stephen King)
15."There's no more coffee or chocolate. Oh, your Kindle broke, too." (Malina Bennett Vasquez)
If you missed out on spooking us silly earlier this week, have no fear! Get inspired by our favorite two-sentence horror stories and then submit your own in the comments. And be sure to keep up with the rest of our Horror Week festivities here.
(Top image credit: Book cover for Ashfall by Mike Mullin)
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 28, 2015
Scary stories start off so innocently. A new town. A new neighbor. A chance at a new beginning. Then comes the first sign that something is about to go horrifically wrong. A nightmare that seeps into real life. A dark figure lurking in the window. An accident.
This is the point where you decide to continue reading—or you decide to put the book down and return to your hopefully less horrific existence. Are you brave enough to proceed?
As part of Horror Week, we've collected four exclusive excerpts from upcoming horror books. They will leave you hanging in the most deliciously creepy of ways. Remember: Things aren't always what they seem.
And once you start reading, there's no turning back.
You've been warned!
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
The chilling short story collection contains many of the previously published but hard-to-find short stories written since Just After Sunset. Read the introductory note from Stephen King about watching horror movies as a kid, plus the beginning of the never-before-published story, Obits. The book will be out November 3!
Read the excerpt here.
Can You Keep a Secret? by R.L. Stine
This new book in the Fear Street series is another terrifying tale from the master of horror, R.L. Stine. A story about temptation, betrayal and (of course) fear, this book is sure to elicit shivers in its readers. Can You Keep a Secret? will be out in April 2016, but you can read the first few chapters of this spine-tingling tale of horror now!
Read the excerpt here.
The Burning World by Isaac Marion
Zombie fans, this one's for you: Read an excerpt from the highly anticipated sequel to Warm Bodies, the story of what happens when a zombie falls in love with a girl and wants to protect her, not eat her. (Though she looks delicious).
Read the excerpt here.
Good Girls by Glen Hirshberg
Three-time International Horror Guild and Shirley Jackson Award Winner Glen Hirshberg brings his flair for the grim, grisly, and emotionally harrowing to this standalone sequel to Motherless Child. "We can be sure horror fiction is still vital when it's reimagined as freshly and vigorously as this," says Ramsey Campbell about Glen Hirshberg's Motherless Children trilogy.
Read the excerpt here.
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 27, 2015
To celebrate Horror Week on Goodreads, we asked you on Facebook and Twitter: What's the scariest book you've ever read? Take a look at the top answers and add them to your want-to-read shelf—if you dare.
by Stephen King
"Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in."
Check into the Overlook Hotel, a building with a sinister life of its own—and an evil only beginning to shine.
by Truman Capote
"I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat."
Have the stomach for some real-life horror? Then dive deep into this true crime tale of murder and savagery in Holcomb, Kansas.
by Josh Malerman
"You can smell it, too. Death. Dying. Decay. The sky is falling, the sky is dying, the sky is dead."
If you see it, you'll go mad. With only a blindfold to protect them, a mother and her children navigate a wasteland of violence and death.
by Susan Hill
"I have sat here at my desk, day after day, night after night, a blank sheet of paper before me, unable to lift my pen, trembling and weeping too."
Professional duty—or personal sanity? Solicitor Arthur Kipps grapples with the paranormal in the ghostly grounds of Eel Marsh House.
by Cormac McCarthy
"There is no God and we are his prophets."
The post-apocalypse has never looked so bleak. The sky is dark, the air cracks stones, and cannibals stalk the land. Enter this dystopia with caution.
by Thomas Harris
"When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help."
If you've got the appetite for more cannibals, then meet Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the devious mastermind with a taste for cruelty and flesh.
by Margaret Atwood
"Who can remember pain, once it's over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see."
Offred used to have a husband, a child, a life of her own… Now she's a Handmaid, forced to subjugation in this chilling work of speculative fiction.
by Jay Anson
"They talked of feeling the presence of some energy inside, some unnatural evil that grew stronger each day they remained."
Controversial for its alleged truthfulness, this creepy tale follows the Lutz family and their ill-advised decision to move into the DeFeo murder house.
by Mark Z. Danielewski
"You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year… And then the nightmares will begin."
Their house is bigger on the inside—a quirk that turns frightful when the children disappear, voices echo in the hall, and a growing darkness beckons.
by Dean Koontz
"But victimhood was seductive, a release from responsibility and caring. Fear would be transmuted into weary resignation."
Dare to come face-to-face with a self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer"? Then come along for sociopath Edgler's descent into madness.
by Stephen King
"Come on back and we'll see if you remember the simplest thing of all—how it is to be children, secure in belief and thus afraid of the dark."
If you're not scared of clowns yet, allow us to introduce (or re-introduce) you to Pennywise. Good luck going to sleep tonight!
by Daphne du Maurier
"We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end."
Ease up on the gore and sink into this haunting gothic tale, a classic brimming with suspense, dread—and a lingering evil.
by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
"I may have implied on several occasions to several different people that I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven't decided yet what I am or who I am…"
Infamous and horrific, this is the firsthand account of the case against serial killer Charles Manson. It has sold more copies than any other true crime book ever written.
Did we miss your favorite scary read? Then share it with us in the comments! And be sure to catch up on all the spooky Horror Week festivities here.