Goodreads Blog
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Read Till You Scream
Posted by Jessica on October 16, 2012 603238

A good book keeps you reading through the night, but you'll be cowering under the covers with our spooky reading list. We combed through the top-rated horror books of 2012 to gather a grisly collection of ghost- and monster-themed books. Test your nerves against these paranormal fiction finds guaranteed to deliver the creepy crawly, goose-bump Halloween terror we love. Maybe you'll be leaving the light on after one of these.

By Scott Sigler (Goodreads Author)
San Francisco homicide detective Bryan Clauser is having prescient dreams about a series of murders as his investigation leads him closer to the subterranean killers that lurk beneath the city streets and only come out at night. Goodreads member Mitch calls it "a terrifying descent into a nightmarish world along with some of the most incredible action scenes put to paper."

The Haunting of Maddy Clare
By Simone St. James (Goodreads Author)
Penniless temp worker Sarah Piper gets an unexpected assignment: assisting the dashing Alistair Gellis, a professional ghost hunter and shell-shocked World War I veteran. He requires a female assistant to rid a haunted barn in North England of an enraged, man-hating spirit. Goodreads member Jess says, "I have not been so scared by a ghost story in a very long time...truly chilling."

By Peter Clines
Nate's run-down Hollywood apartment building may have mutant cockroaches, but the dirt cheap price is right. When he keeps noticing more eccentricities—hidden rooms, weird noises, and blocked staircases—the creeped-out tenants soon band together to discover the building's secret. Goodreads member Nick calls it "a near-flawless mystery-thriller-horror...a treasury of mind-bogglery."

I, Zombie
By Hugh Howey (Goodreads Author)
The breakout author of the dystopian hit Wool reanimates the trope of the zombie apocalypse in this gory horror novel, told from the point of view of the decaying, ravenous corpses themselves. Goodreads member Melissa says, "...there is something trapped within the monstrously disgusting outer shell of this narrative. Something alive, something true, something real."

Story by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author) & Scott Tuft (Goodreads Author), art by Attila Futaki
If Freddy Krueger haunted your childhood, this graphic novel's for you. When 12-year-old Jack runs away from home in search of his dad, his cross-country journey through rural 1916 America is tracked by the sinister "Salesman" with a disarming smile. Goodreads member Tristan says, "A classic style of horror, one written like an old child's warning tale. The story is gripping, with gorgeous artwork that leaves you cringing."

What's the scariest book you've ever read?

You Are What You Read: Reading Habits of Voters
Posted by Patrick on October 08, 2012 175283

During an election season, we hear nonstop analysis of how different the two political parties are. Conservatives and liberals are at odds when it comes to taxes, healthcare, defense...and the list goes on. But what about their reading habits? We polled* Goodreads members to find out which 2012 presidential candidate will get their vote, and then we looked at the books these voters had shelved. Opinions of certain books were split along party lines, but there was also a lot of agreement. Perhaps a love of reading should be a plank in both Obama and Romney's platforms.

Take a look at the results in this infographic, and we leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. Are Obama voters more drawn to Jonathan Franzen as a champion of the middle class? Are David McCullough's books on the Founding Fathers favorites of Tea Party supporters? What books are you reading this election season?

* One important caveat: Not everyone in our poll is eligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election, either due to age or geography.

Live Video Chat with Ned Vizzini, Today 2pm ET/11 am PT
Posted by Patrick on October 05, 2012 175283

Join us tomorrow at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with bestselling author Ned Vizzini! We'll be discussing his new novel The Other Normals, about a teenage misfit who suddenly finds himself in the universe of a role-playing game. We'll also discuss Ned's previous work, including his book It's Kind of a Funny Story, which was made into a movie starring Keir Gilchrist and Zach Galifianakis. The chat will last about a half an hour, and if you miss it, don't worry, we will record it.

Click here to watch a recording of the chat.
Live Video Chat with Elle & Blair Fowler, Today at 7pm ET/4pm PT
Posted by Patrick on September 20, 2012 175283

Join us today at 7pm ET/4pm PT for a live video chat with YouTube sensations Elle & Blair Fowler! We'll be discussing their new novel Beneath the Glitter. It's the tale of two sisters and their dream of making it big in Hollywood. This is your chance to ask these rapidly rising stars a question. The chat will last about a half an hour, and if you miss it, don't worry, we will record it.

To watch the chat and join the discussion, click here!

Live Video Chat with Salman Rushdie, Today at 12pm ET/9 am PT
Posted by Patrick on September 18, 2012 175283

Join us tomorrow at 12pm ET/9am PT for a live video chat with Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize-winning and best-selling author of Midnight's Children, Fury, and The Satanic Verses. We'll be discussing his incredibly topical new memoir Joseph Anton, about the years of his life spent under the shadow of a fatwa resulting from the publication of The Satanic Verses. This chat will last approximately half an hour, and if you miss it, don't worry, we'll record it for you.

To watch the recorded chat, click here!
Live Video Chat with Philippa Gregory, Today at 1pm ET/10am PT
Posted by Patrick on August 29, 2012 175283

Join us today at 1pm ET/10am PT for a live video chat with Philippa Gregory, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Other Boleyn Girl and dozens of other books. We'll be discussing Gregory's new novel, The Kingmaker's Daughter. This chat will last approximately half an hour, and if you miss it, don't worry, we'll record it for you.

To watch the chat or join the discussion, click here!

Live Video Chat with Amor Towles, Today at 5pm ET/2pm PT
Posted by Patrick on August 28, 2012 175283

Join us today at 5pm ET/2pm PT for a live video chat with Amor Towles, author of the bestselling debut novel Rules of Civility. With a wit and charm that seem almost from a bygone era, Towles masterfully tells the story of 1930s New York.

This chat will last approximately half an hour, and if you miss it, don't worry, we'll record it for you.

To watch the chat or join the discussion, click here!

The Future of the Book: A SXSW Panel
Posted by Otis on August 27, 2012 1

Click here to vote for our panel!

These are wild times for the book. Not since Gutenberg printed his first Bible has the concept of a book undergone such a radical transformation. With the rise of e-books and the proliferation of tablets, smartphones and e-readers, anyone can carry an entire library in their backpack or purse. At the same time, the shift to a digital library has also obliterated the old barriers to publication. As author Clay Shirky recently said ". . . the word "publishing" means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That's not a job anymore. That's a button."

The results of this revolution are just now becoming evident. The entire concept of the book—from how it's produced to how it's marketed, purchased, read, and discussed—is suddenly in flux. As we rethink what the book means and what it could be, several questions continually arise. Is reading a "social" activity? Or is it necessarily something done alone? What would a social reading experience look like? Is it more than just your average book club meeting? How are publishing companies and authors using data analysis to improve how they sell books? And as we increasingly do our computing on the go, how will mobile change the way we read?

These are the issues we're planning to tackle in our proposed South by Southwest (SXSW) panel The Future of the Book. Social Media expert and president of Human Business Works (and bestselling author of Trust Agents) Chris Brogan will host a discussion with me, Otis Chandler, Goodreads founder and CEO, and Tim Sanders, co-founder of a new company that I think is very cool: Netminds, which aims to reimagine how books are produced.

Sanders has a compelling vision for where the book is headed:

In the future, all of us will likely work on a book in some capacity, likely motivated by the books we read and the authors we engage with.
I'll share data that suggests that some of the best publishing talent in the world isn't yet working in the publishing industry. This is the bridge between Net Minds and Goodreads. Book fans are often literary talents, just waiting to work on their their own books. Fifty Shades Of Grey stands as an example of this in action.

I'll share case studies of digital publishing innovations including fan-sourced content, crowd-editing and books as living documents. Each one suggests that the publishing process is no longer linear, like a supply chain, but instead interdependent, like an eco-system.
I'll talk about how anyone with a platform and a point of view can produce the most valuable media commodity of our time—books.

Chris Brogan, who will be leading the discussion, sums up the scope of the talk nicely: "Where are books heading? Ask readers and some will argue for paper while others welcome our digital future. But that's only one angle. Books as apps. Books as places. Location based books. We have a lot to cover."

If you are interested in learning a little more about our panel, check out this short presentation we made:

A few weeks ago in anticipation of this panel, we thought it would be fun to take Brogan's idea and put the question to you, our members. We tweeted "Will reading become more of a social experience?" and asked our Facebook fans what they thought the future of the book looked like. Here were a few of the responses:

Kat reminds us that there are a multitude of ways to define "social."

Several people mentioned being able to find likeminded readers, like those found in the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout and the Sword and Laser Groups.

Help us take this discussion to the next level at SXSW by voting for our panel. If you've already voted, "Thank you!" It would also really help if you tell your friends about it on Twitter and Facebook. There's a ton of competition for panels at SXSW so...if like us, you believe that books deserve some of the spotlight, we'd really appreciate your support. And be sure to share more of your thoughts or questions about this topic below. All these opinions will help shape our conversation at SXSW.

Click here to vote for our panel!
Ten Million Thank Yous!
Posted by Otis on August 13, 2012 1

I've got exciting news to announce today: Goodreads now has 10 million members! To put this in perspective, it took four and a half years to reach 5 million members and only another 15 months to double that number. Today, six books are added on Goodreads per second.

We've come a long way since Elizabeth and I built Goodreads from our living room, motivated by the belief that there was a better way to discover and discuss good books—and that we could build it.

When we first launched in January of 2007 we waited until we hit what then seemed like a magical number of 100,000 members before we hired our first employee and secured angel funding. Since then, the vibrant Goodreads community and company has continued to blossom. We now have a team of 30, we've just moved into bigger, fancier offices in San Francisco, and we've launched an array of new products, including our super-awesome and successful Recommendations Engine.

What have you been up to, you 10 million Goodreaders?

Well, you've shelved more than 360 million books!

You've also been chatting about books. There are more than 20,000 book clubs on the site—from virtual groups to small, in-person book clubs. Here are the five largest:

And here are the top 10 all-time most-reviewed books on Goodreads:

On a personal note, I'd like to thank each and every one of our members for being part of our success. Thank you for choosing to spend time with us on Goodreads: sharing your love of reading, discovering new ideas, and telling your friends about your experience. We love your passion, your smart, thoughtful, and creative reviews, and your belief that reading books makes the world a better place.

Thank you also for all the feedback, ideas, and suggestions. We evaluate each and every one. Our To Do list is impressively long and the team is working insanely hard, but there are lots more good things to come!

With thanks from all the Goodreads team,

Live Video Chat with Erin Morgenstern, Today at 5pm ET/2pm PT
Posted by Patrick on July 30, 2012 175283

Join us today at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT for a live video chat with Erin Morgenstern, author of the runaway bestseller The Night Circus. We'll be chatting for approximately half an hour, and if you can't make it, don't worry, we will record it! Don't miss your chance to ask this acclaimed author a question!

To watch the chat or join the discussion, click here!