Posted by Jessica on January 01, 2013
Ring in the new year: The century is officially a teenager! What will you do with your 2013? January is that magical time of goal-making. Will you learn a new language or commit to the gym twice a week? More importantly, how many books will you read? Make a reading resolution with the 2013 Reading Challenge, and Goodreads will help you hit your target.
Simply set a goal, any goal—it can be as low or high as you want—and Goodreads will track your progress. We'll let you know when you're falling behind and when you're out ahead! Be as aggressive or conservative as you like. The average goal set in 2012 was 58 books for the year (approximately a book per week), but we see a wide range of targets.
And if you need to pad your to-read list, there are a plethora of ways to find books on Goodreads! You can try out your personalized recommendations, which only need 20 rated books before you can recieve reading suggestions based on your personal taste. Or, browse the winners and nominees of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards. And don't forget to peruse the thousands of lists on Listopia and enter giveaways to win brand-new books! We also recommend that you browse for groups reading your to-read books or groups near you to find a great place for discussion.
Now in its third year, our reading challenge is such an inspiring indicator of reading enthusiasm. In 2011, 154,169 participants pledged to read more than 10 million books. In 2012, 303,232 participants pledged to read 17.8 million books. And we expect 2013 to blow past these numbers!
There's something about the sound of "2013" that truly feels like the future. And since the apocalypse didn't come on 12/21/2012, let's embrace the new year and all it has to offer. How many books will you pledge?
Posted by Patrick on December 27, 2012
It's been a big year for Goodreads. Not only did we double in size—from 6.5 million members to more than 13 million—we saw our members pass a major milestone: 20 million reviews written. To celebrate, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the big books and events from the year on Goodreads. What were the most-reviewed books? What books did book clubs love? Who were the quotable authors? Our year-in-review infographic has all this and more!
Posted by Elizabeth on December 19, 2012
As the year winds down and you make it through the fantastic crush of present buying, traffic, and parties, there's finally a chance to steal a minute and quietly think about the past 12 months: What have you done with your year? How many books have you read? Which stories captured your imagination? But perhaps now is the most important moment to take a deep breath and think about what you're thankful for.
One of our core goals at Goodreads is to make a positive difference in the world, whether it's by connecting someone with a great book that helps them decide what they want to be when they grow up (even if you are 80!), or helping a kid in a disadvantaged country have access to school supplies and reading material. Small or vast, global or local, we feel that even a small step in the right direction will have an invisible—but important—ripple effect. It's not the results that matter so much, just getting out there and helping build momentum for a better global community.
Every month we feature a different organization in our newsletter that's helping to change lives through reading. If you are reader, a lover of the written word, or simply want a tangible way to give someone a nice memory this holiday season, here's an opportunity to revisit the nonprofits that we highlighted in 2012 and see if you would like to make a donation. It's not too late to make reading part of someone's life! Happy Holidays, everyone!
JanuaryYou helped foment World Book Night 2012, in which thousands of volunteers got together to give away books and encourage reading in your community.
FebruaryFocusing on children from low-income communities, Reading Partners funnels struggling readers into free tutoring programs that offer one-on-one instruction.
MarchWith just 1,000 gently used books, $500 for shipping costs, and help from African Library Project, anyone can start a library in rural Africa, where many children grow up without books. The African Library Project profile in our newsletter was so successful, they wrote the people of Goodreads a personal thank you note!
AprilReach Out and Read hooks families on reading in an unexpected place: the doctor's office. Pediatricians help educate parents on the developmental importance of reading aloud.
Take the pledge and get a free download of the full-length track produced by the Roots with Chris Martin, John Legend, Regina Spektor, Jack Black, and more!
MayWe helped raise awareness for children's literacy with the Book People Unite campaign led by Reading Is Fundamental.
JuneThe International Book Project sends 200,000 books annually to developing nations in South America, Asia, and Africa as well as underserved schools and libraries in the United States.
Fifteen-year-old Colleen Hamilton is one of six finalists who represented the San Francisco Bay Area at Brave New Voices. (Credit: Ashleigh Reddy)
JulyYouth Speaks offers teens educational programs focused on spoken word poetry, including the annual Brave New Voices competition.
AugustWorldreader donates e-readers and e-books to students across sub-Saharan Africa and helps spread the digital reading revolution to classrooms in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda!
SeptemberFor as little as £20 (just under $32), you can help digitize a page of the Bodleian Library's edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio with Sprint for Shakespeare.
OctoberThe World Is Just a Book Away builds libraries and school programs in areas of Indonesia that sustained tsunami and earthquake damage.
NovemberNational Novel Writing Month's Young Writers Program helps young participants in the initiative by giving them access to online tools, advice from best-selling authors, and more.
DecemberFrom military bases abroad to ships at sea, parents in the armed services can read to their children with a little help from United Through Reading, which sends videos home.
Posted by Patrick on December 14, 2012
Join us today at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with best-selling author Jeff Kinney. We'll be discussing his enormously popular series of books Diary of a Wimpy Kid, as well as the movies being made from them.
Click here to watch the recording of the chat.
Posted by Patrick on December 11, 2012
Join us today at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with author Robin Sloan. We'll be discussing his debut novel Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. If you are at all interested in books, reading, bookstores, technology, and the intersection of all those various things, this is one video chat you will not want to miss.
Click here to watch a recording of the chat.
Posted by Patrick on December 05, 2012
Big news in the world of books today! Oprah Winfrey has announced her latest selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and at the same time launched an official Goodreads group for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0! Readers can gather to discuss the book as they read, watch videos from Oprah, and more.
Join the conversation in the Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 group on Goodreads.
Oprah’s new selection is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by debut author Ayana Mathis. “Not since Toni Morrison have I read a writer whose words have moved me this way,” Oprah says. It’s already resonating with Goodreads members as well, judging by the early reviews.
It's clear that Goodreads and Oprah share a fundamental belief in the power of stories—and we are looking forward to some absorbing discussions on Goodreads about this inspiring book and the books Oprah selects in the future. As Otis, our CEO, likes to say, the right book in the right hands can change the world!
Watch the video Oprah made for Goodreads and learn why she chose The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.
Be part of the discussion in the Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 group on Goodreads!
Posted by Jessica on December 04, 2012
Drum roll, please...the readers have spoken! More than 1 million votes have decided the winners of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards. Now in our fourth year, the Goodreads Choice Awards are the only major book awards chosen by readers. No secret committees or panels of insiders—we let our members pick the best books of the year. After much anticipation, it's finally time to reveal the winners!
The Best Fiction category is always hotly contended and this year went to J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. Decorating a debut of a different kind, Susan Cain won Best Nonfiction for her first book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Meanwhile, the winner of the Mystery category was an open-and-shut case for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Veronica Roth came away with multiple awards in 2011, and this year was no different. She scored a double win with Best Goodreads Author for the first time and Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction for the second time (this year for Insurgent, last year it was for Divergent).
It was a photo finish in Historical Fiction, our tightest race, with M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans) just inching out Hilary Mantel (Bring Up The Bodies). Living in England must set the right mood for writing historical fiction.
Cheryl Strayed completes a banner year (from Oprah's Book Club 2.0 to a Reese Witherspoon/Nick Hornby film adaptation in the works) by winning Best Memoir for her book Wild. She was also a finalist in the Nonfiction category for her book of advice, Tiny Beautiful Things.
Two bloggers flexed their book world muscle with Jenny Lawson winning the Best Humor category for Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Ree Drummond capturing the Best Food & Cookbooks award for The Pioneer Woman Cooks.
And our oldest winner is 77-year-old, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver for her latest collection of poems, A Thousand Mornings, which won reviewer remarks, "A Thousand Mornings reminds us to not let a regular old day pass you by without noticing and being grateful for the wonder and the splendor."
Everyone at Goodreads is grateful for the "wonder and splendor" of all our winning authors—a heartfelt congratulations for writing the books readers loved the most this year! And thank you to everyone who voted and cheered on your favorites from the Opening Round to the Finals. View the full results to see the vote breakdown for all nominees and add some highly commended reading to your to-read list.
Posted by Elizabeth on December 02, 2012
Booksellers may want to make room for some new shelves; there’s a new genre in town. It’s called New Adult and the books are filled with young people, mostly college-age, who seem to have lots of sex and rarely see their parents (if they have any).
Publishers and readers are already embracing it, and here at Goodreads we’ve recognized the rapidly growing interest with our own genre page.
Editor Amy Tannenbaum at Atria Books, who recently scooped up the previously indie-published The Sea of Traquility by Katja Millay (which ended up as a Goodreads Choice write-in nominee), finds that one defining characteristic of a New Adult book is the degree of parental involvement. “New Adult generally features main characters between the ages of 18-23. That said, New Adult can skew a bit younger if the characters are particularly mature for their age. For example, although the main male and female characters in The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay are seniors in high school, this book is being published by Atria Books as New Adult. They seem older than their peers in part because they’ve survived traumatic pasts and do not live with their parents,” she says. She’s also noticed that as her publishing house has become involved with developing New Adult books, there’s been greater sharing of manuscripts between departments. "Since New Adult can appeal to both Young Adult and Adult readers we’re able to run promotions for these books in both worlds," she adds.
Other houses have taken notice too: St. Martins was the first to jump on the concept, running a contest for New Adult manuscripts. Carina Press put out a call for new adult manuscripts in October. Self-published author Corma Carmack recently signed a 3-book deal with HarperCollins. And last week, Random House announced that they are starting a digital-first imprint for the genre, appropriately called Flirt.
We see the positive signs of readers taking to the new genre on Goodreads. Beginning in 2011, there was a spike in the number of readers identifying books as New Adult through custom shelves and rating books in the category.
Two examples of recent New Adult success are Slammed by Colleen Hoover and Easy by Tammara Webber. Also, The Perfect Game by J. Sterling is a New Adult book that is trending well.
But the new genre is not without its share of controversy. There was flurry of debate on Jezebel about whether or not this new genre previously existed, just without a label. Some have said that New Adult is a byproduct the trend of 20-somethings staying at home longer and generally delaying the growing-up process, a feeling that Corma Carmack put eloquently, “Your parents are still a large part of your life. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re also not quite an adult. You may call yourself an adult (as will others), but deep down in side you are petrified because you don’t feel like one.”
Personally, I also suspect that it may be that writers feel more empowered to write about this period in their lives, thanks to the expansion of fan fiction and the rise of self publishing. When I was in college (and publishing a novel was a much more traditional process), I remember my creative writing professor John L'Heureux telling our class, “Don’t write about college, nobody wants to read that.”
The readers may have always been interested in these types of books about the 18-25 set, but now there’s a new abundance of material!
Do you like this genre? Why do you think it’s popular now?
Posted by Patrick on November 27, 2012
Here on Goodreads, we've got all kinds of readers: Romance, Sci Fi, Armchair Sailors, you name it. This month we decided to focus on an interesting subset of our gigantic and diverse community—The Hipsters. After analyzing the data, and admittedly, taking some editorial liberties, we've determined a few things. The life of the hipster is hard. Between worrying the band you love is about to go big and wondering whether it's finally time to wash your raw denim jeans, you don't have a lot of time to think about what to read next. To make matters worse, now that you've raced through his collected essays, Both Flesh and Not, you've run out of David Foster Wallace books. That's where Goodreads comes in. Behold our hipster lit flow chart! Answer a few simple questions, and we will hook you up with your next favorite book. Life should always be this easy.
Posted by Jessica on November 23, 2012
Presenting Your Finalists! »
It's time for the Final Round of the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards! Readers cast more than 846,000 votes during the Opening and Semifinal Rounds, and now just 10 books remain in each of 20 categories. A hearty congratulations to the authors who are now Goodreads Choice Finalists!
The polls will remain open until midnight (PST) on November 27, so vote now. And these races are still tight! Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is among the high-stakes whodunits in the finals for Best Mystery & Thriller. A biography of Queen Elizabeth faces stiff competition from profiles of Thomas Jefferson, David Foster Wallace, and others in Best History & Biography. In Best Middle Grade & Children's Books, actor-turned-debut author Chris Colfer's story of twins lost in a magic kingdom is challenging double-nominee Rick Riordan's two mythology-packed adventures. Will 2011 winner Veronica Roth defend her title in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction? Will write-in favorite J.K. Rowling begin to dominate in Best Fiction? View all the finalists and help decide!
This is your third and final chance to vote for the best books of 2012! Remember, the polls close November 27, and winners will be announced December 4.