Goodreads Blog
blog posts (showing 301-310 of 435)
Calling all Writers for the Goodreads Status Update Writing Contest!
Posted by Jessica on February 18, 2009 603238

As announced in our February newsletter, Goodreads is hosting its first ever Status Update Writing Contest. There are 10 days left - all official entries must be posted before March 1, 2009. Get those creative juices flowing!

The "status update" is the web's newest reinvention of communication. We want to know how creative writers can be when they are challenged to tell a story through multiple status updates over the course of a day, with only 140 characters to work with per post. You have to make every character count.

Also, due to popular demand, we've opened the contest to Twitter users. This means you can post your story via your Goodreads status updates or your Twitter account. Either way, you must join the contest group and post your story's start date & time. Twitter users: don't forget to start each tweet with #goodreads. This will help us find and read your story from start to finish. The contest group includes official rules, a step-by-step how-to for writers unfamiliar with status updates, and general food for thought.

Are you a reader, not a writer? You can also join the contest group if you simply want to follow the contest happenings. We'll post all the stories at the end of the contest and create a poll to select a winner!

Show us how much can happen within 140 characters! Good luck!
February Newsletter - The Love Issue: Writing Contest, Christopher Moore, Maeve Binchy, Alain de Botton, and Jamie Ford
Posted by Elizabeth on February 10, 2009 5

Dear fellow Goodreaders,

This month our newsletter explores the concept of love. We asked writers which books about love influenced them, and we combed through thousands of your reviews to find out which books on this theme capture your fancy. Love is such an illusive concept, a chimeric state of mind, that it is impossible to categorize. Some authors, like Alain de Botton, described books that are erudite, even somewhat obscure. Others, like Maeve Binchy, called out old favorites such as Antony and Cleopatra. Christopher Moore reminded us that he loves his own book, because "Can a whole village of crazy people, off their meds, find love despite the fact that a sea monster disguised as a double-wide trailer is eating them?" And then we have debut author Jamie Ford, the product of a mixed-race marriage, who has written about color-blind love.

It's always inspiring to be reminded that love has no boundaries. We hope you find a book from our newsletter that will remind you of your first heart-palpitating crush, desperate heartache, or long-awaited reunion. Happy Valentine's Day!

Check out our newsletter here!

With love (of course),
The Goodreads Team

P.S. Expect a redesign of the newsletter next month!
New Facebook and MySpace profile box
Posted by Otis on February 03, 2009 1

Oct 12, 2010 Update: Facebook no longer supports profile boxes, or tabs. Use the like button instead.

We've vastly improved the look and feel and customization of our Facebook and MySpace application profile boxes.

The new profile boxes (or widgets) go on your Facebook or MySpace profile, and are fully customizable. You can choose up to 3 shelves of books to show off, and if you are currently reading a book it will show your progress. Additionally you can add your friends, trivia questions you've taken or created, and bookclubs you're in or moderate.

To customize your widget, click on 'settings' in the header of the Goodreads app on Facebook or MySpace.

Here is a screenshot of my Facebook box:

Neil Gaiman Wins 2009 Newbery
Posted by Ken-ichi on January 26, 2009 216786

[image error]Congratulations to Goodreads Author Neil Gaiman for winning the 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book! The book tells the tale of an orphaned boy who grows up in a graveyard, raised by spirits and monsters who turn out to be not-so-monstrous. I read it recently and found it full of all the old Gaiman magic I've come to love over the years. Thanks for a wonderful book, Neil!
Put Goodreads reviews on your site!
Posted by Otis on January 23, 2009 1

We launched a variety of upgrades to out API a few weeks ago that I never blogged about. The most exciting changes were adding Oauth, and adding support to get Goodreads book reviews. This means you can now use our API to put our book reviews on your site!

There are two options currently:

The API supports a REST method (book.reviews_by_isbn and book.reviews_by_title) to return all the reviews for a given isbn or title. The reviews are capped at 300 characters, and have a "more..." link to Goodreads to read the rest (sorry - but can you blame us? We're doing this to get traffic back).

The second method is plug and play and designed for booksellers, publishers, libraries, or any online catalogue. It is a javascript plugin that you just copy/paste into your page, and presto - Goodreads reviews appear! The look and feel are fully configurable with css, so you can put your own fonts & colors, etc on it. Below is an example of how it looks with no styles.

Check out the Goodreads API

Here is a demo of the widget in action:

oprah's next literary blockbuster
Posted by Jessica on January 21, 2009 603238

Whether you love Oprah's reading taste or cringe at the idea of reading anything commercially successful, you can't deny that Oprah gets people talking about books. Lots of people. In 2008, 500,000 people pre-registered for her 10-week online seminars for Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, and reportedly 27 million people have since downloaded the webcast. It can't be denied that this was a landmark event in the still evolving relationship between the Internet and books.

This Monday, January 26, Oprah is hosting her second literary webcast, this time for David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Read details here and invite your friends!

Readers are still figuring out how their online activity relates to their offline reading habits. At Goodreads, we believe that reading doesn't have to be solitary. Sharing a book recommendation and discussing a book's finer points is part of the joy. I have to applaud Oprah for promoting reading. And with 576 pages and Shakespearean roots, Sawtelle can't be called a lightweight pick. Will you be participating in Oprah's webcast?
Barack Obama quotes
Posted by Otis on January 20, 2009 1

Today is a historic day for America—Barack Obama is now our 44th president.

Here are some inspirational quotes from his inauguration speech. You can view the full text or watch it here.

Quotes by Barack Obama:
"That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."
Add this quote »

"The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."
Add this quote »

"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."
View this quote

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Add this quote »

ps. While Barack Obama is not (yet) on Goodreads, we do have a very nice fake Barack Obama!

pps. The White House now has a blog!

Reader in Chief
Posted by Ken-ichi on January 19, 2009 216786

Michiko Kakutani just wrote up a piece for The New York Times on Barack Obama's reading habits, a nice little followup to the WSJ's article on W. There's some crossover, of course (Team of Rivals, The Holy Bible), but as Kakutani points out, Obama seems to lean a little more toward fiction and poetry, including Invisible Man, The Golden Notebook, Moby Dick, and the poet Derek Walcott. And, as Obamarama comes to a point this Tuesday, let us not forget that the Adulated One is an accomplished author himself, though not, apparently, an active Goodreads author. Hm, maybe if we built a Blackberry application...
Alas, poor George! We knew him ... or did we?
Posted by Ken-ichi on January 13, 2009 216786

President George W. Bush has been called many things over the past 8 years, but "bookworm" definitely wasn't on my shortlist of monikers. Yet behold! None other than champion secret-leaker Karl Rove has spilled the beans (again): our president not only reads, but he reads competitively, from Team of Rivals to Next, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number to Ana's Story. Even *gasp* The Holy Bible! I mean, we all know he's read "My Pet Goat", but the The Stranger?!

Given this demonstrated love for the printed (if not spoken) word, one can only imagine what literary heights he'll be scaling now that he has all this free time! So I'd like to make a few humble suggestions:

I'm sure you all can add to this list. Leave some comments!
API Update: Add Reviews Using OAuth
Posted by Ben on January 09, 2009 351833

We've just added support for OAuth in our API!

With it comes a new method allowing you to build applications that add reviews on behalf of members. You can read more about using OAuth with our API in the documentation.

Register your app to get started. We'd love to hear what you're building — join the developers group and let people know.