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16 Books You'll Want to Read in One Sitting
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 24, 2017

Some books demand your undivided attention…even if you need to go to work, attend class, hang out with real people, or just sleep. If you're in the mood for one of those types of stories, you've come to the right place. We asked Goodreads members to share the books they've read in a single sitting. The top answers are below!


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
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Wishful Drinking
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Exit West
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A Thousand Splendid Suns
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Ready Player One
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Night
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The Hobbit
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Tuck Everlasting
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The Handmaid's Tale
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
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The Captive Prince
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
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A Monster Calls
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A Thousand Splendid Suns
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The Bridges of Madison County
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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How often do you read books in a single sitting? Let's talk in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
15 of Your Favorite First Lines from Books Published in the Last Five Years
7 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week
Lisa See Recommends Books on China, Talks Enduring Characters

15 of Your Favorite First Lines from Books Published in the Last Five Years
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 23, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, a hobbit in a hole, and the pleasure of burning…. We all know the classics. But what are the new opening sentences that have hooked you?

This week we asked on Facebook and on Twitter: What's your favorite first line from a book published in the last five years? Today we've got your top answers. Did yours make the list?


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"If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."
From The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah


"Yeah, I know. You guys are going to read about how I die in agony, and you're going to be like, 'Wow! That sounds cool, Magnus! Can I die in agony, too?'"
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From The Sword of Summer
by Rick Riordan


"Let's start with the end of the world, why don't we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things."
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From The Fifth Season
by N.K. Jemisin


"I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem."
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From The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion


"My mother always started the story by saying, 'Well, she was born in the backseat of a stranger's car,' as though that explained why Wavy wasn't normal."
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From All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
by Bryn Greenwood


"Dear you: The body you are wearing used to be mine."
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From The Rook
by Daniel O'Malley


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"At dusk they pour from the sky."
From All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr


"It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times."
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From Autumn
by Ali Smith


"When I think of my wife, I always think of her head"
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From Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn


"I come from a country that was created at midnight."
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From I Am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai


"The moon exploded without warning and with no apparent reason."
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From Seveneves
by Neal Stephenson


"Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache."
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From Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo


"Call me Ishmael. I won't answer to it, because it's not my name, but it's much more agreeable than most of the things I've been called."
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From Let's Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson


"Our dragon doesn't eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our village."
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From Uprooted
by Naomi Novik


"I'm pretty much f--ked."
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From The Martian
by Andy Weir



Don't see your favorite first line? Then share it with us in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
7 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week
Lisa See Recommends Books on China, Talks Enduring Characters
If Belle Were on Goodreads, She'd Probably Act a Lot Like Emma Watson

What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 21, 2017

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got seven! Bulk up your Want to Read shelf with these brand-new standalone titles.


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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
by Lisa See

You should read this book if you like: Historical fiction, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, tea, remote Chinese villages, powerful stories about family

Read our interview with Lisa See here. >


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The Collapsing Empire
by John Scalzi

You should read this book if you like: Science fiction, interstellar empires, unusual alliances, thrilling space opera, galaxy-saving starship captains


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The Polygamist's Daughter
by Anna LeBaron with Leslie Wilson

You should read this book if you like: Memoirs, true crime, radical cults, life on the run, musings on love and faith, the meaning of home



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The Hidden Memory of Objects
by Danielle Mages Amato

You should read this book if you like: YA contemporary fiction, found-object art, "murderabilia," a touch of romance, a quest for truth


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The Secrets You Keep
by Kate White

You should read this book if you like: Psychological thrillers, self-help authors in need of help, secretive husbands, deadly dinner parties



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A Colony in a Nation
by Christopher L. Hayes

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, politics, Twilight of the Elites, exploration of racial inequality and the status of democracy


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The Arrangement
by Sarah Dunn

You should read this book if you like: Fiction, humor, potentially ill-advised attempts at open marriage, New York exurbs, wine


BONUS: The wait is over—check out three of the buzziest sequels coming out today!

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Pyromantic
by Lish McBride

The second book in the Firebug YA fantasy series
(Start off the series with Firebug)



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Mississippi Blood
by Greg Iles

The sixth book in the Penn Cage mystery series
(Start off the series with The Quiet Game)


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If Not for You
by Debbie Macomber

The third book in the New Beginnings contemporary romance series
(Start off the series with Last One Home)





What are you reading this week? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Lisa See Recommends Books on China, Talks Enduring Characters
If Belle Were on Goodreads, She'd Probably Act a Lot Like Emma Watson
20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand

Lisa See Recommends Books on China, Talks Enduring Characters
Posted by Cybil on March 20, 2017



When The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane begins in 1988, Li-Yan and her family work as tea pickers in Spring Well, a village in the Yunnan province of China populated by the Akha people. Spring Well has no running water, no electricity, and has only ever seen one car. Over the next 25 years, with the skyrocketing popularity of Pu'er tea, everything changed.

Pu'er is a rare tea made from the leaves of tea trees in the Yunnan province, some of which are thought to be thousands of years old. As the most educated girl in the village, Li-Yan finds herself at the center of her village's new relationship with tea exporters, a path that will take her far away from the village she never thought she'd leave, all while hiding her own painful secrets.

Author Lisa See is known for the extensive research and rich detail she puts into her bestselling novels set in China, including Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love. Goodreads spoke to See about helping her readers discover China and how her characters stay with her. The following is an excerpt from our full interview that appeared in our March newsletter.


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GR: Goodreads user Elizabeth asks: I'm interested in learning about Chinese culture and history as a result of reading your books. What other books (fiction or nonfiction) would you recommend to get a better understanding of China?

LS: Peter Hessler went over to China as an English teacher and lived in a little river town along the Yangtze. The book he wrote about it, River Town, is charming, but he's also written several others that are really great.

Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, have written several good books about China—they were New York Times correspondents in China together.

Simon Winchester went to the very source of the Yangtze River and then followed it down to the mouth of the river. His book The River at the Center of the World is sort of a history of the river, what's along the river, and how life is changing there, and it's fantastic.

GR: Goodreads user Michele asks: Once you complete a book, do you find it challenging to move on from the characters you have so thoroughly cultivated in order to create your next work, or do some characters continue to occupy your consciousness long after the book is finished?

LS: Absolutely. I don't think of it as my moving on; it's more like they move on. I hate to say it, because it makes me sound like a crazy person, but there are times when I'll be out doing something and I can hear Lily say something to me, or Pearl, or A-ma. They'll talk to me—the ones from the past, but also the ones I'm currently working on. They'll kind of crop up like, "By the way, I'm still here."

Read the full interview with See here. Missing out on our newsletters? Be sure to sign up!


Check out more recent blogs:
If Belle Were on Goodreads, She'd Probably Act a Lot Like Emma Watson
The National Book Critics Circle Awards Pick LaRose, Evicted
St. Patrick's Day: Some Fictional Alternatives to Green Beer
20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand
Today Only: Get up to 85% off NYT Bestsellers! (U.S. members)
Posted by Cybil on March 19, 2017



For one day only, get amazing deals on more than 30 New York Times bestsellers! U.S. members save up to 85% on popular ebooks including Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: The Revolution, the heartbreaking After You by Jojo Moyes, and Tana French's edge-of-your-seat thriller In the Woods.

Check out the full list of exciting deals to find your next favorite book!



Want more great books at great prices delivered to your inbox daily?

Sign up to get personalized ebook deals based on genres you love to read, including:
  • Bestsellers
  • Mystery & Thrillers
  • Fantasy & Sci-Fi
  • Romance
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If there's an exceptional ebook deal for a book on your Want to Read shelf, we'll let you know -- another great reason to keep your Want to Read list updated.

In addition, when one of the authors you follow has a not-to-be-missed promotion on an ebook, we'll email you. Make sure you’re following all your favorite authors on Goodreads so you don’t miss out!

Goodreads Deals are available from the following retailers: Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Google Play Books, and Kobo.



Happy reading!




If Belle Were on Goodreads, She'd Probably Act a Lot Like Emma Watson
Posted by Cybil on March 17, 2017



Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast hits theaters this weekend! For many readers, this is so much more than a princess movie: The "tale as old as time" is as much a love story about Belle and her books as it is about Belle and her prince-turned-monster.

In other words, Belle is important to book lovers. Luckily, so is the actress who's portraying her in the new film. From Hermione to UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson is basically our modern-day Belle—and she talks like her, too.


And, like Belle, Emma can't keep her love of books to herself. Last year, she joined Goodreads and started Our Shared Shelf, a feminist book club that now has more than 150,000 members around the world.



Every other month, Our Shared Shelf selects a new book to read and discuss. They're currently tackling Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (a nice parallel with Beauty and the Beast), but you can check out all of their past selections below.


Our Shared Shelf's Book Picks
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
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Mom & Me & Mom
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Half the Sky
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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl
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The Complete Persepolis
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The Argonauts
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The Vagina Monologues
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How to Be a Woman
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All About Love
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The Color Purple
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My Life on the Road
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Of course, all of the above makes Gaston very uncomfortable….



If you like "getting ideas and thinking" like Belle, consider joining our Our Shared Shelf. Your fellow bookworms—and Emma!—are waiting. Join the book club here.


Check out more recent blogs:
The National Book Critics Circle Awards Pick LaRose, Evicted
St. Patrick's Day: Some Fictional Alternatives to Green Beer
20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand
The National Book Critics Circle Awards Pick LaRose, Evicted
Posted by Cybil on March 16, 2017

The National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced Thursday evening, with Louise Erdrich taking the prize for best fiction for LaRose. The Round House author enthralled the judges with her tale of a tragic accident and an act of atonement with roots in Native American culture.

The NBCC is made up of 1,000 book critics and editors from across the United States. Each year the group selects winners in six categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, criticism, and autobiography.

Be sure to add these winners to your Want to Read list! Here are some of the NBCC's picks:


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LaRose
by Louise Erdrich

Winner of the fiction award. Average Goodreads' member rating: 3.87.



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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
by Matthew Desmond

Winner of the nonfiction award. Average Goodreads' member rating: 4.46.



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Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
by Ruth Franklin

Winner of best biography. Average Goodreads' member rating: 4.23.



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White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
by Carol Anderson

Winner for best criticism. Average Goodreads' member rating: 4.41.




In addition, the book critics awarded the Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement to Margaret Atwood and the John Leonard Prize for a first book to Yaa Gyasi for her novel Homegoing.

See the complete list of NBCC finalists.


Check out more recent blogs:
If Belle Were on Goodreads, She'd Probably Act a Lot Like Emma Watson
St. Patrick's Day: Some Fictional Alternatives to Green Beer
20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand

St. Patrick's Day: Some Fictional Alternatives to Green Beer
Posted by Cybil on March 16, 2017

Ready to "drown the shamrock" this St. Patrick's Day? Goodreads is here for you: We've compiled a list of more delicious alternatives to green beer, with one wee caveat—these special drinks and cocktails began as fictional libations.

Please share your own favorites! Which drink do you most wish were real or which have you actually found in real life (we know some butterbeer aficionados out there)? Share your best recipe guesses in the comments!

GREEN SWIZZLE
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"The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy," collected in Carry on, Jeeves
by P.G. Wodehouse

It's still green! Bertie Wooster himself declares of this Wodehousian version of a Caribbean rum swizzle,"...if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down in the register." Some sources report that Wodehouse did not invent this himself, but no doubt he had his own twist.


PAN GALACTIC GARGLE BLASTER
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

Dubbed "the alcoholic equivalent of a mugging" and "the best drink in existence," a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster should be consumed with caution: Drinking one is "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." Adams helpfully provided a recipe, but you might have trouble finding all of the ingredients (Fallian marsh gas, the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger...).


GINGER SCALD
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The Lies of Locke Lamora
by Scott Lynch

With hints of pear and radishes, this unusual drink is finished by plunging a red-hot poker into the liquid. Locke describes "when the cold burn of the ginger scald hit his lips (limning every tiny crack with stinging heat, and outlining every crevice between teeth and gums in exquisite pain...)" Yum! Goodreads Author and food blogger Chelsea Monroe-Cassel offers an excellent recipe, complete with hot-poker handling instructions!


END OF THE WORLD DELIGHT
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Cat's Cradle
by Kurt Vonnegut

A darker take on a green drink, as befitting Kurt Vonnegut. "He wanted me to give him a drink on account of the world was coming to an end. So I mixed him an 'End of the World Delight.' I gave him about a half-pint of crème de menthe in a hollowed-out pineapple, with whipped cream and a cherry on top."


BUTTERBEER
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Harry Potter Series
by J.K. Rowling

Allegedly slightly alcoholic, this wizarding favorite can be served hot or cold, and J.K. Rowling says, "I imagine it to taste a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch." For the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, Chef Steven Jayson spent three years perfecting an official butterbeer recipe, which is unfortunately classified!


SCUMBLE
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Discworld Series
by Terry Pratchett

Raise a glass full of Discworld apple-based moonshine in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett. "A lot of stories are told about scumble, and how it is made out on the damp marshes, according to ancient recipes passed down rather unsteadily from father to son. It's not true about the rats, or the snakes' heads, or the lead shot. The one about the dead sheep is a complete fabrication. We can lay to rest all the variants of the one about the trouser button. But the one about not letting it come into contact with metal is absolutely true..." You can try some fan recipes here and here, or even buy an officially licensed version!


SPICE BEER
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Dune Chronicles
by Frank Herbert

If you're not up for dodging monster sandworms to harvest spice, the most coveted substance in Herbert's universe, you'll have to learn how to brew your own cinnamon-infused ale, a "fermented substance called 'spice beer,' potent and pungent with a strong cinnamon bite at the back of his throat. [Keedair] found the drink exhilarating and ordered a second" (from The Butlerian Jihad).


GRAF
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The Dark Tower Series
by Stephen King

Perhaps a close cousin of Pratchett's scumble, this apple beer is the drink of choice in Stephen King's Mid-World. Lots of homebrewing fans have tried their versions, ranging from hard apple cider to dark malt, including this one with full video instructions!


What literary-inspired drinks will you be imbibing on St. Paddy's? And if you need more real-world guidance, try these Listopias: Best Cocktails and Best Home Brewing Books.

Check out more recent blogs:
If Belle Were on Goodreads, She'd Probably Act a Lot Like Emma Watson
The National Book Critics Circle Awards Pick LaRose, Evicted
20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand
20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 15, 2017



Non-bibliophiles don't always feel your pain…but you're among friends here! We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's a problem only book lovers understand? We got more than 1,000 amazing responses. Check out some of our favorites and share your own bookish struggles in the comments.


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


Don't see your reader-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.

Check out more recent blogs:
7 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week
Your Most Successful Book Club Picks
Readers to the Rescue: Your Best Book Club Tips

(Top image credit: Illustration by
Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's Matilda.)

What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 14, 2017

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got seven! Bulk up your Want to Read shelf with these brand-new standalone titles.


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Hunted
by Meagan Spooner

You should read this book if you like: YA fantasy, Beauty and the Beast retellings, Russian fairy tales, supportive sisters, ruined castles



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Never Let You Go
Written by Chevy Stevens

You should read this book if you like: Psychological thrillers, stalkers and home invasions, strong mother-daughter relationships, crazy plot twists

See Stevens' favorite books on obsession and revenge.


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New York 2140
by Kim Stanley Robinson

You should read this book if you like: Science fiction, global warming, a submerged New York City, the power of community, skyscrapers



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The Rules Do Not Apply
by Ariel Levy

You should read this book if you like: Memoirs, reinvention, dark humor, the struggle of "having it all," stories of adventure and heartbreak


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Dragonwatch
by Brandon Mull

You should read this book if you like: Children's books, epic dragon showdowns, underdogs, imaginative fantasy worlds, supernatural powers



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A Bridge Across the Ocean
by Susan Meissner

You should read this book if you like: Historical fiction, the chaotic aftermath of World War II, transatlantic crossings, courageous war brides


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Utopia for Realists:
Why Making the World a Better Place Isn't a Fantasy and How We Can Do It

by Rutger Bregman

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, pragmatic manifestos, economics, success stories and lively anecdotes, changing the world


BONUS: The wait is over—check out three of the buzziest sequels coming out today!

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The End of Oz
by Danielle Paige

The fourth book in the Dorothy Must Die YA fantasy series
(Start off the series with Dorothy Must Die)


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Drunk on You
by Harper Sloan

The fourth book in the Hope Town contemporary romance series
(Start off the series with Unexpected Fate)



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The Cutthroat
by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott

The tenth book in the Isaac Bell historical adventure series
(Start off the series with The Chase)





What are you reading this week? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Your Most Successful Book Club Picks
Readers to the Rescue: Your Best Book Club Tips
25 Big Books of Spring