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Read, Review, Discuss...Repeat!
Your love affair with a book doesn't have to end on the last page. Join a Goodreads book club to find fellow readers. Here is a sampling of some of our 10,000 book groups
. Find an online group or search for local groups
in your area!
Author Interviews—Goodreads Exclusives
book critic Lev Grossman
's latest book, The Magicians
, is the story of a callow, young magician—not to be confused with Harry Potter. Although the book has been billed as a pastiche of classics from the fantasy genre, including a twisted homage to The Chronicles of Narnia
, Grossman injects unexpected realism into the world of magic—think Holden Caulfield at Hogwarts. It's a far cry from the style of his previous endeavors, Warp
, but all three novels share a common theme of 20-something confusion. The Harvard grad talked with Goodreads about the malaise of young overachievers and why women in glasses will always be sexy.
Fantasy literature is full of young characters who discover magical worlds. Why is this classic equation continually compelling to readers?
I think everybody feels a bit out of place in life—like they've been slightly miscast or incorrectly routed. We're wired to expect the world to be brighter and more meaningful and more obviously interesting than it actually is. And when we realize that it isn't, we start looking around for the real
I read a lot of fantasy when I was young, but I especially loved books where kids found a way to break through into a new world, where magic was real. Like Narnia
, or The Wizard of Oz
, or (a particular favorite) The Phantom Tollbooth
. Of course, in all these books the big lesson is that at the end of the book you have to go home again, and not complain about it. As you'll see if you read The Magicians
, I have a problem with that.
Read the full interview »
She may come from small-town Louisiana, but Rebecca Wells
has a vagabond spirit. She has studied with Tibetan monks in Colorado, played jazz piano in Paris, and toured the United States performing in her one-woman show. In 1996, Wells struck publishing gold with her second novel, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
, which stayed on The New York Times
bestseller list for more than a year and spawned Ya-Ya clubs worldwide. Her new book, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
, returns to her Louisiana roots with plenty of female sisterhood, but this time without the Ya-Yas. Wells shares how she has continued to write despite her debilitating struggle with advanced Lyme disease, and why nothing is more delicious than slow-cooked gumbo.
In your new book, the heroine, Calla Lily, experiences a significant first love. Why is first love so powerful?
Oh, yes, we never escape first loves. No matter how much we love our husbands, how many of us don't sometimes fantasize about that first, fresh, errant love? Where you had that first hot French kiss. We all have that part of us that longs for it and that wishes that we could get it again.
Calla Lily has that first hot love, and it stays with her as she moves through her life into other forms of love. But she doesn't fixate on it, because if we get stuck in our first love (unless we marry him and stay with him)...wow. We are in trouble.
Read the full interview »
The award-winning novel of faith, country, and revolution that bestselling author James Rollins hails as "thrilling and vibrant...a must-read for all."
A USA TODAY
Summer Reads selection. Learn more »
Literature at Every Latitude
Looking for something outside the English-language canon? Great stories know no borders. Each month Goodreads brings you a new recommendation from a different country!
59° 21' N
18° 4' E
by Ninni Holmqvist, translated by Marlaine Delargy
"Who is dispensable?" That's the chilling 1984
-esque question that Holmqvist
poses in her near-future novel. Childless women aged 50 (and men aged 60) must leave their homes and enter "the unit," where they will live out their days participating in government experiments and donating their organs to younger, more "productive" members of society. When Dorrit arrives at the unit, she is ready to accept her fate, but when she unexpectedly finds companionship in another "dispensable," she discovers a reason to live. Indie bookstore Orinda Books
says, "A taut, creepy, yet thought-provoking page-turner, The Unit
is a meditation on the consequences of complacency, the value of human life, and what we're prepared to give up for security and comfort." View book »
Everyone loves The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
. Fall in love for yourself.
"Winning."—The New York Times Book Review
"Exciting and enjoyable."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[Jacqueline Kelly] shines."—The Washington Post
Click here to read more »
Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Movers & Shakers
Summer is almost over, but there are plenty of new books to explore before fall ramps up. This month Philippa Gregory
explores the Wars of the Roses in The White Queen
, Pulitzer winner Richard Russo
returns to New England with That Old Cape Magic
, and James Patterson
has churned out yet another gripping thriller, Alex Cross's Trial
. Here are some other noteworthy titles that have been racing up our most popular charts this month.
by Thomas Pynchon
Legendary recluse Pynchon goes noir. The marijuana-clouded '60s are ending and the '70s are finding their groove when private eye Doc Sportello gets tangled in his former flame Shasta's plot to kidnap a billionaire. Tod
says, "It's not a novel of dark tunnels and those random shards of illumination that Pynchon fans live for. Paranoia though, as ever, is in full bloody force. Probably Pynchon's funniest book, and easily his most readable."
by Dave Eggers
Eggers spotlights the true story of one New Orleans resident, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian American father of four. While his family evacuated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Zeitoun stayed behind to help, but instead he was arrested for looting his own property. (Book proceeds go to the Zeitoun Foundation for rebuilding New Orleans.) Robert
says, "Heroic and harrowing. Inspiring and insane. Spiritual and scandalous. I was sure I didn't need to read anything more about Katrina. I was wrong."
This Is Where I Leave You
by Jonathan Tropper
Judd Foxman is having a bad week. His wife is cheating on him with his boss, so he ends his marriage and quits his job, and then his father dies. Sitting shiva with his reluctant siblings, Foxman confronts the end of life as he knows it. Carol
calls Tropper "the most underrated humorist alive today. Maybe that's because he writes real, emotional, character-driven novels that also happen to be screamingly funny."
The Crying Tree
, by Naseem Rakha
NPR journalist Rakha examines the grief and anger surrounding the issue of capital punishment in her debut novel. After her teenage son is murdered, Irene secretly corresponds with his killer in a herculean effort to find forgiveness. After 19 years on death row, his execution date is set. Eileen
says, "Rakha generates suspense from the first sentence. This is a brilliantly plotted, exquistely written book."
Strength in What Remains
by Tracy Kidder
Pulitzer winner Kidder details the awe-inspiring story of Deo, a young med student who survives civil war and genocide in Burundi, homelessness and poverty in New York City, and becomes an M.D. from Columbia dedicated to providing health care in Burundi. Nancy
says, "It's about the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. Kidder's portrait of this remarkable man reveals both his flaws and his fortitude."
by Maggie Stiefvater
In this young-adult fantasy, Grace is attacked by ravenous wolves, but one wolf with yellow eyes inexplicably saves her life. Years later she meets a boy with the same haunting, amber gaze. TheStorySiren
calls it "unique and alluring" and says, "This may be a story about werewolves, but it's mostly about love...and the boundaries we're willing to overcome to keep it." (Enter to win a copy!
Summer Escape with Brad Kessler
Since Henry David Thoreau
wrote from the shore of Walden Pond, "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"
, philosophers and romantics have dreamed of opting out of our increasingly frenzied modern life. City dweller Brad Kessler
, author of Birds in Fall
, recently left Manhattan in search of tranquility in the wilds of Vermont. His new book, Goat Song
, chronicles his pastoral transformation as he learns how to keep goats and make cheese. Kessler shared his favorite books about listening to the rhythm of nature.
by Henry David Thoreau
"Thoreau conflates literary culture with agriculture. There's gold on every page. Forge through the first chapter on Economy, and the story begins again as an adventure story—a man building a cabin in the woods."
Growth of the Soil
by Knut Hamsun
"Another man building a home in the woods, this time in the wilderness of the Norwegian north. An epic simply told in almost Biblical style. Wonderful chapters on work and peasant life."
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
by Annie Dillard
"Dillard broke form with this 1974 classic.
Pilgrim is a book of wonder. Dillard enters the woods around Roanoke, Virginia, wide-eyed, agape, with all her senses on. Thoreau wrote: 'I have never met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?' Dillard is that man, and she happens to be a woman."
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
by Matsuo Basho
"A book about walking and weather, mountains and rivers and skies. Basho's 17th-century travelogue is written in a form called Haibun, prose inlaid with haikus. Basho shows that a haiku can express as much—more—than a page of prose. It's not the amount of words you throw at a given thing—but the words one chooses."
by John Berger
"The first book in Berger's beautiful trilogy,
Into Their Labors (Pig Earth
, Once in Europa
, Lilac and Flag). All three are worth reading. They tell of a small village in the French Alps and what becomes of its people over the course of the 20th century. A book about work, the earth, human migration, love, death, and storytelling."
Find Great Books on Listopia!
, you tell us what's good. Goodreads members already create and vote on lists like Best British Literature
, Nautical Novels
, and even Great Dog Books
. It's also the perfect place to find the next great book to read, browse thousands of books categorized in every way imaginable, and spread the love by voting for your favorites
Goodreads Poetry Contest!
Want your words to reach 2 million people? Goodreads and the ¡ POETRY !
group have partnered to host an ongoing poetry contest. Each month the winning poem will appear in our newsletter. Join the ¡ POETRY !
group to vote each month to pick a winner from among the finalists. You can also submit a poem
for consideration. Here is our August winner!
by Ruth Goring
Now that you are gone, I wipe
mango juice from my table,
fold up the crinkled stories
Three potatoes on the windowsill
begin to send out roots
from their sleeping eyes
I dream that I begin to travel
but the moon stops me, flicking
its bright coins against my mirror
Poems litter the path
where we walked, and all my clothes
are stained with your laughter
Read more poetry »
Jessica, Elizabeth, and the Goodreads Team
P.S. Goodreads is hiring developers!