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Author Travels Deep into North Korea for New Thriller
Posted by Cybil on May 17, 2018

In the new thriller Star of the North, three people find themselves embroiled in the North Korean regime. Jenna is a young Korean/African American academic in Washington, D.C., whose twin sister vanished from a beach in South Korea 12 years ago. Colonel Cho is a privileged, high-ranking diplomat in Pyongyang whose life is thrown into turmoil when the secret police start unearthing his family's background. And Mrs. Moon is a 60-year-old peasant living on North Korea's remote northern border with China. When she chances upon an aid balloon that has landed in a forest, she sells its contraband at a local market. Soon she is a thriving entrepreneur—and becomes the voice for a simmering local dissent.

Soon, all three lives connect in unexpected ways. Author D.B. John talked to Goodreads about researching North Korea, the allure of dictators, and why his writing routine involves pacing, tea, and possibly a beer.


Goodreads: Tell us a bit about yourself, and why were you drawn to write this book?



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D.B. John: I grew up in an industrial area of South Wales in the 1970s, attending a pretty rough school. Luckily I had entire universes—created by Tolkien and C.S. Lewis—that I could defect into at any time. The experience of being bullied has always made me empathize with outsiders and misfits, and I'm drawn to writing about those types of characters.

Jenna, a Korean/African American, is both of these in the novel. She grew up managing multiple identities, and the trauma of her youth has disconnected her from the world. This otherness in people often gives them an inner strength they don't know they have, a quality I find attractive. My early experience has also given me a lifelong fascination with the way power is acquired and abused, so perhaps it's no coincidence that both novels I've written have featured dictators. After a brief career as a lawyer, I worked for many years at the publisher Dorling Kindersley in London, editing popular children's books on history and science. In 2009, I moved to Germany to write my first novel, Flight from Berlin.

Goodreads: What sparked the idea for Star of the North?

DBJ: I had long wanted to set a story in the world's last remaining totalitarian tyranny, but the event that started me writing occurred on December 19, 2011, when I witnessed the footage from Pyongyang of the mass public grieving that erupted just after the death of Kim Jong-il, the Dear Leader, was announced. People were crying and wailing and prostrating themselves on the snow. It was as if they were under a spell. There was something desperate about it, too, as if they knew that severe punishment awaited those who shed too few tears. This is a place, I thought, where the rules of human behavior are different.

Goodreads: You traveled to North Korea as part of your research for the book. What did you learn about this secretive country, and how did it inform your thriller?

DBJ: My visit to the North was in April 2012, by chance a momentous time for the country, as it was the centenary year of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the country's founder and self-styled Great Leader. I witnessed the regime's leader worship at its most excessive—daily military parades, mass oath-taking, and flower-laying. The entire nation was taking part. Even my small tour group was suborned into the cult of Kim, being asked to bow before his statue.

However, any hopes I'd had of interviewing ordinary North Koreans were disappointed. Only contrived, scripted encounters, under the gaze of minders, were permitted. But despite tight control over our tour, it was impossible for the regime to prevent us glimpsing the poverty and the shortages behind the facades. I was struck by how almost everyone we met, adults and children, seemed to wear a mask that never slipped. It reminded me of the expression of optimism it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreens in George Orwell's 1984.

In the old Soviet Union, there was always subversive graffiti or jokes about the leaders. There is nothing like that in North Korea. The regime's political control over all aspects of life, public and private, is almost total. It really made me want to know about the inner lives of North Koreans. Did they ever risk speaking their minds, or voicing doubts, even to those closest to them? What did they imagine the universe outside North Korea was really like?

Goodreads: You also interviewed North Korean defectors. What did you learn from them?



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DBJ: I met several defectors in Seoul through a church that offers them support (many defectors embrace Christianity in the South), and through the Bliss and Bless Café, a Seoul coffee shop that employs defectors. Sadly, most defectors are looked down upon by the rich, prosperous South, and many find it hard to get regular work.

One was a 27-year-old former soldier who'd been arrested and beaten many times for distributing Christian CDs at a marketplace in a northern town in North Korea. His army contacts tipped him off after his mother, father, and sister were all arrested for hosting an illegal house church and urged him to escape immediately. He did not want to talk about how he came to be missing several fingers on one hand. Another woman had no choice but to flee after she'd been caught trying to arrange the defection of an elderly man to his South Korean relatives in return for a fee. She suffered severe beatings and malnutrition in a secret police holding camp. Branded a criminal, she became shunned by her village and unmarriageable.

Almost no defectors have an easy journey to the South. Many spend months living as fugitives without papers in China, where they are in terrible danger of being picked up by the police and sent back to their fate, or they are at the mercy of criminal brokers charging exorbitant fees. Most of them travel through China to Laos or Thailand, entering those countries illegally and spending months in prison before finally being released to the South Korean embassies there. And once they reach the haven of the South, their ordeals often catch up with them. They suffer nightmares or they are plagued by guilt for family members they left behind. Few find the adjustment easy. The pressures of the free world can overwhelm them. It's not uncommon for them to start yearning for the North, where their lives were simpler and big decisions were taken for them by the state.

Goodreads: Tell us about your writing process for Star of the North.

DBJ: I don't find writing easy. Sitting at my laptop and tapping away is only about 10 percent of the process. Friends often ask why I don't give myself a change of scene—go and work in a café or at the British Library. This is because huge amounts of my time are spent pacing about with a cup of tea (or on bad days, a beer) and scratching my head, trying to figure out how to end a paragraph or begin a chapter.

There's a lot of self-doubt, changes of mind, and rewriting. I would never begin a novel without first knowing how it's going to end, otherwise the writing will drift. Plot is the easy part. I write the story as if it's a movie and try to visualize the scenes cinematically. The characters are much more difficult and evolve over time, after a lot of thought. It takes me a long time to get to know them well.

Goodreads: What other writers are you influenced by, and how do those influences show themselves in Star of the North?

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DBJ: My favorite author is without a doubt Robert Harris. I'm in awe of the way he'll take the drama of real events—the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 in Pompeii or the 1938 Munich Crisis in Munich—and find a detail, a footnote, or shadow inside them in which to craft a compelling, researched thriller. It inspired me to spin my own story around real, documented events.

Likewise, I hugely admire David Mitchell, particularly his Cloud Atlas for the way he moves seamlessly between radically different epochs and cultures and makes them beautifully link up and connect. William Boyd, too, I've reread many times for the fact that most of his main characters are women. I heard Boyd speak once, saying that he felt able to do this because gender is secondary to character. This is what really inspired me to give Star of the North two strong female leads. I'm also hugely impressed by what Tom Rob Smith has achieved with the Child 44 trilogy, which has ordinary people forced to make terrible choices by the tyrannical system they are constrained by. Alan Furst, too, I love. He sets almost all of his fiction in the milieu he knows best: an interwar Europe inhabited by blond double agents, Red Army deserters, and Gestapo informers.

Goodreads: What are you currently reading, and what books are you recommending to your friends?

DBJ: I'm currently reading McMafia by Misha Glenny after I enjoyed the BBC TV series so much. And I've just finished Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. To my friends I'd recommend Sirens by Joseph Knox, an impressive modern update on the gumshoe crime detective, and Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Set during the Indian Wars, it's a gay novel like no other I've ever read.

Goodreads: What's next for you? Any preview you can give readers?

DBJ: I'm fascinated by what's happening in modern Russia right now and am toying with the idea of sending my main character there next. Reading Masha Gessen's The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin is providing fertile source material.


Your Summer Reading Preview
Posted by Cybil on May 14, 2018

Summer Reading Preview 2018

Summer Reading is sponsored by The Great American Read on PBS.

It's the season to catch up on your reading, crack open some classics, or discover great new releases. Whether your idea of summer reading is thrilling, romantic, informative, or fantastical, we've got page-turning recommendations for you!


The Hottest Books of Summer
Hello, new favorites. Discover the biggest books in every genre.
Goodreads Employees Share Their Summer Reading
Get inspired by our bookish colleagues.

20 Books for Every Kind of Getaway
Escape with immersive reads.
2018's Highest-Rated Nonfiction (So Far)
Check out these four-star true stories.


Get Ready for the Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge
Take your reading to the next level this season.



What will you be reading this season?

Let us know in the comments!


Goodreads Employees Share Their Summer Reading Plans
Posted by Cybil on May 14, 2018

Need some help planning your summer reading? Goodreads employees are a very bookish bunch, so we asked our colleagues to share their reading lists for the season to inspire you. You're sure to find something for every type of reader below!

Let us know what books you'll be adding to your Want to Read shelf. After all, our co-workers want bragging rights!


In Ho Lee, senior financial analyst
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Inga Anderson, senior technical program manager
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Otis Chandler, CEO & co-founder
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Lisset Cruz, manager of account management
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Mimi Chan, senior marketing manager
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Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, co-founder & editor in chief
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Brandi Luedeman, lead user researcher
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Tony Chan, senior software engineer
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Amanda Cooper, quality specialist
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Emily Fortner, community manager
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Sam Julian, UX designer
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William Cline, senior software engineer
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Gustopher Horn, software engineer
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Roshni Patel, head of digital merchandising
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Emily Finley, director of operations
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Danny Feekes, managing editor
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Heino Colyn, Goodreads expert
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Tristan Leigh, software engineer
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Jaclyn Woods, community expert
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Caroline Moeller, account executive
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Shaun Ponting, community expert
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Katie Luttrell, program manager II
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Monique Galvin, Goodreads expert
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Marie Pabelonio, associate editor
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Joe Thomas, software engineer
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Dany Avila, Goodreads expert
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Katie Boyer, advertising account manager
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William Ransohoff, software developer
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Alexa Kelly, executive assistant
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Alex Lewis, program manager
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Tomas Batalla, software engineer
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Robin Moos, Goodreads expert
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Brian Percival, software architect
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Vielka Ruiz, experts manager
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David Kirlin, senior devops engineer
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Dan Lopez, account manager
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Steve Sarner, head of sales & ad solutions
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Lisa Jablonsky, sales director
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Michael van Hardenberg, senior marketing manager
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Shweta Maurya, program manager
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Danielle Long, senior product manager
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Hayley Fastenau, editor
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Erin-Mari Kelsey, account manager
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William Siu, ad operations trafficker
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The Hottest Books of Summer
Posted by Hayley on May 14, 2018

Summer is a dream; summer without books is a nightmare. Prepare yourself for a blissful season of reading with soon-to-be favorites in every genre!

To create our list, we focused on what Goodreads members are anticipating and reactions from early reviewers. We measured anticipation by how many times a book has been added to Want to Read shelves, and then we only included books that have earned at least a four-star rating. (If you're curious how you can read prepublished books and be among the first to rate them, take a look at our book giveaways.)

Now let's get to the books. Tell us which ones you can't wait to read in the comments.


FICTION
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In this unforgettable follow-up to Beartown, the citizens of a small town in Sweden rally around their local hockey team, even as a hostile rivalry threatens to destroy friendships, families, and the fragile peace of a volatile community.


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From the author of Fates and Furies comes a piercing collection of short stories exploring the moments that make us feel alive, all anchored by the landscape, climate, history, and state of mind of Florida.


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A fractured love story collides with a secret extremist cult in this electrifying debut about a young misfit, the woman he adores, and the obsession that unravels their relationship and leads to a harrowing act of violence.


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The first novel from actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, charts the crucial turning points in an Indian American Muslim family's past, from the bonds that bring them together to the differences that pull them apart.


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One photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, overturns Nina's status among Nashville's elite, forcing her to choose between her family and her values in this poignant tale from the author of Something Borrowed.


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At once merciless and compassionate, this is the story of a young woman who attempts to fill the dark and vacuous hole in her heart by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help, of course, of a truly terrible psychiatrist.


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A sheltered young girl and a teenage maid strike an unlikely friendship in this mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990s Colombia and inspired by the author's own life.


MYSTERY & THRILLER
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From the author of The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood comes a tale of spellbinding menace that sees a struggling tarot card reader lured into a web of intrigue, danger, and betrayal by the promise of a tantalizing fortune.


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An ingenious young man creates an "echo box" to hear his late mother's voice, but the innocent project takes a nefarious turn when shadowy government agents come to seize the extraordinary machine—and silence its creator.


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When the bride-to-be is discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony, everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect, from the best man and the maid of honor to the groom's famous mystery novelist mother.


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It's just a harmless game, right? The author of Final Girls puts a deadly twist on "two truths and a lie" as successful artist Emma revisits her dark past, the one night at summer camp that still haunts her memories and her paintings.


YOUNG ADULT
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As warrior Helene, the Blood Shrike, searches for a way to hold back the tide of war, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance in this epic installment in the Ember Quartet.


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Told through the letters wallflower Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, this charming tale from the author of When Dimple Met Rishi navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.



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After escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle reinvents herself as the mysterious Holly Vanderhees in this exhilarating take on DC Comics' Catwoman from the author of the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series.


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Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, but as all four of her older siblings return for a wedding, chaos reigns supreme in the form of a howling dog, a stubborn band, a missing tuxedo, and a distractingly cute boy.


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In this dazzling follow-up to Flame in the Mist, Mariko plays the part of the dutiful bride-to-be in order to infiltrate the emperor's ranks, rescue her beloved, and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.


NONFICTION
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A beach house dubbed Sea Section is the setting for reflections on middle age, mortality, and a tumor joke or two in this deeply personal and darkly hilarious book from the author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.


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The Smithsonian's star paleontologist explores the cutting edge of whale research, from the fishing decks on Antarctic whaling stations to the desert of Chile where scientists race to document the largest fossil whalebone site on earth.


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With effervescent charm and wit, the Parks and Recreation star takes readers along on her not-so-meteoric rise from "roaches to riches" before reflecting on her life of fame (fending off trolls, flirting with Michael Fassbender, etc.).


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To celebrate the anniversary of Maus, the groundbreaking graphic novel about a father's memories of the Holocaust, this companion book, prepared by the author, includes never-before-seen sketches, drafts, photos, and more.


HISTORICAL FICTION
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The rarefied world of a resort island in the Long Island Sound comes to life in this enchanting novel of romance, class, power, and dark secrets set in the summer of 1951 and 1969 from the author of A Hundred Summers.


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Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita, this heart-pounding story gives a voice to Sally herself.


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From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg to the World War I battlefields, this riveting historical drama focuses on the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.


ROMANCE
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Brilliant math whiz Stella decides to practice dating by hiring an escort in this heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: There's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.


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The Winston brothers are at it again. From the author of Truth or Beard and Grin and Beard It comes the next installment in the ongoing saga of the burly brothers' quest for love in the idyllic town of Green Valley, Tennessee.


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Yesterday fiercely independent Poppy worried about the lack of decent suitors in London. Today she has other problems, namely the two men who have kidnapped her and deposited her at the feet of notorious pirate Captain Andrew James Rokesby.


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From the three-time winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance comes a powerful story about a troubled marriage and the memories, secrets, and old forgotten promises that might be able to save it.


FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
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Two years after enchanting readers with her Beauty and the Beast retelling, Novik is back with a dark take on the Rumplestiltskin legend that follows Miryem, a clever young woman with a dangerous talent for turning silver into gold.



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What does it mean if the gods can be killed? Persephone, the first woman to lead her tribe, enters the battle between humankind and the cruel godlike beings who once ruled in this next installment in The Legends of the First Empire series.


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Kate Daniels wants to put her paranormal problems behind her. But in this next installment in the popular urban fantasy series, her attempt at a normal life, playing house with former Beast Lord Curran and their child, is interrupted by an ancient enemy.


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From his first encounter with the man who will one day become Darth Vader to his rise to power, Grand Admiral Thrawn proves his reputation as one of the most cunning warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire in this thrilling Star Wars tale.


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After a disaster rocks their community, a mother, an alien academic, and a caretaker for the dead struggle to build a new future in this story of finding hope and purpose among the stars from the author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.



Get Ready for the Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge
Posted by Cybil on May 14, 2018

This summer, take your 2018 Reading Challenge to the next level! We asked Lori Hettler, the founder and moderator of The Next Best Book Club, to create two exclusive summer reading challenges just for you. She’s also sharing her favorite indie reads and spilling her secrets on how to run a successful book club. You can download a PDF of the challenges here. Happy reading!


Goodreads: You moderate one of the largest book clubs on Goodreads, The Next Best Book Club, with more than 17,000 members and a motto of “Feeding your reading addiction, one book at a time.” What have you learned about people’s reading habits and how to successfully recommend books through your work on TNBBC?

Lori Hettler: It’s certainly not a surprise to hear that everyone reads differently. Some people read for pure enjoyment, some for growth and development. Some readers stick to one or two favorite genres, others read more diversely. Some read competitively, tracking and charting their reading, while others read solely for themselves.

But no matter how people choose to read, one thing has always been very clear to me: Readers love to interact with other readers. And that’s part of what’s made TNBBC so successful. We’ve created a welcoming, comfortable space on Goodreads for readers to engage with one another in a variety of ways.

Goodreads: Every year, you create a new reading challenge for your book club, with this year’s theme of Read Whatever The F*** You Want and last year’s challenge of the David Bowie Reading Challenge. Why would you recommend that people try a reading challenge? What goes into a successful reading challenge?

LH: Reading challenges really stretch you as a reader. Not only are they a great way to track and categorize your reading, but if you let them, they’ll pull you out of your comfort zone and get you picking up books you might not have done so otherwise.

I think the most successful reading challenges are the ones that focus on building in fun tasks and flexibility—seasonal challenges with specific themes, year-long challenges like the Goodreads Reading Challenge that allows you to set your own goal and pace, and challenges that incorporate books you already own but haven’t read yet. At TNBBC, I’ve had a blast over the past couple of years designing reading challenges out of a musician’s or band’s entire discography, using the song titles and lyrics to build reading tasks that anyone could complete, regardless of their familiarity with the music itself.





Goodreads: You are known for your passion for independent books and small presses. Where does that passion come from, and can you recommend some of your current favorite independent reads?

LH: My love for small press and self-published books began as a happy accident in the mid-2000s, and believe it or not, Goodreads played a pretty big role in that. I had run out of things to read and became tired of picking up the same big names and big listed titles as everyone else. Frustrated that that’s all the bookstores seemed to sell, I turned to the internet to try to uncover books that no one else was reading, and ultimately stumbled upon Goodreads in 2007. Through the site, I quickly discovered authors like Ben Tanzer, M. Clifford, and D.R. Haney and fell in love. After reading and reviewing their work, we were able to connect here with one another directly, and they began recommending I check out books from some of their favorite authors. It really started to take root from there.

Honestly, prior to those first few interactions, I hadn’t paid much attention to who was publishing what and didn’t understand the hierarchy of imprints. Now, 99.9 percent of what I read is published through amazing small press communities.

Asking a reader to recommend some of their favorite books is such a daunting question! There are so many books that are worthy of recommendation, but based on who is asking and what their usual reading preference is, my choices would vary. Here are a few that jump to mind pretty immediately:

Novels: Each Vagabond by Name by Margo Orlando Littell (University of New Orleans Press); Above All Men by Eric Shonkwiler (Mg Press); The Alligators of Abraham by Robert Kloss (Mud Luscious Press); My Only Wife by Jac Jemc (Dzanc Books); The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell (Two Dollar Radio); A Long Curving Scar Where the Heart Should Be by Quintan Ana Wikswo (Stalking Horse Press); A Shelter of Others by Charles Dodd White (Fiddleblack Press).

Poetry: Even Though I Don’t Miss You by Chelsea Martin (Short Flight/Long Drive Books); Panic Attack, USA by Nate Slawson (YesYes Books); Injecting Dreams into Cows by Jessy Randall (Red Hen Press); The Waiting Tide by Ryan W. Bradley (Concepcion Books).

Goodreads: It seems that everyone wants to read more books! What advice do you have for would-be voracious readers?

LH: Don’t stop reading, and push your comfort zones! Always keep a book around—in your bag, on your nightstand, and in your office drawer for coffee and lunch breaks. Tap into the power of a book buddy for motivation—someone you can team-read with, someone who will tackle the same reading challenges with you, or join a book club. And don’t be afraid to try different formats—listen to audiobooks during your work commute or while you do chores around the house; sneak in a chapbook or poetry book if you find yourself slogging through the novel you’re currently reading, just to break things up a bit; download ebooks when they are on sale and load up that Kindle app; and keep a short story collection close at hand for times when you’re not ready to commit to a longer read.

The most important thing is to Just. Keep. Reading!


24 of the Year's Highest-Rated Nonfiction (So Far)
Posted by Cybil on May 14, 2018

We're almost halfway through 2018, and we thought it was high time to check in on the year's buzziest and most-loved nonfiction!

It's already been a fantastic year for memoirs, from an account of a woman's survivalist upbringing in Educated to a story of wrongfully convicted man being freed from death row in The Sun Does Shine. Readers have also been riveted as Michelle McNamara's posthumous true crime bestseller I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer aligned with the major arrest in the serial killer case.

To create this list, we looked at a book's popularity (through the number of ratings on Goodreads) and anticipation (measured by how many times a title was added to Want to Read shelves. To ensure that these 2018 nonfiction titles were the the best of the bunch, we then winnowed down our list further to focus only on books that have at least a four-star reader rating.


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What nonfiction would you recommend to your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments!

Find more ideas for your summer reading:
The Hottest Books of Summer
Get Ready for the Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge
20 Top-Rated Books for Every Kind of Getaway


20 Top-Rated Books for Every Kind of Getaway
Posted by Marie on May 14, 2018

Planning for your next vacation? Some immersive reading can be a fun way to prepare. Whether you're globe-trotting or staying close to home, we created several bookish itineraries to help complement your call to adventure.

For this roundup, we took a look at both fiction and nonfiction titles with a setting or plot that closely matched the several types of getaways listed below. From there, we narrowed our list to include only books with a 3.7 star rating or above. This is why some travel classics like On the Road were not featured.

You can always add to our list by sharing your recommendations in the comments. Don't forget to add what catches your eye to your Want to Read shelf.



If You're Hitting the Road...

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If You're at the Beach...

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If You're Backpacking...

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If You're Experiencing Another Culture...

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If You're Planning an Epic Staycation

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What books would you recommend for these types of getaways? Let us know in the comments!

Find more ideas for your summer reading:
Get Ready for the Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge
24 of the Year's Highest-Rated Nonfiction (So Far)
Choosing Your Vacation Books: Our Readers Share Their Advice

Choosing Your Vacation Books: Our Readers Share Their Advice
Posted by Marie on May 14, 2018

Narrowing down what books to bring on your next vacation can be a tough decision for the avid reader. So we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter to share their bookish wisdom. Below is a list of some of the most popular comments. Make sure to let us know which ones are your favorites!


1. "I can never decide and thanks to my Kindle, I don’t have to," says Ecem.

2. "I like to take books I can leave behind—so your John Grisham or Michael Connelly. Maybe a book the person I'm visiting would like," says Emily.

3. "A book with a setting that's in or around the destination. It gives amazing perspective to both the book and the place!" says Dina.

4. "For a vacation, I usually lean towards something not too heavy. I remember relaxing on the terrace of a condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico while reading Pat Conroy's Beach Music, sobbing. Great book, but not for vacation!" says Freddie.

5. "I like to take light reads that I can put down easily. I also like to take a used book that I'm not worried about getting water or sand on or losing," says Erin.

6. "One book to challenge me, one fiction that won't, one nonfiction that's recently grabbed my attention, and one that's been lying around 5+ years waiting to be read. These can be combined, so it's 2 to 4 vacation reads. Of course, Kindle let's me bring hundreds…," says Steve.

7. "I pack a briefcase with the 2 or 3 books that I'm currently reading...and I visit the closest bookstore when I get to wherever I am going," says William.

8. "Find authors local to where you are visiting. Read their books," says Brad.

9. "Audiobooks, because I love to walk along the beach and listen or just sit and watch the water," says Devon.

10. "The places I usually stay have lending shelves. I'll usually bring a book for the shelf—either one I've recently finished or am about to. I stick to easy-to-read paperbacks for travel: thrillers, mysteries, or romance," says Shannon.



How do you decide what books to bring on your vacation? Share your travel reading plans with us in the comments!

Find more ideas for your summer reading:
The Hottest Books of Summer
20 Top-Rated Books for Every Kind of Getaway
Goodreads Employees Share Their Summer Reading Plans

Beginner Book Club Picks From Our Readers
Posted by Marie on May 11, 2018

book club picks

Sponsored by Book Club, in theaters May 18!

Deciding what to read for your first book club meeting can feel daunting. Ultimately, a successful pick is one that inspires a lot of lively discussion. But if you’re a newbie feeling the "book club butterflies," or even a veteran looking to re-energize your group, we’ve got you covered.

We asked seasoned book club hosts on Twitter and Facebook for their picks and created a roundup of some of the most popular suggestions. Make sure to add your own recommendations in the comments. Don’t forget to add what catches your eye to your Want-to-Read shelf!

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What "first reads" would you recommend for a new book club? Let us know in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
How to Start a Successful Book Club
The 24 Most Popular Book Club Picks on Goodreads
Author of 'The Pisces' Has Your Bookish Horoscope

Love "Fahrenheit 451"? Check Out These 8 Books
Posted by Marie on May 09, 2018

Fahrenheit 451

“It was a pleasure to burn.”

So goes the haunting first line of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Since its 1953 publication, this powerful and prescient classic remains a staple of the dystopian genre. To date, the novel has more than 1.2 million ratings from Goodreads members with an average rating of 3.9 stars.

Before HBO’s adaptation hits the small screen on May 19, we took a look at what other dystopian classics Fahrenheit 451 fans have read and loved. To make sure we’re serving up the best recommendations, we only included titles with at least a 3.9 star rating.

If you’d like to add another title to this list, make sure to share them with us in the comments! Don’t forget to add what catches your eye to your Want-to-Read shelf.

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What books would you recommend for Fahrenheit 451 fans? Let us know in the comments.

Check out more recent blogs:
7 Buzzy Books Hitting Shelves Today
How to Start a Successful Book Club
Fan Favorite Audiobooks for Long-Distance Commutes

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