21st Century Literature discussion

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Book Chat > Where do you find out about new books?

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message 1: by Joe (new)

Joe Clarke (joe-in-turkey) I was wondering where you hear about new books that are worth reading.

I am from the UK and would look primarily to the Books page on the culture section of The Guardian's website.

Which sites, or magazines, or blogs, or newspapers, or friends even, do you look to?


message 2: by Lacewing (last edited Oct 25, 2014 01:37AM) (new)

Lacewing Hi, Joe. I like the Guardian, too. In addition, I check the shelves of the members of this group to see what they read. One of the most fruitful sources has been to google "review the bone clocks" because every review site, it seems, has had something to say about David Mitchell's latest.

One of my favorite sites is the Los Angeles Review of Books. Also The Millions, Kirkus, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Quarterly Conversation, Quill and Quire, thenewcannon.com, Open Letters Monthly, complete-review.com, theconversation.com, NY Times, Guernica, NPR.

(Can you tell I like reading reviews?)

Another source is the blurb pages in paperbacks. Not only do I get various views on a book, I get indications sometimes of what review sources to check out or, in some cases, to avoid.

Happy hunting!


message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita | 103 comments I read the book sections of many newspapers, but I also follow publishing houses on twitter so when new books or author interviews are being held, I get updates. Sometimes I think I read more about books than read actual books!


message 4: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) | 143 comments New York Times Book Review and Goodreads are two primary sources. Walking through the library often turns up treasures as well. And then books refer to other books (both fiction and non-fiction) and they're always worth looking up.

Also, reading articles on the Internet introduces me to new titles.


message 5: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) I love the Guardian Books section as mentioned before. I also like NPR's Author Interviews and Reviews. BBC has a few good books podcasts too...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/...


message 6: by Lily (last edited Oct 25, 2014 04:34PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments For new books, the past couple of years I have looked increasingly towards the "major" book prizes -- not sure I watch all I might yet. There are a couple that start with a large variety of books before they even get to a long list. That of course biases ones choices, so I also keep a tab on some of the sources mentioned above, e.g., NYT reviews, occasionally a business magazine (The Economist can be quite good); as well as use the new books listings from my library system or an occasional visit to Barnes and Noble bookstore itself. Our library offers free copies of Bookpage and sometimes I pick one up. B&N and Amazon draw new titles to my attention -- B&N has a decent review rag. This 21st century board is another source for me.

For older books and classics, I use a variety of books on books, from Clifton Fadiman to Michael Dirda to Nancy Pearl, as well as lists of "top books."

http://www.thegreatestbooks.org/ -- a list of lists! The most exhaustive in one place I've seen.

http://bookriot.com/2013/07/10/the-10...


message 7: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Lacewing wrote: "One of my favorite sites is the Los Angeles Review of Books. Also The Millions, Kirkus, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Quarterly Conversation, Quill and Quire, thenewcannon.com, Open Letters Monthly, complete-review.com, theconversation.com, NY Times, Guernica, NPR..."

What an excellent list, Lacewing. Some of these I've not used -- you have given us some to check out. The Paris Review is one I particularly envy your use. Many of their earlier reviews can be found on line, and I have not met one yet that wasn't on target. I just am not good at stopping at a library and perusing magazines.


message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen | 67 comments I read many of the sources listed here (great lists, thank you!). Another I like is the Indie Next list published monthly from Indiebound.org, which promotes independent bookstores. http://www.indiebound.org/indie-next-...


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily MacKenzie (lilyionamackenzie) Joe wrote: "I was wondering where you hear about new books that are worth reading.

I am from the UK and would look primarily to the Books page on the culture section of The Guardian's website.

Which sites, o..."



message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily MacKenzie (lilyionamackenzie) I often read books reviewed in the New York Review of Books. I've discovered many authors there whose work I love, like Per Petterson, Roberto Bolano, and more.


message 11: by Thom (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 14 comments I rely on Book Bud and Kindle Buffet to keep up to date with the latest publications.


message 12: by Joe (new)

Joe Clarke (joe-in-turkey) Thanks to everybody for the recommendations. I will spend the week looking through them.
I suppose what I am hoping to find is a literary equivalent of the old NME.
When I was younger, a lot younger, I used to read the NME (the New Musical Express) religiously ever week. I was into punk and post-punk and new wave, and lots of other labels and pigeon holes, and the NME let me know what was happening in, what was then, a small little world. Where the gigs were, and when the albums were coming out.
It also let me know when not to trust a band because the bass player was going out with the singer of a metal group, or because the drummer was suspected of voting Tory. I knew the journalists and critics on the paper (like Burchill, Parsons, Morely, and Baker) as well as, if not better than, the musicians they wrote about.
The paper helped create a community and a spirit. If you saw someone reading the NME you knew you had a friend, an ally.
I suppose what I was looking for with the question above was a place, a paper or a site, which has that sense of passion, excitement, and enthusiasm for books in the way the NME had for music.
However, I think a lot of it has to do with my approach rather than the community's. I don't think my, ahem, middle-aged self has the passion, excitement, or enthusiasm for anything the way my teenaged self had. It's more likely to be about what I bring to the party, as I think the party is already rocking.


message 13: by Lacewing (new)

Lacewing Thank you, Jen, for the Indie Bound link. There are no independent book stores in my area.

Thank you, Lily, for Book Riot and Book Page. BTW, it's the interviews section of The Paris Review that I like -- and it's available to non-subscribers (like me).

And thank you, Joe, for asking. I quite like swapping links.


message 14: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Lacewing wrote: "...BTW, it's the interviews section of The Paris Review that I like -- and it's available to non-subscribers..."

How does one access it, Lacewing? Thx for the heads up! (You are most welcome for BR & BP - thx 4 ur thx.)


message 16: by Karen (new)

Karen | 1 comments Here are some standard publications used in the library profession:

Publishers Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by...

Library Journal http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/

Booklist (American Library Association) http://www.booklistonline.com/Default...

Hope this is helpful!!


message 17: by Lacewing (new)

Lacewing Yummy, Karen.


message 18: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments Thx, both Lacewing and Karen!


message 19: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2304 comments Here's one I've just discovered -- Kirkus Reviews

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...


message 20: by Lacewing (last edited Nov 02, 2014 02:10AM) (new)

Lacewing http://www.aldaily.com/ links to book reviews (among many other articles online) and has a nice list of book review sites.

http://fivebooks.com/ has a cool thing going. Experts and authors list five books in their specialties.*

a new one for me is http://www.oxfordamerican.org/, specializing in U.S. southern lit.

*five books used to be part of The Browser, which is now pretty much only available to subscribers. I used to read their five books section frequently. Love seeing it preserved on its own like this.


message 21: by Joe (new)

Joe Clarke (joe-in-turkey) Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions.
I have bookmarked the links and will spend the next few weeks browsing and seeing which suit me best.
And, of course, I will keep looking to this group for ideas.


message 22: by Rob (new)

Rob | 2 comments I usually show up at my teachers' doorstep. I study History and English at the teacher's training study at the university of Rotterdam for applied sciences, and some of my teachers know a lot of decent books. Some are not really 21st century, but hey, a guy needs to read, Right? (And of course this site helps me a lot too.)


message 23: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 154 comments I read a lot of short fiction, and so look for novels by the authors of short stories I like.

In that vein (self promotion!) I started a Goodreads Group for people who read the short fiction in The New Yorker every week. It doesn't have any members yet. Feel free to find it and join if you like talking about short things quickly, in addition to ponderous tomes a month later (Only 100 pages left in All The Light We Cannot See!)


message 24: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2465 comments With all the lists of "best books" around, I'm not sure how valuable this one might be for readers here, but in case anyone is interested, here is a link to Publishers Weekly list of best books for 2014. From that page, there appear to be links to "best choices" for earlier years.

http://best-books.publishersweekly.co...

(I am currently giving a try to Joseph O'Neill's The Dog.)


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