Beth Fish reads, ya’ll. It’s her life, her love, her url: http://www.bethfishreads.com/. “Ms. Fish” is a book lover and freelance book editor and book reviewer. Her blog features book reviews, author guest posts, and other bookish content (with a soft spot for Pennsylvania authors.) One unique feature is her Imprint Awareness Project, currently spotlighting Harper Perennial, Pamela Dorman, Amy Einhorn, and Algonquin.
Want to be in the know before the next YA crossover hit makes its way onto the adult radar? (I’m looking at you Twilight and Hunger Games!) Check out Librarian in the Middle · book reviews, links, random tidbits, etc. for middle school students, their teachers and parents, and anyone else who might enjoy!
No, I didn’t choose to crush on this site simply because it’s by another Rebecca (although I do crazy love her logo)…
Rebecca Reads is the blog of Rebecca Reid (ha!), and she covers a variety of nonfiction, children’s books, and classics. Reviews and information with a breezy, personal tone. She also heads up something on her main site called The Classics Circuit, which promotes classic authors through a “blog tour.”
Thea and Ana are the Book Smugglers–self-described, completely obsessed, sad, sick addicts when it comes to books. “Faced with threats and cynicisms from our significant others and because of the massive amounts of time and money we spend at Amazon.com, we resorted to getting books delivered to our offices and then smuggling them into our homes (in huge handbags) to avoid detection. Here we found a perfect outlet for our obsession! Reviews, recommendations, and other ponderings are our specialty.”
Book Smuggler Specialties
- Joint Reviews– conversational-style joint reviews a month
- Chat With an Author– interviews with authors whose books they have reviewed
- Inspirations & Influences– authors whose books they have reviewed talk about their writing inspirations and influences
- From the Page to the Screen– reviews of books that have made it to the big screen
- Guest Dares– guest reviewers are dared to read & review books outside of their comfort zone
- What She Said– feature in which each Smuggler reads and reviews a book that the other has already reviewed (LOVE IT)
- On the Smugglers’ Radar– weekly feature in which each Smuggler discloses upcoming titles she cannot wait to read
- Cover Matters– attempts to answer the often controversial question: Do Covers Matter?
As any good collection development librarian knows, professional reviews are a must to keep your collection fresh, current, and well-rounded. It also is your backup if a title is challenged on any level. It can be difficult however to learn more about independently published works.
ForeWord Reviews a is a print trade journal of book reviews from independent and university presses. (bonus for librarians – free subscriptions for us!) Their website offers many of the same reviews. They cover Childrens, YA, and Adult, Fiction and Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, and a number of genres and categories.
Check them out at http://www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/.
Like its print counterpart, Locus Online is your one-stop-shop for pretty much everything you need to know about science fiction and fantasy publishing. If’ it’s been typeset and has a spaceship or a dragon on the cover, it’s been in Locus. (No spam please. I know that those are awful cliches and the that industry is much more sophisticated and stratified than that.)
The website is produced from southern California, independently from the editorial staff of the magazine and features:
- News – Awards nominations and results, obituaries, and major publishing developments. As of January 2009 these are posted in the Locus SF&F Newsblog, with most posts from the Locus Magazine offices in Oakland, CA.
- Monitor – Locus Online‘s weekly to monthly listings of new books and magazines, with descriptions, cover images, links to relevant author and publisher websites, and quotes from reviews; and a weekly compilation of genre books that appear on general bestseller lists.
- Reviews – Selected book reviews from Locus Magazine (typically two per month, plus Graham Sleight’s bimonthly “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” column), plus special-to-Locus Online coverage of significant genre films, with reviews by Gary Westfahl and by Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person.
- Perspectives – Essays and commentary, including occasional special-to-Locus Online features by Gary Westfahl and others, Cory Doctorow’s bimonthly columns from Locus Magazine, and (as of February 2009), a new Roundtable blog with posts from Locus reviewers and other invited guests.
- Resources – Static and periodically-updated pages of indexes and links, including the Links Portal, listings of forthcoming Conventions and Author Events, selected Forthcoming Books as compiled by Locus Magazine, annual Directories with bibliographic listings by type of books published with links to descriptions, bestseller lists, and reviews; indexes to reviews and interviews that have appeared in Locus Magazine, and the independently compiled Locus Index to Science Fiction, by William G. Contento, and the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards, by Mark R. Kelly.
- The Magazine – Samples of each issue of Locus Magazine, including the Table of Contents, excerpts from the interviews, and listings of Locus Bestsellers and of New & Notable Books.
- Blinks – Sidebar links to notable reviews, articles, and websites
Steph and Tony are an uber-cute couple in Nashville who created a blog to post random musings. One of the things they like to post about is books, which is why they’ve been selected as one of our Web Crushes! Their book reviews are sprightly, interesting, and tend to be on contemporary, recent releases. If you’re so inclined, they also blog about recipes and pop culture, but the main content of their blog is books and reading (and you can filter to just those using their handy tabs).
If you like informal book review blogs, check out Step and Tony at http://www.stephandtonyinvestigate.com.
If you work in a public library, you get stumped trying to come up with book group ideas. This is where Lit Lovers introduces itself as your new best friend. In addtion to links to guides and “how-to’s,” what you’re really going to love are the up-to-the-minute recommendations of hot titles. Today they’re promoting:
See what I mean? They’re good!
Hipster Book Club is an online review journal that aims to cover literature from all different genres, not bestsellers. In fact, a large percentage of the books they feature are older backlist titles. (hm, must be why we like them!)
The site also features a number of interesting book-themed articles, and offers a fair amount of criticism – they aren’t simply a book recommendation site. (The opening line to a review of The Magician King caught my attention – “If I could punch Lev Grossman right now, I would.”)
From their About section: “This website was created as an offshoot of the LiveJournal community of the same name. Formed in October, 2003, the Hipster Book Club LiveJournal community grew from word of mouth alone and boasts members from a variety of nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Japan, Honduras, and the Netherlands.”
The Bookrageous Podcast on PodBean.com is about being serious about books without always being serious. It’s about having fun with books, making books exciting again, reminding readers why they read, and introducing great people to great books. It’s about books being awesome and people being willing to be a little bit silly in the name of celebrating them. (They’re pretty serious about the awesomeness of books.) In additiont to a roundup of what individual contributers have been reading, the podcast also features great discussions on topics from Literary Pet Peeves or Favorite Underdog Books. Podcasters include Josh Christie from BrewandBooks.com, Rebecca Joines Schinsky from The Book Lady’s Blog, Ali Colluccio from wonderali.com, and Jenn Northington from The Adventures of Jenn I(n) R(eal) L(ife). Happy Listening!