A New Reason to Love Goodreads

I’m always amazed at the number of avid readers who haven’t yet created a Goodreads account. If you need one more reason to join, here it is. Goodreads has announced a new program called Goodreads Deals which will offer members discounts on e-books based on the members’s preferred genre and/or books on your “want to read” shelf. When you sign up to receive deals, you’ll be asked to edit your preferences which, in addition to genre, and your “want to read” list, can include authors you follow, and even allows you select the type of device you are using.

As for all of the “old” reasons to love Goodreads (and there are many, I’ll keep it very basic here.), here are my top 5:

5) I can keep track of books I’ve read. This may sound simple to many of you but over the years I often forget which titles I’ve read. Especially if I’ve read multiple titles from the same author that have a similar feel or themes. (Think Dean Koontz.) I can then give it a star rating, write a narrative review, both, or neither.

4) Recommendations! Ever feel like you want to read something but you don’t know what? (Even when you have a shelf or library full??) Goodreads can provide you with suggestions based on what’s on your shelf, genre, etc.

3) Goodreads Giveaways! Who doesn’t love free books? In addition to the link here, Goodreads will send you an email every time a book on your “want to read” list is being given away. Personally, I don’t ever go through the general link, opting only to enter if there’s a giveaway for a book I will actually read. Giveaways are limited to a certain number of copies so why have a book sitting around your house when someone else may have been truly lusting after it??

2) Goodreads Community. There are groups for online book clubs, upcoming book events, and every tiny niche in reading and publishing you can conceive of. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for you can create your own group!

1) Friends, friends, friends! I’ve saved the best for last. You can invite friends from your Facebook account, send emails to your friends, and meet new friends on Goodreads. Some you may know personally, others you may not, (there’s a “compare books” button on each user’s profile that allows you to see how much you have in common with a potential friend) but it’s amazing how many people you can truly connect with. When you are friends with someone, most of what they do shows up in your feed (similar to Facebook). I can’t tell you  how many times something a friend is reading ends up on my “want to read”, aka TBR, list. Any many times I wouldn’t have even known the book existed otherwise.

Have I forgotten anything? I’m sure I have. I’d love to hear about your experience with Goodreads. I know there are other similar sites so please feel free to recommend/comment on those as well.

Next up: My first BEA experience.

Review of “Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Backman


Britt-Marie was an intensely unlikable woman in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s SorryPerhaps that’s because she was so unhappy herself. I’m so glad I was able to get to know her better in Britt-Marie Was HereIt should be mentioned that, although I highly recommend reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and you will be even more impressed by Britt-Marie in this book if you do, you won’t have any trouble at all reading this as a stand-alone.

Sixty-three year old Britt-Marie has finally left her philandering husband and is trying to move on with her life. But there are more than a few obstacles in her way. To begin with, it’s more than a little difficult for a woman her age, who has not been gainfully employed in forty-some years to find a job in the middle of a financial crisis. But Britt-Marie is very resourceful. And by this, I mean that she pesters the poor young woman at the unemployment office, wearing her down until she finds her a position in the somewhat disadvantaged town of Borg. Thus begins Britt-Marie’s journey toward independence, friendships, and self-actualization(!). No small accomplishments for this very quirky, somewhat neurotic, maker-of-lists, and keeper of order who loathes soccer, has never had children of her own, and has somehow become the children’s soccer coach in Borg.

This is one of those books that is not terribly long, and is written very simply, but packs a huge punch in terms of conveying an astounding amount of emotional ranges and the understanding of human relationships.(And, at times, those with dogs and rats.) From desperation and sadness to hopefulness and redemption, it’s impossible not to laugh and cry, at times simultaneously. It is a beautiful thing, how Britt-Marie became such a vital part of the community. And even more so how the community became such a vital part of her.

Every character is so carefully revealed and so richly developed it would be quite easy to convince me I actually knew them. There are too many to mention but individually but I will say that I wouldn’t mind having a beer with Bank and Somebody. But as much as each character stands out individually, it’s the collective character of the town that is most unique and endearing.They are mostly good people, doing the best they can. And while they may not agree on every little thing, when the you-know-what hits the fan, they stand together. Many of us have lived in Borg, if not geographically, then metaphorically, at one time or another. And if not, then we should wish that we had.


5/5 stars

Many thanks to Atria Books via NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.