The old saying goes, "You are what you eat," and many people agree that this idea extends to what people read as well. It's important for people to find the best books to read and not settle for bad writing.
Whether someone is picking out a book to read on their own, looking for a recommendation for their hobby group, or finding a book to give to a friend or relative, it's important to be sure to do adequate due diligence. There's no harm in conducting research before purchasing something; in this regard, buying a book isn't any different than buying a toaster oven. Checking out the reviews of what others are saying about a product before putting it in the cart is a sensible way to shop. This list of book review websites and tips should be enough to help anyone searching for the perfect print material.
Book Review Sources
Finding a list of book review sources is a valuable tool for any hobbyist to have in their pocket. There's more than one place to go to get reviews of the best books. For the sake of having a more well-rounded perspective, it's a good idea to look at more than one source to find book recommendations that are trustworthy.
Newspaper reviews are generated by the papers' writing staffs, so these are often some of the best written reviews to read. Here are a few examples of some newspaper reviews to look out for in the future:
- The New York Times Book Review: The New York Times releases their list of best sellers online, and they break down their favorites by genre as well. They also have a podcast worth checking out.
- Times Literary Supplement: In addition to giving staff reviews, this source includes compelling interviews and advice from authors.
- Boston Globe Books: The Boston Globe highlights international bestsellers, but they also discuss local favorites.
Discussing Books With Friends
Reading groups are one common way to make friends who are interested in books. Of course, friends who aren't readers may want to hear about the book even if they aren't in a reading group. In order to have some interesting points to discuss after finishing a book, some readers are willing to take notes while they read. Some common topics that readers take notes on include the theme, a character’s arch expressed within the plot, and the way the book was written.
The reading community enjoys hearing about what themes the author chose to express in the work. This is something that other analysts might have mentioned online. Themes are sometimes mentioned on the book cover or in the additional material within the book itself. In many cases, an author will conduct an interview and mention themes, but they are easy enough to find without outside assistance. A theme is more than the book's topic. It's something that will ultimately lead to an interesting discussion among friends.
Best Book Review Websites
In addition to the aforementioned newspaper reviews, readers get recommendations online. It's possible to hear what people all around the planet are saying about a particular book. Online review sites give readers a chance to listen to the thoughts of people outside of their community. Technology is making it easier for authors to talk to readers around the planet, while making it easier for the reading community to talk about the author's work.
- Goodreads: Creating an account with Goodreads gives a reader access to more options, but it's not necessary to have an account to read blogs. Goodreads posts lists of new books to try each new season.
- Kirkus Reviews: This book review site gives book lovers what they want with daily featured fiction and lists of books that everyone is talking about.
- BookPage: In addition to posting reviews, BookPage is available in print at libraries and bookstores. Their site is filled with reviews, interviews, and other helpful information.