Social media apps for book lovers!

Book readers aren’t just solitary creatures who stay indoors surrounded by cats and books as their only friends. We have lots of human friends, too, even online friends from around the world. Check out these social networking sites exclusively suited for book nerds. The have changed the way I read for the better.

Goodreads

Goodreads

You probably already know about Goodreads by now. But if you don’t, it is the #1 website and app for book lovers. You can connect it to your Facebook or Twitter (in case you’re worried about having another password to remember) and import your friends right onto Goodreads. Goodreads allows you to rate, review, and recommend books. It also allows you to organize your bookshelves into categories like “read,” “to-read,” “currently reading,” “want to buy,” “books about cats,” etc. You can join virtual book clubs on Goodreads to discuss with others and even enter giveaways for free books. It’s basically the best.

  • Website
  • Apps for Android and iOS

Litsy

Litsy

Litsy is what would happen if Instagram and Goodreads had a baby. On the Litsy app, you can share quotes, reviews, and pictures of books you read. Basically like status updates for reading! You can earn points by posting about books you’ve read, and Litsy will also keep track of how many pages you’ve read. Litsy is just really fun to scroll through to look at beautiful photos of books, and find some new reads for yourself! It’s pretty addicting.

  • Apps for Android and iOS

LibraryThing

LibraryThing

LibraryThing is for hard core readers who not only want to connect with other readers but who also want a perfect tool for cataloging their home libraries. LibraryThing allows you to scan books into your collection and use it as a catalog for your own books. You can find people who have similar collections to you, join book clubs on LibraryThing, and look up all sorts of fun statistics about your books – like, how tall would your book collection be if you stacked every book on top of each other? Right now mine is taller than the Taj Mahal but not quite as tall as Big Ben…

  • Website
  • App for iOS

There’s many more where these came from, such as Bookstr (similar to Goodreads), Libib (similar to LibraryThing), and Bookling, an iOS app that keeps track of your reading and motivates you to read. Get exploring books nerds, there’s plenty of tech out there for you, too!

What are your favorite bookish apps and websites?

 

50 Book Challenge 2017

goodreads2107

Happy 2017! Is one of your resolutions this year to read more books? If so, I encourage you to join the 50 book challenge!

The 50 book challenge is just as it sounds – to read 50 books in one year. The most popular way to participate in this challenge is through Goodreads.com. Goodreads is a great tool for keeping track of what you read on a yearly, or even daily, basis. It allows you to build bookshelves of books you plan to read, books you have read, books you’re currently reading, books about dogs, books you loved as a kid – literally anything! And it has a built-in reading challenge that tracks how many books you read each year.

Does 50 sound like too much for you? No worries! You can adjust your challenge to however many books you want – 10, 20, 42, 142, you name it. Goodreads will tell you how far along you are, if you are on schedule, ahead of schedule, or behind, and the exact number of books you are ahead or behind. It’s the perfect way to keep track of your reading.

We are already 9 days in to 2016, so you might have to pick up some shorter books to get an early boost! Here are some titles I recommend to get you started on the 2017 50 book challenge:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – this is an award-winning young adult book that is well-suited for older ages, too. The movie recently came out in theaters, so if you want to read it before you see it, this is a good choice for your first 2017 book!

a_monster_calls

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket – this 13-book series will be a huge boost to your book count. A series for younger readers, it will make you laugh out loud, whatever your age. Then once you finish (it won’t take you long), you can check out the new Netflix series based on the books!

a series of unfortunate events books

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – if you’re resolved to read more classics this year (maybe books you feel bad you haven’t read yet!), this is a great choice because it is less than 200 pages long!

thegreatgatsby

Slade House by David Mitchell – if you like horror, this is a good, short read for the start of 2017. It’s a group of inter-connected short stories that make a unique page-turner, both scary and entertaining!

slade house

March series by John Lewis – this is a series of 3 graphic novels written by congressman John Lewis about his experience during the Civil Rights movement. They are quick reads, but thought-provoking and historical, once again proving that graphic novels are not just comic books!

march-books-1-3-covers

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord – I’m noticing a more serious and/or dark pattern to this reading list, so I’ll throw in a happier one! This short novel follows Hector as he journeys around the world learning about what makes different people happy.

hector-and-the-search-for-happiness

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – this one is a longer read than the others, but I wanted to include it because it is a great read for anyone wanting to step-up their creativity in the new year and find some inspiration to get going!

big magic

Good luck! May your 2017 be filled with books!

-Emily

Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With….

I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday on a wonderful blog I discovered called The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday the fun lovin’ people over at The Broke and the Bookish post their top ten lists on various topics. They then ask others to also post their own list and link to the blog entry. There is also a special Top Ten Tuesday page where they have previous topics (check out 2/20). So here goes… (drumroll please) The top ten books I would play hooky with……(especially on a dismal day)

1. The entire Jane Austen collection. No, I have never read them (hangs head in shame), but if I played hooky I would have plenty of time to read them all.

2. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I just read about this book on Friday, checked it out, and it ended up on my pile of to be read books (it just keeps growing, and growing, and growing).

3. Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. If I am playing hooky, might as well snuggle under the covers with a wonderful children’s book.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. No, I haven’t read it yet. No, I haven’t seen the movie, either.

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The cover and the premise captured my attention.

6. Mozart’s Last Aria by Matt Rees. What can I say? I love Mozart and I love operas.

7. Blood Game by Iris Johansen. I started reading this as a book on CD. My car ate the 6th CD. I took the book out of the library, and the person who had the book before me must have been eating pizza and used the book pages as plates (ewww). I checked out the Playaway from the library and I accidentally left it on and the battery died. Maybe I shouldn’t read this book after all. Maybe it is cursed?

8. A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. After all, it is the 100th anniversary this year of the sinking of the Titanic.

9. Fallen by Lauren Kate. I do not know much about the book, but the cover intrigues me.

and finally…

10. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I used to read her Harry Potter fan fiction, and really enjoyed it. The book has been on my wish list for a long time, so if I play hooky, maybe I can finally read it.

And if anyone from work is reading this, I *cough* *cough* might not be in tomorrow…. I feel a cold coming on.

Week of the Zombies

It is finally here, and I missed it! Tor.com has launched its Week of the Zombie last week (9/13 – 9/17) and I didn’t find out until today. Curses! However, you can read all about the great cartoons, books, and movies on the website at http://www.tor.com. My personal favorite is The Twelve Days of Zombie Christmas http://www.tor.com/stories/2008/12/z12-00 that Sean Bieri created for the 2008 Christmas season. He created new cartoons for this year entitled Zombies vs. Scenesters. My favorite one is the Zombie vs. Stoner :

The website also has book reviews, and polls. Today’s poll is:

Fire, boomstick, bat or blade? What’s your weapon/zombie-killing implement of choice? (And please: feel free to be creative—after all, your survival may depend on it…)

The answers are great! Feel free to contribute your own ideas. Me? I would choose whatever weapon that would allow the maximum amount of zombie carnage while allowing the maximum distance between me and the zombies.

There will be a new book out next week The Living Dead 2 which is an anthology featuring 44 original zombie stories by such authors as Max Brooks, Kelley Armstrong, Robert Kirkman,  Simon R. Green, and David Wellington. It is a follow up to 2008’s The Living Dead also edited by John Joseph Adams. The first book was one of Publishers Weekly‘s best books of the year, and Barnes and Noble said that it was the best collection of zombie fiction. The website for the book is up and running. Check it out here: http://www.johnjosephadams.com/the-living-dead-2/ There you will find interviews with the authors, free (yes I said free) short stories, and events. If you happen to live in the New York City area, there will be a Zombie Experts Panel on October 6, 2010.

There will also be a movie in 2012 (possibly) based upon the Max Brooks classic World War Z. It will be directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace, Kite Runner) and is slated to star Brad Pitt and Milo Vantimiglia (Peter Petrelli from Heroes). If Brad Pitt plays a zombie, would you root for the zombies to win or Brad’s character to be killed in a gruesome and horrific way?

For some great zombie fiction or movies, check out the Fountaindale Public Library’s catalog.

Something Really Bad Is Going On Here….

Brian Keene is one of my favorite authors. He wrote my all time favorite zombie series as well as several other “non-zombie” horror. I recently got a copy of his latest,  “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and after my husband raved about it, I couldn’t wait to get started on it. The premise is similar to the Stephen King short story “The Mist”, the characters in Darkness even refer to it at one point, but leave it to Brian Keene to go one step further in showing the madness and evil that the darkness actually is. This ain’t no winged monster story.

Darkness opens with our lead character, Robbie, writing after the fact of the darkness that has fallen his town of Walden and the events that followed the occurence.  Robbie is an average guy who lives with his girlfriend. One morning they wake up to utter and complete darkness. There is no power, no phone, no cell service even ham radios aren’t working.  At first, people in town try to go about their daily business, some leave town for work or other business never to return. The Fire Department hopes to have the situation in control. But an evil permeates the town, quickly turning the minds of average townspeople into crazed killers. The town homeless man “Dez” claims to have kept the evil “darkness” from invading the town, by placing  ancient symbols at the edges of the town limits. Is Dez a madman or is he so much more? And what is the darkness? A government experiment gone wrong? Terrorists? Or something more evil and infinitely more final.

What I enjoy about Brian Keene’s work is that his “universe” exists in itself. Characters, demons or whatever you want to call the evil, run through his books regardless if it is zombies  or inbred mutants ….  everything is connected in the grand scope of things. However, you do not need to read all his books to know what is going on, but it is fun to say,  “I remember that creature!”.

The Fountaindale Public Library owns a copy of the book as well as several others by Brian Keene. You can also visit his website at BrianKeene.com for more on him and his work. Be forewarned, Mr. Keene’s books are not for the squeamish, they have their moments. But if you enjoy good, gory horror, Mr. Keene is your man!

Fiction with a Heart

Sometimes a reader likes to be taken on a thrilling rollercoaster ride, other times they just want a read that is like a warm blanket, comforting and soft.  Maybe its the dismal weather, dismal news on TV, or one too many horror books, but I recently starting reading Wanda Brunstetter’s gentle reads set in Amish communities throughout the United States.

Each series follows a particular community, each book a particular character in the community. I love getting a “peek” into the inside world of the Amish. As a child, my friends and I thought they were “cool”. I think we just had fantasies of Little House on the Prairie and the Amish were as close to “the olden days” as we could get in real life.  The stories portray people of deep faith with good family values, strong convictions and warm and generous hearts.  The women  in them remain true to the men they love, their families and to their faith, despite problems that arise.

The author’s interest in the Amish began when she married her husband, Richard, who grew up in the Mennonite church in Pennsylvania. That church is similar to the Amish but they do use modern conveniences. Wanda spends a lot of time in Lancaster county and is friends with many Amish people.

If you are interested in learning more about this author, as well as information on her books, Amish facts, photographs, recipes and more just visit her at www.wandabrunstetter.com .  For fans of gentle reads, if you haven’t given Wanda’s books a chance now is the time to do it. You won’t be disappointed.

– Christine J.