Goodreads.com is a favorite of mine – it allows you to keep up with the books you’re currently reading, want to read, and review and rate what you’ve already read. They offer webcasts with various authors and forums to discuss books as well as book reviews from regular folks, not paid book reviewers. Personally, I put more stock in the average Joe’s recommendations anyway. Toward the end of every year, Goodreads has Reader’s Choice Awards and members (it’s free to join) can vote on their favorite books in several different genres – mystery/thriller, fantasy, romance, etc. Although I didn’t vote this year, I was looking over the list of winners and discovered I’d read several of the winning books in their respective categories:
Mystery/Thriller – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: This book has been at the top of the best seller list for weeks and weeks. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it for myself, but my book club selected it. Your basic story of a relatively newly wed couple, wife disappears, husband suspected – but a lot of twists. Never have I so thoroughly disliked MC’s before, but I couldn’t stop reading it – it was like a car wreck – you just couldn’t look away. Maybe that will make you want to read it, maybe not. It is what is it.
Paranormal Fantasy – Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness: This is the second book in a trilogy, the first being A Discovery of Witches, mentioned in a previous post. When I saw the first book advertised on Barnes and Noble, I couldn’t wait to get it – vampires, witches, and daemons with historical elements in the mix – what’s not to like? The second book also involved time travel – even better. Anxiously awaiting the final book. A Discovery of Witches is being made into a movie. Highly recommend if you’re a fan of the genre.
Horror – The Twelve by Justin Cronin: This is also the second book in a trilogy – the first was The Passage. The storyline is about a great viral plaque and a small group of survivors left in a transformed world. Post-apocalyptic stuff. When I first started The Passage, I thought it was one of the best books I’d read in a long time. The Twelve wasn’t quite at the same level, in my opinion, but still a very strong book and better than a lot of other books out there.
Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction – Insurgent by Veronica Roth: I can’t say enough about this series – yes, this is also the second book of a trilogy. Dystopian Chicago world, society divided into five factions, choices and consequences. Highly engaging, strong female protagonist, strong male MC – one of the best characters I’ve ever read, a lot of action, and some keen insight about mankind. Heavy stuff – and this is young adult. My 13 y/o, not a big reader, absolutely devoured these first two books. I think the final book comes out in May.
Check out Goodreads.com and see if you read any of the winners. If you’re not already a member, join and look me up.