Thursday, December 10, 2009

What To Read When You're Not Reading Books

If you're a true book dork, not only do you love to read, but you also love to read about reading. And if you're like me, whenever you check your Google Reader, it's practically smoking as it tries to keep up with all the feeds.

From posts by other amateur books bloggers to professionally produced content from major media outlets, I love it all! So I figured I'd spend a post here telling you what I look at, so you can add these to your Reader as well, if you so choose. (Also, please, please, please comment below about where you go to read about what to read next! )

Here are some of my favorites:
Baby Got Books: This blog includes author interviews, reviews and news in short, digestible posts. It's especially well-written and probably my favorite "amateur" blog.
Entertainment Weekly's Shelf Life: This is a hipper, more pop culturey look at books — one of my favorites!
LA Times Jacket Copy: This is a great source of Hollywood-slanted book news.
The Millions: A book dork's dream, this site includes publishing industry news, author interviews, lists, reviews, and general book-related articles.
Amazon's Omnivoracious: This is a simple daily update of general book news. I like it because it often provides heads-ups on upcoming releases. 
Publisher's Weekly's Morning Report: A daily update of all that's interesting amalgamated from news outlets all over the country. 
The NY Times: One of the few newspapers that still publishes daily book-related content, I read this page religiously. The book reviews by critics such as Michiko Kakutani and Janet Maslin, as well as frequent big name guest critics, are the standard by which all other book reviews are judged.
New Yorker's Book Bench: Though I wish I read this more than I do, the one thing I always check out is the "covers contest" every Wednesday. They give you four little image snippets from book covers, and you have to figure out the books they came from. Only once have I gotten all four correct.  
NYR Blog: With much more of an academic bent, I rarely read this blog, and only mention it because its parent publication is the inspiration for the name of my own blog.

And here are two actual print magazines (yes, they still exist...for now) I highly recommend, too:
Bookmarks Magazine: The best feature of this bi-monthly is the enormous review section — where the editors and contributors gather reviews from major publications, give the book a star rating based on an average of those reviews, and then offer a critical analysis. Top notch! Also, the author profiles in every issue are wonderfully written.
Poets & Writers: I'm a new subscriber to this bi-monthly, which offers advice to writers on all aspects of the publishing industry, i.e. finding publishers, agents, graduate programs, etc. It also has some nice author profile articles; Jonathan Lethem and Audrey Niffenegger in the most recent issue, for instance.

So, now the million dollar question: Which book blogs and publications are you addicted to? Which best scratch your itch for all things book-related?

(...almost finished with Under the Dome, by the way — review coming next week.)

[Addendum:  With thanks to Kath at [Insert suitably snappy title here...] for nominating The New Dork Review of Books to her Top 5 Best Blogs list, here are five of my faves:
1. Jen Knox
2. JB in Hollywood
3. Paper Cut
4. Fiction Fanatic
5. Home Between the Pages   ]


  1. I recently found a site that I really like on MSN called Bound that I really enjoy.

  2. As if I needed more blogs to read ... but I've added Baby Got Books and Millions and a couple of the PW feeds to my reader. I'm new to the book blog world so I haven't figured out which blogs I'm reading provide the best recommendations for me yet.

  3. @Old Bookworm - great recommendation. Thanks! I've added it to my list.

    @Christy - hey, you can never have "too many" blogs to read, I say. ;) Welcome to the book blog world - this place is pretty sweet!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing! Wonderful list!

  5. Oh, no! More blogs to follow! I also enjoy the Millions and the NY Times- excellent!

  6. Hi Greg,

    Great selection there! Speaking of great blogs - have a look at my blog toda. There's a little something for you :)

  7. thanks for that, i can't ever get enough of book reviews and finding out what's around. i subscribe to a fantastic aussie mag called Good Reading, it is filled with reader recommendations, author interviews and reviews of recent releases. here is the home page if you are interested, i'm thinking about subscribing to bookmarks :-)

  8. Awesome selection! Oddly enough, aside from reading Amazon's Omnivoracious and a ton of other book blogs, I tend to get my book recommendations from book stores themselves - just by browsing around. . .
    I checked out a few of those sites, though. The Millions actually seems super cool.

  9. I have a lot of short story sites subscribed on my reader. I read those when I am not reading a book.

    Thanks for visiting, following and commenting on my blog. I too have subscribed to your blog on my google reader.

  10. Great list here! I'm a longtime fan of Bookmarks magazine.

  11. Love Bookmarks. I miss the Washington Post Book Review now that I live elsewhere. I'm sure I could access it online, but it's not the same as sitting with a cup of coffee and a paper in my hand.

  12. I used to read Bookmarks,but have had to cut down on my magazine reading lately(still kept up with EW,tho)and Baby Got Books is a blog that I enjoy,too.

    I also check out Publisher's Weekly online-their review sections are extensive,plus checking out the latest in the book biz can be interesting.

    Another favorite of mine is Smart Bitches,Trashy Books which takes a cleverly sassy look at romance novels. The two ladies who run the site just had a book out this year called Beyond Heaving Bosoms,which I highly recommend(particularly if you possess an offbeat and adult sense of humor)

    My latest fav is Awful Library Books,a site that's been getting a lot of love lately for good reason. Oh,and there's a webcomic called Unshelved,which is a hilarious look at libraries and for their Sunday strips,they do a full length book recommendation.

  13. Hey thanks for the shout-out :). I love The Millions, but I've also got The Second Pass blog on my reader. Some really great book content: As far as amatuer bloggers like you and me check out The Five Borough Book Review ( and Life and Times of a New Yorker (

  14. Great list, Greg. Thanks for sharing the links.

    I'm following your blog now too. :)

  15. Hi, Greg! Thanks for sharing all those links! The Millions is one of the sites I make it a point to visit every day. Also, bookninja. Bookninja is a gas!

  16. I'm a very big fan of 'Good Reading Magazine' it's a great mag of books, books and more books. And the website is great too:

    You have to subscribe to see any of the magazines though.

  17. My main sources for new titles are:
    1. New York Times Book Review
    2. The websites for some of the major book awards (Man Booker, Pen/Faulkner, etc)
    3. NPR: Book Podcast
    4. Chris, from Laguna Beach Books ( me the BEST recommendations for titles that are often not well-known, but outstanding books
    5. Blogs that I follow
    6. Omnivoracious (

    Thanks for the post - I loved getting some new sources to follow up on!