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WRT 101s - West - Controversial Issues - Severson: Discover Reading

17 ways to Find Good Books to Read

17 Ways To Find Good Books To Read
By Alex Morris URL: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/17-ways- find-good- books-read.html
Finding good books to read can at times appear to be a troublesome prospect. However, in this age of global Internet
communities and online sharing, you’re never far away from an incredible find. Courtesy of the Internet, and traditional means, here is
a list of ways to find yourself an incredible new author. Outstanding? Indeed, sir/madam.

  1. The Book Seer: Ask the Book Seer what to read next, and based on your preferences, he’ll kindly suggest a similar author and book.
  2.  Goodreads: Goodreads is a nifty community website which allows you to connect with literature fans around the world. Millions of books are rated on Goodreads; sign up, read the reviews, see the high scores, and find good books within minutes.
  3. Head for Nobel Prize Winners: Anyone who’s won a Nobel Prize in Literature knows what they’re doing. Think Jean-Paul Sartre (pictured above with Simone de Beauvoir and Che Guevara in 1960), Albert Camus, Pearl S. Buck, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and many other luminaries.
  4. Take a Look at Best Books Ever Lists: There are plenty of them, but this Top 100 Books of all Time list was voted for by writers from around the world. You can find the list here–100 books is sure to keep anyone busy for a considerable amount of time.
  5. WhichBook: Another impressive online resource, WhichBook “enables millions of combinations of factors and then suggests books which most closely match your needs.” Handy.
  6. Avoid Best Sellers: This may sound like odd advice, but the books you see at the top of the charts may not exactly be riveting reads. Books can succeed merely on an authors name, or through a massive advertising campaign. If you really want to read a best seller, check out a few reliable reviews beforehand (from critics and readers); otherwise, give lesser known authors a try.
  7. Penguin Classics: The Penguin’s Classics selection is very impressive indeed and can easily fill a bookshelf with great novels. What’s just as good are the suggestion lists you’ll find at the back of Penguin books which offer new titles for you.
  8. Head to Bookstores: Commercial and independent bookstores often have well received old and new texts placed around the store, so have a read of their synopses and see if any of them are for you. You can also try reading several random pages as this can be a good indication of the quality of writing.
  9. Talk to Staff: Staff do tend to be big literature fans, so if you’re after something on a whim, talk to them for their recommendations. They should well versed on the quality of recently released books, so ask for guidance on new or old authors.
  10. Ask Friends and Family: Chances are, someone in your family or circle of friends is a literature fan–ask them for any books which are must-reads. They’ll probably even lend you some for free.
  11. Study Literature: Take up a free online literature course and you’ll soon have canonical literature to read and deconstruct for essays. It’s a great way to come across new authors and texts, as well as allowing you to achieve something. Sites such as Learn Out Loud have free courses, whilst Bibliomania offers free study guides. [https://www.learnoutloud.com/Free-Online- Learning/Literature] and [http://www.bibliomania.com/]
  12. The Library: The benefits of a library are much like those of bookstores, except everything’s free. Talk to staff for ideas on what to check out, or simply pick an interesting-looking book at random. The joy of libraries is the ability to be able to sit down and read a large portion of the book in the building. There’s no sales pressure as with book stores, and if you enjoy the text, you can rent it.
  13. Head for obvious - Classics: You may have heard of 1984, The Old Man and the Sea, Crime and Punishment, and Mrs. Dalloway, but have you read them? Think of all the canonical literary classics you can and head out to read them–your local library will more than likely have them in stock.
  14. Go to Book Fairs: There are plenty of them in local areas, as well as national events. You can go along to these literature conventions and meet authors and talk to them directly about their book(s). Head straight to the source to see if you’d like to read a new book. The Publishers Association book fair list is a good place to start, but there will be more localized events if you do a community search.
  15. Watch Films: Although it’s frowned upon by some literature fans, watching films is a great way to discover excellent books. A large proportion of the movies you see will be adapted from a literary text. Hunt down the book and read it beforehand (or after seeing the film) to offer a new perspective on the story. Ken Kesey’s brilliant One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is a perfect example–you’d be surprised how much the text differs from the film.
  16. Join a Book Club: Check your local community for book group meetings. You’ll meet with fellow literature fans, pick a novel to read, and then report back after a few weeks. This is also a good way to meet like-minded people who can share their favorite books with you.
  17.  Write Your Own: Everyone has a novel in them, and a book will mean a great deal more to you if you’ve written it yourself. It doesn’t have to be a full scale novel of 70,000 words; novellas can be 20,000, and short stories can be even less. There are regular, online community-supported writing projects, such as National Novel Writing Month, where you can gauge your progress and have local meet-ups with fellow writers for a moral boost.

Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge

BOOK RIOT’S 2018 READ HARDER CHALLENGE
12-15- 17 URL: https://bookriot.com/2017/12/15/book-riots- 2018-read- harder-challenge/

Welcome to the fourth edition of Book Riot’s annual reading challenge, the 2018 Read Harder challenge, created and written
by Rachel Manwill. Every year, more and more of you discover and complete Read Harder, and with every new edition, we give you
24 tasks that will invite new genres, new authors, and new worlds, both real and imaginary, into your reading life.
This year, you’ll find many new tasks and many that take previous years’ tasks and add another layer of complexity or
interest. Hopefully you’ll find tasks that excite you and tasks that push your reading boundaries. I’m particularly delighted with this
year’s batch and I personally can’t wait for January 1st to get started.


Just as in years past, there are 24 tasks, averaging two per month over the course of the next 12 months. You may count one
book for multiple tasks or read one book per task. I’ve said it the last three challenges, so it bears repeating: “We encourage you to
push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But
this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post. We like books because they allow us to see the world from a
new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is—a perspective
shift—but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself.”


If you want a bit more accountability nonetheless, add a social element to your challenge, or need some help with challenge
books, the Read Harder group on Goodreads is an excellent resource throughout the year for sharing your reading plans, discussing the
tasks, and finding new books to fit the challenge. You can also check in all over social media with the hashtag #ReadHarder. And join
Book Riot Insiders for access to an exclusive Read Harder podcast where Josh and Sharifa will offer suggestions, highlighting a new
task each episode.


Finally, here are the tasks!
1. A book published posthumously
2. A book of true crime
3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
4. A comic written and drawn by the same person
5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
6. A book about nature
7. A western
8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color
9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
11. A children’s classic published before 1980
12. A celebrity memoir
13. An Oprah Book Club selection  (Amazon's list is nice as you can click on the title to learn more about the book)
14. A book of social science
15. A one-sitting book
16. The first book in a new-to- you YA or middle grade series
17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19. A book of genre fiction in translation
20. A book with a cover you hate
21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
22. An essay anthology
23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

Don’t just read…Read Harder!