Recently a reader asked me where I find all the good books I read. What websites do I read? How do I find good books — both for myself (an adult) and for kids. It’s a good question so I thought I’d give you a behind the scenes peek at my process. And, I read a LOT — so much that I sometimes have to stop myself and make sure I’m being present in my life. But that’s another blog post for another day . . .
Where to Find a Good Book for Kids
I read a TON of blogs, articles, and book reviews for both kids and adults. Sometimes I really don’t like a reviewer’s taste so I remove them from my regular reading. Also, I don’t read sites that are difficult to navigate.
1. Imagination Soup
Because I read so you don’t have to, start with my website first! I’ve filtered a lot of the not-great books for you already and picked the best, kid-awesome books. I review new picture and chapter books every month and you can always find these reviews for kids by age. Or you can look at all my book lists: board books, picture books, nonfiction books, chapter books, and more.
The first way I find books isn’t available to everyone since I’m sent books to review from the publisher. But, let me tell you my next steps. I pick books to read based on my own interest first.
If after about a third of the book and I’m still not hooked, I abandon it. I have no guilt. I simply don’t have enough time to waste reading a book I won’t recommend to you anyway. (Occasionally my kids change my mind if they get their hands on the book OR I read a review that makes me try again.)
Also, I’m a huge library person. I love browsing my library’s NEW BOOKS — both online and in person.
Finally, I like looking on Amazon for best sellers and read-alikes. For read-likes, I’ll click on a book I like and see what other books Amazon recommends — you know where you can see other books that people have also bought or liked.
I write for Brightly but I’m not the only writer, there are a lot of us so there’s a lovely diversity of perspective. On Brightly, you’ll find a variety of book recommendations and reviews for the youngest readers up to tween readers.
Teachers, if your kids aren’t on this discussing books, you MUST check it out! It’s like Goodreads for kids with reading logs, shared shelves, and parent access.
7. Kirkus Reviews
Book jackets often use quotes from Kirkus — the review a ton of books prior to publishing.
I love YA literature so this is a great book review site for me and for teens!
Where I Find a Good Book for Adults
Depending on how and who your friends are, this can be a gold mine of book ideas. If you don’t have friends who are posting about the good books they’re reading, it won’t be worth your time. Try friending people in your area who have a lot of books reviewed that are in a similar genre of what you also read.
2. eBook Friendly
This site is chock-full of inspiration, book lists, and book swag.
What sites do you read to get good book suggestions?
This is my favorite reading quote. Do you have a favorite?
Books are many things: lullabies for the weary, ointment for the wounded, armor for the fearful and nests for those in need of a home.
— Glenda Millard, The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk