Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Your trust circle of reader recommenders

Your trust circle of reader recommenders

trust circle of books

I think it was Kassia Krozser formerly of Booksquare who coined the phrase “circle of trust” as it relates to your book reader friends who you rely upon to give you recommendations. No reader can be without that circle. One of the reasons we have open threads like yesterday is so that readers can communicate with other readers about books they’ve been reading and what they’d recommend. For a voracious reader, the most difficult question can often be “what do I read next?”

At times I feel much like the exasperated person standing in front of his or her closet and muttering, “I have nothing to wear” even as the drawers can’t close because of all the clothes stuffed inside. Many of us have mountains of books to read, but we feel we have nothing so we turn to our friends and ask for recommendations.

And many of our friends are online ones that we’ve cultivated from message board interactions and email loops and twitter exchanges because few of us have romance reader friends in real life. I have one in real life romance reader friend but she and I have almost no overlapping circles of reading interest.

The trusted recommender is one of the most vital positions a reader can occupy. For me, Susan Scribner of the now defunct The Romance Reader was my first trusted recommender. She got me to read outside my comfort zone. Because of her wonderful and thoughtful reviews, I discovered books like Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever and Sally Mandel’s Out of the Blue featuring a heroine with MS.

Shelly, from my email loop, encouraged me to read fantasy books. I read George RR Martin’s first three books, then the Tiger & Del series by Jennifer Roberson (talk about a kick ass heroine), Sharon Shinn’s Angel series,  and The Belgariad series by David Eddings (which I like to refer to as the anti Martin because while there are adventures nothing bad happens to the characters I love).

Jia from Dear Author encouraged me to read the Kushiel series and NK Jeminisen’s One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Keishon is another favored recommender. I read Karin Slaughter and PJ Tracey’s stories based on her recommendation. And it was Keishon who got me to read The Bronze Horseman over ten years ago.

I don’t still read all of the above authors, but the books I noted above were all books that I would never have read without the reviews and fabulous interactions with other readers. Currently my trusted circle of readers is peopled by mostly romance readers. Angela James, Elyssa Patrick, and KatiD regularly influence me. Jayne is my go to for traditional historical romances. I succumbed to reading Last Hour of Gann by non stop posts from Jessica Clare.

The trust circle is so vital because we’re constantly looking for something good to read. It’s not about the money so much as it is about the time. When you devote hours to something, you want it to be great no matter if you paid $12 for it or got the book for free.

Share with us your trusted reader’s circle and what recommended books you read that you might not have found on your own.


Thursday News: Update on EC v. DA, Atavist Books shutting down, Interview with After author Anna Todd, and mummifying Barbie

Thursday News: Update on EC v. DA, Atavist Books shutting down,...

Jane would also like everyone to know that she is doing fine and greatly appreciates all the well wishes.

I’d like to add another thank you to everyone who donated to the defense fund, which is currently more than $54,000. Given the awfulness of the past few days, this shared accomplishment has helped keep my faith in the integrity of our overlapping book communities. –Dear Author

“While we are very proud of the quality of the titles produced by Atavist Books to date, we have identified that the market for highly innovative enhanced full length literary e-books still heavily relies on a print component and has yet to emerge,” said a spokesperson for IAC, who confirmed the news, first reported yesterday. –Publishers Weekly

What this says to me is that we should not underestimate the market clout of readers in their late teens and early 20s.

On Wattpad, “After” has been read more than one billion times. The multi-part book has just under 10 million unique readers, who have left 6 million comments. It’s crazy. To make bestseller lists, authors generally sell tens of thousands of books per week. Then again, reading on Wattpad is free.

Todd’s method is madness, too. Just out of college, she wrote the million-word series in largely unedited spurts from her Android phone, over the course of a little more than a year. She told Re/code she started writing because she was an avid fanfic reader and was bored without new installments from Wattpad writers she followed. So she pulled out her phone and jotted down her own, typos and all.

Todd finalized the book contract in June of this year, just before wrapping up the epic story. For the print version, the character named after the real-life pop star “Harry Styles” — an abusive jerk with a heart of gold (well, maybe) — has been renamed Hardin. –Re/code