The advent of e-readers has allowed people to carry a lifetime of books in their backpacks for convenient, backlit reading anywhere. This proliferation of reading gadgets has not only been a boon for passionate readers, but for writers as well. It is easier and less expensive than ever for independent authors to publish their works to a possible audience of millions. This is a huge benefit to both writers and readers and has led to an outpouring of independently published e-books for lovers of all genres. This list is a celebration of reading and writing for both academic and general audiences.
General Literature & Publishing
From e-publishing gurus to literature critics, authors, and bookshop owners, many people in the business of selling words have blogs and online storefronts to reach an ever more electronically connected audience of voracious readers.
Project Gutenberg provides a library of over 42,000 free eBook titles in the United States due to expired copyrights. The project categorizes the free e-books that are available and offers links to download locations.
Must Read: eBook Catalog
New York Times – Books
The well-known New York Times Review of Books is one of the largest and most accessible sources concerning literature. You’ll find countless interviews, reviews, and exposés of some of the finest contemporary authors.
Must Read: Harvest by Jim Crace
The American Literary Review
The American Literary Review was created through the creative writing program at The University of North Texas and publishes a wide range of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from writers with varying degrees of experience. Spring 2013 will feature the final issue in print before exclusively embracing the digital medium.
Must Read: American Literary Review Current Issue
The American Literary Blog
The American Literary Blog focuses on 19th century literature, encompassing not only very popular books of the period, but more obscure titles as well. The blog includes links and dates to various talks and appearances.
Must Read: Curry: The Better Years Begin
The Readers Almanac is the official blog of The Library of America, a nonprofit publisher whose goal is ensuring the most significant works of American literature stay in print.
Must Read: Forthcoming From Library of America
The Elegant Variation
Mark Sarvas runs this acclaimed literary blog that has a casual tone, while still maintaining a substantive style.
Must Read: Five Authors to Watch in 2013
TeleRead features “news and views on e-books, libraries, publishing, and related topics” with special emphasis on reading related technologies such as e-readers, e-book managers, and the general creation and distribution systems used by Amazon and others to purvey written media in electronic form.
Must Read: Amazon Isn’t Evil
Maud Newton’s literary blog is colored with a significant amount of cultural commentary. The depth of the blog is furthermore accentuated due the amount of travel he does and his ability to blend history into his reviews.
Must Read: Letters From Jerusalem
Girlebooks has a 21st century view on being a book blog and exclusively handles ebooks, particularly those with women as authors. The blog aims to take a more active role in breaking out of the cycle of women being the only readers of literature authored by women.
Must Read: Summer Promotion 2012
The Bookshop Blog
The Bookshop Blog is an in-depth blog compiling Top 100 lists for various genres, bookstore profiles, and general musing over different philosophies concerning how we read and interact with books.
Must Read: Remembrances of Bookstores Past
Interpolations take the experiences and knowledge of a seasoned reader and cross-examine various themes in novels with notions picked up through his life as a reader. The result is a dense, thought-filled exploration of titles.
Must Read: Wherein Ishmael Wrestles with Invisibilities in Moby Dick.
Futurebook implements standards for contemporary reading blogs by including reviews of various literary-themed Apps tailored to various mediums for users’ reading experiences.
Must Read: Death of a (book) Salesman
Blogcritics.org covers a variety of subjects, from film to sports and from gaming to books. The high-powered book section of the blog provides an impressive selection of book reviews, along with interviews with some of the most prominent contemporary authors.
Must Read: Spine Tingling: Author Interviews
Ivebeenreadinglately follows a passionate reader who uses the blog as a forum to further develop thoughts and ideas from recently read books.
Must Read: Dear Fans of Epistolary Novels
Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog
The blog focuses on musings of various speculations into the future of print, video, and formats not yet invented.
Must Read: Towards a Better Book Recommendation Service
Paulo Coelho’s Blog
Author Paulo Coelho uses his blog primarily to promote his works, but pulls excerpts that are not only interesting, but draw the reader in to inquire more.
Must Read: The Three Forms of Love (Eros)
The Writer’s Almanac
The Writer’s Almanac is supported by American Public Radio, which has a breadth of sources to pull material from, so it should come as no surprise that the blog is able to efficiently provide new poetry every day.
Must Read: The Bookshelf
Book Patrol has lots of book-related posts relevant to culture, with events around the country, among other things.
Must Read: The Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress has an Open House
Chronicle Books Blog
Chronicle Books ties together books with engaging blog posts, such as a discussion on recipes from upcoming books on cooking.
Must Read: From The Design Desk: Retail Design
The Millions is an online magazine flush with quality content on books, culture, and the arts. They look at challenges writers face, different writing styles, as well as writing events.
Must Read: A Multiplicity of Voices: On The Polyphonic Novel
The Scholarly Kitchen
The Scholarly Kitchen analyzes difficulties associated with scholarly publishing. The purpose of the blog is to be a vehicle for discussing challenges with being published in the academic community.
Must Read: Privatizing Peer Review: A Short Survey
Steve Adams Writing
Steve Adams is a writing coach and writer. He has worked with published, award-winning novelists, short-fiction writers, and nonfiction writers; unpublished but dedicated and experienced writers; and those new to the game who have always believed they had something to say, but didn’t know quite how or where to begin.
The Newbie Author’s Guide
The Newbie Author’s Guide is tailored for writers interested in publishing, but who lack experience on the business side of turning a file on their computer into a published, printed and promoted work.
Literary magazines publish works of fiction, poetry, documentary, and just about any other culturally significant pieces of writing that are relevant to their target audience. These magazines often originate at universities or other academic communities, and have a distinctly intellectual feeling about them.
Bomblog is the online extension to Bomb Magazine, which aims to provide a forum for artists to expand on ideas and a place for discussion.
Must Read: The Tragic Last Stand of the Skyhorse Clan
EXPLORINGfictions publishes various fiction titles on the website, along with commentary and relevant discussions. Authors are not limited to modern or domestic, and titles available include past and international works of fiction as well.
Must Read: A Bouquet of Tongues
Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading
Recommended Reading is a blog that provides exceptional recommendations from authors and contributors to the website. The recommendations are curated in 4-week cycles, providing a variety of sources and information on a given subject.
Must Read: Girltown
The Georgia Review
The Georgia Review has been published quarterly since 1946 and they carefully select works of literature, art, and design for publication on its website and in the print issue.
Must Read: Surveys (From The Cape of Good Hope)
Prairie Schooner started as a literary magazine in 1927 but has since expanded to cover a variety of subjects. It analyzes books, movies, video games, and general social issues with substantive commentary.
Must Read: The Bullseye of Morality: How We Project Our Morals on to Games
The American Scholar
The American Scholar covers contemporary issues with a distinctly academic tone. Additionally, the inclusion of global political commentary is a welcome facet of content.
Must Read: On Friendship
A Public Space
A Public Space is explicit in underlining the desire to give a voice to the 21st century. The content includes a variety of works of fiction partnered with detailed art commentary.
Must Read: How To Fall In Love Properly
The Believer is a magazine centered around cultural aspects and provides in-depth social commentary on contemporary issues.
Must Read: Reincarnation in Exile
The Cincinnati Review
The Cincinnati Review looks at various poetry, fiction, and art throughout the country, but also highlights some lesser-known artists in the Ohio area.
Must Read: Irrelevant Questions for Relevant Writers: Solipsistic Collapse Edition
Conjunctions Literary Magazine
Conjunctions is the literary journal of Bard College and publishes fiction, poetry, criticism, interviews, and more, with an approach that focuses more on collaboration.
Must Read: Four Phantom Limbs
The Gettysburg Review posts various short stories, essays, and poems. The works released through this literary magazine are held in high regard, as many of the pieces featured go on to be re-released in literary compilations.
Must Read: The Muskeg
The Kenyon Review
Regarded as the most influential literary magazine in the 1940’s and 50’s, The Kenyon Review has a reputation for providing some of the best fiction, poetry, and short stories in the world.
Must Read: “The Centre Cannot Hold”: The (Rise Of?) Apocalyptic Writings
The Massachusetts Review
A physical copy of The Massachusetts Review amounts to over 200 pages of content ranging from fiction and poetry to visual arts. The blog expands on the quarterly-released physical copies by adding supplementary content and more up-to-date commentary on contemporary issues.
Must Read: Good Form
New England Review
New England Review accepts content from a wide variety of writers in different stages of their careers. This provides a large variety of voices for the publication to flourish.
Must Read: Safe by Alexandra Teague
Rain Taxi specializes in book reviews, but the magazine provides interviews with authors as well.
Must Read: The New Decay of Lying
Three Penny Review: The Lesser Blog
Three Penny Review is a print magazine that supplements the content of each edition with online-only features and links to other work by the blogger.
Must Read: Current Issue
Tin House includes mostly contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, but also has an interesting Lost and Found section that examines obscure or overlooked literature.
Must Read: Current Issue
Shenandoah: The Washington & Lee University Review
Shenandoah: The Washington & Lee University Review analyzes different works, but predominantly handles poetry.
Must Read: Volume 62 Issue 1
Granta Magazine originated in the late 1800’s at Cambridge University and has seen large numbers of successful writers use it as a springboard. Fiction and non-fiction writers alike have attributed Granta for pushing the literary world forward.
Must Read: That Year in Rishikesh
McSweeney’s is a publisher with an upscale quarterly and many affiliations throughout the independent publishing world. Their website has info on their products and also aggregates many other useful websites to help with becoming a writer and improving writing skills. Additionally, it directs students to appropriate links to help fund their college tuition.
Must Read: Open Letters to People or Entities Who are Unlikely to Respond
Ploughshares is a literary magazine based out of Emerson College that embraces the full spectrum of viewpoints people have and channel it into a productive forum for discussing issues at hand regarding literature.
Must Read: How To Leave School (Without Leaving Your Writing Behind)
The poetry printed in Subtropics is highly regarded, and the magazine itself has consistently grown as an influential source within the writing community.
Must Read: Current Issue
The Missouri Review
The Missouri Review engages the reader with engrossing content and interesting tidbits that contribute to a very enjoyable literary magazine.
Must Read: Font and You: The Style-Memoir
New Letters offers many writing contests to keep the quality of writing featured very high. They also feature comprehensive writing workshops to help aspiring writers improve.
Must Read: Events and Readings
Virginia Quarterly Review
Virginia Quarterly Review houses an impressive assortment of information and guidance for all sorts of ventures, from moving to a different city, even state, to trends in film and pop culture. It’s well written and provides a large source for interesting reads.
Must Read: In Defense of Los Angeles
Reading a book review in a newspaper is a good way to get a general feel for what a book is like and whether it is worth buying, but unless you’ve been reading a certain reviewer’s work for a while, and know that they share your taste, it can be tough to get a truly reliable recommendation. Fortunately, the Internet empowers anyone to be a book reviewer, and superfans of every genre, from paranormal youth fiction to romance novels and even the works of specific authors, have put up hyper-specialized book review blogs where anyone can find exactly what they’re looking for.
Caustic Cover Critic
The Caustic Cover Critic takes a look at various book covers, sometimes remarking on their value as amusement and sometimes underlining their use to properly convey literary elements. Additionally, he adds details about the ability of a given cover to bring in potential readers.
Must Read: Every Christian Needs a Chainsaw
A Common Reader
A Common Reader quickly makes it apparent the purpose of the blog is simply to read for pleasure. He is interested in conveying his opinion of books, but has no interest of imposing his views.
Must Read: Review: Beware of Pity
Bluestalking is a Chicago-based blog from a librarian who reviews for a number of literary outlets. As a result, there are a variety of works reviewed.
Must Read: Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
Beth’s Book Reviews
Beth’s Book Reviews is a very straightforward blog for reviewing books she is reading. While she has ceased to do author interviews, this gives her more time to focus on quality reviews for her readers.
Must Read: 100 Greatest Books Ever Written
Reading for Sanity
Reading For Sanity is aimed at the female reader by providing innumerable options concerning reviews and recommendations.
Must Read: Reading For Sanitys Romantic Reading Recommendation
Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s New Book Review
The main goal of The New Book Review is to present readers with up-to-date information and reviews on the latest in literature. It constantly is promoting books users feel are exceptional and truly compelling.
Must Read: Donna McDine Reviews New Helpful Book
Epic Reads is a blog geared toward the 21st-century reader. It has a forum for discussion, as well as contests, and quizzes, and helps readers locate author signings.
Must Read: Community
What Should I Read Next?
What Should I Read Next takes a minimalistic queue from Google and simply provides the user with a search bar to find similar books to read.
Chick Lit Is Not Dead
Chick Lit Is Not Dead is run by two women dedicated to the notion that literature for women is progressing at the fastest rate it ever has, in part due to not being pigeonholed by the romance genre. They provide reviews, discussions, giveaways, and plenty of insight into their personal lives so the reader can feel like one of the girls as well.
Must Read: Club 2013: Julie Kilber and Calling Me Home
Neglected Books seeks readers who want to uncover gems that very well were looked over in their initial publication and tries to put an audience around books they truly think are special. They detail why the book deserves to be uncovered, but also examine why each was overlooked in the first place.
Must Read: Most Neglected Books of the Past 25 Years (1970)
Bookslut reviews various titles with a very cognizant style. Additionally, a plethora of interviews are available to learn more information about many of the authors.
Must Read: Beyond The Alps: The Forgotten Legacy of Three Swiss Writer-Travelers
Book Chase is an intimate blog paying homage to read a book at a comfortable pace and having a good conversation about it. The blog is loaded with supplementary information, such as upcoming books to look forward to and trailers for books going to movies.
Must Read: May We Be Forgiven
Books on the Nightstand
Books on the Nightstand is run by two professionals in the literature world and includes in-depth looks into book recommendations, complete with a weekly podcast.
Must Read: Podcasts
Reading Matters focuses primarily on contemporary fiction, but provides a large number of resources for becoming more engaged with literature throughout London and the United Kingdom.
Must Read: Reading Log: Books Read Year-by-Year
Mirabile Dictu is a great little blog that goes in-depth on contemporary fiction but approaches it in a fairly refreshing way. While fairly brief, the posts allow for an effective and to-the-point style.
Must Read: Mirable Recommends: Books for Both Genders
Buzz, Balls & Hype
Buzz, Balls, and Hype revolves mostly around fantasy novels, but it also has recommendations that branch out from this and make it an effective tool for finding good reads.
Must Read: Imagine
The Mookse and the Gripes
The Mookse and the Gripes look at contemporary fiction but supplement this by also having podcasts and links to all of The New Yorker short stories.
Must Read: Karen Russel: Vampires In The Lemon Grove
The Book Smugglers
The Book Smugglers is a blog unbound to a particular genre; their reviews span fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, drama, and more. They aim to keep content fresh by posting four new reviews per week.
Must Read: Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Booking Mama is a review blog that follows a stay-at-home mom who is an avid reader. In addition to reviewing a wide array of titles, she also provides good tips on starting and running a book club.
Must Read: Introducing: Book Club Exchange
Love, Romance, Passion
Love, Romance, Passion bills itself as a blog for reviewers, by reviewers. As implied in the name, they focus on romance novels, but aim to find an audience who is seeking atypical choices.
Must Read: Best Romantic Short Stories
NonSuch Book blog posts a variety of contemporary literature reviews, but also provides a surprisingly thorough selection of quality Spanish literature often overlooked.
Must Read: Wordy Diversions
The Literary Life of the Well-Read Wife
The Literary Life of the Well-Read Wife is a blog from an English Education major who now is a stay-at-home mom and wants to be an outlet for other well-read, intelligent women who have a passion for reading.
Must Read: Best Memoirs of 2012
The American Poetry Review
The American Poetry Review focuses on providing an array of contemporary poetry, but also being an outlet for poets to showcase work.
Must Read: American Poetry Review Current Issue
Smartish Pace is a journal-turned-blog that publishes compilations of poetry. The blog publishes a large number of interviews with various contemporary authors and poets.
Must Read: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey
Bookbrowse is a very intuitive source for finding new books to read through their “read-alikes” tool. They break down recommendations in a variety of ways but also include categorization by decade.
Must Read: Read-Alikes
Booklamp created the Book Genome Project in 2003 to help pair people with books that they are believed to like, excluding social factors that typically inhibit new authors from being recommended on other sites for finding new books.
Must Read: Book Genome Project
Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations
Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations provides ample sources for new reads through hundreds of lists with different similarities. They make recommendations based on things as broad as similar plot devices, but also more fine-tuned recommendations, such as “Fractured Novels That Mirror The Uncertainty of Life.”
Must Read: Book Questions
The Staff Recommends
The Staff Recommends reads through books and if they enjoy it, will seek the publisher to pay to be featured on the site. The interesting dichotomy between the reviewer and publisher makes for an interesting list organized in an unconventional way.
Must Read: Past Selections
Longform pulls interesting articles from various publications for a stream of consistently interesting material. Additionally, Longform fills out its content with a substantive fiction section.
Must Read: Fiction
Longreads provides a blog-style page filled with various stories and articles that range from less than ten minutes to well over an hour to read. It gives the reader ample opportunity to tailor the reading experience, which adds increased accessibility to the website.
Must Read: The Prison Problem
Goodreads takes the idea of finding similar books for a reader and adds a social element. By implementing a part of the website for connecting with friends, Goodreads aims to make finding the next good read a more contemporary notion.
Must Read: Listopia
Letters of Note
Letters of Note compiles various correspondences from individuals and companies and then posts them on this blog. By reveling in old-fashioned style of telegraphs, letters, postcards, and faxes, it harkens back to a less technology-dependent culture where communication was much more intimate.
Must Read: I Am Sorry For Your Loss
Literary criticism done right is more than just a review of a story. Literary critics don’t just review books and decide whether to recommend them, but rather analyze the content of works by taking into account historical context, relationship to an authors contemporaries and the popular works of the time, another broader cultural influences that are gathered together in a piece of writing.
in lieu of a field guide
In Lieu of a Field Guide runs through a large selection of obscure reads that provide fresh material for an eager reader.
Must Read: Desert (J.M.G. Le Clezio)
California Literary Review
California Literary Review covers literature, movies, television, fashion, and even video games, for those looking to expand their palate of interests. The wide array of articles gives a great springboard for finding something interesting.
Must Read: Book Review: Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
The Goalie’s Anxiety
The Goalie’s Anxiety looks at various publications and examines the philosophical and cultural significance behind them.
Must Read: Barbed Wire Fence
Ads Without Products
Ads Without Products confronts literature with such tact and brevity, that it’s no wonder that the author is a lecturer on literature at a university in London.
Must Read: Emotional Unemployment
Annabel’s House of Books
Annabel’s House of Books reviews a variety of titles but also incorporates a little more about herself to give the blog character and personality.
Must Read: A Little London Loving- 1960’s Style
Hungry Like the Woolf
Hungry Like the Woolf analyzes books she finds interesting, but still prompts the reader for their own introspection into the topic at hand.
Must Read: The Golden Calf
Tales from the Reading Room
Tales From the Reading Room reviews various pieces of modern literature from a professor at the University of Cambridge. The enlightening commentary on books mixed with the personal undertones makes it particularly interesting.
Must Read: Quiet
The author of the blog keeps a log of the books that he reads along with commentary and reviews, which quickly evolved into the literary blog that it is currently. He also provides regular updates on where he is with the next book he is reviewing.
Must Read: Fugue For A Darkening Island
The Resolute Reader primarily looks at non-fiction works and provides in-depth analysis on modern issues. He makes sure to highlight the good and the bad in each book reviewed, but intentionally does not provide a rating.
Must Read: John Romer – A History of Ancient Egypt: From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid.
Vertigo takes a look at books that are at the cross-section of art and literature. In particular, Vertigo tends to analyze the work of W.G Sebald often.
Must Read: Vertiginous Links for February
Time’s Flow Stemmed
Times Flow Stemmed details how he wishes to feel a sense of completion when reading authors he is fond of. The blog itself though, for the better, feels much more explorative and still encouraging for those unfamiliar with the path the author takes.
Must Read: JM Coatzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians
Why Not Burn Books
This blog reviews and a full range of topics, all with a keenly philosophical scope, right up to the title.
Must Read: Terror and Beauty
Literary Kicks analyzes interesting philosophical concepts less notable in the United States, but in general, just enjoys taking his musings and digging further into them.
Must Read: Kant On Beauty
Ready Steady Book
Ready Steady Book is such an intellectually dense blog; it may catch you off guard at first. Once adjusting to the scope of each entry, it is very enjoyable and educating.
Must Read: Ben Lerner and the administration of fear
Book Club Blogs
Joining a book club is a great way to make social connections and bond over shared love for a certain author, or branch out and explore new literary territory with a group of friends or even strangers. Many existing book clubs keep a log of their reading and discussions online, and some even seek new members to participate in online discussions among club members all over the world.
SciFri Book Club
SciFri Book Club looks at various novels and the interesting elements of science behind them. From fictional science stories to well-known memoirs, a large area is covered.
Conversations Book Club
Conversations Book Club puts readers in touch with authors in the hopes of sparking a conversation. The book club features a wide range of genres, and hosts live events and meetups.
Must Read: Conversations Book Club Announces its 2013 Book Club Selections
Level Up Book Club
Level Up Book Club aims to provide an outlet for discussing books centered around the rapidly emerging culture of video games. Books selected range from fictional stories set around video game worlds to forums on the implications of being a gamer in modern society.
Must Read: Reading List: The Books Behind The Blog
Paranormal Book Club
Paranormal Book Club compiles news, interviews, and reviews of contemporary fantasy books. Subjects are often related to vampires, werewolves, witchcraft, and magic.
Must Read: Reviews By Bella
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Beginning by acknowledging a stigma concerning romance novels, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books provides an avenue for intellectual discussions of character development and various thematic elements.
Must Read: Virginity Cliches in Romance
The Romance Book Club
The Romance Book Club provides discussions, as well as previews of entire chapters of upcoming romance novels. Also provided are interviews with authors and romance-related television shows.
Must Read: Author Interviews
The No Commitment Blogger Book Club presented by My Pretty Pennies
The blog called My Pretty Pennies recently launched a book club to read one book a month for the next year and invites readers to join her on this adventure.
Must Read: The No Commitment Blogger Book Club
My Jane Austen Book Club
Highly specific blogs have become very popular among fans looking to indulge in micro-genres and My Jane Austen Book Club is a very notable example. Fans of the author, as well as those seeking a more in-depth discussion of her, will appreciate My Jane Austen Book Club.
Must Read: Happy 200th Anniversary Pride and Prejudice!
ACU Press & Leafwood Publishers Book Club
ACU Press & Leafwood Publishers Book Club allows users to create reviews of Christian faith-related books published under their names, providing users with free copies of the books upon completion of the review.
Must Read: Review of From Santa To Texting
B.A.D. Girls Book Club
The B.A.D. Girls Book Club is a blog that is less concerned with inviting other users to join on what they’re reading and instead focuses on providing an in-depth look at the inner workings of their established book club. They included a summary, excerpts, discussions, and even dishes made and clothing worn to their book club dates.
Must Read: Review of Divergent
Bookaholics Book Club
Bookaholics is a blog that underlines an individual’s passion for reading and her detailing of character development and thematic undertones through reviews. The type of books reviewed vary significantly, providing plenty of variety.
Must Read: The Traveling Book
Book Nook Club
The Book Nook Club is a well-organized blog publishing user-created reviews of books. The idea is to stimulate discussion in a forum intuitive to understanding as much as possible.
Must Read: Book Review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Big City Book Club
Featured on The New York Times, Big City Book Club is a monthly column providing interviews, reviews, and discussions on books with New York City as the main setting.
Must Read: Ric Burns on ‘The Alienist’ and Its New York
Nerdy Book Club
Nerdy Book Club is run by Donalyn Miller, a 6th-grade English teacher, so it is fitting that the blog is focused primarily on books written for children and young adults. The blog also encourages discussion on how to motivate children to read books and the difficulties associated with being an English teacher.
Must Read: Giving Back by Jen Vincent
Book Club Girl
Book Club Girl is a blog written for and by girls in book clubs, sharing information on books discussed in their own book clubs, in addition to supplementary books.
Must Read: Wild for Wiley: An Interview With Wiley Cash