Monday, January 16, 2023

Where to Find Your Next Great Read

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Debs has gotten us off to a great start on reading in the new year, talking about what we’ve read in 2022, weighing the pros and cons of book journaling, and sharing suggestions on audio narrators you should be listening to. I want to shamelessly piggyback on her excellent work because I kept running into the same issue when I was talking about these things: where do you find your next great read?


In The Before Times, I used to go to one or another of the several independent book stores we’re blessed with in the Portland, Maine area. Or I would spend an hour or two browsing the shelves at one of the local libraries. I often attended professional events like Book Expo America, the American Library Association annual conference, and regional meetings like the New England Booksellers Association’s. In other words, I was encountering newly published, to-be published and new-to-me reads all the time. Or if not all the time, at least often enough to accumulate piles of TBR tomes.


Now? Not so much. All our local libraries offer remote check out - I can order a book and pick it up. The same thing for my favorite bookstores. Call me Overly-Cautious Octavia, but I don’t linger anywhere where the vast public is in, out and hanging around. And even if I were fine with browsing, it feels more like recreational shopping to me, which I was never a fan of, and am less so now. I want to get in, get what I want, and get out. 


All this is a long-winded way of saying I need help finding places for recommended reads! Of course, right here at JRW we have a tremendous resource in all our widely-read members, and every time we have a “what are you reading?” conversation, I’m taking notes. But where else can I go? Where do I get information on the new non-fiction I haven’t heard of, or the most-anticipated science fiction, or upcoming releases of authors I already love but don’t track? 


Reds, what are your resources? Where would you point readers?


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I’m completely interested in all of your  answers to this! With Mystery Scene Magazine gone (sigh), and the NYT Sunday Book Review so elite, where do you all go? How do you hear? Of course I read reviewers I love–and some of them are right here on JRW! And I know I can rely on them. So keep those reviews coming, AND if you have a site, you darling reviewers, put it in the comments!


Because of course I am always looking for new, I am so lucky to host CRIME TIME on A Mighty Blaze and First Chapter Fun–and I have to say ,both are wonderful ways of finding new books!  The bookers (big insiders in book/bookstore/publishing world) on Crime Time schedule the interviews, so I get the benefit of their expertise and connections–that’s how I got introduced to Deepti Kapoor, and Jordan Harper, and Brendan Slocumb and Chris Whittaker and Janice Hallett and Lisa Jewell (now my absolute idol) a whole list of other fabulous authors early in the process. The bookers really know their stuff!  


Same on FCF–we get pitched constantly by people/publicists/publishers who want their authors showcased, and so there’s always a stream of new people. And authors who are already favorites will provide advance copies.


So this can work for YOU, too! Just come to CT or FCF and see who you’ll meet. This week, Deepti Kapoor and Mary Kubica on Crime Time and Pam Jenoff on First Chapter Fun. VoiIà. Your next great reads.


HALLIE EPHRON: I swear by CRIME TIME on A Mighty Blaze and First Chapter Fun. Hank you are such a great resource. It somewhat fills the hole left by so many mystery bookstores that have closed. And I depend quite a bit on my fellow Reds and our amazing commenters to cast a wide net. 


Conferences! Gosh I do hope we get back to feeling comfortable about going in person because there’s no better place to meet new authors and talk to a gazillion readers and find out what they’re enthusiastic about.


LUCY BURDETTE: The one place I will not give up shopping is my local bookstores, Books and Books and the Key West Island Bookstore in Key West, and RJ Julia in Connecticut. Besides browsing in the actual stores, I subscribe to all of those newsletters, so I always get the latest on what’s coming out next. I don’t like to buy books from Amazon, but I do use their algorithms (If you liked this, you’ll like that, etc.)


Other than that it’s word of mouth–I adore our reading blogs here–so many good ideas, and you figure out who has similar taste!

 

JULIA: Lucy, I've been to RJ Julia Booksellers several times, but in my head, it always comes out Raul Julia's Book Store! 


JENN McKINLAY: I let the books find me. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever actively looked for a book in my life. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s just that I grew up in libraries (Mom was a librarian), then I became a librarian, and I don’t know how or why but books just find me, much like every stray critter in south Scottsdale. And usually, the book arrives just when I am meant to read it.


RHYS BOWEN: Hank, you are doing us a great favor by hosting A Mighty Blaze and First Chapter Fun. And my fellow Reds are great with recommendations.


I am lucky to live near two magnificent bookstores, Book Passage in Corte Madera and The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, where they have author events every single night. Barbara Peters of the Poisoned Pen will often host a new author with an established one and I’ve learned about quite a few first time books that way. 

 

Also like many of you, I get sent upcoming books to read and blurb. Some of these are just okay but some are wonderful.

But the most fun thing is to browse when I am in UK. WH Smith, bargain table! Such fun finds and books I wouldn’t normally choose.


DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, I am seconding Rhys on WH Smith in the UK, ditto Waterstone’s. The first thing I do when I fly into London is check the book racks at the airport WH Smith’s. (And the last thing when I fly out, for the plane, of course. Otherwise, books seem to find me. Here on JRW, of course, the biggest source.  FCF and A Mighty Blaze, newsletters from The Poisoned Pen and Murder by the Book and blogs by favorite reviewers. And I have to confess that I am addicted to Bookbub (that is a whole other blog..) and I can’t count how many authors and series I’ve discovered because something was on sale for $1.99 and it sounded interesting.

 

 

JULIA: Dear readers, it's your turn now - where do you find your next read? Is it in real life, online, or in the media? I'll add your suggestions to the front page here as they come in! 

109 comments:

  1. In addition to what’s been said already, many publishers have newsletters that they’re happy to send to your email in box . . . add a few writers’ newsletters and some you’ve got a pretty good list of books that are coming out or that others have enjoyed reading. [Of course, I still do the browsing thing when I find myself anywhere where there are books.]

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    1. Good point, Joan - I have gotten a few books from my own publisher's newsletter. I love hearing about the sales!

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  2. I subscribe to several newsletters and I like that the authors always suggest other authors to read, which is a bonus. I scour a variety of book sources such as (https://www.fictiondb.com/, https://www.fantasticfiction.com/) to find the next book which I then post on my blog, https://www.drusbookmusing.com. I'm still a bit vary about browsing in a store, so I browse online. I love BookBub for what they offer.

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    1. I've only ever used Fantastic Fiction to find complete lists of authors' books, Dru, I didn't even know they did new releases as well.

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  3. All of the above. Wherever, including from the Great Book Fairy in the sky. Book club is a good way (which reminds me, I have to read Toni Morrison's Jazz by Thursday night). And donations to my Little Free Library, sometimes.

    Bookbub has also introduced me to lots of new authors, and so has Amazon's First Reads. Nook is my preferred e-format, but Barnes and Noble stinks at that kind of promotion.

    Reviewers/bloggers, too. Whenever Dru Ann or Kathy Reel or Kristopher Zgorski or Grace Koshida rave about a book, I take notice.

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    1. Karen in Ohio, I love BookBub because it is easier for me to access than Goodreads where I have to remember the password - oh dear. I can just click on BookBub and look at books that my BookBub friends love.

      Diana

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    2. In addition to meeting authors on JRW, FCF and The Wickeds, I also have friends who recommend books and authors to me. Just mentioning the name of a book or author in a list doesn't really do it for me, but sometimes a quick sentence or two will make me want to try that author. If you tell me someone's books are hilarious, chances are, I will look for them at some point.

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    3. The Great Book Fairy in the Sky, Karen! Love it!

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    4. Karen, you wanted to know what I thought of Dinners with Ruth, by Nina Totenberg. I loved it! I couldn’t put it down. A couple of times I read it until well after midnight. One of my sisters read it at the same time, and she, too, loved it. I always admired Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but even more so now that I’ve read Totenberg’s book.

      DebRo

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    5. Thanks, DebRo! Appreciate the followup.

      Diana, same with me. I've never gotten into Goodreads at all.

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    6. An excellent list of book blogger recommendations, Karen!

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    7. Karen, thank you so much for including me in your list of book bloggers.

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    8. Good to hear, Deb R, that’s coming up in my book club in a few months.
      Lisa in Long Beach

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  4. In addition what's been said, I'll call out a few specific blogger/reviewers. First, a bunch in the JR Regular Commenters Club:
    Dru Ann Love's Dru's Book Musing
    Kathy Boone Reel's The Reading Room (https://www.readingroom-readmore.com/)
    Carstairs Considers by Mark Baker
    Jay Roberts, who doesn't have a dedicated book blog but was a reviewer for Mystery Scene and writes informed reviews and Best Of lists (maybe he'll chime in with the best place to find those).
    Plus:
    BoloBooks from Kristopher Zgorski
    Lesa Holstine's Lesa's Book Critiques
    Cozy up with Kathy (https://cozyupwithkathy.blogspot.com/)
    King's River Life Magazine
    For foodie mysteries, Kim Davis's Cinnamon, Sugar & a Little Bit of Murder (she makes a recipe from the book with amazing food photography)

    Conferences - yes! I brought Guest of Honor Bill Martin's December '41 home from Crime Bake. I picked it up yesterday after I finished a cozy and now I am SO hooked. I don't go browsing in bookstores, alas, although I sometimes do in our library (not crowded, easy to feel safe).

    My friends' books always keep me well stocked in reading material. I'll think - oh! I haven't read Connie Berry's latest, or Paige Shelton's, or...

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    1. For foodie, don't forget Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Edith is there as Maddie Day.

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    2. Thanks, Grace - and Lucy Burdette is there, too!

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    3. Thanks Edith! I feel like I should be channeling Sally Field about now..."She likes me, she really likes me! " HA!

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    4. Jay, we all like you! Great list, Edith - several there I've never even heard of. Which is why I wanted to cover this topic!

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    5. Edith, I appreciate the mention! Thanks!

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    6. Thank you so much for the shout out, Edith.

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  5. Since Mystery Scene is gone, I have lost a big part of how I find new books. But I use Criminal Element and Suspense magazine as well. I also check out Bolo Books and Dru's Book Musings. Plus there's any number of books I "discover" because of JRW and Wicked Authors.

    Then I'll check the shelves when I go to the bookstore. I'm usually looking for something specific but I'll browse as well.

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    1. Jay, thank you!

      Often read Dru's Musings and learn about many books that I would like to read. The books are listed by publication dates by day and month like December 27.

      Diana

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    2. I often read a review after I have read the book. Don't tell me too much, just enough to get me interested. We have some stellar reviewers who visit here daily. It's fun to see what they think of a book that I have read. My cousins and I discuss books, too. So do the teacher and students in my Hebrew class. After one such conversation, I told them, "That is why there are libraries."

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    3. Dru, you are welcome!

      Diana, I look forward each weekend to reading Dru's post about what's coming out the following Tuesday. Helps me know how much I'm going to have to buy.

      Judy, I tend to skip reading reviews of any book I know about and plan to read. But I sometimes go back to read them after the fact, just to see how my thoughts match up with theirs.

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that a lot of the author newsletters that I subscribe to mention books they are reading and I occasionally pick up a book based on their recommendations too.

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    4. I've taken to skipping reviews of books I'm going to read as well. Occasionally, I'll dive in without even reading the flap copy! I enjoy the sense of discovery as the story unfolds.

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    5. Julia, I do always read the synopsis on the back. If that sounds interesting, that will seal the deal as far as me getting the book.

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  6. All of the above, plus I listen to the radio a lot (CBC/public broadcaster in Canada = NPR in the States) and take notes when authors are interviewed. I have a notebook dedicated for the lists (and lists and lists) that result. I'm not yet back into browsing, so online or on-air recommendations will often lead me to download a sample to investigate.

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    1. Right there with you, Amanda. Even as I'm listening to an author interview on CBC, if it sounds like my thing, I pull up the Toronto Public Library website and reserve it. Because I just know that if I wait until the end of the interview, the number of holds will have skyrocketed.

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    2. Susan, that sounds like an excellent library hack for all of us who listen to public radio author interviews! Amanda, I've gotten some excellent reads from NPR, as well as finding great gift books for others. My problem is, I'm often listening in my car, and can't write down the author's name and title until I've come to a stop!

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    3. Susan: You have the right approach, as I have waited til the end of the interview and then find myself at the back of a long line of holds!

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  7. I feel guilty buying books from Amazon, , but the fact is this: my old eyes need my kindle with its marvelous led lighting and adjustable font. As the night gets longer, the font must get bigger.

    Reading is my biggest joy and also my largest monthly expenditure. I always order a sample, and I buy about a third of those.

    I follow authors that I like, and there are a few — quite a few — whose books I preorder, including the JWRs. Those are the first places I look for my next book. Then there are the favorite reviewers — waving at Kristopher. I also have friends with whom I share recommendations. These are my best bets as we all know what the other likes best. I do love the Sunday NYT Book Review, always finding one or two books to buy.

    And last there are things like Bookbub. This is a great place to find the $1.99 book I missed on the first round.

    I treasure my print books, those signed first editions. But most retain their virgin status. I happily buy the e book for actual reading.

    Windy old thing this morning, am I not?

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    1. Your fellow bookbub addict here, Ann. I'd be horrified if I ever added up all those #1.99s! Speaking of, THANK YOU FOR LISTENING by Julia Whelan is on e-book sale today for $2.99. A still highly recommend listening to this one, but if audio is not your thing...

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    2. Bookbub for me, too, for the same reasons, Ann. It gets harder and harder to read paper books, especially with the cataract that's developing in one eye. Controlling the type size and lighting gets more important every day.

      Debs, I just bought Julia Whelan's book!

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    3. Ann, I like ebooks as well. I became addicted back in the "driving years," when I was always driving a kid to rehearsal/practice/track meet/youth group/etc and always had an hour or so to wait. The ability to have, not just a single book, but a library right in my purse saved me during those many hours spent sitting in my car.

      Now, if I'm reading in bed, it's always an ebook, because my bedside lights aren't great for reading and, like you, I need that adjustable font!

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  8. Good question today, Julia! I just spent a whole minute reminiscing about how I found books before the internet. Ah-h, the good old days!

    There are so many ways to find new-to-me authors and books now. For me, almost all are over the internet. Coincidentally, yesterday I scrolled through my Kindle and realized there are dozens of books and authors waiting for me in there. That, and the unread volumes sitting on book shelves attest to my ability to find plenty.

    Mostly I find books and authors here or on First Chapter Fun. Being kind of new to reading mysteries, there are authors whose books I have heard about here who have already written a dozen or more stories. If it is a series that sounds interesting to me, I go to book #1. The back log is enormous. For instance, several months ago JRW hosted Donna Andrews. This weekend, I finally read the first book in her series, a book so delightful and hilarious that I was laughing out loud. There are about 20 books in that series. Catching up will take a while. Once I find an author who touches me like that, I keep reading his or her books until I have read the whole series or I get distracted by other great reads.

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    1. Only dozens on your Kindle, Judy?? I'm not even telling how many are on mine...

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    2. I didn't count, Debs. However, my Kindle makes me look like a first class hoarder!

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    3. Judy, I’ve been a Donna Andrews fan for many years. Her books are so much fun! If I’m feeling a little blue I might reread one of her books, and I’m immediately cheered up!

      DebRo

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    4. Judy, you're going to have so much fun with Donna Andrews' book!

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  9. For known authors, I usually eagerly await their next book and now that I know most books come out on Tuesdays, head off to the library on Tuesday and Wednesday to get my name on hold.
    I also read various book review/magazine sites (as well as this one), and from there go to the 5 library cards that I have (on line). Those magazines vary from Chatelaine (usually too young/social flavour of the week), to Zoomer (meant for people over 55), to the Guardian newspaper – often high faluting). One of the things that happens if you like the sound of it and you have to put the book on hold, is that there are 3 suggestions that pop up of other books that are currently available – often by different authors. Many a time I have clicked on one of those and discovered a whole new line that I didn’t know about – and I am off to the races.
    I also try to be open-minded and read juvenile literature, and try a few novels that label themselves as “includes romance”. I still haven’t made my way into horror or fantasy, and find I avoid mysteries that are spies or predominantly a court-room (too much thinking for my brain – can’t do accounting either!)
    As for whoever suggested Lessons in Chemistry – I thoroughly enjoyed it, and gave it an 8/10 – that’s a good review for me. I was surprised at the number of poor reviews on Goodreads. I will admit that the cover really turned me off – I thought it would be chick-lit, which is not my thing – and so avoided it for a long time. As the author says, bad choice of cover art paired with the material – however the material was excellent.
    Another disappointing thing is when an author although highly touted does not make it to any of my libraries – Janice Hallett for example. She seems to be well-liked, but for me is not accessible.

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    1. Thank God there are more books than any of us can read in a lifetime, Margo - it means we can cheerfully put down the inaccessible or unenjoyable and move straight on to the next read.

      I love the fact your library makes if-you-like suggestions online! I wish mine did.

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  10. A friend in Houston put me on the Murder by the Book email list years ago.

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    1. That's a friend, indeed, Margaret. MbtB also has a lively Twitter feed, run by the wonderful John McDougall.

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  11. JRW is first in the morning, followed by other great mystery blogs, some already mentioned:
    Dru's Book Musings, Lesa's Book Critiques, BOLO Books, Criminal Minds, Mystery Lovers Kitchen, Wickeds & Chicks on the Case.

    FCF now every Tuesday. Poisoned Pen Bookstore monthly newsletter and live interviews.

    Mystery fiction magazines: Mystery Readers Journal in its 39th year by Janet Rudolph, Deadly Pleasures and the now defunct Mystery Scene magazine.

    Virtual Noir at the Bar (mostly in the US). And of course, confferences. I will be going to Tucson Left Coast Crime & San Diego Bouchercon and already find new authors at panels.

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    1. I forgot to list Stop You're Killing Me by Lucinda Surber & Stan Ulrich. They send an email on the 1st and 15th of each month with new hardback, paperback and audiobook releases. Their website is also a great resource to search for mystery authors.
      http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/

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    2. Thank you, Grace! The MYSTERY SCENE magazine often had great recommendations for mystery novels, including my favorite genre. I also look at the Sunday NYT Book Review. Sometimes Reese's Book Club recommends books that I want to read.

      Diana

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    3. MYSTERY SCENE Magazine is clearly missed by many of us!

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  12. Here at JRW, of course, as well as the Wickeds blog and Chicks on the Case. I read reviews from Dru Ann Love and Kristopher Zgorski. And I subscribe to the newsletter from Mystery Lovers Bookshop, which always has more than mysteries in it.

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  13. My main sources of book ideas are friends, this blog, Goodreads (Michael Christie's Greenwood came up as a suggestion there) and I do skim through the NYT book review. I read Ron Charles' Book Club newsletter from the Washington Post because his writing is delightful and funny. I always look at articles about "best new mysteries" or "best mystery" lists at the end of the year.

    I used to go browse at the library or at Powell's, but, like Julia, I no longer do that. I put the books on hold and go pick them up or have them sent to me. Suggestions from this blog could keep me well supplied in the foreseeable future.

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    1. Honestly, Gillian I'm glad to see so many others aren't comfortable spending time in person in the stacks. I thought maybe I was being overly cautious, but I'm feeling better about my order-and-pick-up habit, now.

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  14. I've found a couple of authors that were new to me (Lee Child and Angela Thirkell) because a character in a book I was reading... was reading that author! (Did that make sense?) Lee Child was via Russ Van Alstyne!

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    1. Linda, I'm delighted you were introduced to Lee's books that way. I love, love, love the Jack Reacher series, and when I wanted to have Russ - an ex-MP - reading, I thought, well, of course he reads the adventures of another ex-MP!

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    2. Linda, makes perfect sense I have likewise found new authors in the same way. Marjorie

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    3. ... and I've also found some new faves via their interviews in JRW - William Kent Krueger, Archer Mayor, and Paula Munier

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  15. Goodreads. I created an account over a decade ago. I rarely go to the site. Instead, I get regular emails about upcoming books, highly anticipated books, best books of..., readers favorites, etc.

    Of course, this site, and the blogs that Edith listed.

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    1. Lots of people seem to be leaning into email lists, JC. I've always been loathe to subscribe because I don't need more things in my in-box, but I may need to reconsider my stance.

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  16. Oh, I can't give up browsing in bookstores (masked, of course)! I'm fortunate to live in a place (North Carolina Piedmont) where we have two excellent indy bookstores: FlyLeaf in Chapel Hill and, down the road, Mcintyre's in Fearrington Village. I also read CrimeScene and check out the NYT Crime column, although I miss the previous columnist.

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    1. I did an event once at Mcintyre's, Katie! And I agree about the NYT column - Sarah Weinman is an excellent writer and a thoughtful reviewer, but her taste in books is not as closely aligned with mine as Marilyn Stasio. (And I've also switched from the NYT to the Washington Post, so I have more limited access to the former.)

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  17. Use a variety of online sites including my local library and my indie bookstore. Besides JRW look at crimereads.com, fantastic fiction site, lithub.com, bookbybookblogspot.com, Stop you're killing me, and a favorite--The Rap Sheet blogsheet by J. Franklin Pierce who does a great quarterly list of new bks out in the next 3 months both in US and UK. Check sites of JRW commentators. Look at bookstore sites such as Powells, Unabridged Books, and Seminary Coop (academic titles). Check publisher sites like Oxford University Press for academic titles. Check Shelf Awareness daily.Even check Amazon. Marjorie

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    1. An excellent and well-rounded list of resources, Marjorie!

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    2. Thank you Julia. It probably comes from being a librarian for 30+ yrs prior to retirement. Marjorie

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  18. I love bookstores, my favorite is probably Powell's in Portland, OR.
    For those of you who visit San Diego, I highly recommend Warwick's Books on Girard in La Jolla. It has been owned by the same family for well over 100 years. https://www.warwicks.com/

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    1. A century in the same family! That's inspiring. I guess we'll all get a chance to visit when we're in San Diego for Bouchercon...

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  19. Some libraries subscribe to a monthly book review magazine (ours no longer does); it has regular columns for different genres, age levels, etc. I've found plenty there. Fantasticfiction website has been mentioned above. But mostly, my best discoveries come through JRW--the crew of authors with new releases, authors and readers chiming in with what they're reading, new authors being hosted.

    Also, masked, I sometimes browse the new displays at other local libraries, as they have larger budgets (and possibly more adventuresome buyers, sigh) than my library. I might do the same, masked browsing, if there was a decent bookstore nearby (Books A Million does not count).

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    1. Ugh. Books-a-Million. Why are their shelves always, always so messy?

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  20. Love bookstores, Julia! My local independent bookstore insists that EVERYONE wear a mask! If someone does not have a mask, there is a box of new disposable masks so they can take one and wear it in the bookshop.

    Before the pandemic, I discovered many wonderful books at book conferences like Ellie Alexander's bakeshop mysteries or Ellen Byron's cajun country mysteries. Like Jenn, books find me.

    Since the pandemic, I have relied on bookstagram on Instagram and I have a friend in England, who just moved to the French countryside. She always recommends books that appeals to me. Another friend in Ireland often posts about her books and I want to read them too! I have relied on book orders from Hatchard's in the UK or Edinburgh Book Festival (both are great about shipping overseas!).

    And I often discover new books here on Jungle Reds when you have guest authors and I get to ask the authors questions about their books. Sometimes they reply to my questions.

    Rhys and Debs, thanks for mentioning WH Smith and Waterstones. I remember the Waterstones bookshop with a cafe when I visited London. I forgot that WH Smith sold books. I frequently walked by WH Smith when I was in the UK. When I get a chance to visit London again, it's a definite plan for me to visit WH Smith and look at their bargain books. I remember when I was at Oxford that there was a Blackwells bookstore. I remember buying a book at Althorp and it was signed by the father of Princess Diana. On my first trip to the UK with my family, I think we bought a book from the Royal Mews gift shop. Buckingham Palace was not open to the public Yet. I think it is now, though.

    Julia, when I visit Portland, ME, I will check out the bookstores you recommended.

    Hallie, I get what you mean about conferences. I really really want to go to a book conference this year for several reasons. And I plan to wear my mask ALL THE TIME! I really want to buy a copy of Cathy Ace's new WISE mystery novel and if the local bookstore cannot get it for me, then I will go to the book conference that Cathy Ace will attend and buy the book from the Book Room. I think I will attend the book conference for maximum of two days since I get sick in hotels if I stay More than two nights! I got sick even before the pandemic. I remember getting sick at the hotel in Bethseda in 2016. The hotel had been remodeled.

    Again, this is a great topic!

    Diana

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    1. Diana, the experience of coming home sick from a conference is so widespread, it has its own name: Con Crud. :-D

      I hadn't thought about Bookstagram - I tend to skim my friend's posts and then spend time admiring interior decor on Instagram. I'll have to broaden my horizons!

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    2. Diana, if you aren't opposed to using Amazon, they have Cathy's new WISE book in paperback. Also, it's only $3.99 on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Case-Absent-Heirs-Enquiries-Mysteries/dp/199055007X/ref=monarch_sidesheet

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  21. I subscribe to the Houston library's online newsletters and also Murder by the Book's. And my new local library's newsletter. Bookbub has been great for discovering new to me authors at a bargain price. NetGalley is great for browsing through. Dru Ann has come up with quite a few winners. Authors' recommendations of other authors. Publishing house newsletters. Most of my sources are online. And then there is the new books section at the library for in-person visits.

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    1. Online is where I'd like to find my book recommendations, Pat!

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  22. Blogs & Podcasts & Newspaper Book Pages (Guardian and Toronto Star) and, as mentioned above, all kinds of author interviews on the CBC.

    Podcasts that include discussions of both older and current books:
    All About the Dame (Agatha & other mysteries with modern writer guests)
    Rec Hot Chilli Writers (current crime writers)
    Shedunnit (Golden Age mysteries)
    Tea or Books (mostly old books but some new as well)

    Blogs (I have a weekly revolving schedule of many book blogs. Am I obsessive? Okay, yeah.
    Including...
    JRW, of course
    Clothes in Books
    Crimereads
    Random Jottings
    Furrowed Middlebrow
    Shiny New Books

    And my set of dear bookish friends, who I meet with through Zoom every Friday. "Okay, what's everyone reading?"

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    1. Thanks for the reminder of Clothes in Books, Susan. I'd forgotten about that excellent resource.

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    2. Susan, I had to take a look at Clothes in Books and it's delightful! I love her writing style, and what a breadth of literature. (Also, I love reading about clothing. It's true.)

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    3. Susan, I'd forgotten about Clothes in Books, too. Thanks.

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  23. Forgot to mention that I have been borrowing ebooks from my local library. Unfortunately, NO ONE is wearing masks at the library! I feel it is too risky to go in person. I once tried to volunteer for the library book sale during the pandemic. Several people brought in FILTHY books that needed to be cleaned before they could go on sale! I had to take out disinfectant wipes and clean the covers and shake out the pages. I was the only person wearing a mask! Too risky. So I am not volunteering for the library sale for a while.

    However, I went to two events within a week and I did not wear a mask. Almost no one wore a mask. Everyone at both events are vaccinated. And I took the Covid test. NO covid.

    Diana

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    1. While I do go to the bookstore and browse, I'm not doing it as often as I used to. And always masked.

      As for the library, I'm going there but mostly to pick up something I asked them to get for me so it is on hold at the front desk. However, I'm co-running the revived Mystery Book Club so I'm there for that as well. (Tomorrow night we are talking about Jacqueline Winspear's MAISIE DOBBS!). However, I'm masked. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about not being understood through the mask because not only do I have a big mouth, I have quite the volume when I need to.

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    2. Yes, it's such a roll of the dice. EVERY time.

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    3. It is, isn't it? And since there are places I have to go - like the grocery store or the vet's office - I try to be very selective about visiting places I don't have to go to by necessity. I do go to church in person, but it's a very large and drafty building, and I don't linger for coffee hour anymore.

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    4. Jay, MAISIE DOBBS is amongst my favorite books! I was thinking about the novel LEAVING EVERYTHING MOST LOVED today because a certain celebrity is being attacked on social media and I was reminded of that line ".....there are people who want to destroy beauty..." page 180 in the hardcover edition. The first book in the series MAISIE DOBBS really grabbed my attention. I always re-read the novel every year on Rememberance Day. Totally get what you mean about not going to the bookstore as often as we used to.

      Hank, agreed!

      Julia, when I go to the grocery store, I always look around to see if the cashier is wearing a mask. If not, I go to another cashier wearing a mask. Once I was about to get in line when I noticed the only cashier NOT wearing a mask. I started putting things back on the shelves when another employee wearing a mask offered to help me. So I was able to buy the food and go home. It is bad enough that some of the customers are NOT wearing masks and I try to stay as far away as possible from these idiots. Easier when it is not crowded. If I cannot, then I just turn my back on them!

      Not going to church in person. I attend the online services.

      Diana

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  24. I use many of the same resources mentioned, and I’ve learned from all of you today about some new ones I can check out. In the last three years I’ve mostly learned about new books from First Chapter Fun. Prior to the pandemic I went to two different libraries every Saturday. I really miss doing that but I’m just not comfortable being around that many people these days. I do make a short, masked visit to my local library once a week, and I check out the New Books area when I’m there.

    DebRo

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    1. I feel like we're all going to have a lot more online resources after today, Deb!

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  25. We have a wonderful indie bookstore in Fort Kent - Bogan Books. Unfortunately, like Julia, I am not yet comfortable browsing in public, but I do get their newsletter and I have a list made to call for pickup :). Other than that, most of my recommended readings come right from this blog.

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  26. Bookmarks magazine. My library has a subscription, but you can subscribe independently either
    digitally or print or both.
    Online websites Deadwrite for mystery SF and fantasy. Provides lists of three months of forthcoming titles with brief descriptions. Sleuth of Baker Street online monthly newsletter. Stop you’re Killing Me
    also a good resource for forthcoming coming authors. You can also look up individual authors and
    get series titles listed chronologically and books that may been written under other names.

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    1. Deadwrite sounds right up my alley, Anon! Thanks for suggesting it.

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  27. Definitely a silver lining of covid has been to make us all comfortable with Zoom and be able to tune into book events that we couldn't possibly attend. There's nothing quite like hearing an author talk about their book.

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    1. Very true, Hallie. And on the flip side, it's wonderful to be able to talk to readers you would never have met back in the in-person book tour days.

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  28. I was just saying elsewhere that I miss the mystery bookstores we used to have in the LA area. I started so many series I still love and got other recommendations from them.

    Now adays, I have to confess I use Amazon. I search by publisher (which, sadly, you have to use the advance search for now) or by author for a few that aren't published by the half dozen or so I track. And I look for guest posts here or on Chicks on the Case or the Wickeds.

    But I have a bit of Jenn's philosophy. Books seem to find me, which I also enjoy.

    I hope I have a mix of big and small on my blog: http://carstairsconsiders.blogspot.com/ I try really hard to mix in new releases and those that have already come out each month so people aren't seeing the same books over and over again.

    It must be working because I have so many books waiting for me to read.

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    1. I like the mix you have on your blog, Mark - sometimes I want to know what's just out, and sometimes I want to discover books I missed when they were first published - especially in these past three years!

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    2. Thank you. I'm glad to know others appreciate it. Part of it is an excuse to read books I have bought but haven't read yet, so nice to know it does serve a purpose.

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  29. I LOVE the Dru Ann shout outs! xoxoo Dru, it must be so much work! Would you consider writing a blog about it for us? You are SO incredibly organized.

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  30. I loved reading through all the comments and seeing what resources you use to find books. Thank you so much to those who mentioned my book blog. I post link at the end of my comments. I am passionate about connecting books and readers; it's why I do my blog. I'm always so happy when someone says that they read a book I reviewed and enjoyed it.

    At this point in my reviewing, I have such a long list of authors I read and ones I want to read that I keep abreast of when they have new books coming out. I also have enough friends in the mystery/crime reading community that I use them as resources, too. I have a yearly ongoing list where I list by month what new books are coming out that I or others might be interested in. It's mostly mystery/crime, of course. I used to run a blog post announcing some of the books coming out each month (I couldn't possibly list them all). I think I need to start doing that again.

    I do have to give a big shout-out to Hank and all she does to bring new books in the mystery/crime genre. And her co-hosts in First Chapter Fun, Hannah Mary McKinnon, and in The Back Room, Karen Dionne, are great, too. Then, Hank, you also do A Mighty Blaze. Oh, and that thing called writing books that you do. I'm beginning to worry about when you sleep and eat.

    So, I think we are all well set with lots of great resources to find books to read. The link to my blog is https://www.readingroom-readmore.com/ Today's post is a review of Annette Dashofy's first book in a new series, Where the Guilty Hide. This exciting book will be out in the world this coming Friday, January 20th.

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  31. I find a lot of new books on the DorothyL listserv; you can find more about it here: https://www.kovacs.com/dorothyl/ Like others, I also use BookBub… and this site is great too!

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  32. I look at posts on the DorothyL listserv, too. And I've become a Deadly Pleasures fan since I discovered that George Easter has said great things about PESTICIDE. It's not just ego--I figure if George likes my book so much, he and I must have similar taste in mysteries! (And judging from many of the other books he recommends that I've already read, we do.) Amazon Daily Deals are always worth looking at, I think, but that's not really what you mean, is it, Julia? Those aren't recommendations, just bargains. Actually, I've learned more here from all of you about how to find good books than I knew before. Thank you!

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  33. I pretty much find all my new reading material online. First Chapter Fun, Crime Time, Friends & Fiction, The Poisoned Pen, and Harper Collins Library Love Fest are my favorites. I also see what my friends are reading on goodreads and through in-person monthly lunch discussions.

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    1. And I forgot to mention Carol Fitzgerald’s Bookreporter emails.

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  34. Lisa in Long Beach: I get a lot of recs following favorite authors on Twitter. Charles Stross led me to T Kingfisher and Tamsyn Muir, for instance. John Scalzi led to Mary Robinette Kowal. I currently have 40 ebooks in my hold queues at my local libraries, with another 100 tagged to add if I ever get below the holds cap.

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  35. Delighted to see a recommendation for Bookreporter by Carol Fitzgerald. She has a number of different issues weekly, lots of contests, great reviews and a fabulous Friday blog update. I use other sources and love book stores and libraries but my #1 go to is Bookreporter reviews and probably choose 75 to 80% of my picks from there and usually they are spot on.

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