Reader Reviews You Can Trust

Today, we look back on the incredible selection of books our members have reviewed for our early-reader program, First Impressions during 2018 - 39 titles in total.

Reader reviews abound on the web, but it's difficult to know which to trust, especially when there are businesses who will arrange for glowing reviews to be posted for a fee, and other reviews may be written by family and friends.

BookBrowse's First Impressions program offers you a source of trustworthy reader reviews because only BookBrowse members can post reviews. Members indicate which books they're interested in but cannot prioritize, and copies are assigned by BookBrowse's algorithms. So, while it's conceivable that somebody connected to the book might be assigned a copy, the chances of there being enough people to influence the overall consensus is effectively non-existent.

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The 2018 BookBrowse Award Winners

We are delighted to announce BookBrowse's 2018 Award Winners and our Top 20 Best of Year Books.

BookBrowse's Best of the Year Awards are an excellent barometer of great reading. They are particularly noteworthy for two reasons. Firstly, because voting is only open to BookBrowse subscribers - so, unlike other popular awards, there is no vote stuffing. Secondly, instead of just voting for a book (which favors the most widely read books) subscribers rate each book on the shortlist that they've read, and the winning books are the ones with the highest overall rating. Over 6,000 votes were cast for this year's awards to decide the Top 20 Best Books and the four Award Winners.

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A Look Back on BookBrowse's 2018 Book Club Books

There's really no better way to be sure that a book is right for your book club than being a "fly on the wall" at an actual discussion--such as for the fifteen books we discussed in BookBrowse's Book Club during 2018.

What sets our Book Club apart from other online forums is the quality of the discussion. Participants, mostly BookBrowse members, come together with the intent of sharing and learning from each other's views just as they would if they were physically in the same room.

To help you decide which books are right for you and your book club, you can read more about the books and "listen in" to the discussions from our book club discussion page.

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The 10 Essential Elements of a Gothic Novel

In the spirit of Halloween, we highlight the Gothic genre. Gothic literature emerged as one of the most chilling forms of Dark Romanticism in the late 1700s, and has since captivated readers with terrifying, mysterious narratives. Evident in the works of great Gothic writers such as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, the Bronte sisters, and many more, Gothic stories feature distinctive elements that make the genre so unique.

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Bibliotheraphy: Can Books Treat Mental Health Issues?

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg is by many accounts a "feel-good read" – a book that readers say makes them feel upbeat after having finished it. But that raises the question: Can a book truly influence your mood?   It turns out that scientists have long speculated that reading can, in fact, have an impact on one's mental health, and a practice called "bibliotherapy" has arisen around this belief.

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Best Book Club Books for 2019

From the early 20th century to our contemporary time, from California to Georgia to Washington D.C., from Israel to India and to Ireland, and from the voices of a six-year-old boy to a young newlywed woman to a recent widowed man, the books we've picked for the coming year are diverse and powerful. Whether you love an intimate focus on the heart, like Only Child, An American Marriage and The Story of Arthur Truluv; or the panoramic exploration of a point in time such as Code Girls or The Woman's Hour, there is something for everyone.

All twelve books have 5-star BookBrowse reviews and are already, or soon will be, published in paperback (and are already available in hardcover and e-book.) You'll find everything you need to decide which are right for you and your book club here on BookBrowse, including reviews, discussion guides, excerpts and "beyond the book" articles.

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