BookBrowse General Information Pages: About BookBrowse

About BookBrowse

Hello and Welcome to BookBrowse!


Our Mission


BookBrowse is your guide to exceptional books, providing you with all you need to know about the books that matter.

For more than two decades, BookBrowse has provided a curated resource of the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. We offer free and premium content - with subscription options for individuals and libraries (so that all patrons and staff can access.)

Because there are far too many books published for you to read about all of them, let alone read them all, we seek out and recommend only the best of the best. Then, we give you all the information you need to decide which books are just right for you. Among much else, BookBrowse provides in-depth reviews and "beyond the book" articles; hand-selected read-alike recommendations for thousands of books and authors; the ability to browse by genre, time period, setting and a wide range of themes; previews of notable books publishing soon; and extensive resources for book clubs.

We also publish four free newsletters (BookBrowse Highlights, Publishing This Week, Book Club News and Librarian News) and, for our members, a twice-monthly e-magazine, The BookBrowse Review.

Davina & Paul Morgan-Witts - Founders

The BookBrowse Story


Online Excerpts - a Novel Concept!

In the years before children, one of our greatest pleasures was going together to browse the shelves in the bookstore or library, taking our time to pick out books that looked interesting and browsing a few pages to decide which we wanted to take home. But after the arrival of our two children, lengthy visits to anything other than the kid's section became rare.

Back in 1997, we arrived home from a far from relaxing visit to the bookstore (because the four year old wanted to go off exploring and the two year old decided that an afternoon nap wasn't on the agenda after all). Surely, we thought, there must be another way, and perhaps this newfangled thing called the world wide web was the answer? So, we dialed up our internet connection and started to search for information on books - but it was so limited - even at Amazon, all that was available was the book jacket description.

We asked ourselves, why can't we browse through a few pages of a book online just as we can in the bookstore or library? And, finding we could not, we resolved to create a website that would bring booklovers excerpts of books. But that was just the start...


"Excerpts from the best books for sale now,
giving you a simulation of the old time experience.
And we're not talking teensy fragments."
- Yahoo Incredibly Useful Site of The Day



Multiple Reviews In One Place

Being able to read a few pages of a book is valuable, but it's also helpful to see what others are saying so, from our earliest days, we have always sought out a range of reviews from other sources and abbreviated each to its salient point of view (removing all that irritating plot detail and spoilers) - so that visitors can see what the media are saying about each book at a quick glance. Again, back in the late 1990s, this was information that was not available elsewhere online.


"Offers lengthy excerpts and reviews from select popular and literary titles"
- San Francisco Chronicle Best of the Web



Browse the Best - Ignore the Rest!

Fast forward to the early 2000s. The internet was growing exponentially, as was the number of books published - far more than anyone could read, or even read about! So we became increasingly selective about the books we listed - only featuring books that we could wholeheartedly stand behind.

For a book to capture our interest, then and now, it has to do more than just tell a good story, it also needs to give us a window to explore the lives of others, or a mirror to reflect on our own experiences. In short, it needs to not just entertain and engage, but also inform, leaving us knowing something new. Such books aren't limited to any individual genre, so we feature books from a wide range of genres, both fiction and nonfiction.


"I joined BookBrowse because I wanted to carve out a literary lens
past my comfort zones, digging into stories that would challenge
my mind and endear my heart."
- Marjorie



In-Depth Reviews...

Initially, we did not review books ourselves, but before long we found ourselves frustrated with many of the reviews published elsewhere as oftentimes they were heavy on plot and light on opinion, or the reviewer seemed to be more interested in showing us how clever they were rather than helping us decide which books we wanted to read. So our reviews don't rehash the plot, instead we focus on the characters, themes, writing style and overall experience of reading the book - always with the aim of helping you decide which books are right for you.


and Beyond the Book Articles

Books are not an end destination in themselves but a jumping off point to explore new avenues of interest. So, every time we write a review, we include a "beyond the book" article that explores an historical, cultural or contextual aspect of the book. These are particularly appreciated by book club members and all who read to expand their horizons.


"Hot Website for Book Lovers!"
- Woman's World



An Independent Source of Information

BookBrowse has never sold books because we feel that to do so would skew the titles we choose to feature to those destined to sell the most copies which, to be frank, are often not the books that we think are the best. We have also never accepted payments for our editorial staff to review books as we never want to feel under pressure to write a more positive review than is warranted. To this day, we remain independent, without affiliation to any publisher or bookseller, and without any investors pushing us in directions we're not comfortable with. You will see links on BookBrowse to buy books at various booksellers. These are primarily for the convenience of our visitors, and most of the commission generated is donated to charity.


"BookBrowse gets an 'A' for easy-to-use info and smart advice,
the armchair version of browsing your favorite bookstore."
- Family Circle Magazine



Read-Alikes

BookBrowse is constantly evolving to meet the needs of you, our readers. As we grew, we were frequently asked by visitors to recommend books similar to ones they had already read and enjoyed. So, we provide an ever-increasing number of read-alike recommendations (at the time of writing, more than 4,000 books and 3,000 authors). The vast majority of read-alikes elsewhere are created by computer algorithms, which can sometimes come up with very obvious suggestions (such as other books by the same author) or, frankly, weird ones, such as an academic book recommended simply because it shares the same setting as a novel.

BookBrowse's read-alikes are different because our reviewers and editors work together to hand-pick recommendations based on the book's story, character, setting, and language, sometimes making intuitive leaps to books that may not, at first glance, seem to be comparable, but have something about them that we feel will appeal to the reader of the first book�and because we back almost every recommendation with an excerpt, and our own review and "beyond the book" article, you have all the information to decide which books are for you.


Browsing by Genre, Time Period, Setting and Theme

We were also frequently asked for reading recommmendations for specific interests, so we provide recommended reading lists by genre, time period, setting, and a wide range of themes. You can browse these as individual categories, or you can cross-reference to drill down to your specific interests.


"I have to tell you when I finally found BookBrowse,
after flimsy sites with little to no information,
I swear a light shone down on my monitor, and angels began to sing!"
- Angela



Notable Books Publishing Soon

Avid readers are insatiable, always wanting to know about books publishing soon - especially those who borrow books from the library and want to be at the top of the wait list. So we spend many hours each month searching through the publishers' catalogs and early reviews to shortlist the the new and notable books ahead of publication. We preview around 100 books a month (more or less, depending on the season). This is a fraction of those that publish, because we're not interested in telling you about every book, just the good ones! You'll find these on BookBrowse and in our free Publishing This Week newsletter.


"BookBrowse is the first website I've come across that's exactly what it should be -
it's just easy to find what I want, when I want it.
I think you've done a spectacular job. Keep up the good work!"
- Lin



Free Books to Read and Review, or Discuss

If there's one thing better than knowing what's publishing soon, it's getting to read the books ahead of the crowd - and not just any books but the books that are likely to be the talk of the town in the coming months. We work with publishers to bring our members free early copies of notable books publishing soon, so that they can read and review them for our First Impressions program; we also provide books for discussion in our Book Club. Most members who choose to participate receive a book about three to four times a year.


"I just want to thank everyone at BookBrowse for the absolute best
website for book information. You guys really rock!"
- Betsy



Extensive Resources for Book Clubs

Over half of BookBrowse's visitors are in a book club, and almost one in five of you are in more than one group! BookBrowse provides extensive resources for book clubs, including book club recommendations (all with discussion guides) categorized by genre and theme. We also host our own book club discussions that are open to all visitors, and offer advice on starting and running a book club based on our own research studies of more than 20,000 readers and book club members.


"Once I discovered BookBrowse, all of my 'picks' are from
your lists and recommendations. Thank you for making it so easy
for me, and others in our club, to make great choices easily."
- Kim



The BookBrowse Review Magazine

We gather together much of what's new on BookBrowse into our twice-monthly online magazine for members, The BookBrowse Review. Here members can find the latest reviews, previews, beyond the book articles, book news, recommendations for book clubs, author interviews and more. You can browse a free issue here.


"I really enjoy your magazine - it runs rings around the
ones from publishers and other sites."
- Barbara



Enjoy all the benefits of BookBrowse membership for one month - FREE!

Still not convinced? We are now offering one month of membership for free. Sample the beneits of becoming a full member of BookBrowse, and if you are not fully satisfied, simply cancel your subscription before the end of the trial period and you will not be charged.


"I am a book addict who loves BookBrowse.
I have canceled all my other book review subscriptions."
- Philip

"BookBrowse would be a bargain at twice the price."
- Karen

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.