I left Goodreads last November because I could not find a “suitable” book group. The discussion of Agnes Grey at a 19th-century lit group was just too lightweight.
I also left because of the lack of privacy. I was surprised to be notified of everything my “friends” did, from rating a book to signing up for a giveaway to voting for the Goodreads Best of the year.
Heavens, you can tell I’m not on Facebook.
But I joined up again in April. Why? Because Salman Rushdie was there.
Last April, Salman Rushdie caused a mini-outcry at Goodreads when he gave low ratings to various classics. He gave three stars To Kill a Mockingbird and one star to Lucky Jim.
According to the Huffington Post, he told astonished Goodreads users,
I thought these rankings were a private thing designed to tell the site what sort of book to recommend to me, or not recommend.
We never know what’s private and what’s not, do we? I give almost everything five stars, but that’s because I only finish books I like.
Anyway, I took another look at Goodreads. I still can’t find a “suitable” group, but many of the reviews are intelligent, well-written, and a lot of fun.
If fact, it would be a good place to blog, even though it is not called that.
I was very impressed with the Goodreads reviews of Shirley Ann Grau’s The House on Coliseum Street (which I wrote about here).
Here is an excerpt from Carolyn Stevens Shanks’ review:
Shirley Ann Grau was is an important voice in the 20th literature of the American South, and more specifically to the category known as “Southern Gothic”. “The House on Coliseum Street” is a somber psychological study about suppressed volition and identity
And I like Betsy’s short review:
Cringe-inducing characters, but so believable. The women of 1960s in New Orleans are right there in the living room with you, and they are bored, limited in their lives, and not very nice because of that.
My recent recommendations from Goodreads include Dennis Mackail’s Greenery Street, Robin Cadwallader’s The Anchoress, and Robert Darnton’s The Forbidden Best-sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France.
I will probably never get around to them, but it’s fun.