Facebook, Goodreads Best Books for Summer

Looking for the perfect book can be like trying to find the right dress for your high school reunion. You want something that fits your taste and mood–one that doesn’t poke or jam you up. You need a read that’s ravishing and deeply personal. A good book–like a fab frock–should make you say, “Gazonga. Me likey.”

The social networking site Goodreads can swoop in and become your own personal book shopper. You input your literary likes and dislikes, and it generates on-point recommendations for you based on real people’s ratings and opinions. It’s also an addictive way to share your picks and pans–especially with your friends on Facebook. In fact, Goodreads has teamed up with Facebook to create an app that’s much more exciting and way less stressful than clothes shopping.

To show their mutual love, Facebook is helping Goodreads promote up-to-the-minute book recommendations. Below is a list of reads that real people love (including me because I’m a long-time user). All of them were rated four stars (out of five) or above. Some–like Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened–I totally loved. This is a great summer reading list. But you’re on your own when it comes to that dress.

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
4.27 Average Rating
This psychological thriller is the highest rated adult novel getting shared on the Goodreads app right now. When Amy disappears on the morning of her anniversary, suspicion is cast on her elusive husband, Nick. Readers must choose sides as they read the couple’s conflicting accounts.

2. Bared to You (Crossfire #1) by Sylvia Day
4.23 Average Rating
This erotic (yes, yes, yes!) romance about a wealthy man and his young paramour is enjoying mainstream success, piggybacking on the50 Shades of Grey juggernaut.  Goodreads members are gushing about the book, calling it “addictive” and “intense.”

3. Home Front by Kristin Hannah
4.16 Average Rating
Many Goodreads reviewers mention how hard they cried while reading this book—in a good way! The novel tells the emotionally complex story of a Blackhawk helicopter pilot deployed to Iraq, far from her husband and daughter

4. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
4.13 Average Rating
Trigiani spent more than 25 years writing this romantic saga inspired by how her Italian grandparents met and almost lost each other. One Goodreads reviewer says she “loved every word and wanted more when it ended.”

5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
4.03 Average Rating
This historical novel about a married couple on an isolated homestead captures the tenacity of those who the settled Alaskan frontier in the early 20th century.  Goodreads members call it “a beautiful journey” with “magical prose.”

Nonfiction
1. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Taxidermy enthusiast, irreverent mommy blogger, candid poster child for mental illness—Lawson wears many hats with pride. This top-rated memoir chronicles childhood, marriage, and motherhood in what Goodreads members are calling hysterical and inspirational prose.

2. Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow
4.24 Average Rating
Goodreads members are recommending this work of nonfiction by MSNBC talk show host Maddow that delves into military spending and the history of war policy.  Reviews call the book “non-partisan” and sure to “fire up many discussions.”

3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
4.12 Average Rating
Now well known as the current Oprah’s Book Club pick, this cathartic memoir has earned raves from Goodreads members since its debut. Wrecked by a divorce and her mother’s death, novice backpacker Strayed impulsively hiked 1,100 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail.

4. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told Me About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
4.07 Average Rating
Not just for artists, this manifesto proclaims that creativity is for everyone. Kleon, an artist and poet, shares 10 straightforward principles he wishes he’d heard in his younger years. Goodreads reviewers are inspired, saying the book is “absolutely insightful” and “playfully engaging.”

5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
4.04 Average Rating
This debut work of narrative nonfiction by a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist profiles families living in the slums near the Mumbai airport. One Goodreads member lauds Boo “for her lively, un-maudlin, incisive writing.”

Young Adult Fiction
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
4.60 Average Rating
So far the most-read young adult book of 2012, Green’s tale of a teen girl with Stage IV thyroid cancer has a sky-high average rating and glowing reviews that emphasize both the “great humor” and “heart-wrenching” parts of the book . Chock-full of chemo, 16-year-old Hazel wonders if her remission will last and who the cute new guy is in her cancer support group.

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi
4.15 Average Rating
This adventure set on a future Earth ravaged by solar flares has risen to the top of the list formany fans of science fiction and dystopian novels for young adults. Goodreads members are praising the scope of the world-building and depth of the characters.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer (Goodreads Author)
4.08 Average Rating
The classic character of Cinderella is reimagined as a cyborg with a talent for mechanics in thisyoung adult steampunk romp.  Both a handsome prince and a wicked stepmother make appearances in the story that Goodreads reviewers love for its “breakneck pace” and “completely enchanting” premise.

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  1. [...] that Goodreads and Facebook paired up to select the “books that real people love” and mine was the number one pick for nonfiction.  Yeehaw, y’all. This week’s round up sponsored by the remarkably awesome people at [...]

  2. by Melody

    On July 8, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Congrats Kristen! Love any resource for books and reading. Ah summer, it’s all about my book list.

  3. [...] Parents [...]