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7 tips how to write a book review

Book blogs are different but they do have one thing is common, they share book reviews. And this means you're letting us, the readers, enter into your heads. Which is great, we get to know your thoughts without the superpowers! Sometimes, though, some extra powers are needed to write a good book review.  We are curious what are your writing tips. Below we share several of ours plus several places on BookLikes to visit to add your reviews on BL.


The following tips may be useful for regular BookLikers and BL newbies - welcome welcome :).


Writing a book review tips:


1. Read the book. You need to be reliable, writing about the book without actually reading it, isn't a review.

2. Think. Digest. Mull over. Sure you can write a second after you've finished the book but that extra time will bring new thought and a new perspective.

3. Focus on things that made you happy/unhappy, really touched you, shocked, made you ponder. Don't post the book's synopsis, the review is about your subjective point of view, all the plot twists can be read.

4. Connect. Relate. Refer. If a book, an author or a writing style reminds you of a different piece of writing, brings up a metaphor or a past memory write about that. This will add an extra value to your review.

5. Trust yourself. Sometimes you're not sure how you feel about the book and it seems that all the people around don't follow your doubts? So what? Remember, it's all about You here, be honest, be bold. You are the reader, so the review is yours and doesn't have to follow the trend.

6. Write. Close the document. Leave it for a while. Go back and check if it's OK. Sometimes the perspective can change multiple times.

7. Share. Post on BookLikes and your other websites and profiles.


BookLikes tips:


If you had any doubts about writing a review on BookLikes, we do hope these tips will solve them all. Visit these places to add your texts. Can't wait to read them on!


1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window

Whenever you click on the book cover on BookLikes (like, anyplace), the pop up will appear. To add a review click +Post and Text.



This will move you to the editor window ready to be filled up with your words. To mark your text as a review, please remember to tick the review on the right side bar and select the star rating (you can also add half stars). Otherwise, the system won't recognize the text as a review and your article won't show up on the book page or a Dashboard review view.


The book cover visible on the upper wooden bar will be added to your review automatically on the left side of your text so you don't need to add the cover image. You can add any other images or gifs inside the text to complement your text and show your emotions towards the book.



2. Writing a book review from a Currently reading spot

All you currently reading books are visible on the right side of your Dashboard so it's a really easy access to publishing your next review. The moment you finish up your read, go to your Dash and click Finished!, add the reading details (dates, starts, shelves, emoji) and click Save and write a review .



You will be moved to the editor window where you can add the text. The stars and emoji will be transferred and the cover will be added automatically inside your review. If you're happy with the outcome, make it online.


3. Writing a book review from your Shelf

If the book is already marked as a Read one and waits to be reviewed, go to your Shelf and (now you have 2 options):

a) find the book on your Read shelf, click it and follow the procedure from point 1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window


b) with only one click switch to table view and press add a review. Then follow the procedure from point 1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window. The review box on the right will be ticked, remember to add the rating stars.



4. Writing a book review from a book page

So you've been searching the book catalog and you've came across the book you want to review? No problem. Just click +Post and Text and then follow the procedure from point 1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window



5. Writing a book review from a blog page

Did you know that you can add a review from the public blog pages? Yes, you can! Now whenever you end up on the blog's page hover over the book cover and click +Post and then follow the drill from point 4. Writing a book review from a book page.



6. Writing a book review from the reading lists

When you explore the reading lists (main menu -> Apps -> Reading lists) and you spot a book from your review to do list, click +Post and Text and follow the steps from point 1.



7. Writing a book review from the book club

Visiting the book club (main menu->Apps_>Book clubs) doesn't need leaving it to write a review. Hover the pointer over the book cover and you'll see the book pop up. Then press +Post and Text and follow the drill from point 1.


 Additional review attributes


Your book review on BookLikes may also receive some special features, like:

- review box and rating stars - tick and select your rating;

- spoiler - add a spoiler alert to warn your readers that some extra information may be revealed in your review; 

- post date -- you can schedule it ahead, use the post date spot to choose the date and time;

- source -- if you cross post from your other websites, add the source link, it will be added in the reviews' footnote;

- custom URL -- the address of your reviews have the same words as your post title but if you wish to change what's appearing in the link, go ahead;

- tags -- add those to categorize your texts and let other people find more of the reviews alike;

- cross post -- you can post to your social profiles and other blogs; before doing that, please check if you've connected the pages in your settings and click the icons to make them green=active when publishing online.


You can also save the text as Draft. It will be saved in your draft space (Blog-> Drafts) and won't be published until you edit the post and update the post date.



Writing a review can be tricky, it requires practice, practice, practice. So don't hold your horses - read& write! What is your book review writing drill? Share your writing tips in the comment section below.


Curious how others are doing? To view recently reviewed books on BookLikes, go to the book catalog page (menu->Book catalog) and click the book cover to be moved to the book page with the BookLikes community review list.


What are your reading habits? Join the reading habit tag survey

BookLikes blogger form Spooky's House Of Books asked 11 questions about the ways you read and we could not share. We'd love to know!


click the image to read the Q&A list


Here's a list of questions, please copy them and add a reading habit tag to the post so we could find and share it :-)


  1. Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?
  2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
  3. Can you  just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages?
  4. Do you eat or drink while read?
  5. Multitasking: music or TV while reading?
  6. One book at a time or several at once?
  7. Reading at home or everywhere?
  8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
  9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
  10. Barking the spine or keeping it like new?
  11. Do you write in your books?



BookLikes decided to take part too. Have a look at the reading habits of Kate, the community manager & support:


1. Do you have a certain place in your home for reading: Not really, I love to ready anyplace although recently it mostly happens in the bedroom.


2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? I love bookmarks and collect them, it's my a must have souvenir from my travels. But I love them so much that I'm afraid of using them so I use all kind of stuff as the replacements. Recently I've read that "keeping nice things, as opposed to using them, takes away some of the specialness of the object. By using something, you give it even more value than you do allowing it to collect dust on a shelf or in a basket". So I may consider changing this habit.


3. Can you  just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages? I usually stop when my eyes close.


4. Do you eat or drink while read? Yes, I do. A book and a cup of coffee is a perfect couple. Sometimes I read with a mug of green tea. With snacks rather than a full meal.


5. Multitasking: music or TV while reading? I used to read like that but now I appreciate the silence while reading.


6. One book at a time or several at once? One at a time. Whenever I start several books at once I rarely finish any.


7. Reading at home or everywhere? Definitely everywhere. I always carry a book or an e-reader in my bag.


8. Reading out loud or silently in your head? Silently unless I read to my baby boy.


9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages? It may sound weird but I even sneak peek at the end of the book. I cannot resits! Sometimes I just cannot wait to see what's gonna happen.


10. Barking the spine or keeping it like new? None of my books looks like new.


11. Do you write in your books? If it's a paper edition and I find a quote I love or I need to add a note, then yes. I have a liberal attitude to books, I love reading them but I don't consider them sacred. I also add a lot of highlights and notes to my e-reads. 


And what are your reading habits?


Communty support always at hand

We always knew that BookLikes community is special. It's not different now. BookLikes blogger Murder by Death has created a support group to help newbies and regular BookLikes bloggers take the best advantage of BookLikes. The group is called How to BookLikes and it's very open waiting to be explored. We would also like to draw your attention to several other discussion rooms which may come in handy when hanging on BookLikes.


To be part of the following groups click the button, join and say hello.


How to BookLikes Group by Murder by Death

Intro: This is a group created to help BookLikers get the most out of BookLikes. Tips on adding books and editing books, using your shelves efficiently and customising your blogs will be gathered here for easy reference. Threads will be available to ask questions and get answers from the wider community...


Several more groups to join:


Book club: Bookish Box Swaps by Jessica (HDB)

The home of the bookish box swap! Send a box filled with book related goodies, and receive one in return!


Find New Booklikes Blogs To Follow

Find new people to follow, let new people to find you. This group is dedicated to finding new people to interact on Booklikes. Let's keep the discussion sections in minim, clean and readable. Ideas, suggestions should be directed to Think Thank- discussion. This is a group for everyone and anyone. This is a result of good community and great teamwork. Let's connect.

Booklikes Bookish Bingo Club by Moonlight Blizzard

A place for Booklikes Bingo updates and other outreach to the wider booklikes community!


BookLikes Librarians Official Group

A place where BookLikes Librarians can work together, talk, discuss, share ideas how to improve BookLikes and the BookLikes book catalog. Welcome BookLikes Librarians! :-)

If you wish join BookLikes Librarians team, request a membership.


This group is created to gather BookLikes community together and provide its members with the support. If you wish to let the BL team know that something is not working right, please use the Bug reports thread.
Recently we've also added a directory with all BookLikes blog posts which present the insights into BookLikes features and some tutorials.
BookLikes tips


  • To grab more BL tips & trick, please visit BookLikes FAQ webpage.
  • To look through community tips and previous BookLikes posts, search tutorials in the search box and click tags, or simply click here and here
  • If the following posts and groups won't answer all your questions, feel free to drop us a line. Please use the Need help tab or mail us directly (send your Qs to Kate at As always, we'll be happy to help and support.

How to read more books in 2017? It's time for a reading challenge!

It’s time to get serious in 2017! Forget about I’ll-finish-later books on your nightstands and TBR shelf with untouched classics. Forget about the excuses, the dog can take itself for a walk, delegate the house works to other family members. This year it’s all about You! Give yourself a me time with a new year reading resolution.


Don’t know where to start? Well, here comes BookLikes with a 2017 reading challenge which will help you keep the reading going.


Take the challenge and set your own reading goal here:


(click the image to fill up and start the challenge)


You can find the reading challenge in the upper menu, click Goodies or Apps -> Reading Challenges.

 Tips to keep your reading going:


  • Let's read for pleasure and knowledge, not to break the records. Be gentle to yourself. Choose a reasonable number of books that won’t haunt you in your dreams.
  • Stay open minded to new genres and new authors but don’t leave your comfort zone if you don’t feel you really want to. Read what you want, not what you’re expected to.
  • If you have a competitive personality make sure to add the reading challenge widget to your other webpages. Everybody knows that it is the internal motivation that’s the most effective but a little reading competition won’t harm anybody, right?
  • Let everybody know. Share your reading challenge page on your social channels. Question So how is your challenge going? will keep your reading going.
  • Add reading dates and reviews to your reading challenge books. This will change your blog guests into the regular readers of your reviews.
  • Read, read, read. Anytime, anywhere. A cozy nook, a soft blanket and a hot drink are optional but are known as great reading enhancements.


BookLikes tips:

  • Once you start your reading challenge on BookLikes the link to your reading challenge page will be added to your BookLikes blog's menu. Thanks to the new page your blog guest will find and look through your books read in 2017 (and previous years if you took part), view your rating and reviews.


  • Your reading challenge page presents your reading history for a given year with a full book list with links to your reviews on your blog. Links to the past year challenges are also available.



  • You can personalize the title for your Reading Challenge link in Settings/Pages.




You can find more BL tips in our previous posts:


If you need book inspirations, read BookLikes bloggers goals:



We want to know what are your 2017 reading plans! Please add your reading challenge posts in the comment sections below. Any reading tips are also welcomed :)


Update: ongoing works

Hi all BookLikes bloggers, we wanted to let you know that the site performance is still under review and more server works are planned. We sincerely apologize for the temporary inconvenience.


We're terribly sorry for the ongoing situation and the site interruptions, updates regarding the issues will be posted in the comment section below.


If you have any questions or concerns, please mail Kate ( and we'll do all to help and support.

We wish you all the best & all bookish in 2017!

Let's wave good bye to the old 2016 and look forward to the fresh and new 2017.


Let's start this New Year with the promises and acts of the awaited improvements, new plans, positive outcomes and good solutions. And more books books books for all, of course.


All the best, BookLikers! <3

Book Bloggers Pick Best Books of 2016

It's hight time to sum up the passing year with some bookish thoughts. Let's have a look at some of the reading overviews prepared by BookLikes bloggers.



This year, I participated in fewer Reading Challenges than in the past, but I managed to do quite well in completing them.  Then there was a general effort to try to finish series I've already started, as well as the starting of new series that I totally intend to finish reading in 2017.

I've picked up over 50 new-to-me authors, participated in a few read-a-thons, and then there were the bookish activities taking place on Booklikes, such as Halloween Bingo, which brought me out of my usual reading comfort zone.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

This was a given.  I loved this series, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue was my favorite book of 2014.  If The Raven King had been written in 2015, then it would have been my favorite book of 2015.  But the publication date got pushed back a year, so it became my favorite book of 2016... continue reading and see all top books



angelsgpAngel's Guilty Pleasures

We’re kicking off the week with the best books we’ve read in 2016. These are books that don’t have to have been released in 2016, only read in 2016... continue reading and see all top books



I may have rated a few other books just as highly as these, but when I look through the 100 books that I read this year these are the ones that give me pause. Each of these books surprised me, challenged my way of thinking, uplifted me, or were extraordinarily memorable in their own way... continue reading and see all top books

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Eric MetaxasRavenspur: Rise of the Tudors - Conn IgguldenThe Heretic - Henry Vyner-BrooksHow To Be A Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life - Ruth Goodman


I had these books sitting on my TBR list for like FOREVER. So one day, I decided to finally read it, get it over with and cross it off my list. But boy, what an unexpected surprise this series turned out to be... continue reading and see all top books



Grac's Never-ending TBR Pile of Doom:

Yep, it's that time of year again and I'm looking back at the best things I've read this year - let's try and do this in categories, shall we?

Science fiction: We started the year off with Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor, a first contact novel set in Nigeria, before what might be a real contender for next year's Best Novel Hugo, the wonderful Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. The other book which is a contender, though I know it's unlikely a middle book in a trilogy will pick up that prize, was the awesome The Obelisk Gate ... continue reading and see all top books



Here are my top 5 novellas of the year. This was the toughest category for me this year. I read a ton of excellent novellas, so it was difficult to whittle this list down to the top 5, but I finally did it... continue reading and see all top books

Detritus in Love - Mercedes M. Yardley, John Boden The Sadist's Bible - Nicole Cushing The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle Last Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon


Read also:

BOOM! goes the 2016 Reading Challenge!

2016: My Reading Year in Review

Top 10 of 2016: Best Book Covers 2016

Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Short Story Collections/Anthologies Read in 2016!

My year in books

December 2016 Wrap Up

Biggest Disappointments of 2016


And how did you do in 2016?

Feel free to add links to your 2016 in Books posts in the comment section below.


Be happy and merry!

— feeling love

We wish you happy holidays and all the best in the upcoming 2017 :-)

Update: features under review

Hi all BookLikes bloggers, we wanted to let you know that our team is still working on the site issues, some features are under review and for this reason you may experience some inconvenience and hiccups while using them.


Features under review include: reading status update, comment box on your Dashboard (the comment sections works fine from the blog post pages - click the blog title and add a note under the post/review), reblogging from your Dash (you can still do it from the blog post pages), and Dashboard re-loading.


We're terribly sorry for this interruption, updates regarding the issues will be posted in the comment section below.


Christmas reading list by book bloggers


If you're not in the holiday spirit yet this reading list will do the trick. Have a look at books with a Christmas touch picked by BookLikes book bloggers.


A Copper Ridge Christmas - Maisey YatesFic Central gives 4 stars to A Copper Ridge Christmas 

As much as I try to avoid novellas, I couldn’t pass up a book from the Copper Ridge series, and while it was just under a hundred pages in length, it almost felt like a full story.

Holly’s rather attached to holidays, and since her former foster parents will be away until Christmas, she wants to be sure they come home to all the decorations, snacks, and guests they’d usually have planned.  But she can’t do it on her own. Read more


WARM WINTER KISSES a feel good Christmas romance novel - JILL STEEPLES gives 4 stars to Warm winter kisses


This was an enjoyable story as well as well written. It was predictable but still a good read. I enjoyed the back and forth between Rocco and Sarah. I also laughed while reading this. This was one of those stories that just makes you feel good although not really very realistic. Read more



The Angel of Forest Hill: An Amish Christmas Romance - Cindy Woodsmall gives 5 stars to The Angel of Forest Hill


Fabulously done! Ms. Woodsmall is a wonderful Amish author and I always look forward to her works. When I saw that this was not only an Amish novella but a Christmas Amish novella, I was ecstatic. Two of my favorite things wrapped up in one beautifully written package. Read more


A Winter Dream - Richard Paul Evans gives 3.5 stars to A Winter Dream

Family fate and forgiveness. The thirteen children all work for the family business but joseph, the 12th. It comes to a head one day when his parents are traveling and the others have found one brother has stolen money from the company.
The others want to prosecute the brother. One brother has a solution. He has to start a new life in another city. Read more


Kiss Me For Christmas - Christine Bell, Serenity Woods, Riley Murphy, Ros Clarke gives 4 stars to Kiss Me For Christmas


Kiss Me For Christmas is the perfect present to ward off the winter chill. Dynamite in a tiny bundle, these authors are on fire with their sweet stories of holiday second chances at romance. Read more




A Kiss for Midwinter - Courtney Milan give 5 stars to A Kiss for Midwinter


On Thursdays, I pick a book beloved to me to share. This week's Christmas choice is A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister, #1.5)  by Courtney Milan. 


Oh this book! It such a smart Historical Romance. Sweet and Sour in just the right ways. The writing lovely, The characters perfectly drawn with a romance you will always remember. Read more


A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings - Charles Dickens,Michael Slater "I cannot live without books" gives 5 stars to A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings


Charles Dickens may have possessed all the wordiness, sentimentality and tendency to “purple prose” that come with being Victorian (and getting paid by the installment), but that man could write compelling characters…and this is some of his best! Read more


The Christmas Grandma Ran Away from Home - Nancy Warren gives 4 stars to The Christmas Grandma Ran Away from Home


An unexpectedly sweet short novella about an old woman who rebels against her family’s Christmas tradition. This year, for the first time in half a century, she doesn’t want to host a Christmas gathering of her children and grandchildren, doesn’t want to cook her 55th Christmas turkey. She wants someone else to pick up the responsibility. Read more


Have and Hold Me: The Magister Series, Book 4 - July Hall gives 4 stars to Have and Hold Me


This is book #4 in The Magister series.  This book is not intended to be a standalone novel.  This is the conclusion for this amazing series, which I recommend you read in order.

Sandra & Charles are separated as we get back into their saga in the latest book.  There has been a lot of loss and anger on both sides.  Will they fight for what they care most for? Read more


All He Wants For Christmas Eve: An Erotic Holiday Story - Ruby Carew,Opal Carew gives 3 stars to All He Wants For Christmas Eve


All He Wants For Christmas Eve by Ruby Carew is a short and sizzling tale, a perfect choice for those with limited time for reading.  Ms Carew has delivered a well written book.  Brad and Juliette's story is a fast paced romp.  The characters are lovable.  I enjoyed All He Wants For Christmas Eve and would happily read more from Ruby Carew in the future. Read more


Jingle Bells - Kathleen O'Malley gives 3 stars to Jingle Bells


This is a little holiday book, designed & manufactured with the idea of gifting I imagine, that I came across just recently.


Inspired by the classic Christmas song, this book features a quick little story for young readers that tells of a brother and sister who plan a holiday surprise for their family. Read more


The Mistletoe Effect - Cate Ashwood gives 3.5 stars to The Mistletoe Effect

Such a cute Christmas story with no angst whatsoever.

Danny is driving to Las Vegas to get a job, when his car breaks down. He hasn’t slept or eaten in days, so when he accidentally finds out the door to the little town’s bakery is open, he sneaks in. After he eats some cookies he falls asleep on the couch. Read more


A Family for Christmas - Jay Northcote gives 5 stars to A Family for Christmas

A Family for Christmas has got to be THE most feel-good book I've read this Christmas season! Zac had a rough upbringing, was in the system, and now he refuses to let anyone get close in an attempt to keep from being hurt. Rudy has everything that Zac could ever want, but Zac doesn't want anything to do with him. Until, that is, they go out with the office for Christmas drinks and tequila is involved! Read more
A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights - Peggy Jaeger

gives 4 stars to A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights


A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights is a delightful holiday novella centered on a large Italian family and its traditions. I thoroughly enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Gia's life. The author invests time developing the San Valentino family, bringing heart to the story, and Gia's loving, meddling family provides tender moments with a healthy side of humorous embarrassment. Read more


Christmas Joy: A Novel - Nancy Naigle gives 4 stars to Christmas Joy


Christmas Joy was a heartening small town holiday romance that truly expressed the ‘reason for the Season’. Author Nancy Naigle created a group of characters who were charming, down-to-earth, and just quirky enough to lend a bit of fun to an already solid story. Read more


Have more on your shelves and blogs? Share them in comments :) Enjoy!


Update: step by step

Hey guys, in case some of you missed our last post and the comment section there, here's a little update.


Click here to read the post:

Letter to BookLikers - we're running & broadcasting again!


We've also seen some heated discussions and rumors going on there, so here's information about our status.


BookLikes is back online and it's not going offline apart from scheduled maintenance now.


But first things first.


Now it's time to fix, repair & make all stable, we're examining all the remarks sent by you and double check the site, all its features and functions to make sure those nasty bugs that have interfered with the site lately will not happen again. Nothing happens overnight, though. A lot of work awaits but it's all in progress.



You can also count on our help and support, so if you notice that some features still experience hiccups and require technical support, do let us know and send us a message.


We also plan on publishing regular posts about You. In the near future we'll get back to Book Blog Talks and Author Talks but also to BookLikes feature posts. For now, we'll publish more descriptive posts about BookLikes features as a reminder for regular BookLikers and hints for the newbies here.


If you have some ideas which topics should be covered first or you'd like to share some ideas of yours, please let us know. Send a message to Kate titled "BL blog post ideas".

And to make things clear, we're here and we're not going anywhere. Step by step, BookLikes is back on track.


And again, thank you for your support, great to see you all in here :)

Letter to BookLikers - we're running & broadcasting again!


Hello BookLikers.


BookLikes have encountered some temporary issues recently but we're on air again!


BookLikes is live & running and broadcasting here and on social channels again. We have experienced some technical problems recently but we'd like to assure you that we're doing all to sort them out to make BookLikes stable and fast again.


We know you've been struggling some hard times with BL recently. We owe you a big thank you for staying with us and supporting the site. BookLikes Bloggers are an amazing community and we hope to requite with our full engagement in making BookLikes better and better.


One more time sorry for this uncomfortable situation and for any inconvenience that you've experienced.


As always, we appreciate all the feedback. Please leave us a comment below or mail to Kate at We'll do all to help and support.


All the best.

The BookLikes Team


Happy New Year!

— feeling happy

The best greetings for our dear Authors, Publishers and book lovers! Booklikes wish you  new achievements, harmony, and satisfaction in New 2016 Year! 

All the best, for everybody!

Top Christmas books for all ages

— feeling amazing


#1. Clive Staples Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

In the never-ending war between good and evil, The Chronicles of Narnia set the stage for battles of epic proportions. Some take place in vast fields, where the forces of light and darkness clash. But other battles occur within the small chambers of the heart and are equally decisive.

Review on Booklikes:

I cannot explain my reading preferences or my childhood as a whole without including this book. I can't tell you when my first reading of this book took place, as I cannot remember a time when I didn't know the four Pevensies, that 'once a king or queen in Narnia...always a king or queen of Narnia', and the 'not safe, but good' Aslan. I must have read this book at least three dozen times, listened to the radio drama multiple times, and watched BBC's mini-series of this so much I can hear the actors' voice and diction of nearly every line of the book. This book is woven intricately into my life.

#2. Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol

It is the twenty-fourth of December. Mean old Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his freezing cold office shouting 'Bah! Humbug!' at anyone who dares wish him a Merry Christmas. But that night the miser has a terrifying visitor. Marley, his dead business partner who must wander the earth for ever to pay for his sins, comes with a warning. Scrooge will be haunted by three more spirits. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future arrive to show Scrooge the hardship he has caused...

Review on Booklikes:

My first experience with Dickens and it was very pleasurable. A Christmas Carol is very short, but how much it packs in! I think this is a story that we all think we know, having seen TV versions, theatrical productions and even advertising based on it [very ironic, yes?]. Scrooge has become synonymous with grasping selfishness and we forget that he undergoes a significant transformation during the course of the story.

#3. O. Henry

The Gift of the Magi

In a shabby New York flat, Della sobs as she counts the few coins she has saved to buy a Christmas present for her husband, Jim. A gift worthy of her devotion will require a great sacrifice: selling her long, beautiful hair. Jim, meanwhile, has made a sacrifice for Della that is no less difficult. As they exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, the discovery of what each has done fills them with despair, until they realize that the true gifts of Christmas can be found more readily in their humble apartment than in any fine store. O. Henry paints a masterly portrait of unfaltering love, a haven from the harsh world outside. The poignancy of his story is captured in P.J. Lynch's eloquent art, wherein every glance, every gesture, tells a subtle truth.

Review on Booklikes:

A really inspirational Christmas story with a moral to keep in your heart all year through.

#4. Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

The Nutcracker is a Christmas story about a little girl named Maria and her wooden doll, the Nutcracker, who became alive to fight the evil seven-headed Mouse King. This edition includes 20 illustrations by Artus Scheiner and Ludwig Willem Reymert Wenckebach.

Review on Booklikes:

It's always fascinating to find the true story behind a tradition. I've always wondered where the nutcrackers story came from and why the ballet was always so popular. I never in my mind thought that it originated from a fairy tale, nor that one of my favorite authors, Dumas, had written his own take on it not too many years later after. E.T.A. Hoffman wrote the original and overall I thought it was not too hard to follow, but in the end I was happy to know the story but wasn't overly impressed to see how this had inspired a tradition.

#5 Hans Christian Andersen

The Snow Queen

Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, the classic tale of friendship, love, and bravery, is beautifully retold with lavish illustrations by master artist Bagram Ibatoulline.

Best friends Kai and Gerda would do anything for each other. When Kai starts to behave cruelly and disappears, Gerda sets out on an epic quest to save Kai from the evil Snow Queen. But can Gerda break the Snow Queen's enchantment and complete the final task?

Review on Booklikes:

Kay and Gerda's stories start quite similarly. Both are carried off, partly as a result of their own actions, though they are taken far further than they thought. Both are trapped by magical beings who cause them to lose their memory and give them impossible or meaningless occupations. The difference is, Gerda escapes...The story is really about her journey, as for what it all means, I'm still trying to figure that out.

#6 Tove Jansson

Moominland Midwinter

Everyone knows the Moomins sleep through the winter. But this year, Moomintroll has woken up early. So while the rest of the family slumber, he decides to visit his favorite summer haunts. But all he finds is this strange white stuff. Even the sun is gone! Moomintroll is angry: whoever Winter is, she has some nerve. Determined to discover the truth about this most mysterious of all seasons, Moomintroll goes where no Moomin has gone before.

Review on Booklikes:

I ran across this book and I supposed that the Gods were telling me to read it again.  It is generally considered one of the best Moomin books, although I would only rank it myself somewhere in the middle.  However, as I think Tove Jansson is a genius that means that the book is still an excellent book. This time around the beauty of the writing struck me in a way that it had not before.

#7 Nikolai Gogol

The Night Before Christmas

It is the night before Christmas and devilry is afoot. The devil steals the moon and hides it in his pocket. He is thus free to run amok and inflicts all sorts of wicked mischief upon the village of Dikanka by unleashing a snowstorm. But the one he’d really like to torment is the town blacksmith, Vakula, who creates paintings of the devil being vanquished. Vakula is in love with Oksana, but she will have nothing to do with him. Vakula, however, is determined to win her over, even if it means battling the devil.

Review on Booklikes:

This is a very early work by Gogol'.
He was just 22 and already very brilliant when wrote these two books of Ukrainian tales now recollected in a single edition. Apparently these "Village Evenings Near Dikanka and Mirgorod" don't have that much to share with most of the following production by this author, but still they show several characteristics of his talent and genius. Gogol' sense of humour here was more direct and popularesque, tied to the tradition of oral tales while later became bitter and melancholic with the combination of daily life and sophisticated influences. The sense of fantastic, supernatural, the counterposition (and the intersections) between evil and faith make these tales extremely enjoyable and worth of being re-read many times.





Be careful! These 10 books causing #bookhangover!

— feeling happy
Sometimes, the world seems imperfect due to the fact that you just finished reading a book that was completely submerged. In this list we collected books that particularly cause a hangover.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion - his sense of smell - leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume" - the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
With one of the most controversial novels of the twentieth century, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is a strange, troubling love story told by the one of the most unreliable narrators in literature. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an afterword by Craig Raine. Poet and pervert, Humbert Humbert becomes obsessed by twelve-year-old Lolita and seeks to possess her, first carnally and then artistically, out of love, 'to fix once for all the perilous magic of nymphets'. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these? Humbert Humbert's seduction is one of many dimensions in Nabokov's dizzying masterpiece, which is suffused with a savage humour and rich, elaborate verbal textures. Filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1962 starring James Mason and Peter Sellers, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne starring Jeremy Irons and Melanie Griffith, Lolita has lost none of its power to shock and awe. "Lolita is comedy, subversive yet divine...You read Lolita sprawling limply in your chair, ravished, overcome, nodding scandalized assent."
The Book Thief
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov's devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin's regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts—one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow—the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters, Woland (Satan) and his retinue—including the vodka-drinking black cat, Behemoth; the poet, Ivan Homeless; Pontius Pilate; and a writer known only as The Master, and his passionate companion, Margarita—exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grotesqueries, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions.
Flowers for Algernon
With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.
The Green Mile
Stephen King's international bestselling - and highly acclaimed - novel, also a hugely successful film starring Tom Hanks The Green Mile: those who walk it do not return, because at the end of that walk is the room in which sits Cold Mountain penitentiary's electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of the brutal murder of two little girls. But nothing is as it seems with John Coffey, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story. Evil murderer or holy innocent - whichever he is - Coffey has strange powers which may yet offer salvation to others, even if they can do nothing to save him.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning career.The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility -- the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth -- these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel García Márquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master.Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitude weaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an accounting of the history of the human race.
The Hunger Games
The book no one can stop talking about...
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
Norwegian Wood
First American Publication. This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time.  It is sure to be a literary event.Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before.  Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.  As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.
The Count of Monte Cristo

This beloved novel tells the story of Edmond Dantès, wrongfully imprisoned for life in the supposedly impregnable sea fortress, the Château d’If. After a daring escape, and after unearthing a hidden treasure revealed to him by a fellow prisoner, he devotes the rest of his life to tracking down and punishing the enemies who wronged him.
Though a brilliant storyteller, Dumas was given to repetitions and redundancies; this slightly streamlined version of the original 1846 English translation speeds the narrative flow while retaining most of the rich pictorial descriptions and all the essential details of Dumas’s intricately plotted and thrilling masterpiece.
Alexandre Dumas’s epic novel of justice, retribution, and self-discovery - one of the most enduringly popular adventure tales ever written - in a newly revised translation.



Did your favorite title make to the list? Share your favorite books caused hangover in the comments below :)





BookLikes bloggers recommend for Halloween

— feeling vampire

Already the middle of October and we gathered what you're dared to read before the Halloween.


The Haunting of Hill House

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers-and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.


The Dead House

The Dead House, which is set for fall 2015, is about the discovery of a diary in the ruins of a high school that burned down a quarter-century earlier. The diary was written by a girl whom no-one is sure ever existed.


 The story mostly revolves around Carly and Kaitlyn, twin sisters of sorts, or perhaps not? They're two minds in one body, and who can tell whether one is crazy and the other just a mere symptom, or whether they're actually two souls who just happen to coexist in an unusual way—Carly during the day, and Kaitlyn at night? After their parents' death, the "sisters" are sent to Elmbridge, a boarding school in Somerset, but their stay there is chaotic, as they're regularly sent back to Claydon, a psychiatric facility for teens. Under the guidance of Dr. Lansing, Carly has to accept that Kaitlyn is only an alter, meant to hold the painful memory of the night when her family was torn asunder. And yet... Doesn't Kaitlyn exist in her own way, too? Is she a construct, or a real person? Doesn't her diary reflect how real she is, just as real as Carly?


Pigeons from Hell

“Pigeons From Hell” is the spellbinding short novel of two stranded motorists and a local sheriff who battle strange and malevolent forces that inhabit a run-down, abandoned mansion in the middle of a swamp in the middle of nowhere. "Pigeons from Hell," remains one of Robert E. Howard's most celebrated horror stories and has seen several reprints including the Pyramid Weird Tales anthology published in 1964. Although Howard is best remembered as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, he was equally recognized in the 1930s pulps for his incredible horror stories.

This short story was a blast! It's been recommended to me many times and I've always been too busy to work it in. Being on the front edge of a reading slump, and usually having good luck with short stories to get me out of it, I decided to finally read this classic.  It's short, sweet and scary. What more could you want?


The Venus Complex

A man rises out of an abyss of frustration and rage and creates works of art out of destruction, goddesses out of mere dental hygienists and beauty out of death. It's also about the sickness and obsession that is LOVE.Enter into Michael's world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexually explicit murder highlights his journey from zero to psycho.

The Venus Complex is a provocative journey into a psychopathic consciousness that is one of the most gripping and disturbing mind trips I've read. Told in a journal entry style first person narration, the first time we meet Michael Friday is the recounting of his wife's death in a car accident. His wife was cheating on him, his accusation and her reaction bring about a clean definitive snap of his mind, from normal to implacable killer and here lies the beginning of a jaunt that nibbles the edges of sanity until there's only one possible outcome.



A page-turning adventure of a boy's journey to the land of ghosts and back.Imagine Garth Hale's surprise when he's accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don't have, and he's stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth's newfound abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather's ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.

Great graphic novel! It's touching and a bit creepy. I would definitely reccomend! It held my attention and I couldn't wait to see how it ended.


In a Dark, Dark Wood

When Nora Shaw is invited to the hen do of an old school friend she hasn't seen in years, she's delighted to have a chance to reconnect with her old friend. Little does she know something is about to go horribly wrong... In A Dark, Dark Wood marks the launch of a major new star in psychological fiction.
Leonara Shaw, a writer in her mid-twenties, has been invited to the hen do of an old school friend. Nora hasn't seen Clare in years but she's looking forward to a chance to reconnect with her friend, even if she's surprised not to be invited to the wedding itself. But something goes wrong. Nora wakes up in a hospital room with her head bandaged and a police guard outside her door. Are they there to protect her or arrest her? Nora is worried. Worried because her first thought is not "what's happened to me?" but "what have I done?"

The author knows how to keep the reader on the edge of the seat waiting for the next exciting scene! When the story began, Leonora Shaw, an author who writes crime novels for a living, has received an unusual and unexpected invitation to a hen night for a friend she had not seen in a decade. The email was addressed to the name she used to call herself, Lee, but now she was known as Nora. She couldn’t figure out why her old friend Claire Cavendish would even want her at her hen party. For old time’s sake, though, when Claire’s friend Flo kept calling and pleading with her to come because Claire would be so pleased, she filled with guilt and decided to go.


Books of Blood

With the 1984 publication of Books of Blood, Clive Barker became an overnight literary sensation. He was hailed by Stephen King as "the future of horror," and won both the British and World Fantasy Awards. Now, with his numerous bestsellers, graphic novels, and hit movies like the Hellraiser films, Clive Barker has become an industry unto himself. But it all started here, with this tour de force collection that rivals the dark masterpieces of Edgar Allan Poe. Read him. And rediscover the true meaning of fear.

Fans of Clive Barker's earliest fiction may talk of how he lost his step, by turning away from the more visceral aspects of dark fiction towards the more fantastical. For them, at least they can look back upon these volumes of short stories and revel in what may be the finest collection of horror literature of the 80s, or any other decade. I'm a fan of Barker's fantasy stories, as much as his horror stories, but I must admit there is something unique and indelible about the tales Barker has weaved in these early collections. If you're new to his work and are not averse to being disturbed, you should make it a point to read these stories.