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text 2014-11-20 13:14
Four Ways To Keep On Reading and Reviewing


What are two easy ways to keep on reading and reviewing? Keep a record of your reading progress and review after reading. These two solution will keep you in a bookish mood, motivate to finish up the book, think it over and express your opinion. Then you're ready for another literary round. The completion of these stages is easier with two new BookLikes' features. 



One: Update your reading progress


Firstly, we've updated the +Shelf Advanced window with a new option, now when you add a book to your Currently reading shelf, the total number of pages will be filled up according to the book edition. To keep record of your progress, just fill up the page you're on and keep updated when reading. When the edition is an ebook, the total number is changed into 100%. We're working on the solution for audiobooks. 



The total number of pages will be filled up when you use advanced +Shelf options and Update option on Dashboard. 




Two: Review after reading 


Secondly, when your click Finished! under your book in the Currently reading spot on your Dashboard, you'll see a new option Save and write a review which will save the rating and reading dates, and move you to a writing window. Plus, the finished reading date will be filled up. 






The Author Page

The author page on BookLikes has just received a new option: Add a new book. Now when you won't find a book in the book catalog, you can add it directly on the author's page. The author will be selected automatically in the add a new book form.




Three: Synchronize and stay active 


The BL->GR Sync 

The BL->GR synchronization received an update. To synchronize your accounts, go to Settings/Import and click Connect. Remember to be logged into GR in the second tab and to authorize the app (unless it's already been authorized).


The synchronization includes the following actions: adding books, adding/editing ratings, adding/editing shelves, adding/editing reviews. Once you do one of those things on BookLikes, they will be published on your BookLikes webpage and on your Goodreads profile.


Remember that the synchronization is possible due to the ISBN numbers and that some delays may occur. 


Four: Import and share


The GR Import

The import from Goodreads received an update - now the import process includes the private notes. To import your GR collection export your books on GR to a CSV file, go to your BookLikes Settings/Import, select the file and hit Import. We'll import your books, ratings, reviews, private notes, shelves and dates. The updated option works only for new imports. 

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text 2014-07-10 10:50
How to Write a Review With a Book From Your Bookshelf

A search from your bookshelf option is back. Now while writing a post you can easily find a book from your shelf and attach it to your review, and any other kind of a post. 


Choose a post template: text, photo, quote, link, url, and go to a writing box. Use a search box, and write a book title or author. If you want to check whether a given title is on your Shelf, press Search o my shelf on the right.


In the search on my shelf option, use a book title OR author's name to find a shelved book. 


If the title is on your shelf, you'll be given a book edition straight from your shelf as a search result. The green marker on the left indicates that this book edition is on your shelf. 



Click the book and start writing :) The book review will be attached to the edition on your shelf, and the link to your review will be added to your shelf table view. You can attach 10 books to a single post.




You can also write a post straight from your Shelf. Hover over the book cover, click +Post and choose a post type. 


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review 2014-07-09 18:25
A huge steamy pile of shit
A Shiver of Light - Laurell K. Hamilton

Review upcoming and it will not be pretty. I'm appalled at the publisher for allowing this author a no edit contract. This book should have had the shit edited out of it. It.Is.Horrible. I'm not talking about easy-to-fix shit like spelling, etc. I'm talking about all of the regurgitation. No more. I am done with this author. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-07-02 19:16
The Hero of Ages - Brandon Sanderson

To those of you who have been following my updates and can now see my rating, it should be obvious that I was disappointed.

No. Less disappointed, more ambivalent.

On one hand, Sanderson's reduction of his characters to virtually identical and unchanging archetypes as opposed to further developing them to distinguish them was unforgivable. Mistborn's characterization was slightly generic, but still quite varied and interesting, and so I'd anticipated that Sanderson would capitalize on the glimmers of potential he'd led me to expect would be fleshed out. The Well of Ascension suppressed those expectations somewhat, but I still trusted that Sanderson would at least manage to propel the characters' development along in some kind of direction, instead of halting it entirely and turning backwards into cliché.

What we have here in The Hero of Ages are people crumbling almost instantly under every imposition of duty and every obligation they feel to serve the people. Most of them seem to be losing whatever flimsy hold they already had on their identity. Despite Sanderson’s irritating wooden and expository way of articulating their internal struggles (honestly, even a practical exchange about freaking canal water could devolve into some angsty and solipsistic scene of characters mooning over their woes), this is altogether understandable. In the context of what Sanderson’s story symbolizes—a world driven to the edge of destruction in order to be reborn—it makes sense that the characters, too, would be pushed past their limits until they were nearly defeated.

What I don’t get is that those emotional conflicts are solved nearly as soon as they are introduced, then subsequently revived, then resolved again, and repeated over, until it feels like a soap opera manuscript copied and pasted multiple times. I kept flipping back and forth through the pages to make sure I wasn’t reading the same thing over and over again. Technically, I wasn’t. Given how redundantly written those conflicts were, however, I essentially was.

This problem is also notable in The Final Empire as well, but it’s a minor one. In the first book, internal conflicts were frequently isolated, moving forward in jerks and stops and resolved nearly as soon as they appeared. Sure, this was mildly irritating. But Sanderson always had a different replacement, and an equally interesting one--thus compensating for the fragmentation with variety (as opposed to meaningless repetition). And that variety produced a noticeable direction in which Sanderson's characters began to change.

In The Hero of Ages, it’s simply the same conflicts, repeatedly duplicated. Introduced, resolved, re-introduced, resolved, until those conflicts feel completely negated. It came to a point that I started skipping over pages of sheer angst, characters dismally moaning "why must fate do this to me???" only for them to harden their resolve and vow to overcome whatever obstacle stood their way a few paragraphs later. All of this, I suspect, was in an attempt to give some meaning to their struggles. But the only thing that resulted was a string of the same repeatedly negated conflicts. The repetitiveness of it all accomplished nothing but the removal of the very emotion Sanderson was trying to evoke.

On the other hand, the scope of the story and the plot’s conclusion was impressive. Or perhaps it was my absolute craving for the long-missing action that satisfied me more than it would have if the first 75% of the story had been written with as much flair and energy as the last quarter. I’d doubted Sanderson’s ability to write a conclusion that was not overly expository (like it was at the end of the first installment), partly because he hadn’t yet exhibited the skill, partly because he had so many subplots to wrap up. It was near the end when I finally saw all the questions raised from the prequels answered, the characters’ storylines coming to a close, the subplots satisfactorily integrated, and all so fluidly and effortlessly executed it very nearly changed my opinion of the book. 


In spite of my annoyance with Sanderson's prose in general--which I would mostly describe as wooden, contrived, and expository--I like the way he handles the switch between different character perspectives. It's not particularly jarring despite the multiple cliffhangers, and perpetuates a very even flow from each subplot to the next, facilitating their eventual integration near the very end.

(Inevitable spoilers past this point.)

Now I’m wondering, is it just me, or is this trilogy becoming more and more symbolic since The Final Empire? I couldn’t help but feel in this book that Sanderson was beginning to isolate his characters as representatives of some entity or idea (perhaps to help him invoke different themes).

As a living man, Kelsier embodied the path to the end of people’s problems. As a martyr, he is the solution, as well as a saint. The latter is especially obvious because Sanderson begins referring to him by his epithet (the “Survivor”) more frequently than his name (almost as though to put distance between the reader and the character) and because the supporting characters often use him as a justification for their actions. He is almost larger than life—a person whose accomplishments could never be truly replicated, only followed and finished.

Similarly, Spook—a seemingly unremarkable individual—gains the ability to burn pewter, the metal that enhances physical strength. This new ability is a metaphor to his journey from an insignificant helper in Kelsier’s crew to someone extraordinary. His supernatural accomplishments following this transformation—such as jumping off a burning building with a child in his arms and being revered as the “Survivor of the Flames”—begin to define who he is.

But, interestingly enough, it seems like Sanderson subverts this “symbolism” nearly as often as he invokes it. Kelsier is only extraordinary to the people because he was once ordinary. Sanderson doesn’t take any pains to hide that much of what Kelsier represents is extremely flawed, pointing out the horrible things that arose from his prejudice against nobles, and the crimes “perpetuated in his name” (e.g. the repeated execution of nobles while secretly reserving the Allomancers). Spook gains power, fame, and reverence during the short period he gains his new ability, but it turns out in the end that it was all a ruse orchestrated by Ruin to manipulate Spook.


If you haven’t yet read The Hero of Ages, I highly doubt you’ll be as ambivalent as I am. From the looks of all the reviews on the front page and high average ratings, Sanderson’s flaws are easy to gloss over for most. And I partly agree: while The Hero of Ages made me want to tear my hear out fistful by fistful, it’s still a worthy read--if only for the ending.

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photo 2014-02-22 14:00

The Write On review-a-thon is a 2-day review-a-thon that happens once a month. Join us 2/28 – 3/1 to catch up on those reviews that need to be written, whether you have one or 30+.


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