Hello BookLikes! So Long GoodReads!

After reading about Amazon’s purchase of GoodReads I decided I needed to move my books out of GoodReads and close down my account there.  I just don’t want Amazon.com to have such easy access to my reading preferences.

I looked around the internet for alternative websites, tried out a few of them, and then I landed on BookLikes.com. BookLikes is a fairly new website and it does not provide the same type of and level of functionality as GoodReads, but BookLikes is a refreshing change from GoodReads! My first impression of BookLikes was that it was a very beautiful and welcoming place to be. So far I have found the BookLikes staff to be very tuned into and responsive to their users’ needs and requests. BookLikes appears to be committed to keeping the site an independent oasis for book lovers and readers. I’m planning to settle in and see how things continue to evolve.

I’ve moved my books and reviews over to BookLikes and you can find me there at jujubean.booklikes.com. I’m still poking around, finding my way around the site, but now I’d like to invite my GoodReads friends and any of my other friends who love to read to join me over at BookLikes.com

If you are already a GoodReads member, it’s pretty easy to migrate your books and any reviews you’ve created over on GoodReads to BookLikes. To easily migrate your  GoodReads data, just follow the steps I’ve documented below.

1. Export your GoodReads books and reviews to a csv file

Log into your GoodReads account, select “My Books”

Scroll down to the bottom of the bookshelves panel (on the left side of the screen) and select the “import/export” option (see red arrow in the screenshot below).

GoodReads Books Export

Select the “export to a csv file” option found in the right hand panel of the screen (see the red box in the screenshot below) and select the “save to file” option in the ensuing popup.

GoodReads Export

Now you are ready to move your data to BookLikes!

2. Sign up for your new BookLikes Account

If you haven’t already done so, go to the BookLikes.com website and click on the green “Request an invite” button.  You’ll be prompted to enter your email address into a dialogue box and send a request to BookLikes.  After a few minutes go check your email for the invitation link.

BookLikes Invite

Now you can import the GoodReads csv file you just created into your new BookLikes account

3. Import your GoodReads books & reviews into your BookLikes Account

Log into your BookLikes account (if you aren’t already logged into it)

Click on the gears icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen to access your user settings (see red arrow in the screenshot below)

BookLikes Settings

Click the Shelf Tab and then select the “Browse” button under the “Import books from GoodReads” heading. A file explorer box will open up to let you navigate to the place on your computer where the GoodReads.csv file is stored.  After you select that file, select the green “Import” button.

BookLikes Shelf

BookLikes will add your request into their import queue, so you may have to wait several hours before your books show up on your BookLikes shelves.  When I imported my GoodReads data into my BookLikes account, it took about 24 hours before I saw any books on my shelves.

A trip to Seattle’s Market to buy Market Spice Tea

It was cold and gray and snowing lightly.

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A trip to the Market would not be complete without seeing the fish display (and show).  The guys behind the calendar throw fish around to one another and a crowd gathers.

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Outside the Market you can see the harbor.

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…and across the street from the Market is the original home of the first Starbucks.

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

OscarWaoThe Epilogue Book Club had a great meeting yesterday to discuss “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz.

Most members agreed that the numerous footnotes and the prolific use of Spanish words and terms throughout the book made reading the book very challenging. Most agreed that having a glossary of Spanish words and terms used in the book would have helped. All-in-all, the book club thought the book was worthwhile reading.

I, personally, found the book to be quite thought provoking. I finished the book with tears in my eyes and the characters in the book stayed with me for several days afterwards.

We meet again at 2:00 pm on Sunday, May 31 to discuss “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson.  The location for the next meeting is still to be determined.

If you’d like to learn more about the Epilogue Book Club or join us to discuss the next book, please call me at 678.321.6526 or send me an email.

The Epilogue Book Club is reading Pulitzer Prize winning novels.  To view our current reading list, see Epilogue Book Club: Current Reading List.

Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon

image I had not heard of this book until I listened to a podcast (OnPoint with Tom Ashbrook) interview between Tom Ashbrook and the author, Douglas Blackmon. This book just won the Pulitzer Prize in non fiction (2009).

The interview was fascinating and I find the subject matter very interesting. This is an important book that I will make a point to read.

See Slavery by Another Name for more information.

The Golden Compass

Golden CompassI decided to read The Golden Compass after seeing a sign at a local car repair shop that warned parents about letting their kids read this book….How ridiculous!

The Golden Compass is a great read, full of imagination, interesting characters and with a compelling plot. I especially appreciate that the heroine of the story is a little girl (versus a little boy – boys always seem to have all the fun in these kinds of stories). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, the other books in this collection.

World Without End

World Without End

“World Without End” by Ken Follett has been on my reading list ever since it was published (October 2007).  I read Ken Follett’s earlier book, “The Pillars of the Earth,” more than a decade ago and I enjoyed that book too.

I got the electronic version of the book several months ago, and I decided it was time to give it a read.  I started the book last week and am about half way through it.  I expected it to be a good read, but I did not expect it to be such a fabulous read – probably the best book I’ve read in years!  I just wish I knew someone who was reading it too so I could talk about it with someone who is as captivated with the story as I am. 

Continue reading World Without End

Secrets of Learning a Foreign Language

Secrets of Learning a Foreign LanguageI listened to this book when I was gearing up to study the Dutch language in preparation for a trip to The Netherlands. I checked out the audio version of this book from the library.

The book has several great hints and techniques about how to approach learning a new language. I thought it was pretty good and I’ll probably check it out again and listen to it again.

The Secret of Lost Things

Secret of Lost ThingsI always enjoy a book whose characters stay with me after I’ve finished reading the story. The Secret of Lost Things is peopled with lots of unusual characters / misfits, if you will. A coming of age story with many unique twists and turns told in just enough poignant detail, it left me wanting more and I was sad to see the book end.

The book ended when it should have ended, but I can’t help but wonder what became of many of the characters in the story. A really great read and one that I recommend whole heartedly

The Book of Air and Shadows

Air&Shadows

The book did not start well for me, but I found the storyline to be quite intriguing. Unfortunately, the book didn’t get any better and eventually fell apart at about the halfway point. I stuck with it until I was more than 3/4th of the way through it when I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore and stopped reading. I found the book to be tedious for several reasons:   

  1. I didn’t care for the writing style
  2. The story became very boring
  3. There were far too many gratuitous sexual encounters that didn’t have anything to do with or add anything to the storyline. The encounters appeared to be interjected throughout the book at the author’s fancy.
  4. I was put off by the overuse of the “F” word and
  5. The characters were not well developed and were very superficial, so I didn’t care about any of the main characters in the story.

Luckily, I didn’t buy the book. I checked the electronic version of the book out of the Library, so now I can just delete it from my eReader and move on to, hopefully, a better read. I’m sorry for the time I wasted trying to get through this book, but at least I didn’t waste any money on it and since it was electronic, I don’t even have to think about how to dispose of it. There’s a small comfort!