If you’re a bookworm like me, you probably have too many books on your reading list to count. Or maybe you’ve just gotten into reading and are looking for your next title. Either way, if you have an appetite for literature, literary blogs can help organize and supplement your reading habit.
For the voracious reader, websites devoted to all things literary add excellent commentary and intrigue to beloved stories. Wondering how that book you just read intersects with themes of environmentalism? There’s likely an article about that on one of the many literary blogs out there.
For those who want to cut through the confusion of new releases and publicity hype, these literary blogs can direct you to books that align with your interests and help you avoid an internet rabbit hole of mediocre reviews. So dive right in — perhaps you’ll find some inspiration for a story of your own along the way.
1. Electric Literature
With a mission to “make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive,” Electric Literature is a must-have literary blog for anyone interested in learning more about contemporary literature and its related issues. The website publishes all kinds of writing, including essays, interviews and new fiction, with the goal of keeping literature relevant and accessible to the public.
Electric Literature has great resources for all readers. With a focus on the intersection of literature, culture and social justice, the literary blog publishes essays that examine how race, gender and sexual orientation play into some of your favorite stories, and often the lives of their authors. For example, recent essays like “The Delicate Balancing Act of Black Women’s Memoir” and “We Get to Resist the Old Narratives of What It Means to Be Trans” speak to how literary and genre conventions have narrowly defined marginalized groups.
Electric Literature also publishes essays by and interviews with contemporary authors, like Jeff VanDerMeer and Curtis Sittenfeld, which helps readers stay up-to-date on the current literary landscape.
In addition to providing reading material on the literary world, Electric Literature also devotes resources for writers. On their website, they host two online literary journals where they publish new works. Recommended Reading publishes short stories and novel excerpts written by some of the best authors in contemporary fiction, and The Commuter publishes one poem or piece of flash, graphic or experimental fiction each week.
The literary blog opens up submission periods several times each year for new pieces of writing, so make sure to keep up-to-date with their schedule if you’re looking to get published. In addition, if you’re looking for inspiration for your own writing practice, look no further than Electric Literature’s many essays on the craft.
2. Lit Hub
Co-created by Electric Literature, Lit Hub is another literary blog that book lovers should subscribe to. The website provides reliable and engaging information on literary culture, and it publishes an editorial feature from one of its literary partners every day — such as publishers, journals and bookstores — in addition to their plethora of original content.
Lit Hub is a cornucopia of literary-themed news and articles. Their website is organized into several sections, including Craft and Criticism, which consists of literary criticism and commentary as well as author interviews, and Fiction and Poetry, which publishes new stories, poems and novel excerpts. Their News and Culture section features over 15 sections, ranging from food to travel to sports, with each article touching on an element of contemporary culture and how it relates to literature.
Lit Hub is also the place to go if you are looking for book reviews, as the site frequently publishes lists of well-reviewed books as well as book recommendations from its editors.
If that’s not enough, you can check out the literary blog’s partner site, Book Marks, dubbed the “Rotten Tomatoes for books.” Book Marks compiles reviews of books, ranks them on a scale from “rave” to “pan” and then organizes them accordingly. If you want to weigh every opinion before diving into your next read, then Book Marks is for you.
On top of their original content, Lit Hub is also, quite fittingly, a hub for the literary internet, featuring all kinds of literary news from a variety of sources in their daily newsletter.
If you subscribe to their newsletter, you will learn about the literary significance of today’s date in history, and you’ll receive links to articles covering all the literary news of the day. With its clean aesthetic and informative content, Lit Hub’s newsletter is one that I enjoy receiving in my inbox each morning, and it always includes a piece that makes me think about something in a new way.
If you love podcasts as well as books, Lit Hub once again comes in clutch. The Lit Hub Radio section compiles new episodes from the best literary podcasts out there, so you can find all your favorite bookish shows in one place.
3. Shelf Awareness
For quick and impactful reviews, look no further than Shelf Awareness. Shelf Awareness is a newsletter that is published every Tuesday and Friday and “helps readers discover the 25 best books of the week, as chosen by booksellers, librarians and other industry experts.”
The literary blog delivers on its goal, providing reviews of recently released books that span every genre. In search of your next thriller? Just scroll down the page to find what Shelf Awareness has recommended for the week, and you can read a quick synopsis and glowing review of the book.
The newsletters come with other fun tidbits as well. Each edition begins with a short essay that features books that share a common theme; a section called “Book Candy” provides links to odd and delightful book-related news from all over the internet, and author interviews allow you to go behind-the-scenes of new releases.
But Shelf Awareness is not only for readers. Every business day, Shelf Awareness publishes a newsletter for those working in the publishing industry and the book trade. These editions heavily feature news from the worlds of publishing and bookselling, providing updates on industry trends and new bookstore openings or closures. It also includes news on book-related media and awards, and it provides a job board for those seeking positions that allow them to work with literature.
With so many articles and media out there, it can be hard to decide what information to consume and what interests you want to invest in. Literary blogs provide the antidote: With fantastic writing on nearly every topic, these websites are the bridge between our world and the imaginary ones. No matter your level of interest in reading, writing or publishing, literary blogs will help you dive deeper into whatever story you love the most.