Book Review: *Read, Remember, Recommend* by Rachelle Rogers Knight

  • Read, Remember, Recommend: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers by Rachelle Rogers Knight
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks; Spiral edition (April 1, 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402237188
  • Back-of-the-book blurb:  The ultimate organizing resource for book-lovers and a self-published hit, Read, Remember, Recommend gives readers a one-stop shop to keep track of their reading. Featuring 60 cross-referenced lists of literary awards and notable picks, this journal offers more than 2500 suggestions to help readers discover great literature and new authors. The journal also provides room to record books read, jot down thoughts and ideas, and keep track of recommendations, books borrowed and loaned, and book club history.

    She is Too Fond of Books’ review:  Sourcebooks (the publisher) sent me an email asking if I was interested in reviewing this updated version of Rachelle Rogers Knight’s reading journal.  In the email, the publicist mentioned that She is Too Fond of Books is listed in the “References and Resources” section, under “Lighter Book-Related Blogs.”  Did this make me more curious about the journal?  yes.  Did it influence this review?  no.  (full disclosure for all readers of this blog, no need to scroll down to my “Dear FTC” notes).

    Features of Read, Remember, Recommend that I really like:

    • The binding format: heavy paper cover with “hidden” spiral binding means the spine it looks good/neat on a bookcase, and it opens flat for writing
    • Colored tabs: six sections let me find what I want quickly (wish list for future: larger and plainer font on tabs)
    • The sections themselves: Awards and Notables Lists, To Read, Journal Pages, Recommendations, Loaner Lists, and Resources

    Of the sections, I’m using Awards and Notables Lists the most.  I don’t make a point of reading from award lists (in fact, when I checked off Own, Recommend, To Read, and Want for the various books, I was more than a bit surprised by how few award-winners I have read!), but the information is great to have.  Each award list begins with an explanation of the history of the prize and how winners are selected.  The titles are listed in reverse chronological order (wish list for future: more than one blank for future years), and list year, author, title, and the four checkboxes.  Categories include:

    • Pulitzer Prize
    • National Book Award
    • PEN/Faulkner Award
    • Governor General’s Literary Awards
    • Man Booker Prize
    • Orange Prize
    • etc., many more US, Canada, and international awards and lists

    To Read is a place to note books on your wish list; there are three lines for Title, Author, and Notes (perhaps how you learned of the book).

    Journal Pages are a combination of lined pages for lists, thoughts, excerpts, etc.  Although I track all my books on LibraryThing, and my thoughts on this blog, I have used this space to make note of new-to-me words.  This section really highlights the flexibility of Read, Remember, Recommend; a reader can customize the way she uses the journal to best suit her needs.

    Recommendations is a section to list your favorite books – those that you’ll be recommending to others. 

    Loaner Lists allows you to keep track of books you’ve shared.  (I know it seems obvious, but I didn’t want to leave out a tab!)

    References and Resources lists online resources, including additional awards and book lists, book blogs, and resources specifically for book discussion groups.  The six-page guide to literary terms has already proven useful: my son was learning about point-of-view, and when I was unable to explain the difference between omniscient and objective, I turned to these definitions for help (thank you!).

    I’m very pleased with Read, Remember, Recommend.  The information in this journal (much supplied by the reader herself) is perfect for any book lover.  The size and layout are convenient and intuitive.  I keep my full library information at an online site; this book is a handy take-along (to book group) reference for me.

    FTC disclosure: review copy provided by the publisher.

    15 comments to Book Review: *Read, Remember, Recommend* by Rachelle Rogers Knight

    • I had so wanted the chance to review this, but didn’t feel like I would have the time.

      It sounds like a fabulous product and one that I will need to investigate further.

    • I jumped all over the opportunity to review this one. I think most of the reviews I’ve seen have gotten the most out of the awards section. It is very cool to have all of that at your fingertips!

    • I love this journal but never thought of taking it along with me – what a great idea!

    • You’re mentioned in the book? How cool is that? I’m thinking I need to get my hands on this.

    • I like this journal for many reasons. I just wish the sections had more sheets.

    • I can’t believe I missed the opportunity to review this one. I love the concept but fear it would lead to my list of to be read books and acquisitions getting bigger and bigger and bigger!

    • Molly – I sat down with it and started checking boxes; it was interesting to see the pattern that emerged! I’m tracking our book group selections and future ideas here, too. I have them online, but we always want to reference them when we’re together (and a computer isn’t at hand)

      Sandy – I like having not only the lists, but a bit of the history of the award.

      Kathy – I always carry a big bag. I think I must have been on Let’s Make A Deal in a previous life :)

      Lisa – it’s a listing of “lighter book-related sites” which follows a list of “literary blogs”. You’ll likely recognize a lot of the blogs on the list. I’m not sure how they were selected, but am, of course, honored to be included.

      Serena – I mentioned that in the Awards section; I wish there were blanks for more than one future year.

      Kathleen – we don’t want you to run out of books to read … keep that wish list growing!

    • I was excited to see that you were listed. I’m not sure how much I’ll use the journal but it was fun to see how many of the books I’ve read.

    • Dawn,

      Thank you so much for your review of my journal! It’s nice to get feedback – good and bad – that I can take back to Sourcebooks and hopefully make the journals a very valuable resource for readers.

      Thanks again and Happy Reading!

    • I absolutely agree with you. I just bought this for myself and it is a wonderful resource. I love the way it is organized. It helps me stay organized as I discover new books. Plus its size makes it really convenient to carry along. After all, I don’t always have a computer with me.

    • This is such a wonderful journal for book lovers, and I have been seeing great reviews of it all over the place! I guess it’s time for me to order one of my very own!! Wonderful review! I like the way you broke it all down for us!!

    • Beth – I’m a big list-maker, and that’s my favorite feature of the journal; I loved sitting down and checking books off the lists

      Rachelle – thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I’ll be sharing READ, REMEMBER, RECOMMEND with my book group at our next meeting.

      Jennifer – I can picture it begin passed around my neighbor’s living room for ideas, as well as a great place to track the books we’ve read together.

      zibilee – Knight also has a journal for teens, which may be of interest in your family.

    • I have total jealousy every time I see this book reviewed. congrats on being featured though … that is super cool!

    • Jenners – now that we’re past my daughter’s bday, I can share that I purchased the Teen edition for her – lots of the same great features, but with YA books. (Every once in a while she’ll read my blog, and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for her, so I had to wait to add this p.s.)

    • Tea

      Dawn, are you on Twitter? I miss you. My name is Jungleorchid if you would like to come to my place.

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