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.