It’s an interesting relationship that book lovers have with the Internet: most would rather read a physical book than something on an iPad or Kindle, and even though an Amazon purchase is just two or three clicks away, dedicated readers would rather take a trip to their local indie bookstore. Yet the literary world occupies a decent-sized space on the web. Readers, writers, publishers, editors, and everybody in between are tweeting, Tumbling, blogging, and probably even Vine-ing about their favorite books. In case the demise of Google Reader threw your literary Internet browsing into a dark void, here’s a list of 25 book sites to bookmark.
Ten years is a mighty long time in terms of Internet life, but that’s how long The Millions has been kicking out a steady stream of reviews, essays, and links. That’s what has made it the Internet’s #1 literary institution.
While the print version of this highly respected literary journal only comes out a few times a year, its blog has become a daily hub for readers thanks to a great mix of news roundups, essays, interviews, and more.
Obviously being The New Yorker’s book blog comes with its perks, and Page-Turner takes full advantage of its captive audience by posting everything from the fantastic monthly podcast to a daily news roundup, great essays like Casey N. Cep’s “A Murder in Deep Summer” and Jon Michaud’s piece on why Frank Herbert’s Dune endures. Much like its parent magazine, you can’t really go wrong with what Page-Turner publishes.
Launched via Tumblr in 2011, the LARB has grown from a proclamation that the West Coast has a literary scene to rival New York’s into a full-fledged online literary arts journal that boasts fantastic content and an impressive list of editors and contributors that includes Jeffrey Eugenides, Janet Fitch, Michael Pollan, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Greil Marcus, among others.
Electric Literature made a huge splash in the literary world upon its inception, fashioning itself as the literary journal for the Internet era. When the magazine ceased publication, Halimah Marcus and Benjamin Samuel stepped in with an idea so simple, you wonder why nobody thought of it sooner: a writer, an indie press, or an editor picks one story for you each week, and that’s it. One great story, like Peter Orner’s “At the Fairmont,” which was selected by Ann Beattie, or Mary Gaitskill suggesting something Saul Bellow wrote; short, easy, and totally wonderful.
It’s not a literary site in the traditional sense, but The Awl always, always posts something that appeals to book lovers, from great poetry to original essays like “How To Be A Monster: Life Lessons From Lord Byron.”
The site’s tag — “All Books. Never Boring” — is an apt summation of this sometimes-quirky website that tries to make talking about books fun, and a little more inclusive to non-snobs than most outlets that discuss literature.
In the grand tradition of great journals from The Partisan Review to n+1, The New Inquiry has made itself part of the bigger conversation by mixing political discussion, pop culture dissection, and a good dose of literary sensibilities. Read the articles, and consider becoming a member.
Another great site that has been going strong for over a decade, 3:AM publishes everything from original flash fiction to criticism, and might be the best place on the net to read about modernist and postmodernist literature in the same place.
The best of the West, The Rumpus has a slew of great writers both editing and contributing to a site that churns out more than its fair share of great content on a daily basis. Plus, they’ll always be the site where many readers first encountered Cheryl Strayed in her advice-giving guise as Dear Sugar.
Ed Champion’s terrific podcast has featured plenty of luminaries, including John Updike, Martin Amis, Claire Messud, and National Book Award winners like Jesmyn Ward, but still has time for promising up-and-comers like Matt Bell. Always interesting, and easily one of the best literary podcasts.
You do know that one of the most important literary magazine in the entire English language also posts a whole lot of great content on its website, right? Did you read the Teju Cole piece they posted recently? Seriously, put this in whatever new reader you’re buying, and never miss a copy of this always-spectacular publication.
Founded by young literary stars Uzoamaka Maduka and Jac Mullen, The American Reader is a monthly print journal with a website that publishes fiction, poetry, criticism, and more — along with fascinating daily reprints of letters between literati.
“The internet literature magazine blog of the future” is really the site where you never know what you’re going to get, from weird and random lists to intelligent critiques of big novels and small alt-lit chapbooks alike.
David Gutowski’s site is a source for daily book and music news, but the real draw is the wonderful Book Notes series, where authors discuss the music that played in the background as they wrote their books.
A site that puts up a handful of great reviews, as well as breaks stories like the one about the time Jonathan Franzen tried to scam some videos for a college library.
Like one of the Smithsonian’s great blogs, except way weirder, the online outpost of Lapham’s Quarterly publishes essays on weird historical subjects you’ve probably never heard of but will nonetheless find fascinating.
Brad Listi has carved out a nice little space for himself on the literary Internet, interviewing everybody from Sam Lipsyte, Jami Attenberg, and George Saunders to Tayari Jones and Michelle Orange. If you have a book out, you sorta have to go on Other People.
All the quirky fun of the McSweeney’s world boiled down into one website. I still think “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfucker” should have won the Nobel, or at the very least, a Pulitzer. You also can’t go wrong with Teddy Wayne’s column of unpopular proverbs.
Judging by the title, it should come as no surprise that this podcast is a celebration of books — namely, the books read by the hosts, who each talk about their chosen titles for a few minutes. Need a reading suggestion? This is the best podcast to help you with that.
Levi Asher doesn’t update his site as regularly as we’d like, but in between the few posts a week he does put up, take some time to go through his archive of entries that date back to 1994.
This not-for-profit finds unusual and interesting out-of-print works that are a mix of intriguing collections, as well as essays on topics like the writings of Isaac D’Israeli: “a scholar, man of letters and father of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.”
There’s plenty to read on this great lit website, but a highlight is the Self-Interviews series, in which authors ask themselves the tough questions other interviewers are afraid to pose.