Books and reading have always been a big part of my life and several years ago, at the suggestion of a friend, I jumped in to the blogging world with two feet. Book Nation by Jen was created with very little technical knowledge and with the help of the anonymous computer experts tending to the WordPress support button, I started up and never looked back. Always trying to improve the content and the visual aspect of my site, this passion project has become an enriching adventure for me. Book Nation by Jen is authentic to me, representing my taste in books, and I hope you enjoy what you see, learn a little something and are inspired to read.
How To Decide What To Read
Many people ask me how I choose what books to read and why I point out only positive attributes in a review, so I thought I would let you in on how I make my choices.
I always look for the redeeming qualities in a novel, whether it is the writing itself, the characters, or the storyline, and I tend to appreciate a wide variety of genres. I choose what I read and write about based on my own personal interests and I am especially drawn toward fiction that is set in another place and time. Mixing it up and alternating from fiction to memoir to historical fiction to psychological thriller keeps my attention peaked. I often take notes as I go so I can remember things I want to write about later. I receive books from publishers and authors, I am in reader groups where books are swapped, I use my public library to check out physical books, I have the hoopla app on my phone for ebooks and audiobooks, and I shop at my local bookstore and independent bookshops in person and online. I don’t get paid to read and review, it has become my passion project – a much loved hobby!
Most books are published on Tuesdays, and by following authors, bloggers and publishers on social media I am aware of what is new and what is coming soon. Learning more about a book from the New York Times, NPR, author interviews on Facebook and Instagram, and Goodreads helps me decide if the book is for me. I only choose to read and promote books I am excited about, so you will never find a bad review on Book Nation by Jen. If something is not my taste, I choose not to mention the book. With that said, I can’t always get to everything I want to read so feel free to suggest what you love at any time and I will add it to my never ending list.
Book Nation by Jen was started in early 2017 and the number of followers has more than quadrupled since then! My reviews have a brief summary of the book and what I like about it. I always try to include an author question and answer section when I can. Author Q & A allows the person who wrote the book an opportunity to let us know the backstory, writing techniques, and a glimpse inside their thought process. This is my favorite part of the review because the more I learn about the author and the book, the deeper understanding I have, which enhances and enriches the experience of reading for me.
I’m excited to introduce the new look of my booknationbyjen Instagram account. I have been posting book covers along with snippets of my reviews in the descriptions. It is an easy way to view the covers of so many wonderful books at a glance. (Please note, full reviews and Author Q & As can only be found on Book Nation by Jen Blog. There is a search bar on each page of the blog where you can enter a book title and the review will come up.) In addition to the covers with the short reviews on Instagram, you may also see photos of new books, books I am currently reading or books I plan to read.
I sincerely appreciate all the readers out there who have taken the time to visit Book Nation by Jen, follow the blog, the Facebook page and the Instagram page, and have made comments or reached out. Giving you an idea of what books to pick up next, and helping promote authors and their books is my priority. I love to read, I love my books (blog post on Hoarding) and I love sharing it all with you! There are lots of fantastic new authors with wonderful debut novels as well as the trusted favorites with new books available. COMING SOON…MORE REVIEWS (Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. by Joyce Carol Oates and Mother Daughter Widow Wife by Robin Wasserman) AND REVIEWS WITH AUTHOR Q & A (Want by Lynn Steger Strong and Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy).
The Book Nation by Jen Storefront at Bookshop.org is OPEN! It is easy to shop for many of my reviewed titles and other favorites while supporting independent bookstores. Please check it out here at Book Nation by Jen’s Curated Bookshop at Bookshop.org.
Jen – Welcome to Instagram! I love the fact that your reviews have a positive spin. For the first four years out of college I wrote music reviews on the Cds, records, and cassettes that flooded my mailbox each month. Shout out for snail mail! With so much material to work with, I soon decided that I was only going to listen to the music that I likes and leave the rest. I chose to spend my days talking and writing about the music that I loved and pass by the bands that turned my stomach. It is truly a great way to be. Thank you for the unique slant of this blog post. It is great to learn about the “behind the scenes” side of you blog. Write on!
Thanks so much, Chris. I appreciate your support!