Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: "Read, Remember, Recommend" by Rachelle Rogers Knight

I have a confession to make: despite the fact that I live, breathe, eat, and even dream about books, I have never owned a reading journal. It wasn't until two years ago when I started book blogging that I even thought about reviewing the wonderful (and not so wonderful) books that I had read. Up until now, when I went to write a review I sat at my computer with the book currently being reviewed in front of me, hoping for inspiration on how to convey my thoughts beyond "I liked it", or "I didn't like it." I found that so frustrating, but all that has changed now; I now own a copy of Read, Remember, Recommend: A Reading Journal For Book Lovers by Rachelle Rogers Knight.

Read, Remember, Recommend is a fairly comprehensive book journal for fiction lovers. Since the world of books is constantly changing, it would be impossible for a book journal to include everything, but this one does a darn good job. The first section is devoted to Awards and Notable Lists. In this section you will find a book lovers dream: pages and pages of lists of books that have either won awards or are notable in some way. Beside each entry is a place where you can check off if you own the book, recommend it, have it in your "to read" pile, or want it. I can assure you that I've already spent more time than I'll admit to perusing these fascinating lists and making checkmarks in the appropriate columns.

The second section is the "To Read" section. There you can make lists of the books that you want to read and why, which is fantastic for keeping track of books that can't be found on the previous pages because they are too recent but are on everyone's "must read" lists.

The third section is the "Journal Pages" section, and my favourite section so far. On these pages I keep track of the books I've read, and immediately after finishing a book I'll write down my thoughts. Since I'm rarely able to sit down and write my review of a book while it is fresh in my mind (that's what being a working mom of three boys is all about!) this section has allowed me to capture my thoughtsright away, and later write a comprehensive and (hopefully) intelligent review when I get the opportunity. No longer am I stuck thinking, "I liked the book. Now what?" when I sit down to blog. Even though this section has quite a few pages, I'm sure that I'll use them up fast, and would have loved more in this section. How great will it be to look back and think, "Wow! I've read all of these books!"

The fourth section is devoted to books borrowed and books loaned. This section will be nice for the rare time that I borrow a book from somewhere other than the library, but since I don't usually loan out my books, just give them away or donate them, I won't be using this section a lot.

The fifth section is devoted to references and resources. There are some great websites listed, as well as some wonderful blogs mentioned that I frequent, but my favourite part is the index. There, books are catalogued both by title and by author, which is infinitely helpful when you're wondering where a particular book is located in the lists.

I can't recommend this journal enough to those who are like me: you love books, and you wish that you had one place where you could record everything to do with your reading. I'm sure when I've used up the pages provided I'll have to go out and buy an updated version. Now that I have one, I can imagine being a reader and blogger without one!

If you have this journal already, or are planning to get one, Rachelle Rogers Knight (aka Bibliobabe) has a fantastic Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Reading Challenge up on her website. There are some fantastic prizes, and since there are literally thousands of books that you could read that would count as an entry, this challenge is for every fiction lover out there. I've joined, and I finished my first challenge book today (to be reviewed).

Thank-you to Sourcebooks for this review copy!

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (kind of hard to rate, really, because it is a journal, not a novel, but other than a few small things, this one's darn near perfect!)
Recommended to: Everyone who loves fiction- seriously!
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge


  1. Glad to hear that you also love the journal. I have spent ages reading the lists of books and adding my own check marks. I am currently reading (rather listening to) my first book for the challenge.

  2. Ooh that sounds so much fun. I would enjoy it.