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Cover Image of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Rosemary Edmonds published by Viking Press
Cover Image of The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen published by Picador USA
Cover Image of A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance Portrait of an Age by William Manchester published by Little Brown & Co (Pap)
Cover Image of The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan by Briony Penn published by RMB
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classics & other genres

Classics is a broad category which includes everything from Greek and Roman literature to contemporary writers. There is a reason why books become classics: they have been read and enjoyed by generations and have stood the test of time.

  • Penguin Classic Literature: the leading publisher of classics offers books that are a joy to read in all respects with insightful introductions, beautiful cover artwork, and superior book binding.
  • Bibliomania: has more than 2000 classic texts with book notes, author biographies, book summaries, and references on fiction, drama, poetry, and short stories.  Take a look at their articles and message boards as well.
  • The Internet Classics Archive from MIT: very comprehensive website for Greek and Roman literature, providing complete text plus glossaries.
  • Romantic Literaturethe journals and a long list of excellent websites from Byron to William Wordsworth.
  • 18th Century Novels: links to author-specific websites, including Daniel Defoe, Samuel Johnson, Jonathan Swift, and more. 
  • Victorian Literature: a timeline of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth century diarists, essayists, novelists, and poets that preceded and influenced the Victorians.
  • The Great Russians: all about the Golden and Silver Age authors from Pushkin to Turgenev.
  • American Authors on the Web: an extensive list with excellent links, from early colonial authors to contemporary writers.
  • Contemporary, Post Colonial and Colonial Literature in English: authors from all countries are represented here for a world perspective.
  • Jane Austen: comprehensive list of sites on the web courtesy of the Jane Austen Society of North America. 
  • Charles Dickens: the consummate novelist has several societies dedicated to him, and there is plentiful information on the web. Start here to connect to Dickens sites worldwide.
  • Thomas Hardy: visit the The Thomas Hardy Society webpage, sponsored by Yale University.
  • James Joyce: the James Joyce Society in Dublin offers an excellent introduction to the author, his world, and his work.
  • Rudyard Kipling: Find out everything you wanted to know about the author and his work.
  • William Shakespeare: several notable websites to visit:  ONE  TWO  THREE.
  • John Steinbeck: The National Steinbeck Center offers an interactive journey through John Steinbeck's world, works, and philosophy.
  • Leo Tolstoy: Introduction and analysis to Leo Tolstoy's writings in twelve chapters by Ernest J. Simmons, author of the definitive biography Leo Tolstoy and former Professor of Russian Literature at Columbia University. 
  • Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group: Kansas State University English Department has a comprehensive website with links to information about the Bloomsbury Group. Scroll down the Members List to find Virginia Woolf.

It's easy to choose a novel; most of us gravitate toward fiction.  But why not consider other genres and vary your book group selection each month?


African American Literature

  • African American Literature Book Club: a recognized source for critical reviews of books by and about African American authors.
  • a brand new site offering book publishing, author news and industry trends in African American market.
  • the digital version of the Quarterly Black Review features interviews, reviews, an African American books bestseller list, a comprehensive calendar of Africana/literary events, and a "book talk" forum for readers.


  • A Million Lives: The largest guide to posthumous
    biography sites on the Web
  • Multnomah: A county web biography locator site by category

Food & Cooking

  • BookClubCookBook: this website does the best job of marrying great recipe ideas with popular book group book selections. A must when it's your turn to host and cook.

Graphic Novels

Authors and illustrators such as Art Spielgelman, Daniel Clowes, and Neil Gaiman have proven that graphic novels are a true literary format. Beautifully illustrated with adult content, these books are no longer just about superheroes—and they're certainly not for kids. 


  • History House: the tagline reads "an irreverent history magazine", but make no mistake, the reviewers are passionate and knowledgeable about history.  Youll find books about little known and intriguing facets of history on this site.

Jewish Literature

    • National Yiddish Book Center: the center has identified the "100 Greatest Works of Modern Jewish Literature, " written in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, German, Spanish, English, and other languages.
    • A web magazine for Jewish bookreviews, news, excerpts and more.
    • A gateway to Jewish culture and ideas
    • Union of Reform Judaism: 8 books are selected each year and study guides provided for them.
    • My Jewish Books Online: a discount website offering a large selection including "oFrah's" book group - cute, prize winners and special topics.

Latino Literature

  • HispanicOnline: This portal site connects to some of the best Latino booksellers and publishers online.

Mystery & Crime

  • Mystery Ink: a guide to mystery books and their authors.
  • Edgar Awards: sponsored by the Mystery Writers Association, the Edgars recognize the best of the genre in the categories of novel, original paperback, criticism/biography, true crime, young adult, and children's. A complete list of 2003 and previous winners is available on the website.


  • The Academy of American of Poets: you can find and listen to a poem, find a poet, find a local poetry event, and even take part in poetry discussions on this website.
  • Poets & Writers Magazine: although targeted to the "working" poet and writer, the magazine offers author profiles and insights into the writing process of interest to the general reader
  • The League of Canadian Poets: brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada's culture.


  • Romantic Times: the definitive source for romance readers (and writers), with book reviews, top picks, author profiles and links, and convention information.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

  • Locus Magazine: the leading source for reviews and news on science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
  • Nebula Prizes: sponsored by the Science Fiction Writer's Association, the Nebulas recognize the best in science fiction in the categories of novel, novella, novelette, short story, an script. The website has a listing of all winners since the award was established in 1965.

Also consider

  • The Psychedelic 60s: explore the literature that helped define a generation, from Vietnam to Woodstock, from politics to psychedelia  A groovy website! Author Spotlights:

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