Giveaways, Goodreads, Google Scholar, and Wars of the Roses Book Reviews

Inspired after the Nerdalicious interview, I’d intended to work on a post about Sansa. Instead, I got distracted and had some fun playing around with Goodreads and writing some reviews. But first, a tip about research and Google Scholar.

Google Scholar

google-scholar-logoI’ve never used Goodreads before because I usually find books and articles by reading footnotes and then tracking down the item with Google Books or, my newest discovery, Google Scholar. A few quick asides about that in case you haven’t heard of it:

  • Google Scholar lets you find journal articles, patents, and other intellectual property type items.
  • Maybe I’m late to the party, but if you use Google Scholar from a terminal in a university library, Google Scholar displays if the university subscribes to that journal and lets you click-through to it. (Which is “Wow! Very cool!” – and also “finally.” 🙂 )
  • Re: getting access to articles. A librarian told me that Jstor now has two-week free loan periods. I don’t know the details, but it sounds like it isn’t so much a trial as you can obtain five articles for free for two weeks.


    goodreads-logoIt seems like a lot of people are on Goodreads these days so I thought it would be cool to see how it works.

    I still don’t fully understand it, but I love the idea of finding new history books from other people who love the Wars of the Roses.

    If anyone wants to connect on Goodreads, please do so. I’d love to connect with any history buffs. I don’t know  how their social network behaves. But, it looks like this is my profile address:

    Wars of the Roses Book Reviews

    I spent some time today writing some quicky reviews on Goodreads—not very good ones I assure you—of some lesser known or older books. In particular, I was trying to review obscure books that are somewhat useful or interesting. (There are usually many reviews on the recent history books.) I like seeing reviews because they can really help you determine if a book is worth tracking down, so I’m usually disappointed when an older book doesn’t have any reviews on it.

    Just to warn you, I’m usually generous with my star ratings. This is because I think it must be really tough writing a research book. Many writers don’t make a lot of money, so authoring a book is a labor of love for them. Why tear people down? But, I do try to add some cautions about when it is worth buying or reading the book – meaning don’t just rely on my star rating (if I’m the only reviewer).

    Because Goodreads makes it so easy to reproduce your reviews on your blog, I’ve added the reviews here on this blog as well.


    Finally, if you are an author or a reseller of Game of Thrones or medieval collectibles, and you would like me to help promote your product, please contact me. I would love to have some giveaways on this site. Also, I know how tough it can be for writers and small business owners to reach the right audience and get publicity.

    • For authors, I’d write a comprehensive book review.
    • For GoT/medieval resellers, I’d describe the product.

    There’s no fee or cost to you, except the price of the book or item and maybe shipping (if the item is large). I can’t promise how the giveaway will help your business, so it is an experiment, but this site has a decent Alexa rank for a history site (I believe) and global reach. (Famous last words. :))
    I’m pretty flexible – my main goal is to give away stuff and have some fun – so feel free to pitch an idea at me.
    Anyway, please contact me for more information about reach, etc.



Jamie Adair is the editor of History Behind Game of Thrones, a website about the history behind George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the hit TV show, "Game of Thrones."


  • Reply July 27, 2013


    Being generous is good for the soul 🙂 I think most history books are worth reading unless they’re the coffee table sort. If you’ve at least read a handful on the topic you can compare them and draw your own conclusions. My main objection is one’s that don’t have clear footnotes.

  • Reply July 29, 2013

    Jaime Adair

    Yes, I read once that Alison Weir’s first editor didn’t think that popular history books should have footnotes, so she didn’t get to include any. I imagine this still happens sometimes. This is shame. I’d think most people who aren’t interested in them would just ignore them.That is, they are just white noise.

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