One of the beauties of the internet is sharing “interesting” information. It’s like real life: if you need to rush to the hospital, you’ll ask the cop on the beat. If you need to find the street your friend lives in, you’ll ask a passerby. Easier, and the downside risk is limited.
The same goes for books. People get together to summarize and read books – and then share it on the net.
I’d mostly go for non-fiction. The reason is simple. It is a huge investment in time and attention to go through one of these doorstoppers and all. Either the book is is worth the effort – and then a guided tour will make the journey more enjoyable, or you have learned that it might be a wasteful experience.
Of course, there may be false positives/negatives. No worries. It is just like Amazon.com reviews: with a bit of practice you smell the rats and the rants – or the glassy-eyed five-star review the streetwise author has paid to appear as first comment - in order to anchor the discussion.
Here two such sites: This is newbooksinbrief.com and I’ve linked it to the review of KAHNEMAN’s Thinking fast and slow http://bit.ly/SZtXe8 . Any diplomat should read it. The other is a “readers’ club” http://bit.ly/QKRUtG