I started taking notes on books I’m reading and collecting them on my website as reviews, so I thought I’d make the template I wrote public on Github. It is part of my ongoing set of Jekyll tools. No plugin necessary, so it should work on Github Pages.

Download the code from my Github repository

A working demonstration of this collection can be seen at http://cagrimmett.com/book-notes

Here is a preview of a book review detail:

Book review detail

Setup

All assets for this collection can be found in the book-reviews folder in this project.

1) You first need to register the collection in _config.yml. Append this to the bottom of your current _config.yml or, if you already have a collection registered, add another entry. This same example is :

# Collections
collections:
  book_reviews:
    output: true
    output_ext: .html
    permalink: /book-reviews/:path/

2) Place the _book_reviews folder and the book-reviews.html file in your Jekyll site root. This is the same folder that contains the _config.yml and _posts folder.

3) If you use Sass, place the contents of _book_reviews.scss file in your main Sass file. If you don’t use Sass, you’ll need to rewrite the media queries (the first 45 lines) in regular CSS.

4) Write your book review and place it in the _book_reviews folder (an example is included). The rating is out of 5 stars and supports half stars. The templates assume that your images are stored in an img folder in your site root. Example: yoursite.com/img/book_cover_image.jpg If you want the example_review.md to work, make sure you put img/deep_work.jpg in your site’s img folder.

How it works

  • This is powered by Jekyll Collections. No plugin necessary.
  • I set up custom YAML metadata for the individual posts, which the landing page and detail page templates use and display. Feel free to change it to your needs. Here is an example book review post:
--- 
layout: book-reviews-template
title: Deep Work - Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
author: Cal Newport
category: Self-Improvement
tags: 
- Time management
- Work
- Focus
stars: 4
book-link: http://amzn.to/2gaSjqy
cover: deep_work.jpg
format: Audio Book
date: 2016-11-28
excerpt: "Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It produces great results."
---
After hearing a few interviews with Cal Newport on podcasts, I decided to pick this up. The book is divided into two main sections: The idea or "why" behind deep work, in which Newport tries to convince you it is necessary. I more or less bought in to this before listening to the book, but I listened to it anyway. The second part are the rules for how to do deep work. Newport writes this from an academic's point of view, but there are definitely universal principles you can apply.

  • The stars are powered by some defined CSS classes, a clever span setup controlling the width for color fill, and some Liquid to calculate the CSS class value:
<span class="stars-container stars-{{ page.stars | times:20 | round: 0 }}" title="{{ page.stars }}/5">★★★★★</span></p>

Notes

  • If you have a custom open graph generator, you might need to add some if/elsif statements to get the cover to show in the og:image field.
  • Depending on your default layout template, you might need to edit my book-reviews.html page or the book-reviews-template.html template to work well with your layout. I’m assuming that if you use Jekyll, you probably know what you are doing. If not, drop me an email and I’ll try to help.
  • I don’t use all of the metadata on the landing page. I leave some items for the detail page. Feel free to change it to your liking.

Download the code from my Github repository