I don’t know about any of you, but I LOVE to read. Yes, I am a reader, and I will read ANYTHING – some I love, some I . . . dislike immensely . . . and some just fill the time while I wait for the next great book (at least to me).
I enjoy talking about books, but sometimes, I draw a complete blank when I get questions like “What do you recommend?” ; “Who’s a good author?” ; “What is your favorite book?”. These are all great questions, and my answer, can and does change often.
I have a few questions that I ask the person asking me – confused yet? I find out what author(s) a person likes, and why. Is there a specific genre that my new acquaintance likes – mystery, fantasy, western, science fiction, humor, historical, or whatever else they mention, yes, even erotica. About half the time I can come up with a title, and my friend is a happy camper.
But . . .
There are times when this new friend and I must move on to other resources.
One of my favorite go-tos is NoveList Plus, which can be accessed from our website, though you will need a valid library card. You can read my previous blog post about some uses for this website. This is a very useful resource when searching for specific author read-a-likes.
Another fun place to find new authors, music or movies is Gnod. This one is interactive, but in a different way. Once on the website, I generally opt for Gnod Books, though Gnod Music and Gnod Movies are great as well, and work the same way. If my new friend mentions more than one author as a favorite, Gnod’s Suggestionsgives me a place to enter up to three authors, and then gives me suggestions of other authors to consider. Map of Literature uses one author but brings in many suggestions. This feature is fun to play with, as the authors float around the screen a bit and settle near each other, as read-a-likes.
One more interesting resource is What Should I Read Next? This one works well if there is a very specific title my new reading buddy likes, but I find it not as useful to look up an author. It does give you the author and the majority of their work, but you still have to narrow by title.
Last, but by no means least, is adding another perspective to our conversation. Often times, my co-workers have exactly the suggestion we’ve been looking for!
Ann Russell, Technology Librarian