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Finding the Perfect Book to Read Next

by Dr. Bruce Ellis
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I love it when I have a great book to read, especially when the author has additional books in the series that I haven’t had a chance to enjoy yet. But what do you do when you exhaust a series? How do you find the next thrilling reading adventure that can be your go-to for when you need some enjoyable alone time or to help add balance to home-work-family tension? Here are a few sites to explore so that you can get that next great read in before school starts.

Whichbook

Whichbook (https://www.whichbook.net) allows you to “dial in” to recommendations in a variety of ways. Unlike many other sites, Whichbook does not allow you to select the genre, title, or author in which you are interested. You can, however, search for the country in which the book is set. Or, you can search by mood and emotion, which is probably the most common way users find recommendations on this site. You can also search by character and plot. To the right, you will see a portion of the categories. You can choose up to four sliders to adjust according to how much of either of the two items you want. With each adjustment, your recommendations will update. Just click on a book in the recommendation results to view a brief summary of the book, an excerpt to get a feel for the writer’s voice, and then a few parallels: other books and sometimes tv shows, songs, and even paintings which have some similarities to the one you are viewing. Whichbook makes it easy to borrow the book from a variety of services, although it is especially designed for UK citizens. You can also purchase the book; but be aware that you’ll need to direct it to the seller’s (Amazon, Audible, etc.) site for your country.

Tailored Book Recommendations

If you are the person that hates shopping for clothes and doesn’t mind paying a stylist such as Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, or Dia & Company to do it for you, then you might prefer a similar type option for books. Tailored Book Recommendations (TBR) will ask you about your reading habits and what you’re looking for; one of their bibliologists will then be assigned to you and will put together a personalized recommendation list. To make sure that you do not get recommendations for books you’ve already read, they do encourage you to update your Goodreads account and share the link with them.

BookBrowse Read-Alikes

BookBrowse is a no-nonsense guide to books. One of the features I like is the Read-Alikes search feature. I just enter the book title or author I like and it will generate recommendations. Non-members can get two recommendations, while paid members get lengthy recommendations as well as additional community search features, support, pre-publication book lists, etc. I enjoyed reading Lilian Jackson Braun’s series (The Cat Who…) so I looked to see what free suggestions I could find via the Read Likes. The recommendation for Rita Mae Brown didn’t surprise me as I have read a book or two from her. I was please to receive a recommendation for M.C. Beaton, aka Marion Chesney, who wrote 34 books in the Hamish Macbeth series. Hmmm, I’ll have to check that out.

Gnod

Gnod, which stands for Global Network Of Discovery, is a bare-bones site and will give you one thing: an author recommendation. No frills. No fuss. Just enter up to three of your favorite authors and click the continue button. Gnod will predict an author you will like based on your favorites. You can choose to like it, don’t like it, or indicate that you don’t know. As you indicate each author, Gnod will provide an additional recommendation.

GoodReads

If you are looking for recommendations from friends and like-minded readers, then you might find GoodReads a site that fits well. You can browse recommendations based on previous books you have read or peruse some of their curated recommendations of books by genre, Choice Awards recipients, or lists (such as books that everyone should read at least once, books that should be made into movies, best historical fiction, and more…). I highly encourage you to get engaged in the various community groups (Goodreads Librarians Group, Cozy Mysteries, Nothing but Reading Challenges, and more). You’ll also find fascinating discussions, quotes, trivia, and more to connect even more deeply with the characters and authors you love…or love to hate.

Readgeek

Readgeek, which is similar to Goodreads, allows you to keep track of what you are reading as well as your list of books that you want to get to. You can easily rate books to help others decide, discover books to read based on similar readership, find friends to enjoy the journey with, and review your bookshelf to see what you’ve read or check out what is on you wish list.

Reddit

If you are a Reddit fan, then you may have already discovered the subReddit group r/booksuggestions. Here you can easily share the author, genre, or title(s) you like and get recommendations from some of the other 485,000 group members. Another group you might consider, although it isn’t limited to just books, is r/ifyoulikeblank. With slightly fewer fans, 368k, I have noticed more members online than the other group. So, to get the best return on your question, I would recommend that you cross-post your question to both groups as the demographics of the groups may be very different.

As a bonus, consider checking out r/FreeEBOOKS. You’ll find a healthy 1.3 million member group that shares all sorts of free ebooks that you might be interested in. To limit your search to a specific genre, click the appropriate flair such as Classic, Non-Fiction, Kids, History, etc. In case you are unfamiliar with the Reddit term “flair,” it is similar to a hashtag and can be added to the beginning of posts to indicate what the post is about. When you are posting your question, you might be able to indicate the flair you would like to add which will help like-minded individuals more easily find helpful posts.

Listening About Reading

And if you find that listening about reading is interesting, then consider tuning in to Anne Bogel’s podcast What Should I Read Next? You’ll find interesting information and guests you can relate to. As of this blog post, some of the podcasts that caught my eye include: Windows, Mirrors, and Why We Need Both; What the Cool Kids Are Reading; 1,000 books to Read Before You Die; and A Ridiculous Plan to Read More Books. You can find Anne’s podcast on Overcast, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

So, What Will You Read?

My leisure reading list for the remainder of July and August is a short list of cozy mysteries. My list includes The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney, Ruby Red Herring: An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery by Tracy Gardner, and possibly And Then There Were Crumbs: A Cookie House Mystery by Eve Calder. What will you be reading? Tell us about your most recent read and/or your favorite author.


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