Monday, December 22, 2014

Find Your Next Favorite Book!

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has several tools for helping our patrons discover their next great read, the best tool of course being your local librarian! But while databases such as NoveList (hint: get to this one through GALILEO using the GALILEO password) are excellent resources for finding author or title read-alikes, finding all books in a series (listed in order!) and for finding recommended books in a particular genre, there are other websites out there that can also help readers find just what they're looking for...even if you don't know what it is you're looking for! Below are just five reader's advisory websites that can be used to help discover your next favorite book.

Fantastic Fiction: Bibliographies on over 30,000 authors and information on over 350,000 titles. This site contains an extensive list of Series and Awards. For something akin to read-alikes, search for an author and once on their page scroll down for a list of books that author recommends. Also includes lists of New Books and not yet published Coming Soon titles. Mostly focuses on better known authors, so if you're looking for more obscure authors/titles, you may not find them here.

Goodreads: One of the most popular online book sites, now owned by Amazon, and is great for making book lists based on reader/user reviews. You can search by genre or browse through their lists of Goodreads Choice Awards which compile the year's best books in various genres based on Goodreads user votes. Sign up for a free account, start rating books you've read and receive personalized recommendations based on other reviewers.

WhatShouldIReadNext: This is a very straight forward and user-friendly site both in its interface and it what it offers the user. No need to create an account (although you can if you want to add your own reviews to their extensive database,) simply type in the name of a book or author on the home page and based on member reviews the database will generate a list of recommended reading. This one can be very useful when you just want to quickly get a list of possibilities to check the library shelves for.

Whichbook: A fun site to play with for readers who want to put in a few minutes of time to find the perfect next read. Whichbook generates recommended reading based on the user's mood, or essentially the mood of the book you'd like to read. The site provides a list of sliders that users can choose four of to indicate their mood (are you looking for something more Happy or Sad, Safe or Disturbing, Easy or Demanding, No Sex or Lots of Sex, etc.) Users can also browse through mood book lists that have already been created, or can create their own. A fun tool for discovering titles you may not have thought you'd like, although not as useful at finding author read-alikes.

Shelfari: Another site that has been acquired by Amazon, Shelfari is a social cataloging site for books. It requires a bit of time and effort up front, but if you create a free account you can rate, review and discuss books with other members and even join groups to connect with other readers. What I find most useful here is the virtual bookshelves users can create. Different shelves for books you've read, books you'd like to read, books you own and books you are currently reading help to sort and keep track of all the recommended titles you might come across. The readers advisory is strictly based on other users' reviews, but as an organizational tool this site is very useful.

Happy reading!

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