A great book, like a great movie, is one that you wish didn’t have to end. But, alas, the inevitable question looms as you turn that last page — what should I read next? In the days when people actually visited libraries and bookstores, you would walk in, find a librarian or bookseller and simply ask them. Today, that function is largely filled by the Internet; in fact, Amazon has been doing this for years using two categories that right below a book’s synopsis: “Frequently Bought Together” and “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.” However, discerning readers quickly realize that some of the recommendations mined from the vast Amazon database range from good to inscrutable. Fortunately, there are many sites that provide very good to great suggestions about what to read next. Each of them mines a different database to provide more helpful author or book recommendations.
Literature Map (Gnooks)
Type in the name of an author, and the website taps into Gnooks, the Global Network of Discovery’s (GNOD) literature recommendation system. As more people like one author and another, it creates an animated visual map that moves the names closer together on the screen. It’s quite engaging just to watch the names move about the screen and eventually settle into their final positions. GNOD also makes recommendations about movies and music.
Your Next Read
The site has its limitations, since its database is slowly growing. It uses visitor feedback to refine its recommendations. Your Next Read shows thumbnails of the books that it recommends, along with links to Amazon or Goodreads for more detailed descriptions and reviews.
What Should I Read Next
Simply type in the name of a book and author, and the website will provide a list of specific book recommendations
Which Book introduces a very clever way to browse. Rather than typing in a favorite author’s name or book title, a visitor slides 4 out of 12 sliders to describe a potential book (eg, Happy to Sad, Expected to Upredictable, Easy to Demanding, Short to Long). Once the sliders are set, the visitor hits “GO” and the site returns several book recommendations.
For further reading: Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You’ll Ever Read by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman