A Little Help with Your Next Read ~

pile of booksMost of us are always looking for a recommendation of what next to read – despite our toppling TBR piles, there is always room for a new title! – And those of us who read Jane Austen, and then re-read Jane Austen, are forever asking what to read after you have read it all, again and again. 

So I enjoyed this article I found at the Guardian.com book blog on “the murky business of book recommendations” by Chris Powell – he refers to a website that offers book suggestions by just typing in the last book you have read:  The Bookseer at www.bookseer.com– there are two lists, one from Amazon.com [they are everywhere; so much for your local bookseller], and Library Thing.

This is sort of fun, so try it [though when I tried it tonight, there was a problem with Library Thing loading its data – Powell in his article says that when he loaded Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, Library Thing brought up Wuthering Heights and then a slew of Jane Austen books – so a tad off course perhaps – for me tonight, all I get is “nada” for the Library Thing list [the Bookseer is also on Twitter where there is some talk about this problem…]

Anyway, this is too much information – I have typed in Emma, and get all six Austen novels and nothing else;  Our Tempestuous Day by Carolly Erickson and get a list of other Regency-related works [including a new one I did not know about!];  John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men, and I find I should read Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Brothers, Lord of the Flies, and A View from the Bridge [all your basic uplifting stories, and all of which I have read… thank you very much, but it is a nice list] – and if you type in The Grapes of Wrath, it is a similar list with the addition of a few other Steinbeck titles and The Great Gatsby.  Library Thing is still saying “nada” – so still not working, which is too bad because I think that list is more interesting [I think that Jane Austen titles come up for all requests…]

But you can really get into this and try to figure out the brain behind the computer – if you put in Evelina by Fanny Burney, you get the expected 18th century staples and then Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson pops up!  [I am having way too much fun…] – but if you type in any book by Mark Twain, all you get is a list of Mark Twain titles [he would be pleased…] [BUT Huckleberry Finn brings up Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest – go figure…

And here is my favorite:  The Bible [no author] [it came back and said, “by Jove, I need an author for that!] so I typed in “God” and these titles came up:

THE SHACK!! – OMG, now that’s some incredible marketing! And Amazon must assume the Bible is a childrens’ book…yikes!

But I save the best for last – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and along with a picture of P&P and Zombies [I am not kidding…] we get the following booklist:

…and LibraryThing recommends:


Ok, I am done with this…but I just HAD to share – let me know what YOU come up with!

Posted by Deb

One thought on “A Little Help with Your Next Read ~

  1. Hysterical Deb – so out of wack – maybe it’s a Beta version? Trying to be nice, but I see this as more entertaining than helpful.

    PS at least when you typed in Mark Twain – Pride and Prejudice was not recommended! THAT he would not have been happy about.


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