Saturday, April 10, 2010

Booklists Galore



Booklists for Bookworms is taking a little break! There are piles of books that need to be read so more lists of books can be made. In the meantime, here’s one last list—not of books, but of other blogs and websites that can recommend literally hundreds of new booklists and thousands of glorious, wonderful, magical books.

What Should I Read Next? at http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/

Who hasn’t wondered “What should I read next?” Well, here’s a lovely website that can answer that looming question. Simply type in the name of a book or author you like. When you select your desired title, you are rewarded with a handy list of similar books. These titles are linked to Amazon.com, so you can easily access all of Amazon’s user-friendly details like cover art, summaries, and reviews. The recommendations come from the reviews of over a million users of What Should I Read Next?, and you are pretty much guaranteed to find something new and unexpected that will become a well-worn, beloved favorite.


WhichBook is a remarkably fun and unique way to decide which book to read next. The big question is: What are you in the mood for? The website consists of a series of sliding bars with one extreme at each end—“happy – sad,” for example, or “funny – serious.” You pick four categories of extremes, slide the cursor closer to one end the other (whatever you’re in the mood for), and then you click GO! Your result is a list of books that match your mood—it’s genius. Title, author, and a brief plot summary are provided, along with similar reads. WhichBook is U.K. based, so non-Brits will have to look up further details on a website like Amazon or local library websites. You can also search for books based on character (race, age, sexuality, gender), plot type (quest, conflicts, lots of twists and turns), and setting (anywhere in the world).


Fiction Finder lets you get really, splendidly, fantastically specific. You’re greeted by a bunch of lovely blue “subject clouds,” words that will lead you to books about that subject. You may not have even known you were interested in books about assassins, cats, grandmothers, magicians, orphans, soldiers, or wizards until you happened upon a list of such subjects at Fiction Finder. With 275 books listed about governesses alone, you know you’re in for a real treat. And when you click “browse,” a whole new batch of subject lists opens up entire new worlds of books to reads. Goody goody.


Hot lists, starred lists, featured titles lists, themed lists, monthly lists, annual lists, coming soon lists… boy oh boy. Overbooked is a classic booklist website, chock full every subject you could ever hope for. Search by genre, literary theme, literary style, summer reading, and more. Featured titles of September, 2009, for example, include Stitches (graphic novel memoir), Windup Girl (sci-fi thriller), and The Coral Thief (historical fiction mystery). Did you like The Thirteenth Tale? Here’s a list of similar reads. Wanna read books about Ireland? Here you go. Interested in exploring the works of Latino and Latina authors? No problem. We could go on and on because the booklists are practically never ending, that, of course, is the best part.

Stop, You’re Killing Me at http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/

Mystery lovers, rejoice. Stop, You’re Killing Me is a killer resource for readers who love to solve crimes on the page. True to its genre of choice, Stop, You’re Killing Me indulges in some truly inventive categories. Browse through the job index. There’s a list of books about crime-solving characters who are also archeologists and anthropologists. There are lists of mysteries that take place in the worlds of horse racing, construction, and high society. Search the historical index for mysteries that take place in ancient times, in the 1980s, and every time in between. If you like mysteries where the dog is the detective, well, you’re in luck: here’s a list of similar books. If you adore Agatha Christie, here are some author mystery writers you might fall head over heels for. With 3,300 authors, 3,700 series, and over 37,000 titles to chose from, readers can begin detecting and never have to stop. A website to die for, indeed.


Oh, historical fiction, the glory of the past: all that historical fact mixed with all that wonderfully imagined fiction. Blogger and librarian Sarah Johnson writes deliciously detailed reviews of new, unique, and unexpected historical fiction titles. In some blog posts, Johnson does a straight-forward review of her latest read. In others, Johnson goes through the ABCs of historical fiction, with posts like “I is for India.” The early months 2010 includes posts like “Tackiness Extraordinaire” featuring a selection of hilariously lurid vintage historical fiction covers, discussions of book award nominees, thoughts on the work of a variety of different authors, and reviews of over a dozen books. Complete with author interviews, guest posts, lots of reader feedback, and links to even more historical fiction blogs and websites, Reading the Past is a historical fiction fan’s best friend.


Let’s all just admit it right now: sometimes we read trashy, no-good books for the sole purpose of escapism. They’re not literary books. They’re not books that teach us anything. They haven’t won a single book award. Well, thank god for Bookgasm, because these bloggers absolutely relish the books that just plain make us feel good. Science fiction, westerns, graphic novels, comic books, and more are cherished and celebrated here at Bookgasm. Recent posts dissect the finer points of a 1975 book that combines Sherlock Holmes and War of the Worlds, admit to absolutely loving a line of WWE wrestling comic books, make fun of the covers of martial arts books, and occasionally present straight-forward reviews of genre fiction. It’s goofy and clever and and action-packed, and you will still find lots of new books to read. What could be better than that?

KDL What’s Next Books in Series Database at http://ww2.kdl.org/libcat/WhatsNextNEW.asp

There is nothing more frustrating than reading the first book in a thrilling series and not knowing which book comes second, third, fourth, or fortieth. Kent District Library in Michigan maintains a series database so that all of us can avoid precisely that problem. You can search by author, book title, series title, and genre. Before you know it, you have a wonderful list of series books in the order they are meant to be read. Soon you know for certain that Seeing a Large Cat is the ninth book in the Amelia Peabody Mystery series, that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and that Suzanne Collins is the author of both the Hunger Games trilogy and the Underland Chronicles series. And for the voracious reader in all of us, that is a very big relief.

More Genre Booklist Websites:

Cozy Library at http://www.cozylibrary.com/ (sweet, friendly, gentle mysteries to cozy up to)

I Love a Good Mystery at http://www.iloveagoodmystery.com/ (a mystery a day keeps the doctor away)

Urban Fiction at http://www.urbanfictionbooks.com/ (the dirty, gritty, thrilling realities of street life in the big city)

All About Romance at http://www.likesbooks.com/ (bask in the romance)

No Flying, No Tights: The Lair at http://www.noflyingnotights.com/lair/ (everything you always wanted to know about graphic novels but were afraid to ask)

Uchronia: The Alternate History List at http://uchronia.net/ (what if history took a different path?)

Webrary at http://www.webrary.org/rs/rslinks.html#5 (the ultimate list of book list resources)

Novelist

Novelist is a subscription database, but if you belong to a public library (and you should because it’s free), odds are you have access to arguably the best book resource in the business. Once you log in with your library barcode, you can search for books like crazy. Basic search includes author, title, series title, and “describe a plot,” with the added benefit of narrowing your search by audience (adults, teens, older kids, younger kids). You can also find author read-alikes, that all-important source when you’ve devoured everything your favorite author ever wrote but still can’t get enough. Genre outlines can help you explore your old favorites or branch out in new directions. Popular fiction checklists keep you up-to-date on all the hottest new releases. Award winners, recommended reads (from nice friendly book-obsessed librarians), special features, and discussion guides for your book club, there’s hardly anything about a book that you can’t find on Novelist. This database will be your new book best friend.

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