Thursday, September 30, 2010

Satisfying the Need to Read

Hello, I'm Bookjones. I'm a Book Addict. And if you're a fellow addict looking for a twelve step program, keep looking. I'm here today to be your enabler. That's right, co-dependents: if you've got a jones of your own, I'm going to show you where to go to feed that need to find something to read.
There are a lot of great book review sites out there, and I'm going to take you on a tour of some of my favorites. This is where I go to prowl for the next additions to my reading list. And the best thing: even though these places cater to book junkies, we won't be going to any bad neighborhoods.

First up, if you have access to the UMF databases, I recommend NoveList Plus . This database offers recommendations by genre: click on "hisorical fiction", for example, and a list of subheadings will appear. (Shady Ladies was a favorite of mine.) You can also search NoveList Plus by Author Read-alikes. Choose a favorite author to find out what other author's works you might enjoy. Advanced search features offer the capability to find that book you heard about, on a certain topic, but can't remember the title or author. Good news for those of us who lose the little scraps of paper we jot this stuff down on.

Next, Let's hop on over to Goodreads. Goodreads is sort of an online book club. (If you sign up, join our Mantor Library group!) You can post what you're reading, mark things "to read", read lots of reviews and post your own. You can see what your friends are reading, play literary trivia games, and browse the collection of author quotes.

Flashlight Worthy is a real favorite of mine. (Maybe it's the title. I was a diehard under-the-covers reader as a kid.) This site has great lists and forums for discussing books, and the ability to let you create "want to read" lists or contribute lists to help other readers find one of your favorites. is a really comprehensive site, and a good resource if you're browsing for suggestions, or if you're in a book group and looking for discussion guides. It has sister sites for teens, kids, and a very thorough site for graphic novel fans.

To be totally immersed in booky goodness, check out NPR's You Must Read This : authors talking about not only their own books, but what they like to read. Interesting and intelligent reading.

And the last stop on the book addict tour is a fun little gizmo called The Literature Map. Claiming to be a "tourist map of literature", this author advisory is kind of addictive in itself. Type in the name of a favorite author, hit continue, and POW! Like the big bang of books, your author is suddenly the center of a floating cloud of authors. Click on one of those authors, and BANG! A whole new universe of writers appears. I don't always understand the connection between my author and the authors who show up, but just tumbling down the literary rabbit hole is half the fun.

So, that's our tour. We're back at the Browsing Room. Please exit the bus, and don't forget to tip your tour guide. Until next time,

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