Sites for Readers: Series and Recommendations

Welcome to Summer Reading! In July, I plan to highlight some great apps for readers. As a writer, we need to be familiar with these apps. Stay tuned for Goodreads, Book Bub, The Fussy Librarian, and Book+Main.
Here are a few sites to help you find books for your own reading. As writers, we need to read widely in our genre and outside of it too. If you’ve read On Writing by Stephen King, you know his day comprises half writing and half reading. I strive for that. (Maybe once the kids are out, and I win the lottery.)
Try out these sites to find your next read.
  • Book Series in Order I use this site constantly. It lists all the titles in order for thousands of series. Which is the next In Death book? They have it. Type the series in the search box and a list of possible series generates. Then click on the series desired and voila, the list appears in order. Enter character names, or author names too, and still get the data needed. For a quick suggestion, click on Top Lists and see what’s popular. The list will contain links for hardcover, paperback, and Kindle copies. Yes, they all go to Amazon. But once you have the title, you can search your favorite bookseller. There’s also a blog with the books Graeme read last month with titles and reviews.
  • What Should I Read Next This site recommends a new book by entering a “liked” title. The site displays a list of books similar to the first in genre, keywords, etc.. Clickable tags/keywords appear next to the title of the entered book that link to even more titles—a great way to follow a trope. The Info/Buy button sends the user to Amazon. The site also contains a Quote section to find literary sayings/phrases by category. Or you can enter your own. Also, there is an informative blog with authors, book clubs, and more. The site is free to browse but also has a premium membership for $9 a month. It includes an online community, book club, and personal recommendations.
  • What’s Next? This site is a database run by Kent District Library of Comstock, Michigan. What? Just a library database? Come on, Ginny. Nope, it’s one of the most comprehensive series listing out there. It’s lovely. Thank you again, Trever Oakley, librarian, for showing me this site. Type in Author Name, Series, or Title. Add age range and/or genre (if desired), and the database will generate a list for you, in order. Depending on the data entered, multiple results will be at the top of the screen to click through and select the correct series. Each book is linked to the library’s catalog. Not useful if you don’t live in Michigan, but again, you have the title…
  • Which Book? This site is another recommendation site with great interaction. On the main page, on the left column, a list of plot attributes appear. Each block has two opposite words, e.g. Happy Sad. Click on each block and move the slider to the desired place. Use up to four of the blocks, then hit the Go button. A list of books that match the criteria will appear. I put in Happy, Funny, Disturbing, and got, among others, John Dies at the End (absolutely expected) and The Eyre Affair. Nice! Each listing contains an Extract, Parallel Books, Profile (the slider attributes), and Find Similar. Beneath the book cover is Borrow and Buy. Unfortunately, you must be from the UK to borrow, but the site links to Amazon and Audible.
These are just a few of the sites to help readers find books. For July, we’ll look at some of the bigger book sites and mine them as authors.

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