The Age-old Dilemma – What Should I Read Next?

The Age-old Dilemma – What Should I Read Next?

The Age-old Dilemma – What Should I Read Next?

By: Pam Lamberger

We bibliophiles occasionally encounter a bothersome dilemma. Imagine that you have just finished a book that you fully enjoyed and you want to continue with others in the same series or perhaps find another novel by a different author but with similar elements. Your local library staff is ready and willing to assist with these types of questions, but we can also direct you to resources that can help you find some options on your own. It can be empowering to solve your own dilemma!

A wonderful website for finding the works of a particular author is Fantastic Fiction. All you need to do is enter the author’s name in the search box and you will instantly view a brief bio, followed by upcoming new releases. I have entered Jan Karon for demonstration purposes. Following the new releases, you will find a list of published books in a series as well as any individual novels by the author. Books in a series are listed chronologically for your convenience – no more inadvertently reading those titles out-of-order! Finally, you will see other authors recommended by the original author that might fit your fancy! All this great information is organized and presented clearly and succinctly – Bingo!

Another resource worth exploring is NoveList Plus, which offers a more in-depth coverage of author analysis and breakdown of related reading options. You can navigate to this database from the library’s homepage. Please note, you will need your library card number and PIN if accessing this database from home. Hover your curser over Services/Online Databases/click Print Media/click NoveList Plus. Before searching for anything, notice the Recommended Reading Lists in the left side column. You can choose Fiction or Non-fiction, a preferred reading level, and from among various sub-categories. In the center of the page, you will see grouped offerings under various descriptors: Spotlighting Themes in NoveList, I’m in the Mood for Books that Are…, Browse Genres, Featured Read-alikes, Keeping Up, and Featured Award Winners. If you want to get specific, just enter your search terms in the text box at the top of the page. Keyword is the default index but let’s click the downward triangle and select Author instead. Type in Jan Karon again and you will find a wealth of information about the author and her works. Notice the Read-alike options listed on the right-hand side. Read-alikes are books by other authors whose writings are similar in some way; a variety of elements contribute to this comparison. Lots of great information is available here so spend some time exploring.

One last website that you may enjoy in your quest to seek out desireable authors is Literature-Map. Just insert your author’s name in the search box and see what happens! The original author’s name will appear in the center of the results page with other names jostling around it. The final proximity of each name to the original determines the general degree of similarity between their writings. Try it – it is entertaining to watch the names sort themselves!

If you would rather have help with finding reading recommendations, the library offers a service called My Next Book. Just complete and submit the brief interests form and one of our librarians will compile a personalized response for you. Happy spring reading!



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