Posted by: oneyearbook | March 5, 2009

Reader advisory

The Internet has brought with it a wealth of ways to discover new books to read, whether it’s books forums or Amazon telling you what other people have bought. The other day I found an interesting one, here. I’d already used their literature map which is a fun way to see interrelations between authors, but it’s not quite as specific as doing the suggestion box, where you input the names of three writers and they suggest another one.

I went with Vladimir Nabokov, John Crowley, and David Mitchell on the first go and it came up with Jeff Vandermeer, which is a good recommendation because I’ve heard elsewhere that I might like his stuff but I’ve never read any of it before. I gave it another go with Tim Winton, Michael Chabon, and Tom Robbins, and it came up with Kate Grenville, which I think is suspect because the only similarity I can see between her and the proceeding three is that she, like Winton, writes about Australia. I clicked ‘I don’t like it’ and got Peter Carey, which further upped the impression that they were just shaking the Australian fiction tree and seeing what fell down. Peter Carey seems like a closer fit for Tom Robbins, though.

One more try, this time with Jorge Luis Borges, Angela Carter, and Connie Willis, which is a real mixed bag, but I predict in advance that it’ll give me someone from the speculative fiction genre, because that, at least, unites them somewhat. It came up with Kage Baker, who, yes, appears to write sci-fi and fantasy. Hmm. I don’t know how much confidence I have in the suggestions based on the last two, but the first one seemed interesting.


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