Recommended sites for serious readers

I just started this blog, and haven’t posted a lot of reviews yet. So while you’re waiting for my sage advice on what to read next, try these sites to keep you busy:

Fantastic Fiction it looks cheesy, but this site is wonderful to keep track of series order. Just look up your favorite author, and all the books will be there, listed in publication order for your reading pleasure.

Like Mysteries? Stop, You’re Killing Me allows you to search for mysteries in many different ways – by author, by character, by awards won, by genre… This site takes the mystery out of finding your next mystery.

http://librarybooklists.org/ is arranged rather haphazardly (or maybe I  just haven’t discovered the secret yet), but if you have time to poke around, you can find some pretty bizarre booklists – my favorite today was “Murder By Toaster: Mysteries with Surprisingly Lethal Weapons.”

If your local public library provides access to Novelist, try it out. One of the best things about Novelist is that it allows you to search for books based on plot elements of books you have already read and liked. Most libraries have it, all you need at my library to log in is your library card number.

Another handy resource provided by most public libraries is Worldcat. The web version (linked here) is good for looking things up and finding out which libraries own something, but if your library is a member, you can borrow books from all over the world through Interlibrary Loan. This is handy if, like me, you want to re-read some book you vaguely remember from childhood, and it is out of print, but smaller libraries all over rural America still have it. (I borrow a lot of books via ILL, and one of the joys of this is that the books occasionally come from libraries that I have been a patron of in my past. Once I received a book from my hometown library that I swear was the same exact copy I read when I was 12. The smell of that book brought back every childhood visit to that library, which I never realized had a particular smell until that moment.)

Of course, there is no substitute for visiting your local bookstore or public library and picking the brains of the staff. Nobody loves to promote books more than us book-y people, and we can pick your brain a little right back to be sure we’re recommending what you’ll really like.

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