Off the Shelf: All the Best Places to Search for Book Recommendations

By Sharon Saye on August 16, 2017 from Off the Shelf via

Obviously many of the library’s users are passionate readers; they are constantly searching for new titles to keep this reading frenzy at bay, and love talking about books they read.  There are websites devoted to reading advice.  One of my favorites is Modern Mrs. Darcy; her summer reading recommendations are great and this year she is offering selections for fall.  Another is the LibraryReads site which every month takes recommendations from librarians of what to read in the next month.  Bookish is another that especially tries to keep you up to date with what is coming out.  Signature-reads tends to cover trendy topics and their corresponding books.  And both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have book blogs that are loaded with information and reviews.
Two favorite older books are an excellent place to start as well.  Sara Nelson and Nancy Pearl certainly qualify as readers and their books talk about their reading patterns, how to select your next books, and provides suggestions.
Sara Nelson is an editor, columnist, and contributor to such publications as “The Wall Street Journal” and “The New York Times.”  She set out to chronicle a year’s worth of reading.  Her goal was to read a book a week, and keep track of how these books reflected her life and family.  She kept lists and stacks of possible selections, and then embarked on her great reading program only to have it fall apart within the first weeks. 
Sara found out that the books chose her as much as she chose them, and what she expected to get from these books was not what she found.  Her chronicle of this year of reading will ring true as she deals with how to choose books, how long to stick with a book you hate, and how to deal with recommendations from friends.  She brings humor and insight into what she is reading and why.  “So Many Books, So Little Time” will turn anyone into a passionate reader.
Nancy Pearl is a Seattle librarian and author.  Reading is her life; so she takes this passion and organizes it into 175 creative, useful and often witty lists that help readers find the right book for the right time.  “Book Lust” starts with a personal essay with why she loves to read and then moves onto the a-z lists of possibilities.
From “A…My Name is Alice” which details books by authors whose first name is Alice including Alice Adams, Alice Hoffman, Alice Munro, and Alice Sebold to “Zero: This will Mean Nothing to You” about books dealing with nothing such as “The Nothing That is: A Natural History of Zero,” Nancy Pearl offers an eclectic range of suggestions both in fiction and nonfiction.
There are lists titled “Kitchen-Sink Poetry,” “Great Dogs in Fiction,” “People You Ought to Meet,” “The Moon’s My Destination,” “What a Trial That Was,” and “Here Be Dragons: The Great Explorers and Expeditions.”  The books mentioned are fairly new with a few classics thrown in to keep you rooted, but readers will find a world of books to explore from “Book Lust” and the sequels.
The library also subscribes to BookPage, a monthly free handout that talks about new books and authors, subjects and formats.  The library usually has some older copies available behind the newest one.  If you are trying to scope out reading possibilities, new and older issues of BookPage are a great place to start.  And they have a website as well.

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