Finding book titles from story locations
December 14, 2010 9:12 PM   Subscribe

Finding book titles by searching story locations

I am looking for a book search engine that would return book titles, sorted by year published (or, by 'most popular') when I input category tags (such as 'spy novel', norway, submarine, kirkenes, murmansk).

Doing a simple keyword search in Amazon or Abebooks reveals little to nothing. How would I go about, searching for something like this? Do you know of a book search engine that could help a reader find books that tell a story in a desired location?
posted by seawallrunner to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: LibraryThing Common Knowledge.
posted by zamboni at 9:23 PM on December 14, 2010

At my public library Novelist does this.
posted by saucysault at 9:32 PM on December 14, 2010

Best answer: Here's a link to a Google Map hooked into a Google Books feed. Zoom into any region and the map will get overlayed with icons pointing to books set in that location. I believe it only works for public domain books at the moment, but it's still pretty good for finding interesting material set in obscure locations.

The implementation is a bit buggy when you get too close, though; it works more smoothly in Google Earth. If you have it installed, boot it up and click the "Earth Gallery" button in the Layers section of the sidebar. This will bring up a directory of layers; search for "google books" and then select the option to add it to Google Earth. You might have to toggle the layer on in the Places section of the sidebar to get it to show up.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:54 PM on December 14, 2010

This may be helpful: Wikipedia Category: Lists of fictional locations
posted by christopherious at 11:29 PM on December 14, 2010

Don't overlook the simplest solution - . Here is the result of a Google search for "Books set in Murmansk".
posted by rongorongo at 3:03 AM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: Open Library has a similar feature where you can easily search for places. The URL structure is like this

and you can change the URL to whatever location you want
posted by jessamyn at 8:27 AM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: WorldCat!

I just did a quick search after clicking on Books: Borneo women, and got 93 results.
posted by mareli at 8:39 AM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: thank you all for your answers!! this question has been bugging me for some time, and I am grateful that you all chimed in to help me.
posted by seawallrunner at 3:05 PM on December 16, 2010

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