Looking for a good book recommendation website that isn't amazon.com
October 25, 2006 1:13 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone come across a good website that accurately generates book recommendations, based on what you've read and enjoyed?

Amazon.com isn't really working out for me, and nextfavorite.com seems kind of buggy at best, and kind of in cahoots with amazon.
Is there anything a bit more independent and/or user friendly out there? I prefer fiction, if that matters.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
I bookmarked What Should/Shall I Read Next a few weeks ago after it made the blog rounds. Worth a look.
posted by bcwinters at 1:47 PM on October 25, 2006 [2 favorites]


I cannot attest to accuracy, but you might check out gnod.

(On second glance, it seems to be associated with Amazon to some extent, so it may not be what you're looking for.)
posted by moira at 1:58 PM on October 25, 2006


Have you looked at Library Thing?
posted by smackfu at 2:06 PM on October 25, 2006


The Map of Literature is similar, although it doesn't name specific books. You enter an author's name, you get back a cluster of other author names that are enjoyed by the same people as the ones who liked your author (or, the new authors are just rated as being similar to the author you named).

Library Thing might also help
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:07 PM on October 25, 2006


AlexLit is still around, at least the recommender part of it, and has served me well. It tends to be SF/fantasy heavy though. If SF/fantasy is your thing, though, give All SciFi a try. It's got a pretty interesting and unique way of picking books for you based on you choosing plot elements you like.
posted by booksherpa at 3:17 PM on October 25, 2006


I know this isn't what you asked for, but you might also try calling or e-mailing your local public library. Many public libraries have librarians with a specific specialty called "Readers' Advisory". Armed with some tools (including reference books and proprietary databased you won't find online) and a broad experience of leisure reading, a good Readers Advisor can come up with excellent suggestions in short order, AND get them for you via interlibrary loan for free.
posted by gillyflower at 4:51 PM on October 25, 2006


Not exactly the elegant solution you're looking for but you could try emailing good independent bookstores. Any larger size one usually will have tastes that overlap yours, or will be able to get a good feel for what you like, and recommend from there.

Then again, I'm extremely biased.
posted by drezdn at 5:32 PM on October 25, 2006


Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice, folks!
Each suggestion addressed an aspect of what I'm looking for, which is essentially nextfavorite.com with a better selection and less corporate bias.

For those also interested in this question, I coincidentally just ran across another way to find recommendations: paperbackswap.com (found via lifehacker) includes a short "Similar Books" list with each listed book.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 11:23 AM on October 26, 2006


I just came across this, so can't vouch for it, but this site offers recommendations based on charateristics, not past choices.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:30 PM on October 26, 2006


i asked this question a good while back and got some good recommendations....
posted by kev23f at 8:31 AM on October 27, 2006


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