Friday, October 7, 2011

List of Websites to Help You Decide What to Read Next

If you're a neurotically indecisive reader like me, you probably need some help when trying to figure out what to read next. Here are some websites that go above and beyond generic recommendations. These tend to offer a dynamic and user friendly interface for someone solely seeking book or author recommendations.


Simply search for a book you like, and a little map of related titles will pop up. It saves a history of the books you browse during your session, and provides easy access to websites where you can purchase the book or find more reviews. You can even create an account, make your own maps, and share them. If you like this you may also want to check out and, if you're a gamer,


I'm a huge fan of this website's user interface. It allows you to browse books based on what you "feel" like reading at any given moment. You can choose if you want something long or short, violent or gentle, happy or sad, etc. It provides lists after you submit your specifications for what you want to read, but will allow you to see similar books to each title on the list.

3. NoveList

Powered by EBSCO, this online database is probably the most comprehensive you are going to find when seeking reading materials. The interface isn't as user friendly to those who are unfamiliar with EBSCO databases (particularly if you are performing an advanced search), however it more than makes up for it in the sheer depth and breadth of its content.

You can check out "Author Read-alikes" and you can browse by genre and type, and then list titles in the search results by popularity, publication date, etc. This site is a great resource for those planning book discussions, as there are a plethora of book discussion guides as well as related articles to the literature.

It is also possible to browse pretty much every sort of literary award list out there in NoveList. Since this is an EBSCO database, it does require a subscription, so check out your local library's databases to see if you can access it with your library card. If you have more questions on how to access and use this database, talk to your local public or school librarian.


I love "mapping" applications which illustrate relationships between different bits of information. In the case of literature-map, the relationships between different authors are brought to life. If you've read everything there is to read from your favorite author, you can go to this site, type in their name, and voila, a ton of floating names of related authors appear and float around your search query.

You can then click on a different author name to have the same process repeat itself. This simple, easy-to-use website is a great way to find general recommendations of authors you probably would like to read.


This website allows you to catalog your personal library, share reviews, network with other bibliophiles, and just generally gush about literature like the book-obsessed-crazy-person you are. Each book's page has Library Thing's recommendations for further reading, as well as recommendations by the "people" or the users of library thing. You can also see how many people rated for or against recommendations. The fact that users themselves drive the recommendations is what inspired me to add this website to this list.

A great feature they have on their author pages is an "If you like..." link which will list related authors. User ratings abound, so this is a great website for people interested in seeing what other fans of their particular genre or author have to say about what to read next.

Are there any websites you would like to see added to this  list? Please let me know in the comments!


  1. Great post! I've used Your Next Read a couple of times and it usually can give great suggestions.

    My bookcase is currently overflowing, but I'll have to save this for when I'm struggling for something to read.

    Thanks for the list!

  2. You are so very welcome! I recently discovered so I'm looking forward to utilizing it in the near future. :) 

  3. Do any of them hook-up with GoodReads? That would be a huge boon if it did. GR's recommendations are okay, but I think one of these combined with GR would be amazing. 

  4. Yes. does. Create an account with them and then click "connect to goodreads" at the top of the page. :)

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! This is amazing I am always on the look out for new ways to look for recommendations (Even if my TBR pile is astronomical!) But that's half the fun right? the 'research'!

    Thanks again!

  6. As a librarian who occasionally gets to do a little reader's advisory (which I love), I'm familiar with Novelist, and I do pop into LibraryThing (for myself, mostly).  However, I'm completely intrigued by Literature Map --- never heard of it, so plan to play with it and show it to my friends at the library.  Very cool -- thanks!

  7. Fantastic post today! But, the last thing I need is another website to keep track of all the books I want to read, lol. I spend so much time keeping tracking of my books that I don't actually take time to read them. ;)

  8. I can empathize with that. :)

  9. Yay! I do hope y'all enjoy playing with that at the ref desk. 

  10. This is brilliant. A few on here that I hadn't heard of. Such a shame. I could have been using these months ago. Adding to my faves. Thanks

  11. No prob! Thanks for commenting Anne!

  12. I'm with the person who commented below - the trick is to actually keep track of what I read! I'm an avid reader and I have no clue why I don't have a better record of the books I read. :) 


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