Whichbook.net

May 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Book Services | 1 Comment

Have you played with whichbook.net lately?  I love it.  What it does is help you come up with book recommendations based on a blend of features.  You can move a slider bar back and forth between these pairs of opposed qualities:

Happy/sad

Funny/serious

Safe/disturbing

Expected/unpredictable

Larger than life/down to earth

Beautiful/disgusting

Gentle/violent

Easy/demanding

No sex/sex

Conventional/unusual

Optimistic/bleak

Short/long

You can focus on just one quality, or pick several.  Is there something wrong with me that I tend to be more interested in the right-hand side of the spectrum?

There’s also a button for “change to character, plot, setting.”  You can look for books set in a particular part of the globe, or with a character of a preferred race, age, sexuality, or gender.  The best part is the plot.  Do you like success against the odds?  Conflict?  Lots of twists and turns?  Unfortunately you can’t say “yes to all of the above”… Not yet, anyway.

Part of what I love about the site is that it recommends more than just the current season’s books.  It includes anything in paperback in the English language since 1995.

The other thing I love is that whichbook.net is a republic – all the selections are made by a team of 150 people.  Isn’t that an improvement over user-controlled ratings systems that give Twilight and Great Expectations both four stars?  Incidentally, I ran a few titles that interested me through Amazon.com, and they were consistently highly rated by users there.

There really is a certain genius to whichbook.net.  Choosing only fairly recent books assumes that we already have a list of classics to work from.  I played around with it a bit, and found only a scant handful I’d ever heard of, much less read already.  It’s terribly exciting, and a bit addictive.

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1 Comment »

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  1. OMG. This site rocks. I can’t stop playing around with it. Thanks for the link.


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