Posted by: billpurdue | July 29, 2009

64 What to read next

I seem to have reached a point where I’m not sure what to read next.  I’ve been browsing in the bookshops and looking back at some of the titles I’ve read in the past, but I’ve not hit on a really good novel  to get my teeth into. I surfed the net for a few ideas and found a few sites that try to help.  Of course the solution that springs to mind first of all is the Amazon site. In the web page for the title of the book you have just read , you will also be able to find which other title is frequently bought with that one, what customers who bought the title also bought and what customers ultimately buy after buying the title in question. If that isn’t enough there is a “Don’t Know what to read next” page where you will be offered a list of titles compiled by another customer. You can also sign in to get personalised recommendations (over 100 titles usually). If you’re a seasoned book reader or buyer you should already know about this, but you may not have come across some other sites which may help.

What Should I Read next?” or “This one next” are from the same “stable” as it were. All you have to do is enter a title and author on the home page and it should offer you some titles which you might also like to consider.  I tried entering titles I had read recently, but I got error messages each time. Then I tried a classic – Emma, by Jane Austen and it came up with a list of 10 suggestions ranging from Mansfield Park by Jane Austin [sic] to Rivals by Jilly Cooper and included two titles by L M Montgomery.  At the end of the list it suggests that if you register, you would get more accurate suggestions.  In “This one next” I tried entering the same title by Jane Austen and it came up with the same list. On this site, the difference is that you can enter a CD or DVD title instead of a book.

The “Reading for Life” website was spawned by the National Year of Reading 2008 and has a number of ideas you might try, but does not suggest specific titles. The ideas you can try include joining your local library (obvious!), trying  a “Quick Read” with a link to the NIACE website, and taking the “Six Book Challenge”( a scheme which is being run by many local libraries).

Manchester Public Libraries have a special section on their website containing many fiction category lists from “Adventure and Intrigue” to “Multicultural Chick Lit.” and “Purrfect Crimestoppers” (about sleuths who have feline friends). There’s also a small number of reading lists on non-fiction and special topics. I know it’s sort of trendy to be able to enter a title and then click on a button to get a list of similar titles, but a straightforward old fashioned reading list can often be just as good or even better.

There’s one more site which I thought worth a try – I’ll do some more investigation on that site and report back next time.

For Doctor Who fans

Dr WhoThere’s no Doctor Who on the telly at the moment, but to fill in the time before the next series, why not try one of these titles : Doctor Who: the Time Traveller’s Almanac [BBC £14.99 978-1846075728] will keep you happy for hours as it deals with all the different worlds and time periods visited by the two most recent Doctors. The book is arranged chronologically from the beginning of time to the end of the universe and is lavishly illustrated and I don’t use the word “lavishly” unless I mean it.

TennantWith a similar standard of illustration the David Tennant Casebook [ Orion £7.99 9781409104698]by Molly Mitchell claims to be the book that his fans have been waiting for with “facts, photos , quotes and interviews”. Having quickly browsed through it, I have to say it is very “gushing” and strictly for fans I would think. It’s been criticised for factual errors and spelling and grammar mistakes, but you can judge for yourself  if you download a pdf “preview” from the Orion website.


  1. Hi Bill,
    I’ve just been reading 3 novels by John Macken; about forensics and all of them riveting. They are Dirty Little Lies, Trial by Blood and Breaking Point.
    They are a touch brutal in parts, but very difficult to put down. In fact, they are getting me a ‘bad home’ because conversation is at an all time low!

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