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While most readers have a backlog of books a mile long, we’re all also looking to make it two miles long. Sometimes, despite a lengthy “to-read” list, we can find ourselves at a loss when choosing our next read. To help you decide and get started, we’ve picked out our four favorite websites to visit for book recommendations and reviews.
You can’t discuss book recommendations and reviews without mentioning GoodReads. The site allows users to keep a digital shelf tracking which books they’ve already read, track their progress in current reads, rate and review books, and receive both automated suggestions the site builds based on your history and reviews, but also access user-generated lists and reviews.
The site can connect to your Amazon account, allowing you to quickly populate your bookshelf with what you’ve previously read and your reviews. What’s more, it connects to your Kindle as well, so once you finish reading a book on your device it will automatically detect that you completed it and update your recommendations.
Finally, the GoodReads community is what truly makes this site excel. While many sites offer similar functionality, none offer the breadth of books and reviews that GoodReads has, and it’s recommendations are equally tailored and detailed. Many well-known authors use GoodReads for their own reading, so you can even follow along with what they read!
The Fussy Librarian is a recommendation service for those picky about objectionable content. If you like your books strictly G-rated (or strictly X-rated for that matter), you can input your preferences into the services and receive notifications about books that match your criteria. Profanity, sex and violence all receive separate scores, so you can customize what you’re willing to put up with in your books.
This is a great service if don’t like nasty surprises in a book you thought was squeaky clean. The service comes in especially handy for gift-giving and helping choose books for children. You don’t want to accidentally give Grandma Fifty Shades of Grey at Christmas, so fortunately The Fussy Librarian has you covered.
The BookBub is an ideal recommendation and discount service. You input your reading preferences when signing up, and then every day receive new recommendations in your email of matching and discounted books. Most books recommended are under a promotion by the authors, and are priced at $0.99 or less. Many are even free! However, you’ll have to act fast as many of the sales expire quickly.
The service mostly features relatively unknown authors, so don’t expect to see Ulysses or something by John Grisham come up in your recommendations. This is both a plus and a minus; it can help you find some true gems that would otherwise go under the radar, but you’re also bound to find a few stinkers in the bunch. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, try changing your preferences and play with it until it works for you.
Olmenta’s simplicity is both its strength and its weakness. There’s no need to sign up for an account or list off you favorite books; the site is a simple list of titles based on general popularity and some editor curation. You can browse by genre, but otherwise there’s no customization. It just lists what’s popular and generally recommended at the moment.
It’s elegant and minimal interface make it easy to use, and it’s updated constantly, making it a valuable resource if you’re just looking to keep a pulse on what’s hot in the publishing world. However, those looking for more tailored recommendations or interaction options will have to go elsewhere.