Finding the Right Book

One of the great determinants of whether people will become avid readers or not is whether they find the right books – the ones that speak to them and make them want to read more. One of your jobs in this class will be finding your “right books,” three books that you will enjoy reading this month. Getting suggestions from friends and family is one route. Here are some tools that might also help you choose books.

  • Gnooks – try either Gnod’s suggestions or the literature map to find writers whose work is like other writers
  • LibraryThing – a site where over half a million people have cataloged their books – 32 million of them. This is where your book reviews will be published.  Take a look at what Gustavus students have recommended.  You can search by “tags” – user-generated subject terms – to find books you might be interested in. There are also recommendations generated by LibraryThing’s recommendation machine.
  • Lit Lists – links to “best of” lists of all kinds.Novelist (on campus or use your barcode and last name to access) – includes recommended reading and author read-alikes.
  • Overbooked – lists by genre and more.
  • Whichbook – put in your preferences on sliding scales, get lists of books to match.

So once you have ideas of what books you might want to read, how can you get your hands on them?

Check our catalog, MnPALS. (You can also get books from the St. Peter Public Library; to get a card there, take in your ID and something with your name and Gustavus address on it, such as a bill.)

If our library doesn’t have, you can borrow it from another library through Worldcat – how to do this is explained in a previous post, below

Another option is to browse the library’s shelves. In addition to the browsing collection (a small selection of popular books), here is some good browsing territory for contemporary British and US fiction (mixed with criticism):

  • PR 6060 – 6100
  • PS 3560 – 3600