How to find your next great read

We all know that feeling. You’ve reached the end–the end of the book that was so good you rationed the last few chapters because you couldn’t bear to finish it. Or maybe your “to be read” list is looking a bit thin and is in dire need of some extra zing! If you find yourself suffering from this affliction–known as Book Emergency Syndrome (TM), here are a few remedies to help.

GoodReads (now owned by Amazon) or the smaller (and also, sadly, Amazon-owned) LibraryThing are the most well known reader sites these days. They are excellent sources for new reading ideas and book talk, but you may not feel comfortable making your reading tastes public knowledge.

FictionDB offers a nice alternative, allowing you to track your reading privately, including rating and tagging. Most of the features are free to use, including the extensive list of forthcoming releases. has new releases, read-alikes, and the ability to browse books by time period, theme, setting etc. Some content is free, but membership is required to view the whole site ($39 US per year).

For some truly hardcore fiction analysis, take a look at I tried out the Science Fiction Precision Book/Movie search and I can tell you they aren’t joking about that “precision” bit. I picked a male engineer as my main character (I wonder why 🙂 ), although when it came to selecting “really unusual traits,” I think Joe Ballen has a little of every one!

Public library web sites and their newsletters are fantastic resources for finding out about new books or discovering themed reading lists. Some even offer personalized reading suggestions via a form on their web site such as Multnomah Country Library or Williamsburg Regional Library.

And if you prefer a more face-to-face option, you can always visit the library (or your local indie bookstore), browse the shelves, or ask the staff for recommendations in areas you enjoy. Remember these guys are the pros when it comes to books.

If you use social media (and who doesn’t these days!) you can also search for posts on new and up-and-coming authors. Try searching for hashtags such as #bynr (be your next read), #amwriting (for new authors who are actively in the process of writing), #books for books in general, and add tags for your favorite genre. You’ll be surprised how many new authors will come up. Your next great read is out there waiting for you, guaranteed!

Want to talk sci-fi or science reads? Connect with me on GoodReads. Have I missed some of your favorite reader sites? Let me know in the comments!

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