Your Trusted Places and Persons for Book Recommendations

hitmouse

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Jul 3, 2011
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I take recommendations critically from a number of friends and reviews but not one in particular.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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I've taken a lot of recommendations here. :)

Also on Amazon - if I'm interested in a book I'll read the 3-star reviews as potentially the most balanced. If I thing the criticisms would damage my enjoyment of the book, I move on.
 

Vince W

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Myself, I'm mistrustful of Amazon reviews. How do we know the person writing the review isn't completely mad, a member of some right-wing political group, or eats packet soup?
 

Extollager

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For years, I have been following up comments C. S. Lewis made in his published letters and elsewhere, to read books like, say Margaret Kennedy's The Feast, which I might never have heard of otherwise, but got hold of and liked a lot. He's not real strong on books published since 1963, I admit, but then there were a lot of books published up to that year, and not all of the ones worth reading are still well-known. He probably is the main tipster for reading for me. Next month a book on the books J. R. R. Tolkien owned should be out. I imagine that will lead to further raids on abebooks.com.

I have a few living friends whose recommendations I'll at least consider. One friend recommended Robert Coates's short story "The Hour After Westerly" (you can find it in Ray Bradbury's anthology Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow). Another ecommended Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor and supplied a copy (of Cordelia's Honor). When I wrote back & said I liked it & was interested in more, he sent all of the Vorkosigan books except one -- he stockpiles books for giving away. A revered mentor recommended N. T. Wright's How God Became King & I'm reading that now. I've certainly gone out and bought books after seeing comments by people here at Chrons.

Another of my profs, who died years ago, recommended various books, and one of them that I haven't yet read, Thomas Mann's The Transposed Heads, is on hand.

I'm never at a loss for something to read. I have hundreds of books on hand that are waiting for a first reading, and many more that I'd like to reread.
 

Rodders

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Mostly word of mouth. I don't have many friends who are in to Sci Fi to I rely on other members of the Chrons for new books. I've done very well, so far and have yet to be disappointed.
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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I've got a few friends I trust for book recommendations and I've gotten some good tips here, but Fantastic Fiction has a section of each author's page for recommendations by that author (which leads to more authors and their recommendations) and I've fallen down that rabbit hole many times, often returning with wonderful reads that I would otherwise never have heard of.
 

nixie

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I may live in Yorkshire but I'm a Scot
Here, my brother, one or two people from work.I also still browse book shops and read the blurb.

I don't often read books recommended by friends in real life we have completely different tastes.
 

Pedro Del Mar

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Besides here where I've had many a great recommendation, there's a group on Facebook I'm a member of called Grimdark Fiction Readers and Writers. It's a fab group, lots of writers posting and I've had many fabulous recommendations from there.
 

biodroid

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Oct 11, 2007
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I obviously like what is being reviewed on Chrons but also check out Reddit. Goodreads reviewers can be very long winded and for some reason people think that a review should contain a summary of the plot which is very irritating.
 

Overread

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I find Chrons has good recommendations and also is great for pointing out older books or those from authors who are not current big sellers, esp if they sold big before the internet. Many a classic has very few reviews on review sites simply because it was released at a time before the internet.

Amazon and Goodreads (often checking the US amazon reviews as there tend to be a lot more) are good sources, but can be iffy. Sometimes I don't even read the reviews and just look at the number. Under 20 and the reviews might be friends/family; over 100 and its probably going to be a good representation of the book. So if its got 20 5 star reviews I'm a bit weary; whilst if its got 100 reviews with a general 4 or 5 star rating then it might be more reliably good.
Another measure is to glance at those reviews for a series of books, in theory a series should get higher star reviews the further into it you go, as you lose non-readers of the series and gain increasing fans support. However if the number of reviews drops dramatically then that's another sign.


Goodreads reviewers can be very long winded and for some reason people think that a review should contain a summary of the plot which is very irritating.
This really annoys me and is why I tend to avoid a lot of major reviews for films and books. They summarise the whole plot!! First up its annoying because, esp with fantasy and sci fi, most plots sound rather stupid or daft when boiled down into a very short summary (its a reason I hate back-of-book blurbs too). So it can already make the story seem uninteresting, but then even worse they've spoilt part of the development of the story and could have spoilt up to the middle or further!






That said all told it can be a minefield and I've never really found any blogger or reviewer to follow who has "my style" of what I like and is reliable. Then again I've also never really gone looking for such a person either.
 
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