How do you pick your books????

(63 Posts)
MrFranklyShankly Fri 01-Nov-13 12:43:57

Hi folks,

Just wondering how some of you pick books, is it by finding ones that are related to a certain theme you like, the front cover! Or recommendations?? I have picked a few by front cover recently as reading the back for a description sometimes can put me off what can be an otherwise good book, so got 'every last one' & 'before I go to sleep' this way and they were really good but then I got a crap one so I've scrapped this method of selection!!!! Recommendations here are always really good....so just curious as to how everyone else picks theirs????

F

asandwichshort Sat 02-Nov-13 20:54:10

I use www.literature-map.com. Put in an author's name you've found that you like and a springy map appears with names of authors who write similar types of books! S'easy - the nearer the names appear to your chosen author (which will be in the centre!) the more like THAT author they will be! Sort of if you like this one, here's others you would like!! Its very entertaining I don't get out much though! blush I have found some good books though!!!

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Sat 02-Nov-13 21:02:56

*verysmallsqueak' it is deeply disturbing btw. Proper post-nuclear war horror.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Sat 02-Nov-13 21:10:30

Sometimes by the cover... A sandy coloured cover is a good sign!
And sometimes I have a browse in Waterstones and pick one 'safe' choice and one 'wildcard' when they have buy one/get one half price.

So which sandy coloured books would you recommend? smile

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 21:30:25

I do find the nuclear ones chilling TheOneAndOnly.

I think that's got to have some proper scientific basis HomeIs. grin

My copies of The death of Grass and Day of the triffids have sandy coloured spines and they're two of the best books I've ever read.

smile I like Triffids but didn't think much to The Death of Grass.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 21:34:34

I thought the death of grass was 'delightfully' of its time Remus.

We always have a slightly differing view on these threads! Tbh I think I'm quite easily pleased - so long as there's a bit of mayhem and breakdown of the fabric of society,I'm a happy bunny grin

smile I'm v v v fussy, but mayhem and the breakdown of society are good, providing the writing is half decent. And I like a bit of plausibility with my mayhem too, which is where D of Grass fell down a bit imo.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 21:45:34

Falls down with a lot of post-apocalyptic stuff really,unfortunately.

Which is why I disable my bullshit detectors and just go along with it for the blood and guts ride. grin

See, I don't think it does. The Stand - entirely plausible. Even World War Z. Even Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. smile

But I just couldn't believe in the whole 'middle class people start to rape and murder within 2 hours of finding out the world is dying' thing.

MacaYoniandCheese Sat 02-Nov-13 21:51:57

GoodReads is really helpful for this. Look up things you've read and enjoyed and you'll see links to lists that include similar picks, other items in that genre etc.

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Nov-13 21:59:25

"I just couldn't believe in the whole 'middle class people start to rape and murder within 2 hours of finding out the world is dying' thing."

People acting like savages when law and order collapses has a long record & tradition in RL & literature. See ex-Yugoslavian neighbours quickly getting around to raping and murdering each other, for example.

As I told you before, I found the opposite take in On The Beach laughably unrealistic - grown adults debating whether they can start fishing season a month early this year, knowing full well that they will all die in a few months, talking about some marriage in the future as if it's ever going to happen, etc hmm

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Nov-13 22:01:10

Has anyone here read Asimov's Nightfall? Pre & Post-apocalyptic, with very interesting ideas.

I know, Cote - but it just didn't work for me. I do understand your problem with, 'On The Beach' too, but I just enjoyed it more as a story than 'Grass.' 'Grass' had an uncomfortable mix of 'of its time' prissiness and attempt at shocking modernity which didn't sit right for me.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 22:12:03

I have to say that I agree with Cote as far as The Beach is concerned.

I enjoyed it but had a harder time with it because they were all so damn stiff upper lip and civilized.

Roughly what is Nightfall about (without spoiling it) Cote?
Is it sci-fi-y?

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Nov-13 22:20:57

Yes, Nightfall is sci-fi-y (isn't all post-apoc?) and talks about a world illuminated by several stars so they have no night. They have a holy book that talks about darkness and bright dots in the sky in that darkness. And they are excavating ruins of an ancient city that shows recurring charred layers. I can't say why it is apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic without giving away more smile

Disclaimer - I read it several decades ago, so don't hate me too much if you find the writing lacking. The story is a good one, though.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 22:25:43

That sounds interesting - I normally steer clear of sci-fi-y ones (I don't do aliens.Aliens are silly.Zombies aren't confused ),but that sounds more woo than alien.

I'm talking crap now,aren't I? I know what I mean though!

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Nov-13 22:31:52

The only zombie book I read is World War Z (which I quite liked) so can't help you much there, I'm afraid.

Tbh most zombie books are horribly badly written imho - WWZ is one of the better ones.

I WISH somebody would write some good ones though.

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Nov-13 22:33:57

Btw, sci-fi of the last 20 years is mostly not about aliens but about the near future of planet Earth re where technology is going etc.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 22:38:41

Perhaps I need to broaden my horizons to try sci fi then,since I've read most zombie books....

I did love Last light by Alex Scarrow.That and the one after it (which name I always forget but poss. After light). Especially the first one was one of the most thought provoking books I've read - and horribly seemed quite realistically possible too.

MegBusset Sat 02-Nov-13 22:47:00

I tend to work through themes too, esp with non-fiction. Last year I went through a big colonial history phase, this year it's been exploration (mainly polar and mountaineering). Amazon's quite good at suggesting related books.

Fiction is trickier, I loathe most modern fiction including 'book club' books. Have had a few recommendations from here but mostly I work through 'classics' that I haven't read yet, mixed with a few reliably good authors (eg Hilary Mantel).

Meg - polar and mountaineering books here too! smile

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Nov-13 22:51:47

I've gone through quite a few running books if anyone is interested in recommendations.

asandwichshort Sat 02-Nov-13 22:56:24

I must say that using www.literature-map.com has broadened my horizons (see my previous post above) I read lee child (my fav at moment) although the jack reacher film starring tom cruise can not and will never in my imagination live up to the book character , karen rose, karin slaughter ( after a grounding of steven king, jeffrey deaver, james patterson, tess gerritsen etc ) and now have diverged onto darynda jones and paul wilson. I USED to just judge a book by its cover! But now i use the above website and check them out and then order from my local library website at 35p per book! I still go to the works and try to get 3 for a fiver though! and then get to the airport and buy 1 get 1 half price AND then when I get to the hotel I check the book swap area to see if there is anything good-- I'm sad aren't I? (too much time on my hands - not really - do anything but housework more like!!)

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