Addressing the question I am asked almost daily: "Do you know of any good books?" - JJ Landis
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Addressing the question I am asked almost daily: “Do you know of any good books?”

I get a lot of requests for book recommendations. Though I am a highly trained, card-carrying Super Librarian and all, I typically choke when someone asks me what they should read. Everything I’ve ever read escapes my memory.

 

Not to mention (yet I am mentioning), we all have varying taste in books. I won’t recommend Gone Girl to a Mennonite senior citizen, nor will I recommend Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers to someone who has just had a death in the family. The library patron who reads three paperback romance novels a night does not really want to know if I can suggest any good books. Because what I think is “good” is not going to align with her opinion of “good.”

 

When I am at a loss, I head to the trusty ole internet for some answers. Here are some sites I frequent when I’m looking for age appropriate reads and read alikes, researching if the content is appropriate for the reader, finding out what’s popular with others, and simply browsing the world of books:

 

1. Amazon.com

You have probably used Amazon to shop and most likely have noticed that recommendations are given based on your searches. If you aren’t actually shopping, you can still use the power of Amazon by typing in a title, an author, or even a genre of interest to get started. Amazon will display similar items, making it a great place to browse.

 

2. Goodreads.com

I use Goodreads to record everything I read. This site is useful if you like to categorize and rate your books. Their categories are called shelves – some of mine are “book club,” “read aloud to kids,” “young adult fiction,” etc. Goodreads will suggest books based upon what you have placed on your shelves.

It’s a social site so you can have “friends” and join communities and discussions.

 

3. What Should I Read Next?

All you need to do here is type an author or title and a list of similar items appears. Simple!

 

4. New York Times Bestseller Lists

If you have no idea where to start, browse these lists to see what’s popular among the masses.

 

5. A Book and a Hug

This site is packed with information about children’s books. Browse the read alikes and recommended reading sections to find your next great book.

 

6. Teenreads

You guessed it – this site focuses on books for teens. Reviews, author information, reading lists, and more occupy this vast resource.

 

7. Guys Read

There is something here for every guy! Big ones and little ones. Some of the compiled lists are “How to Build Stuff,” “At Least One Explosion,” “War.” Of course, girls will find many great books here as well.

 

8. Thriving Family, Family Media

The definition of what’s appropriate varies from person to person. Books are evaluated with these categories: plot, Christian beliefs, authority roles, other belief systems, profanity/graphic violence, kissing/sex/homosexuality, awards, and discussion topics. When you find yourself with a child who reads so much you can’t preview books fast enough, this site will be your friend.

 

9. Common Sense Media

Similarly, this website will help assure that you and your child choose books that align with your standards. Ratings are given for educational value, positive messages, positive role models, violence and scariness, and language. A recommended appropriate age is assigned. Books are rated by kids and parents.

 

Feel free to leave any of your suggestions in the comments.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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