Readers often lament when they finish every book by a particular author and don’t know what to read next. If only Stephen King wrote faster, right?

Although I can’t conjure books out of thin air, I can suggest options to fill the void of a beloved late author or substitutes to tide you over until your favorite writer publishes again.

Roseburg Public Library has about 75,000 physical items and access to more than 75,000 electronic books and audiobooks, and there are titles and authors just waiting to be discovered.

Goodreads.com is a vast community of readers that offers the option to search by title and view similar books. Based on my searches, the readalikes were similar in tone and pacing, although the top results were popular authors with whom I already was familiar.

Goodreads also provides extensive list options by clicking Browse/Lists from the home page. Once I reached the Listopia page, I searched for Janet Evanovich, which returned a list titled “Stephanie Plum-esque Characters” that included many authors new to me.

Whatshouldireadnext.com offers a title search mechanism to locate similar books. Each title has several categories attached to it, such as “Coming of Age,” “Marriage and Family” and “Contemporary” and users can click on those broad headings to browse additional material. My results using this platform were similar to, but not the same as, those from Goodreads.

Hoover Public Library in Alabama has an array of author readalikes and genre lists at hooverlibrary.org/goodbooks. I also use Google to find similar authors.

Of course, developing any readalike list is subjective, and the best recommendations I receive usually occur after having a conversation with someone about a book we both enjoyed. Then I can talk about character development — which almost always is my favorite part of a story — or place because setting so often is a critical component.

Fortunately, library staff members and volunteers are a well-read bunch who love to talk books and enjoy pairing people with their next great discovery.

For example, when patrons tell me they like the legal aspects of John Grisham’s stories, I steer them toward Scott Turow, John Lescroart and Phillip Margolin. If they want a grittier storyline with a similar feel to Grisham’s “A Time to Kill” and “Sycamore Row,” I suggest John Hart. If they end up liking Hart, I tell them about Dennis Lehane and Allen Eskens.

Give our readalike service a try by calling us at 541-492-7050 or emailing at library@cityofroseburg.org. Tell us the type of books or authors you like and why, and we’ll do our best to introduce you to something or someone new.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library.

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