Today I’m trying an experiment. I looked at my Kindle and I have about 50 sample books stored up. I can’t read all these samples, and even if I did, samples don’t always give you a good idea of whether you’ll like the book.
How do you choose your next book? I like to switch around by category for one thing. Then I’ll read the new stuff I’ve been waiting for. I usually don’t read all the books in a series consecutively. But after that it’s kind of a close your eyes and stick out your finger kind of process for me.
On Goodreads I can catalogue all the books I might want to read, and sort them by rating. Goodreads typically has thousands of people rating books, which makes them a better gauge (I think?) than Amazon. I don’t know if Library Thing or Shelfari are better or worse, but I know I don’t have time to explore all three.
So I entered in all the book samples and books I’m thinking of reading, so I could see which books get the highest reader ratings. The result? I have 57 books in the TBR list, and here’s GR’s top 20, in order by rating:
- The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (fantasy)
- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (fantasy)
- Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (fantasy/humor)
- Poison Study by Maria Snyder (fantasy/YA?)
- The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (fantasy)
- Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce (fantasy/YA)
- The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (lit. fiction)
- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (lit. fiction)
- Graceling by Kristen Cashore (fantasy/YA)
- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (fantasy)
- The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (historical fiction)
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman(fantasy/YA)
- Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (lit. fiction)
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (lit. fiction)
- A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (fantasy/humor)
- Pump Six by Paulo Bacigalupi (fantasy/short stories)
- Room by Emma Donoghue (lit. fiction)
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (classic)
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (classic)
- To the End of the Land by David Grossman (lit. fiction)
This isn’t the order I would have expected but here it is. Came up a little heavy on the fantasy/YA. Interestingly, the lowest-rated on my list was a book called Something Red by Jennifer Gilmore which I started and didn’t like. So that’s a good sign, right?
I added categories to these (guessing in some places) so I can pick one from each category to read next. I guess this means my Kate Atkinson and TC Boyle, which ranked a little lower, will have to wait a bit. Help me out here — which ones would you recommend?