1. thearchitect
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    thearchitect Member

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    Picking out a new book

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by thearchitect, Aug 5, 2014.

    I was in a book store today and some of the literature was quite cheap, much cheaper than you'd see in Easons etc. and I browsed for a while, however I didn't buy anything.

    I looked for tried and trusted names, Daniel Handler and Michael Crichton, who's works I'd read and enjoyed, but they weren't there. I hate buying books because a lot of untried writers I pick up I end up disliking, so I've a lot of books/series that I've read again and again because I love them, I'd better get to the point here so I'll ask:

    How do you go about selecting new novels to read, internet research, speaking to friends, etc.?

    Are there any strong recommendations out there, anything for one writer to pass on to another?
     
  2. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read this forum and in some topics members post introductions or their subjective reviews of books. If I am intrigued,I write down the name of the author. Currently I have more than 30 names noted.

    When choosing a book, I go by what I feel like reading at that moment, but I always choose an author from my list, because I know I won't be dissapointed. Because I am a student, I really don't have time for "bad books". :rolleyes: This is how I choose book if I don't work on one of my own projects.
    If I am working on a project, I usually buy/borrow something in the same genre, so I see how acknowledged writers write about ideas/themes similar to mine.
     
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  3. thearchitect
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    thearchitect Member

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    Thanks, I'll rob a few books/authors from this forum now, by the way for your sig, 'dissapointed' should be 'disappointed' and 'This is how I choose book' should be 'This is how I choose (a book)(books)'
     
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  4. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Damn, there are a few words I just can remember how to write them; disappoint, success and some adverbs ending on -ly are most common. :p
    Thanks,by the way. :)

    I wanted to give you a link to a specific thread where many good authors have been introduced, but I can't find it, sorry. :/
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I choose based on recommendations from people with similar tastes and through online research (i.e., looking at writers who influenced my favorite writers). I then jot down some names and look for them when I go to the bookstore.
     
  6. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a general background knowledge of what kind of literature exists out there. I could rattle off the titles of many novels that I have not read, but I know the basic premise, and probably some other information like the approximate date of publication, the author, the general level of critical and commercial success, etc.

    This knowledge is simply what I absorb from browsing the web and talking to people.

    Every once in a while, I wake up with the title of one of these novels in my mind and the premise suddenly seems interesting. (Not unlike when I wake up with a song in my head that I have not heard in months and I do not particularly like -- then I listen to it, and I suddenly love it.) So I look up the book to get an overview of the plot, how well it has been received, etc. And if it continues to interest me for a few days, then I start reading it.

    Most of the novels that I have read, I discovered and chose to read this way. The basic idea is that I rarely go looking for the next novel to read; I usually read a novel that I have already known about for some time. And I usually read top-down rather than bottom-up: instead of reading a novel with no prior knowledge and then building up my big-picture understanding of it, I try to get a basic overview of the plot and of the themes people tend to perceive in it, then I skim through some of the novel at random, then I start reading.
    I have been doing this, too. I recently read a few novels that only interested me because I wanted to "learn how the pros" have done what I am doing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  7. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps you can use some sort of online application to track the type of books you like? They often recommend you books based on what you like and read. You can also find out what books the authors you like read. =)
     
  8. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    www.goodreads.com
     
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  9. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    www.goodreads.com is a good site. If you haven't read Princess of Mars you should. Just read it this week and it really surprised me in a good way.
     
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  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Many of the best books are written by people who only wrote one or a few stories, so you're limiting yourself if you stick to the blockbuster authors who wrote a book a year.
    I find recommendations all over -- word of mouth, book reviews, even just browsing. If I find the dustjacket blurb intriguing, I read the first few pages and see if it strikes me. I'll also check reviews on amazon and goodreads -- I actually check the one star reviews first, because I find that they can be the most insightful. If someone hates a book, I want to know why. If several people are able to articulate coherent reasons for not liking the book, that goes a long way with me. I'll also look for five star reviews that have some good meat -- beyond just "I read it quickly! I loved it! Best book ever!" Those are useless. Sometimes, though, it's hard to give a good description of why you really loved a book, especially if a novel has a lot of twists and turns or there are spoilers to the story.

    Yes, it's somewhat of a leap of faith, but you don't really have much choice. I've been disappointed plenty of times in books I'd really looked forward to reading. But when you find a great one, that makes it all worth it. And no one says you have to finish a book if you really can't stand it.
     
  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm pretty visual, I pick up a book with a cover I like and browse it. If I like the writing inside and the blurb I'll get it.
    I usually don't read the first few pages though - I open it to the middle.
    I also like typing in phrases to find book recommendations on the internet. I'm never swayed by people's recommendations though. If they hate it and I think it sounds interesting I'll still give it a try.
     
  12. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just spent over an hour at work rating books and clicking 'want to read.' Especially having worked at a library for almost a year I don't know how I never ended up using this site. THANK YOU.
     

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