With hundreds of thousands of books published each year, it can be a daunting task at times to decide which titles to read next, especially when it comes to find new-to-you authors. Several websites have sprung up to help with that very problem, relying upon "book discovery" data from readers and algorithms to suggest possible novels for you to read.
Since websites can come and go rather quicly in the rapidly-evolving world of the Internet, the following sites on the list all seem to still be working as of this writing. But if you find any errors or just want to chime in with your own favorites, make a note in the comments section. Also, one caveat—these sites are primarily and/or exclusively geared toward traditionally-published books, so if you're trying to find new or bestselling self-published works, you'll have to stick with the "Top Seller" lists on Amazon, B&N, and the other eBook sites.
TEN BOOK DISCOVERY SITES:
Bookish (recently acquired by Zola Books). Bookish was created by three major publishers, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette Book Group. It's been called the "Pandora for books," and it features a simple interface that calls up a recommendation engine with over 600,000 titles and one million author profiles.
Bookseer also has a an easy to use interface with its "seer" thought balloon asking you to type in the book you just read so it can magically tell you what you should read next. Actually, it works with Amazon and Library Thing recommendations to compile its results, but it's still a quick way to get results. I do like what the site adds, though: "Of course, you could go ask your local bookshop or your local library."
First Chapters is a new book discovery site where readers can sample the first three to four chapters of great books free of charge in all categories and genres, including poetry and short stories.
The Fussy Librarian is a place where readers sign up, indicate what kinds of books, ebooks, or audios they prefer (genre, degree of violence, sex, etc) and get customized emails either daily or weekly with reading recommendations. As the site says, if you're a fan of cozy mysteries, they'll only send you an email when there's a mystery that doesn't have sex, violence or profanity. But if you're more of a book omnivore, they send along lots of suggestions every day.
Library Reads solicits public library staff throughout the U.S. to nominate new adult titles that they have read, loved, and are eager to share with patrons via the website libraryreads.org. The idea was that staff picks are better than most frequently circulated titles because they "wanted to expose people to titles they aren’t already seeing."
Nextread helps users pick books based on both their social network and the price of books. You login with your Facebook account and will be presented with books liked, recommended and read by your friends. You can also create customized lists of the books you are have read or want to read.
Riffle is sometimes called the "Pinterest of book discovery," and it's intended to be an alternative to Goodreads. Riffle users sign up and share reading lists on Riffle with their friends. Even if you haven’t signed up for Riffle, you can view reading lists.
What Should I Read Next? uses a database created from readers and their favorite books and then provides book recommendations and suggestions for what you should read next. Type in the title of a book or an author's name and click on the first listing that comes up. You'll be presented with a list of books that are similar in genre and style.
Whichbook uses millions of combinations of factors to suggest books that most closely match your needs. You use sliders to set a range within your choices (e.g. Happy vs. Sad, Gentle vs. Violent, Short vs. Long, etc.). Or, you can choose to filter out books by character type, plot or setting.
Your Next Read website functions in a way similar to What Should I Read Next? in that you type in a book title or author and click on that result to get suggestions of similar books.
Of course, there are always the websites that are review- and member-based, such as Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing, BookLikes, and Slicebooks, where people set up shelves of their books to share. Another possibility is Bookateria by Publishers Lunch, which includes industry "Best of the Year" book lists, plus you can browse by the latest releases in various categories, including Mystery, Crime and Thrillers.