From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
How many times have you read a book, or maybe an entire series, and you want something new to read that is similar? This is a frequent question for us at the Reference Desk and it’s something I struggle with myself. Because if I really, really like a book it’s often very difficult to find anything else that lives up to my expectations and then I’m disappointed and I’m back to Square One, needing a book to read.
Fortunately, there are some handy dandy websites to help you find books that should be just what you’re looking for. Please note that I said “should”—they are not foolproof and sometimes I look at suggested lists and shake my head in disbelief. But I came to depend on them when the library was closed to the public during 2020 and it seemed like every other person requesting books either wanted the C.J. Box series or “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.
I compiled a list of readalikes for both that I kept at the desk so I could substitute titles rather than completely disappoint those desperate readers (and I can still recommend readalikes for both if you’re interested). Besides Googling “books like [insert title]”, take a look at which is very fun to use but take some of the suggestions with a grain of salt (and note that it matches authors rather than specific titles).
The best resource, however, is word of mouth from other readers. That’s how I learned that “The Marlow Murder Club,” by Robert Thorogood has much the same feel as Richard Osman’s “Thursday Murder Club” series. To make things even better, there are two more titles in the Marlow series just waiting to be read. And if that wasn’t enough excitement, I learned the other night that UKTV made it into a series which will air on PBS’ Masterpiece in April. So, I will be able to enjoy both print and film versions over the next few weeks.
Not every readalike suggestion works out that well but stop by the Reference Desk and we’ll do our best to find a title that will be close to what you’ve enjoyed in the past. For me it’s like being on a treasure hunt and there’s no better treasure than a good book.
DON’T FORGET: You have until Sunday, March 10 to turn in your bracket for “March Madness: Book Edition” as well as your ballot for the first round of voting. You can’t win if you don’t play!