Readers Advisory

I’m a librarian and I can’t find a good book to read.  I’m re-reading all of the Dublin Murder Squad books and Moby-Dick at the moment because I’m in between new reads.  I’ve been in between new reads for what feels like forever.

I’ve hit that same wall a lot of readers do: I just don’t know what I’m in the mood for.

The central idea of Readers Advisory is to connect the right person with the right book at the right time.  I’ve got an enormous to-read list (which you can peruse on my Goodreads page), but nothing I’ve pulled from it lately has clicked.  The characters annoy me, the writing is too pedestrian, the pace is too slow, the story is uninspired, et cetera.  And these are books I’m sure I would have liked had I been in a different mood.

So in looking over that list of complaints, what am I after?  Interesting, complex characters.  Lyrical or at least engaging writing.  A quick pace.  A good, original idea for a story.

There’s a great tool on NoveList (check with your local library to see if you can access this great resource with your library card) called The Appeal Mixer.  It can’t judge your mood, but it can pull titles for you that match key appeal terms which you plug in.  You get to pick three.

Okay!  I will tell NoveList that I am in the mood for books that: are fast-paced, have an engaging writing style, and complex characters.

…I got 14 hits and 12 of them are Charlaine Harris’s Lily Bard mysteries.  Okay.  Let’s try a different mix.  How about lyrical writing, an intensifying pace, and unreliable narrators?

Only three hits?  One intrigues me: The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni.  Here’s what NoveList has to say about it:

Description:Traveling to a dangerous archipelago off the coast of California for a one-year residency, photographer Miranda is assaulted by a local who is later found dead, an event that leaves Miranda speculating about the region’s wild beauty and the natures of her companions.
Character: Introspective; Unreliable narrator
Storyline: Intricately plotted
Pace: Intensifying
Tone: Menacing; Strong sense of place
Writing Style: Compelling; Lyrical

Sounds about right!  I’ll give it a shot and will let you know.

If you’re in the same boat as I am, give searching by appeal factors a try.  You can ask a librarian or someone at the bookstore, read a few book blogs, or use a resource like NoveList or WhichBook.

And if you find anything good, let me know.  I’ve got some time before The Lightkeepers comes in through interlibrary loan.







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