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Monday, January 19, 2009

Author Share Their Joy in Reading and Help You to Find New Books

Late last week, Ann Patchett, an author of literary fiction, wrote an essay for The Wall Street Journal about the joys of reading fiction.

This reminded me of the series on NPR where authors talk about books that have moved them. You can also click here for my previous post on the series.

As a reader, I always enjoy hearing why authors like reading themselves. As a fan of a specific author, I view his or her suggestions as possible readalike options. As a Readers' Advisor, I also search out this information for my patrons, and quite frequently, together we are able to identify a new crop of authors with which the patron was previously unfamiliar. And, more often than not, the patron enjoys the new titles.

But how to locate your favorite author's favorite authors? (That's a mouthful) One of my favorite ways to find authors that your favorite author recommends is to search the "blurbs" an author provides to another's new book. You can see these on the back cover of a book, on Amazon, or at Fantastic Fiction. On Fantastic Fiction, type in your favorite author and scroll to the very bottom of the record (it could be long, so keep going) and look for the "Recommendation" section. Here is an example for Stephen King to get you started.

If you are looking for more ways to find out your favorite author's favorite books, you can also try to find his or her official website. Just "Google" the author's name and start clicking around. Many have a section where they list their favorite authors; often it is in the "Frequently Asked Questions" Section (FAQ). Here is an example from Jennifer Weiner's website (scroll halfway down for a list of her favorite authors).

There are many ways to discover "new to you" authors. These are just a few tips, but don't forget, your local librarian is there to help too.

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