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Choose the Next Book. You will love #4, but #8 is most useful!

10 min: Quick Read

Girlfriend always has the problem of what dress to wear next? 

And wife always has the problem of what to cook for dinner today? 

And every book-lover has the problem of what to read next? 

Bibliophile (a french word means book lover), here are few ways to sort out this existential problem. 

The title of the blog-post is not a click-bait!

Seriously, You will love #4, but may find #8 the most useful! Go on, read. 

  1. Role Model Recommendations: Look at book-lists of your role model. Particularly book-lists of celebrity thinkers and some brands are much well known. And choose one. For example: 

    1. Bill Gates recommendations lists. Bill Gates posts his winter/summer reading lists on GoodReads as well as on his blog. He writes insightful book-reviews too. 

    2. Barack Obama’s reading lists. President of the world’s most powerful country brings a very different perspective to his reading. And by the way, he is a well-read scholar too. 

    3. Derek Siver’s review and comments on the 250+ book list

    4.  Adam Grant publishes book-lists every winter and summer. Celebrities like Malcom Gladwell bring their nonfiction to insight. And many firms (for example, Mckinsey ) publish their book lists. You can follow them on Twitter/Linked-in/Facebook or their blogs and collect these recommendations.  So who is your favorite author, celebrity, or Firm?  

  1. Popular/Award-winning Recommendations: Some of them are reputable, but many are useless. So you need to be a bit skeptical while scanning these lists. Critics, authors prepare some, and some by popular vote. A quick scan can help you to find gems for your interests. Some worth looking at is.. 

    1. New York Times best-seller. Probably most popular. Books on this list signal good sales. You can choose from various categories. 

    2. Financial Times book-lists

    3. For fun and Joy, explore this NPR book concierge, and select your next-read. 

    4. Oprah book club: A book on this list is also considered a good sale. You can find all 85 books on this link. 

    5. Pulitzer prize-winning books: You can explore here by category, year, author. 

    6. There are many such lists. Explore as per your choice as fiction/nonfiction. 

  2. Theme wise reading: You can follow various themes. 

    1. Top 100 books of all the time, top 100 nonfiction of all the time, You can find various such categories here

    2. Books by Nobel Laureates.  

    3. Blinkist book-lists by various categories.  

    4. Best Science related books: Discover list, Best-17 science book list by bookriot. 

    5. Goodreads have such a large number of theme-wise lists. If you have saved the books in Shelves, Goodreads AI-powered engine can suggest your next read. Amazon’s recommendation engine is also pretty good. Also, you can do a small google-search on any theme and find a lot of such book-lists. 

  3. This website has an interesting recommendation engine. There are various factors like happy, Short, funny, sex, conventional, etc. You can use any four factors, and it recommends books. When I chose “Funny”, “Safe”, and “Sex” – it suggested “Boys and Girls“. But the book doesn’t have a single buy or recommendation on amazon! And it looks like mostly fictions are available.  

  4. What Should I Read Next? This website – has an engine. You can enter a book or author, and it will find you the next read based on its reader’s database. 

  5. Quora – A question-answer site is also a good place to find book-suggestions. For example, look at this “If you could read only one book in your entire life, what would it be (exclude religious books). This question has 100+ answers, so clearly 100 recommendations from various perspectives. If you quickly scroll the answer list, you will certainly find a few titles that you may want to explore. And out of that, you will find one good read. Explore a bit. 

  6. Dive deep in the topic: This site, five-books, I frequently visit. Here you can find books recommended by experts. Visit this site and explore it by experts, topic-wise, and list-wise. And you can rely on the lists, as experts on that particular topic prepare them. For instance, here are five books on happiness – recommended by Jonathan Haidt. Jonathan Haidt, himself, is best-selling author, scholar, and researcher in the area of psychology and leadership. He wrote the book “the happiness hypothesis.” The list also contains the author’s rationale. I find it very reliable. For instance, search “mind,” and you will find lists about “brain and mind,” “philosophy of mind,” and “children and mind.” I find this very useful. Try searching for the area/topic of your interest. 

  7. Purposeful Reading List: Here is the last and my favorite way to choose the next read. I keep an eye on a book that appeals to my senses or gut-feel. For example, when I recently read “Writing Tools: 50 essential strategies“,, I come across many classical fiction and nonfiction books. In WhatsApp book clubs – world-economic-forum, FT book-club, I come across some interesting book-titles. I file them on the “amazon wish list” and “Goodreads to-read list.” Goodreads is better, as you can create multiple shelves or categories (Biographies, classics, fiction, psychology, positive-psychology, etc.). And based on your need and mood and interest, you can choose your next book. You can quickly refer to book ratings, reviews, and friends who read the book, etc. And finalize your next-read. For example: Currently, I need to work on academic writing. I already have a shelf of my chosen books on writing. So I can quickly see for “academic writing” and narrow down the most useful. For instance, currently, I am using “make your words work” – it is workbook kind and useful. Similarly, my interest area is “Positive Psychology,” I have already shelved books in that category, so choosing books from that (like on mindfulness or happiness) will be quick n easy. Regularly, say a weekly few clicks proves very useful. A must stop for a book-lover. And particularly so if reading is not only entertainment but self-learning, growing and enriching experience for you. 

So friends, how do you select your next read? Any other method? Do write in a comment; I promise to revise this list shortly.

My goodreads

2024 Reading Challenge

Santosh has not entered the 2024 Reading Challenge.

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