You’ve Got to Read This!

There are many sites on the internet where you can get lists of recommendations on books to read, but I particularly enjoy sites where the recommendations follow particular themes and/or have explanations concerning why the listed books are being recommended.  Here are three of my favorite websites:

Five Books used to be part of The Browser, but is now a standalone website.  Each entry at Five Books consists of a question and answer interview with someone who recommends five books on a particular topic.  The recommendations are broken down into numerous categories including History & Biography, Fiction, Philosophy & Religion, Science & Technology, Economics & Business, Leisure & Lifestyle, Politics, Society & Culture, and Exploring the World.  Each category is further broken down into subcategories.  Fiction is broken down into Lives of Novelists, World Literature, Mysteries & Thrillers, Chick Lit & Historical Fiction, Children’s Books, and more.  Under Mysteries & Thrillers you have Scott Turow recommending five legal novels, Jo Nesbø recommending five Norwegian crime novels, and Jeremy Duns on five forgotten cold war thrillers.  This is the most comprehensive of the websites I am recommending.  Truly there is something for everyone at Five Books.

NPR’s Three Books is where authors recommend three books on a particular subject.   Unlike Five Books, Three Books is not broken down into neat categories.  Instead, the entries are totally unrelated to one another.  Some of the most recent entries include “Pack Your Bags: 3 Books About Coming To America,” “3 Books That Watch Your Every Move,” “What’s Cooking? 3 Books That Are More Filling Than Food,” and “Hardly Heroic: 3 Flagrantly Flawed Main Characters.”  In each entry the featured author gives a quick synopsis of the three books being recommended.

The Daily Beast’s Book Bag asks the question “What should you be reading?” and then gives you the answer.  Like Three Books, Book Bag’s entries, each written by an author who recommends five books, are seemingly random.  Some recent entries include “How to Read a Novel,” “Science Fiction That Matters,” “My YA Favorites,” “The Best of Latin America,” “My Top Five Horror Classics,” and “My Favorite Celebrity Memoirs.”

Checking out these websites is fun in itself, and you will certainly find something that will surprise and delight you.

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