Thursday, April 17, 2008

1 More Way to Find Another Great Read

By Alan Eggleston, writer, editor, and bookseller

Another way to find a good read by an author you like is to use the online Literature Map Web site. Simply go to and in the "Name of the author" field, enter the name of the author whose work you just enjoyed and click the "Continue" button. The result will be a screen showing your author's name surrounded by other names. The closer the other names are to your original author, the more likely you will like their works. It's based on people entering author names and indicating whether they have liked those authors' works.

Example: I like Horatio Hornblower by C.S. Forester. If I want to find other authors who write stories similar to hose of C.S. Forester, I enter his name in the entry field. It shows me Dudley Pope, Rudyard Kipling, Alexander Kent, and Bernard Cornwall as closest. It's interesting that Patrick O'Brian, who also writes Napolean-era sea adventures is far to the right. And it's also interesting that the author whose Napolean-era sea yarns I admire most -- Julian Stockwin -- doesn't even show up. But this is a work in progress and the more people who participate, the more accurate it will become.

Give it a try. My good neighbor across the street told me about it and he uses it faithfully. Let me know what you think.

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