7.19.2011

Pandora for Books, The Next Big Thing, and Best Books that aren't the Best

As bookstores become less and less of a force in our lives (so sorry about Borders), folks will turn to the internet to find books. Amazon's search feature is helpful, but few other sites have figured out how to generate decent recommendations for books based on the searcher's criteria. BookLamp may have found something. Similar to Pandora, the site purports to be able to find books based on a book's "DNA."

Are we ready for another YA book to sweep us off our feet? I'm hesitant to get excited, but some people think Marie Lu's novel Legend, the first of a planned trilogy, will be the next big thing. Half Les Miserables half Blade Runner (oh Lord), it's already been optioned for a movie and has started to gather teen fans. The novel debuts November 29.

Lastly, some thought is paid to whether or not well-known authors are best known for their best books. The Guardian wonders if some of the better books have been unfairly sidelined by other, more poorly-executed novels. I haven't read enough of the examples to agree with all of the suggestions, but come to think of it Steinbeck's East of Eden is much better than The Grapes of Wrath, Wharton's House of Mirth is more interesting than An Age of Innocence, and I still don't understand how in the world Cather's My Antonia is considered to be a more solid read than O Pioneers!. Someone had the audacity to suggest that Tender is the Night was better than The Great Gatsby, to which I had to scoff. No book, dear friends, is better than The Great Gatsby.

2 comments:

  1. I always thought I was one of few who likes East of Eden more than The Grapes of Wrath (which I also greatly admire, but have a very different relationship with). Good to know I'm not alone!

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  2. I wonder if people read GoW for school, get annoyed with Steinbeck, and then never read anything else. Because once you read EoE, it's so clearly the better of the two!

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