Top Five Tools to Kick Start Your New Year’s Resolution Reading

NPR's Best Books app helps you filter through the 250 best books of 2014 (as well as previous years!)

NPR’s Book Concierge app helps you filter through the 250 best books of 2014 (as well as previous years!)

The book-lovin’ world is currently abuzz with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s latest New Year’s Resolution, “Read a new book every other week,” and his “A Year of Books” group page.  While I disagree that he’s “this generation’s Oprah” (mostly because I don’t like to be told what my age’s anything is supposed to be), I know he’s definitely not alone in the “read more books” resolution category, and appreciate the idea of this whole online book club, as anything that spurs people to read more is alright in my, uh… book.

So you, too, want to read more books this year, but aren’t ready to subscribe to Zuckerface’s recommendations? Here’s five useful tools to help you with your resolution:

  1. Goodreads: If you’re a reader and haven’t tried Goodreads yet, you’re missing out (Hello, my name is Caitlin Elgin, and I only JUST got a Goodreads account a week ago). “Best of” lists, reading recommendations based on your favorite titles, book reviews and stalking your friends’ lists to see what romance novels they’re reading. What more could you need?
  2. What Should I Read Next?: This nifty little tool allows you to plug in a title of a book you enjoyed and then suggests books that are similar to that title. It doesn’t really get much easier than that. Bonus: If you’re still stuck, under the “Stats” section of the site, you can take a peek at the most popular searches and titles other people are looking for!
  3. NPR’s Books Concierge: Filters like “Book Club Ideas,” “NPR Staff Picks,” and “It’s All Geek to Me” help you sort through staff and critics’ picks for the best books per year, from 2008-2014.
  4. WhichBook: While I am not sure this site has the most extensive list of recent titles out there, the slider search function is a lot of fun – you can choose up to 4 ranges (sliding on a scale between things like “Happy” or “Sad,” “Safe” or “Disturbing,” etc. etc.) of categories at once, and search combinations like “Funny,” “Disturbing,” “Lots of sex,” and “Bleak.” You can also change modes to search by character demographics, plot type and setting. Fun!
  5. Book Clubs: Sure, Zuckerberg has his whole online thing, but it doesn’t really take the place of an honest-to-goodness, meet-with-friends-and-munch-on-cheese, bonding-over-books, in-person club. Here’s one author’s take on how to make your book club great. Don’t want to start your own? Use Meetup.com to find one in your area!

What’s your 2015 reading goal, and how do you plan to accomplish it? Let us know in the comments!

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