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Q: Online Book Recommendation Engines ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Online Book Recommendation Engines
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: asmadeus-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 25 Jul 2002 07:42 PDT
Expires: 24 Aug 2002 07:42 PDT
Question ID: 44994
In a nutshell:
I enjoy reading books. Please provide online resources (preferribly
free) which will recommend additional books that fit the same

The criteria may not necesserily be in the same Genre. Often, if the
book is really good, I'd read all titles by the same Author, therefore
creating a list of favorite Authors. Thus, Book Recommendations can be
expanded from Title Recommendations to Author Recommandations. So "if
you like this author you may also like..." is accepted and a desirable

Example Authors:
 Hubert, Jr. Selby
 Chuck Palahniuk 
 Thomas Harris 
 J. G. Ballard 
 Bret Easton Ellis
 Hunter S. Thompson
 Anthony Burgess
 Kurt Vonnegut
 William S. Burroughs 
 Albert Camus
 Jerry Stahl 

I don't want recommendations for the above authors. I only want online
resources that will provide recommendations FOR ME. The above are just
the examples.

The resulting recomendations MUST NOT be based upon other people's
purchases (e.g. "Customers who bought this book also bought").

Your answers CAN NOT contain or Barnes&Noble ( I've
already exhausted their recommendations.

Hint : Amazon's Lists are the closest best recommendations I've
received since they are created by REAL people.
Subject: Re: Online Book Recommendation Engines
Answered By: blader-ga on 25 Jul 2002 13:26 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Dear asmadeus:

Thank you for your question. The systems you refer to in your question
are known as "collaborative filtering" systems. If you would like to
learn more about them, here's a brief introduction:

Other resources related to collaborative filtering:

I have found that both Barnes&Noble and Amazon share the same backend
for their engines, namely, the Firefly system. I have tried to search
for other services that use different systems for their book
recommendations, and I have found three.

The first one is at AlexLit, an online e-book vendor. They use a
recommendor system called "Hypatia." Unfortunately, they only sell
online e-books.

The second one is They allow you to rate different
media, such as TV Shows, Movies, and Books. Based on your ratings,
they will recommend different titles in the same media. You will need
to register a free account from them first this to work.

The final one is a set of lists created by librarians at They come in the form of "If you like.... Try..."
lists for authors, subgenre, titles, and others. You can check that
out here:

Google Search Strategy:
       "Collaborative filtering"

I hope this was what you were looking for! If you need any
clarifications, please don't hesitate to ask. I would be more than
happy to assist you further.

Best Regards,
asmadeus-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
The answer was acceptable. I gave only three stars because there are
some flaes. One of the references only sold e-books. It is not what I
was looking for, but i'll take it as an answer anyway, since i didn't
specify the media type. The other only had a couple of recommendations
from people - not an engine at all. The Rating Zone is the closest
best match for my answer. I've used it before, though. I guess, this
answers the question whether there are any engines out there at all.
Thank you for your research.

Subject: Re: Online Book Recommendation Engines
From: secret901-ga on 25 Jul 2002 11:58 PDT
I have heard of such a service, but it's for movies.
However, you might be interested in Google Sets
( which expands a set of things that you
give it.
This is a message from someone who seems to have had fun trying it
Subject: Re: Online Book Recommendation Engines
From: asmadeus-ga on 29 Jul 2002 05:34 PDT
Surprisingly enough, Google's sets is the best dynamic engine thing out there!
Subject: Re: Online Book Recommendation Engines
From: mara-ga on 29 Jul 2002 07:22 PDT
You can select certain qualities (funny, frightening, unpredictable,
etc.) for the books you like to read, and it will make
recommendations. (Check out the graphic as you slide from one extreme
to the other.)

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