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23rd September 2012

Top 5… Book Lists

We recommend recommendation websites to you

In tribute to our top spotholder,, Books takes a look at the premiere five book list sites the Internet has to offer. True, the exercise quickly devolved into just book-related websites we think are cool/great/rad, but still they all mention books, so go ahead, compile reading wishlists, and reading wish wishilists from the recommendations we recommend:


It’s the best listmaker (and tastemaker) in the business of listmaking, and has everything from How To Talk About 10 Important Books You Probably Haven’t Read (if you’ve read more than one of these walk tall, be proud) to The 20 Most Beautiful Bookshops in the World. Current favourite is 10 Great Novels and the Cocktails You Should Pair Them With. Delicious.

2. The Book Cover Archive

“For the purposes of appreciation and categorization.”
If you abide by the dictum always choose a book by its cover (and you should, many beloved treasures have been discovered from their surface value), this site is it. Listed randomly by cover, you can then search by author, pub date, genre or designer. Never have more happy coincidences occured. I now want The Way Through Doors by Jesse Ball.

3. Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm

It’s not intended as a recommendations list, but scroll through the episodes of Silverblatt’s ubiquitous radio show and you have the most comprehensive and up-to-date reading list of contemporary American fiction. Try keeping up, though.
Each show, the host invites the author of a new book on to discuss its contents, and their other works. Expect involved, intimate discussions. Dave Eggers is always a favourite – check out his latest appearance, for his new novel A Hologram for the King.

4. ‘As If You Don’t Have Enough to Read’: New York Times Magazine’s 100 Greatest Nonfiction Books (by Hugo Lindgren)

Representing nonfiction. The NY Times Magazine asked very member of its staff to pick their five favourite nonfiction books. It’s not rigourous, or democratic, Susan Sarandon gets bashed, and the Bible gets a mention, but neither does it pretend to be definitive. For these reasons, I would trust it with my reading future.

5. Miranda July’s Reading List for VICE

Whether or not VICE is a valid and/or valuable magazine that shoots itself in the publication every time it opens its mouth, Miranda July’s (she of film The Future, and book No One Belongs Here More Than You, fame) list for them of everything she read in one day (emails, milk carton, billboards) shows us how its done, and holds the list bar high. And she’s a Lydia Davis fan.

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