Hello friends, happy Friday! Today, we’re going to do a post I did ages ago, and look at how well Goodreads knows me.
As most of you probably know, Goodreads will give you recommendations based on specific shelves or genres. It can be a great way to find new books,,,,, when it works. Sometimes, it’s recommendations are way off, and it’s kind of funny.
So today, I’m going to look at the different books Goodreads recommends to me based on different shelves, and see whether they’re something I’m interested in reading.
I chose this shelf because these are the books I’m typically most interested in reading, or that are the most visually appealing. So let’s see what Goodreads recommended.
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (recommended because I want to read A Two-Spirit Journey and Disability Visibility): this 100% sounds like something I would love to read, and I immediately added it to my TBR. Off to a great start here.
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (recommended because I want to read Disability Visibility): this is a hate crime and I will be seeking compensation.
Her Last First Kiss by Liz Isaacson (recommended because I want to read Circe): I don’t know what about Circe gives off horse-girl-movie-turned-book vibes, but I guess it does. Needless to say, this is not really my thing.
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield (recommended because I want to read The Clockmaker’s Daughter and Circe): I’ve gone back and forth on this book over the years, honestly. I have yet to read Diane Setterfield, but people really seem to love her. So this is still a maybe.
I decided to see what generic adult fiction Goodreads would recommend to me, and see if there’s anything in it I’m interested in. I only looked at the books I hadn’t previously heard about.
The Push by Ashley Audrain (recommended because I read The Girls at 17 Swann Street, and am interested in Mrs. Everything, The Prettiest Star, Final Girls, and How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House): this is one of those books that, on paper, seems like something I’d be interested in. But, I’m not really interested in books about motherhood, particularly books where the husband is like “no, you’re just crazy babe”. So it’s a no for me, but a good recommendation.
Thin Girls by Diana Clarke (recommended because I read The Girls at 17 Swann Street, and am interested in The Prettiest Star): I’m on the fence about this one. Goodreads seems determined to give me books about people with eating disorders (because of The Girls at 17 Swann Street), which is not something I’m typically interested in, but also isn’t something I’m not interested in. This one sounds interesting, though, so I’ll add it to my TBR for now.
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff (recommended because I read The Girls at 17 Swann Street, and am interested in Mrs. Everything): this is an easy “no thanks” because I’m not super interested in WWII books anymore. I don’t see how this book is related at all to 17 Swann Street or Mrs. Everything, though.
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (recommended because I read The Girls at 17 Swann Street, and am interested in Mrs. Everything and The Great Believers): this is another pretty easy “no thanks”, even though it sounds like something I would like. I don’t really like a lot of family drama thrillers, tbh.
The next shelf I chose was my queer shelf, which is all books I’ve read or want to read about or written by queer and trans authors. I’m always looking for more queer books, so this seemed like a good choice.
Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi (recommended because I read We Have Always Been Here, Love Lives Here, The Subtweet, and Theory): now this is a great recommendation. A book I’d never heard of before, by a Canadian author, about Nigerian mythology, that takes place over several generations? Sign me up, please.
This Accident of Being Lost: Songs and Stories by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (recommended because I read We Have Always Been Here and Theory): I’m currently reading Islands of Decolonial Love, and really enjoying it. So this is an easy add.
Little Fish by Casey Plett (recommended because I read Theory, Love Lives Here, The Subtweet, and In the Dream House): this sounds so good and really interesting, so I definitely want to read it. Great job so far, Goodreads.
You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman (recommended because I read I Wish You All the Best): this sounds like something I would have loved 5-10 years ago, but not something 25-year-old me is interested in. I just haven’t been super interested in high school-heavy YA books lately. But still a good recommendation.
So overall, I added five books to my TBR, which isn’t terrible! Here are some thoughts on the recommendations feature:
- I like that we can mark books as not interested, it’s very useful for keeping track of books I don’t want to read;
- Goodreads seems to pick a few books from the shelf you pick and give recommendations based on those books. Which is fine, but leads to certain themes or topics being recommended over and over when they maybe aren’t the main themes of that shelf. I wish there was a way to pick which books it would give recommendations based on (without creating a shelf specifically for that);
- I have no fucking clue how Disability Visibility is related at all to Girl, Stop Apologizing. When I said it was a hate crime, I meant it;
- I wish there was a way to find books that had fewer ratings. Most of the books recommended to me had tens of thousands of ratings, which is fine, but sometimes I want underrated books, y’know?
Anyway, overall, this is a sometimes fun feature of Goodreads’ to check out. You might find some new books you’re interested in, so I’d definitely give it a go.
Have you tried this feature? What did you think of the recommendations? Have you read any of these books? Let me know!