Testing “The Awesome Author Recommender” Tool

I was scrolling through Reddit this morning and discovered a neat little link called “The Awesome Author Recommender.” Similar to sites like WhatShouldIReadNext, it is a site that recommends you authors based on previous ones you have read. The site claims to use real people, not a computer formula, to recommend an author to you.

Excited to try it out, I first put in Marissa Meyer, the author of one of my favorite YA series, The Lunar Chronicles.

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Well, I suppose Marissa Meyer isn’t the most widely read of authors. For the heck of it, I also tried Ernest Cline, whose books are certainly selling quite a bit at the moment.

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Oh well, we’ll keep trying.

How about a YA romance novelist who has been writing and publishing a multitude of books for years now?

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I do like that the site at least gives me a brief description of the author, even if it can’t make any recommendations to me.

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Hold that thought; no recommendations or even a description of J.K Rowling? Perhaps I’m pushing this a little far, but isn’t she British? This is a British website. Yikes.

Figuring I was being a tad unfair by choosing the previous authors, I tried Jane Austen, in honor of my current read, Pride and Prejudice. Surely something will come up.

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Screenshot of Awesome Author Recommender

Oh dear. That’s a problem.

In a desperate attempt to get the website to make any recommendation to me, I just started searching random authors. Classic ones, modern ones, anything. I also tried ones it automatically began to suggest to me as I typed.

Thankfully, I did get some recommendations, including for Karen Thompson Walker, one of my favorite authors, who has only written one book. Why she is in there but not Jane Austen, I am not entirely sure. Nevertheless, I am certainly intrigued by the site’s sole recommendation to me.

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Lauren Oliver. I clicked “View Books”, and this is what it gave me:

Screenshot of LoveReading's Lauren Oliver page.

Screenshot of LoveReading’s Lauren Oliver page.

Below this was more of her featured books, as well as other books by her, which can be sorted by paperback, hardcover and audiobook.

For fun, I tried out the “compare prices” tool that the site offers on her book, Rooms.

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Gotta love loading symbols.

After several minutes of waiting, I decided to try a different book to compare prices with.

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5 minutes later, I was still looking at this picture.

Oh, boy. I really, really wanted to say something good about this site. For the sake of this experiment, I kept the tabs loading, and even tried them in other internet browsers. Nada.

As other reddit users are saying, the idea of this tool is great. It is unique and pretty close to the experience you’d get asking a librarian for recommendations, yet with a wider scope. Ideally, at least. But there are far too many holes in the site’s author database, and too little recommendations given when you even find an author that is in the database. (For example, I was given just one recommendation for Karen Thompson Walker.) Perhaps in a few months, or however long it takes to add more authors to the database, this will be a fun and worthwhile tool for readers. But at this moment in time, I just don’t think it is ready.

Try out the site for yourself and let me know what you think and/or find! If it were more complete, would it be a useful tool to you? Comment below!  http://authormachine.lovereading.co.uk

P.S If you saw my tweet on twitter, I redid my Tumblr page and am now posting on it again! Hooray! Give it a follow for some cute bookspiration!

Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Ah yes, another YA recent release with a boatload of hype and plenty of raving fans. To put it in perspective, The Winner’s Curse has garnered an impressive 4.07 star /5 star rating on Goodreads, the average of 25,779 reviews. It’s … Continue reading

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I really don’t know what propelled me to take this book home and read it. I’d heard if it somewhere, sure, but where I wouldn’t know. What I do know is Mr. Ness’ books are wildly popular it seems, and so I decided to give one a whirl. I was not disappointed.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in The Chaos Walking trilogy. It also is a little under 500 pages long. But don’t let the size scare you- you’ll fly through this book in no time. In fact, I read it in one sitting, and stayed up until 2 A.M to finish it. I don’t think I’ve stayed up until 2 A.M in months, honestly, and I regret nothing about it.

The first thing you’ll notice is precisely the thing that blows me away about the writing. Our main character is a 12-year-old uneducated boy living in a town where there is Noise; you can hear everyone’s thoughts and they can hear yours. That alone is a crazy premise. And since he is 12 and uneducated, you can bet his spelling isn’t great either. So right away, you are immersed into this boy’s mind, not just from what he tells you, but HOW he tells you. You are led to believe what he believes, whether those things are true, or not. Brilliant.

The Knife of Never Letting Go certainly won’t let you go either. With its fantastic writing, thrilling story and memorable characters, you’ll be vying for the rest of the trilogy. There were even a few comedic things thrown in there, although this is by no means a comedic novel. (Ever wonder what a sheep thinks? You’ll find out) My only reservation is that I wouldn’t recommend it to young teens, not only because of its length but because of the amount of violence and language that comes with it. But you need that for the story and the point of the story. I give this novel 4/5 stars.

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”