So, the patron has just discovered British author Kate Atkinson, and wants to have a tidy list of everything she’s written, when it was published, a short annotation about each book, an author profile, and, oh, yes, a photo of Atkinson would be nice, too. Then there’s that other writer, John Grisham, who’s written tons and tons. She’d like the skinny on him, too (that’s for her husband–a real courtroom procedure fan).
It’s not always clear what website to visit to have all that info neatly packaged and easy to access. There are many reader support sites out there, but some are exclusive to one publisher. Just Googling the author produces lots of sales pitches and extraneous sites. Using a library catalog is OK, but one often doesn’t get a straight-shot chronological list, and there’s lots of clicking back and forth to delve into the annotations.
The go-to site for me now is Fantastic Fiction, a comprehensive database of authors published in both Britain and the U.S. Easy to explore and filled with fun stuff–forthcoming books, awards lists, most popular lists, and more–this site is a great resource for readers, librarians, book groups, and teachers. I know I’m gushing a bit here, but I will never again shake in my practical librarian shoes when a patron asks that dreaded, “Do you have a list of all he’s done and when each one came out?”.