What's First? What's Next?

January 17, 2013

fantastic fiction logoThe other day at North Branch my colleague and I and a patron were having a lively mini-book discussion on good Nordic mystery authors. Jo Nesbø, creator of the brilliant but problematic detective Harry Hole, had been highly recommended by her friend. The problem, said the patron, was the conflicting advice on what title to read first since Nesbø has created a series here, and there is a chronology to the novels. The order is not always clear from library or Amazon-type websites because they often list things by publishing dates which sometimes don’t take into account the time lag for the translation from a foreign publisher or the release of the paperback edition.

“Never fear, ” I said, “your trusty Reader’s Advisor knows a trick or two on how to know what’s first, what’s next, and what’s coming.” It’s a site I blogged about a couple of years ago when I discovered it, but perhaps it’s time for a refresher. Go to Fantastic Fiction and just plug in your search term. The site is comprehensive, extremely easy to navigate, and lots of fun for browsing or learning more about an author. Click on the book cover and get a synopsis of the plot. Scroll down and learn about forthcoming books. Find out what the author recommends. Click on links to related sites. Originally a British authors only site, a few years ago it expanded to include American and other European writers. I use it a lot. Have fun!

Barbara L.

Fantastic Fiction is a Fantastic Site!

February 9, 2011

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?”.

Barbara L.

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