Need a Good Book to Read?

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How to Find Your Next Favorite Book


Do you need a good book to read? What are you looking for in your next book?

A fast paced book you just can’t put down?

A book whose characters are so real that you feel as if you’d know them if you met them on the street?

Something that will take you someplace completely different?

Or a book whose language is powerful or poetic?

Did you ever think about why you loved your favorite book? What was it about that particular book that appealed to you so much? Was it the story, the characters, the setting, or the language used by the author? That part of the book that hooked you is called it’s appeal characteristic (by those of us who practice the fine art of Readers’ Advisory) and the trick to finding your next favorite book is to find one that has similar appeal characterics.

Readers’ Advisor guru Nancy Pearl (author of Book Lust and several other books) calls these appeal characteristics Doorways and has determined that there are four main Doorways, of varying sizes, through which readers prefer to get into a book: 1. story, 2. characters, 3. setting and 4. language.

The largest doorway into fiction, according to Nancy Pearl, is story. If you are drawn to books that you just can’t put down and can’t wait to get back to, story is your preferred doorway. You might like a book that’s easy to get into and has a fair amount of dialogue. As the largest doorway, books whose appeal is story are the most prevalent: most best sellers, thrillers, police procedurals, chick lit, romance, horror and young adult literature appeal to readers because of their emphasis on story.

Here are some suggestions of authors you might enjoy if you’re mostly looking for a good story:

1. Dan Brown

2. Stephen King

3. Clive Cussler


4. James Patterson


5. J. D. Robb


6. Jodi Picoult


7. David Baldacci


8. Scott Turow


9. Charlaine Harris


10. Harlen Coban


11. Nicholas Sparks


12. Stephenie Meyer


13. Suzanne Collins


14. Michael Crichton


15. Ken Follett

Next week, I’ll write about my favorite Doorway into fiction: character.

Come visit us at the FMM desk and tell us what you've been reading lately!

Ellen J. wink



Ellen Jennings works at Cook Library as a Readers’ Advisor and the Teen Services Coordinator. When she’s not working she can be found reading, researching her genealogy,  walking at Independence Grove or taking care of her family. Of the many  jobs she's had, working at Cook Library is definitely her favorite because every day she gets to learn something new.