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Decisions, Decisions

Sometimes, I just need to lighten up. If I had to be a Friends TV show character, I would definitely be Monica. Or even Niles from Fraiser- minus the germ obsession.

In all my left-brained glory, I am a weigh-all-your-options, overanalyze-every-detail, annoy-the-crap-out-of-myself-with-a-mind-numbing-cycle-of-thoughts type of person. The process is startling to behold. I mean, I think a lot can be said about people just by the way they make decisions. Example: Do you make pro-con lists? = Analytical; Do you go with a gut feeling? =Intuitive

I think we can all guess that I’m the analytical type. I  study reviews, carefully read the summaries on the backs of books and compare new authors to old favorites.

It does get a little tough when I’m short of friend recommendations and haven’t seen anything that catches my eye down the Fantasy/SciFi aisle at Barnes and Noble. When I really don’t know where to start, I go to my good buddy, Amazon.

Although I don’t always buy my books from Amazon, it is an invaluable resource that I go back to time and again. To start off my book-finding process, I start with browsing my fav sections, making notes of books that look pretty likely. I mostly refine my search by looking for books that have been published in the last few months. If you’re like me, you’ve gone through “new releases” so quickly that you start to wonder if anyone’s writing novels out there!

My next step is finding all my most-loved novels on Amazon and looking through its “Customers who bought this item also bought” section. I’ve actually had really good luck doing this. I’ve found several of my new favorite books going through this process. It is time-consuming, so I definitely recommend setting aside at least an hour to do this- maybe with a strong cup of coffee or tea beside you. Beware of page hopping so fast that you can’t even remember which book you thought was trash and which book you were going to buy tomorrow.

I often look at their personalized recommendations, as well. These are more hit-or-miss for me. Amazon bases this on your buying history (if you don’t have a shopping history, get going!).  My mistake=I’ve bought discounted textbooks on Amazon from my college days, and I get really random suggestions because of those purchases. No, I’m not interested in Vonnegut or Toni Morrison today but thanks….not that I didn’t love writing papers about you… 😉

Finding other reliable sites with helpful reviews on new, current books is a real challenge. I know I couldn’t find very many with books that I wanted to read. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog- to help other people like me who love reading books in this genre and who are tired of trudging through website after website. I did find Romantic Sci Fi, and it is a pretty good resource EXCEPT that the most recent updates to this site are from April 2008. I did find my beloved Thirteenth House series from this site. So, I still recommend it.

Plus, there’s always Amazon’s Listmania section. This is where people compile their favorite books and say why they loved them. You can get some very…interesting recommendations, but hey, it’s a start. Searching the internet can be a hassle, especially when you’re just looking for a good read RIGHT NOW. Patience is not something avid readers deal with easily.

Patience is not something that I deal with easily, period. In the past year, my least favorite virtue and I have become quite close. I feel like I struggle with it everyday, which, ironically, hasn’t made it any easier to deal with. But, on good days, patience does pay off. ….but just sometimes. 🙂

I’m not sure how helpful this post is–but if one person finds a great new series or anything at all from what I’ve said in this post, I can rest easy. 🙂 If not, I’ll have to find my rest dreaming about being back in Paris…

The moral of this story seems to be, get an account with Amazon. Fast. If anyone has any other book-finding methods they’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!!

At the Eiffel Tower my last night in Paris (on my honeymoon!)

At the Eiffel Tower my last night in Paris (on my honeymoon!)

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.