Friday, March 17, 2006

Which book to read Can you believe a website that automatically generates recommendations of books for you to read? Well, that's what purports to do -- you can define four categories from a menu of paired opposites, and it chooses you some books. So I've had a go. "Sad, disturbing, beautiful, unusual" returns "Swimmer" by Bill Broday. Never heard of it, but "Death in Venice" (Thomas Mann) is in the close matches. "Serious, larger-than-life, violent, bleak" returns "Years of Rice and Salt" by Kim Stanley Robinson, a science fiction author. "Safe, beautiful, gentle and optimistic" returns something called "Signals of Distress" by Jim Crace, with "The Shipping News" (Annie Proulx) in the close matches. I am in no need of book recommendations, just of time to do the reading, but one could get quite distracted by mixing mad combinations and seeing how the whichbooks search engine copes. I think I'll pass. Fun, though.