Let Books & Authors find that next great read for you

Books & Authors is a database at Oakland Public Library that can help you explore titles, authors, and various subjects, to find that next great read.

In May, I posted about Novelist Plus, and the variety of ways it connects readers with the right books for them. This month, Andrew Demcak tells us about another OPL database just for book lovers. Take it away, Andrew....

Avid and casual readers know that feeling: You’ve just finished a great book and you want to start a new one. But which book will be your next book?  Books & Authors is a database at Oakland Public Library that can help you explore titles (both fiction and nonfiction,) authors, and various subjects, to find that next great read.

Books & Authors is designed from the browsing habits of Web users. It has easy-to-use menus and filters so that you can narrow your searches by author, title, series, awards, and other criteria. Readers can also use Books & Authors to find out more information about a book’s themes and origins, or just to learn about the author's life. It is ideal for use by reading groups and book clubs.

Here’s a sample search I did in Books & Authors and the results. I had just read Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King and I was looking similar titles.

First, Books & Authors gave me a synopsis of Mr. Mercedes:


Mr. Mercedes (2014)
Stephen  King (American novelist) (Author)

"This fast-paced mystery thriller from best-selling author Stephen King follows a retired cop's race against time to catch a mass murderer. On a cold Midwest morning, Brady Hartfield drives a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of hundreds of people in line for a job fair. Then he backs up and does it again, killing eight and wounding fifteen. Months later, retired cop Bill Hodges is still disturbed and depressed--not only by the mass killing, but also because the killer escaped. When Hodges receives a suspicious letter in the mail threatening an even deadlier attack, he is determined to stop the killer before he strikes again. Hodges and his improbable team of allies will have to move quickly to catch Brady, who already has his next mission planned. If Hodges and his crew fall behind, thousands could die in Brady's attack."

Second, Books & Authors showed me information about the characters, genre and sub-genre, setting, subject matter, and time period.  This information can be used in future searches, if I want to find even more books like Mr. Mercedes.


Bill Hodges, Mentally Ill Person (depressed), Police Officer (retired), Brady Hartfield, Crime Suspect, Murderer, Son (of alcoholic)


Mystery fiction


Police Procedural, Contemporary


United States, American Midwest


Murder, Mystery, Detective fiction, Serial murders, Crime, Law enforcement, Suspense, Good and evil


21st century AD

Finally, Books & Authors suggested similar titles:


The Cleaner - Paul Cleave
Compound Fractures - Stephen White
Crossbones Yard - Kate Rhodes
The Killing Woods - Lucy Christopher
Line of Fire - Stephen White
Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta
Trust Your Eyes - Linwood Barclay
Without Warning - David Rosenfelt

And now I am on my way to finding the next book I want to read.

 -Andrew Demcak, e-Resources Librarian


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