I don’t know about you, but I’m picky when it comes to book recommendations. It’s certainly helpful to have friends with highly developed reading tastes who make book suggestions. And of course there are the book review sections of trustworthy periodicals. But sometimes it’s nice to get random book picks. Enter the website Recommend Me A Book . It’s based on a simple premise – a series of first pages of novels, presented with no information about the title or author, so you can simply see whether the prose grabs you enough to want to read more.
So the first time that I took it for a spin, this was the initial result:
“A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, central London hatchery and conditioning centre, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, community, identity, stability.
The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards the north. Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness. The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.”
It took a hot second for me to recognize the iconic opening to Brave New World. Obviously any book recommendation website that randomly suggests Aldous Huxley’s classic on the first outing is A-OK with me.
The only catch to Recommend Me A Book is that the site provides a link to puchase the suggested books through the indie selling webportal Bookshop, if you are so inclined.