What’s that? You say you need some ideas for things to read or watch? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We love it when people ask for recommendations, so step right up. And while we’re always glad to give personal recommendations to you, here are a few of our “tools of the trade” that you can use as well.
If none of these tools seem exactly right, or if you are looking for more personalized reviews, we invite you to give us a call, stop by the library or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you. We love the challenge of matching the right book/movie to the right person, so please don’t hesitate to ask us.
We subscribe to this monthly book review magazine that is available to all our library users! Next time you’re at the library, pick up a copy and have fun browsing. The magazine is available on the first of the month. Want a sneak peek?
People who love reading are often excited to share their favorite reads. Many TikTok users post short video clips of them explaining how they feel about particular books. These videos often inspire other people to want to read the books too. You don’t need to be a TikTok user – just search Google for book tok trending to get some ideas for great reads.
Common Sense Media: Age-Based Media Reviews for Families
Since 2003, this site has reviewed and recommended age-appropriate material for children. This is a good place to visit for parents who want to learn more about the things that interest your kids or figure out whether a book or movie might need to wait until your child is a little older.
Does the Dog Die?
Still can’t get over your childhood trauma at the end of “Ol’ Yeller?” (We can’t either. And don’t get us started on Of Mice and Men, we cried for hours.) “Does the Dog Die” is a crowdsourced resource that alerts you of emotionally disturbing events BEFORE you commit to watching a movie or reading a book.
Every month, librarians vote for their top ten picks from the books being released that month. At Wanaque Library, we print this list out and include it in our “What Do I Read Next” notebook (available at the front desk for you to browse) but you can also get lost in this archive of previous picks.
Movie Reviews & Info
We love Rotten Tomatoes, where regular people like you and me can rate movies we’ve seen. The higher the movie rates on the “Tomatometer,” the more likely you’ll like it. We’re also big fans of the Internet Movie Database (IMBD) and refer to that when we can’t figure out where we’ve seen a certain actor before.
New York Times Bestsellers through the years
Did you ever wonder what was the bestselling book of 1963? Would you recognize any of the bestselling books from the year you were born or the year you were married? Check out this fascinating Wikipedia article about how books are selected for the Times bestseller list, then follow the links to the lists of NYT bestsellers from 1931 to the present.
Novelist is an extensive database of books and audiobooks for readers of all ages. Enter a book you’ve really liked in the past, and see what Novelist recommends for you! This is a fantastic resource that includes author and title read-alike recommendations. And with Novelist K-8, specifically designed for younger readers, kids and their parents can find books that are just right for their reading level and interests.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to read books in a series in order, we have two neat tools to tell you about. KDL What’s Next is a database of book series that you can search by author, series name, or the title of a book in the series. We are also fans of Fantastic Fiction, which is a great resource when you’ve just read a fantastic new author and want to find out what else they’ve written.