Tuesday, November 28, 2006

 

Another Roadside Turnoff



One of the clever features of LibraryThing is the Unsuggester: it identifies books significantly less present than one would expect in the catalogs of owners of the "seed" book. It is explained in more detail on the LibraryThing blog entry for November 12, 2006. Apparently people are now searching for the "ultimately evil book out there that will generate the ideal library. Not The Bridges of Madison County, but like that." It appears that "Who moved my cheese?" is a leading contender.

I was told years ago the "Another Roadside Attraction" was "really you [me];" I've never been able to read more than a few pages, I think it really is not me and that person was wrong. Unfortunately for the Unsuggester, it does appear in my catalog, so all my other books, almost all of which I like and all of which I like more than "Another Roadside Attraction", will not get my "support" in the calculation of its nemesis list. Maybe I'll delete it.

I plugged it into the Unsuggester. It may not be the ultimately evil book for everyone, but people who don't own it (or don't admit to owning it, which is what I am going to do) could well be choosing books of interest to me.
479 members (1,119 more popular); 2 reviews; average rating 3.85 stars. Members with the book have have a total of 243,536 books in their libraries


So what might these 479 members be expected to have among their 243,536 books but don't? The top of the list is dominated by (Christian) religious books; Robbins may be Godless (I don't have any idea, I can't read his book!) but it is his tone, not his Godlessness that turns me off. Actually, the whole list is pretty full of what seems to be books about religion. Clearly his fans are not theologically inclined, or the theologically-inclined don't read him.

On the other hand, the only non-fiction are two books on the Ruby programming language and its web framework Rails, and two books on knitting.

So what kind of fiction attracts others but not Robbins-readers? Tamora Pierce (seven titles), Meg Cabot (three), Nora Roberts and Mercedes Lackey (two each), and a dozen others that look to be mainly magic/fantasy, too. I dunno, maybe I should give Robbins another try.

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