DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Sep 29 2010

Five Books

by Jimmy L

I found a great book recommendation site the other day called Five Books.  The concept is very simple.  Every day they find some prominent expert and ask them to recommend five books on their topic of choice (usually related to their area of expertise).  Topics vary as widely as “Faith in Politics” to “Football” to “Iranian History”.  The result is targeted, informed recommendations on important issues.

For example, veteran journalist and author of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded and The Professor and the MadmanSimon Winchester chose Volcanoes as his subject, and he recommends:

  1. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  2. The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer Lytton
  3. The Crater by James Fenimore Cooper
  4. The Violins of Saint-Jacques: A Tale of the Antilles by Patrick Leigh Fermor
  5. The Twenty-one Balloons by William Pène Du Bois

As you can see, sometimes the experts choose academic or rare books that the public library may not carry (#3 and #4 above), but the library usually has enough to at least get you started on most subjects.  In addition to just a list of books, the site also includes an interview with the expert so they can explain the reasons behind each of their choices.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse M September 29, 2010 at 11:23 AM

That seems like a very interesting site. Thanks Jimmy!

Dea Anne M September 30, 2010 at 10:14 AM

This site is fascinating! Thanks for the post.

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