November 13, 2006

Library Anticorrelations

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 13, 2006 2:47 PM

Like the opposite of Amazon book recommendations, LibraryThing's UnSuggester lists books that are unlikely to be found in the same library as a given title. I entered one of my favorite books, Haruki Murakami's masterpiece of surrealist fiction The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and was amused to get a list of mostly Christian devotional books. It's not that Wind-Up Bird is anti-religious in any way, so I imagine it's a result of demographics more than anything else. (Via Unfogged.) should do a version of this for music.

Tags: Books, Culture, Internet

That is so awesome!

I tried a few - Bujold's "The Vor Game" got a #1 response of James Frey's "A million little pieces".

Even better were some of the sidelines listed - Henry Kissinger's "Diplomacy" opposite Terry Pratchett's "Thud!". And "ANSI Common Lisp" opposite "Wuthering Heights".

Posted by: Zifnab | November 13, 2006 4:00 PM

Yeah, the ones on the sidebar are great. I also got the Frey book as #1 opposite War of the Flowers.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 13, 2006 4:12 PM

I stuck in a several books and got a combination of Christian devotion, Koontz/Clancey/Patterson-type novels, programming books on LISP, misc. science fiction and fantasy (Lackey, Pratchett, Weber, Niven), and stereotypically "female" books, such as that Shopoholic whatever whatever.

A couple of my books (not even related) got many hits for knitting books, which is somewhat worrisome, considering that I've been knitting heavily recently. That plus the SF/fantasy anti-suggestions are definitely off. Some books I enjoy anti-suggest each other's genres!

Posted by: Jolene | November 13, 2006 5:52 PM

And AG, what do you think a music anti-suggestion program will give you? Hymns and country-western? :D

Posted by: Jolene | November 13, 2006 5:57 PM

Definitely country and Christian rock, probably also extremely mainstream manufactured pop (Britney, etc). Maybe also classic rock since my collection is heavily weighted towards recent stuff.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 13, 2006 6:08 PM

Wow, cool! (And I really needed a distraction just now!)

It took me a few tried to find something owned by enough people to actually have listings. I started with the Necronomicon, but the only thing that had enough listings didn't seem like the right one. (Many of the other entries actually refer to the same thing, so it's too bad they aren't combined.)

Then I decided to try technical books, but the first several I mentioned also weren't owned by close to enough people. (The best I could get was 31 for Dummit and Foote's abstract algebra book.)

So then I tried the Feynman lectures on physics. Apparently, if you own or have read that, you should stay away from Stephen King!

Posted by: Mason | November 13, 2006 8:38 PM

I finally got around to using this... I first put in Wind, Sand and Stars, by Antoine de St. Exupery, which was for a long time my favorite book, and it came up with unsuggestions which included a lot of books I like! So I tried A Town Like Alice, one of the bext stories Nevil Shute (or anyone else) ever wrote, imho, and it turned up unsuggestions for lots of books I will never go near, including most notably The Purpose Driven Life. So I guess some books we like are a good reflection of who we are and others aren't, would be the moral if the story?

Posted by: Susan | November 16, 2006 4:30 AM
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