Books and websites to assist navigating non-fiction readers advisory as well as source recommendations.
Statz Cords, S 2013, ‘Nonfiction’ in Orr, C & Herald, D.T. (eds) Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests, Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara, ch. 17, pp. 425-466.
Wyatt, N 2007, The readers advisory guide to nonfiction, American Library Association, Chicago.
One of two hurdles with the print resources is both are US-focused so finding recommendations with an Australian topic and/or author focus is rare. The second hurdle of print is the time turnaround of publication that results in a lag between what is published with newer titles and at times new subjects.
Also note that there is no agreement to category/sub-genre titles and individual titles can appear in both books, but under different categories.
They are both however, good starting points for gaining an understanding of nonfiction as a genre.
As a rule of thumb, online options can keep up with the rate of publishing of the various non-fiction items.
Nonfiction Readers’ Advisory http://www.rburgin.com/sites/ranf.html
This is a sub-page of Ray Burgin’s website. On this page there are many links to other sites that can provide recommendations and ideas for non-fiction. The websites are briefly described as well as further broken down into links of various categories (or sub-genres or subject) within non-fiction.
As well, there are further broken down lists of links for specific categories such as memoir and biography. Note, some of the links within this area (the far right column) no longer work correctly (smaller enterprises or individuals have closed or not kept up their sites).
A good site to keep bookmarked and to use as a starting point to go exploring.
Citizen Reader http://www.citizenreader.com/
This is the blog for Sarah Statz Cords, the author of the non-fiction chapter in GenReflecting and a non-fiction specialist. There are many useful RA program links focusing on non-fiction as well as categories of blog posts that cover the categories of non-fiction.
A very useful tool and starting point for information and recommendations of other places to go to source titles as well as reviews from a cross section of nonfiction titles.
Book Browse https://www.bookbrowse.com/
A comprehensive site covering both fiction and non-fiction. Options including read alikes, author and title searches. There is a membership wall. Exploration was able to be done to a level for example searching for Stephen Hawking resulted in a number of titles as well as some read-alike options. Very useful for non-fiction.
UnRuly Reader http://www.unrulyreader.com/
A site run by a librarian who reads a lot of nonfiction (with some mysteries). The nonfiction categories tend to be higher in biography, history and self-improvement. Not comprehensive but a good source with an entertaining style of reviewing.
A blog by a reference librarian sharing reviews of books and library topics. Appears the last post was September 2015.
Book review site that has option to subscribe to newsletters. Non-fiction books can be found in two ways. On the main menu there are options for example Science & Nature as well as a Non-fiction link.
There is an option to subscribe to various newsletters focused on different aspects of library and book information. Deeper access and usefulness would require a subscription as this is the web version of the Booklist print magazine from American Library Association.
What Should I Read Next http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/
An easy to use, searchable database for book read-alikes and/or further titles by an author. The recommendations for non-fiction also have a subject breakdown beneath the title. Free registration allows creation of book lists.
The Millions http://www.themillions.com/books-reviews
This is a large site where title or author can be searched to seek out reviews for both fiction as well as nonfiction. There are related books recommended to most titles. Easiest to use if the name of the author is known.