Stump the Unsuggester

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Stump the Unsuggester

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Edited: Nov 13, 2006, 5:54am

Can you enter a book you own in the unsuggester that gives a book you own (but presumably haven't catalogued yet), or that you definitely want to own (I guess we'll have to take your word for it, rather than demand date stamped printings of your Amazon wishlist or ebay searches)?

I've started by cheating with something I own but haven't read: Grimus by Salman Rushdie.

Suggestions include
no. 27 The outsiders by SE Hinton, which I don't own but have read and do intend to own eventually, 38. The Client by John Grisham (expected 8.5, found 1 - I guess that's me)
63. In the Hands of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce (expected 5.8, found 0 - I guess I most own two other books from that series)
From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (expected 8.1, found 1 - must be me again)
No. 75 is The Da Vince code, that's correct, I never want to read it.

Edited: Nov 13, 2006, 6:01am

I've found quite a few - entering Knitting titles brings up several Stephen Kings where I'm clearly the owner of the 1 found. I've also found quite a few books I now have to buy to make the unsuggestions less surprising! (People who own Knitting Over The Edge (which I don't) don't own A Clockwork Orange, Robinson Crusoe, or Lady Chatterley's Lover at all, and very few of us own Northanger Abbey or Emma? Goodness. Have to fix that!)

Nov 13, 2006, 6:19am

Yes, I looked at the knitting books and felt I should catalogue my mother's book collection.

Nov 13, 2006, 8:32am

For the book Garbage Land, there were at least 24 books listed that either I own, have read or are on my TBR list.

Nov 13, 2006, 8:58am

I had similar results with Garbage Land. But about half of those were ones I would not read again even though they are on my shelves.

Nov 13, 2006, 10:51am

I unsuggested The House with a Clock in its Walls and got a number of books I own but haven't catalogued, like Down and Out in Paris and London. And on the unsuggester page is the pairing of Orientalism with Ella Enchanted, both of which I loved. I feel like the unsuggestions don't quite get at the diversity of many people's book collections--in fact, they work on the opposite premise.

Or, the unsuggestions speak to the limited diversity of people's libraries, but not their actual reading habits. I'm much more likely to buy Orientalism than Ella Enchanted, since I know the latter is easy to get at the library, and it doesn't (for me) require lots of rereading or referencing--but I definitely read and liked them both. It's a neat idea though.

Nov 13, 2006, 11:02am

Unfortunately, the UnSuggester gets faked out by limitations of the current works system. For instance, one that appears with some regularity is A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : and other early Christian literature by Walter Bauer: it's there under Middlemarch and Wuthering Heights. But a whole lot of us have A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature; a translation and adaptation of ... by William Arndt, the translator and adapter: the exact same book.

Edited: Nov 13, 2006, 12:37pm

I've run the top 100 most popular of the books I've read and have only found these so far:

The Fellowship of the Ring turned up The Great War for Civilisation and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Watership Down also turned up The Great War for Civilisation.

I also found a hadful of books that are on my wishlist.

Mostly, though, I got vampire novels, books on evangelical Christianity, knitting, and computer programming. I wonder if there might be a relatively small number of highly introverted libraries in LT that dominate these results.

Nov 13, 2006, 12:39pm

I put in Good Omens:... by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman ... which is in my catalog.

I got back 17 books that are also in my catalog, including John Adams, 1776, Skipping Christmas, Seabiscuit, Democracy in America, and The Year of Magical Thinking. Hmm.

When I initially put in Good Omens:..., it gave me several versions of the work to choose from. I ran it again and chose a different version this time ... and got back a different list of un-suggestions ... which, again, included several books that I have in my catalog.

(Sorry, some of the touchstones don't seem to be working ...)

Nov 13, 2006, 1:48pm

Yes, I got books I own or have read, and even some of my favorites, as unsuggestions.

I love the idea! But it suffers from the continuing problem of "works" not really working. In selecting my books from the list that came up, I often had to pick the most common version, ignoring listings with the editor as author or with other discrepancies. The totals are low, and who knows how many more are under "no title" or are stuck as part of the wrong work. As unsuggestions I got some very popular books (such as The Catcher in the Rye) listed without an author. Small wonder that that version doesn't show up in too many libraries. (Don't blame manual entry. I've gotten no author showing from Amazon and even from the LOC.) And I kept getting various Harry Potter or Tolkien boxed sets. A box does not turn 4 or 5 or 6 books into 1 "work," but there is no way to combine all copies. Most of these problem listings will probably stay forever, skewing all statistics.

For any book I entered, most of the unsuggestions did relate to evangelical Christianity. To paraphrase Horatio, there needed no unsuggester or ghost come from the grave to tell me that. But I was surprised
by the number of knitting books unsuggested. What's with knitting? :-)

11kevmalone First Message
Nov 23, 2006, 1:37pm

Just joined and have started to catalog. Love the UnSuggester. I tried a few of my more esoteric books and found the following combinations that I own, but have yet to catalog
Hard Candy -Andrew Vachss
UnSuggester says...
#5 Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (expected 6.4, found 0; unsuggestions)

Macho Sluts - Pat Califa
1 Ender's shadow by Orson Scott Card (expected 5.4, found 0; unsuggestions)
UnSuggester says...
#4 The truth : a novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett (expected 4.6, found 0; unsuggestions)

Who wrote the Bible? by Richard E. Friedman
UnSuggester says...
#10. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (expected 7.5, found 0; unsuggestions)

Ender's shadow by Orson Scott Card
UnSuggester says...
#16 The poor mouth (An béal bocht); a bad story about the hard life. Edited by Myles na Gopaleen (Flann by Flann O'Brien (expected 9.1, found 0; unsuggestions)

So - I guess I'll close some gaps when I am done.
Won't be able to help with the knitting books though - sorry about that.

Edited: Dec 4, 2014, 9:25pm

message deleted by author

13Enraptured First Message
Jan 16, 2007, 8:28am

I entered Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and got Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon, which I own.

I entered Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin and got White Noise by Don DeLillo (granted, I had to buy it for a class, and I hated it), The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (which I didn't like), A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (which I really didn't like), Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov (which I liked), and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokiv (which I liked).

Jan 16, 2007, 8:48am

I entered War and Peace and got a ton of Kenyon books. Now I'm curious. Are they basically romance novels, or something 'more'?

Jan 16, 2007, 8:59am

I tried zcannon's Thinking in Pictures which I read and enjoyed a few weeks back and got more or less the same mixed list. At the top though was Bridget Jones (which I also read and enjoyed years ago). So I decided to test the double-back.

Putting in the same Bridget Jones gave me quite a good suggestion list with 'Agile Web Development with Rails' at the top which arrived here just a couple of weeks ago and is waiting to be read.

What do your Unsuggested Unsuggestions give you!

Jan 16, 2007, 9:24am

I tried The Father Hunt which I've just finished and found to be a good example of a Nero Wolfe story and among others titles got The Hobbit which I definite own (and like). Putting in The Hobbit I got a Sherrilyn Kenyon book which I've had from the public library (and liked well enough to check out her next one) AND The Hobbit! I assume this particular one is a different edition that has not been combined with the other one?

Feb 7, 2007, 8:55am

When I tried Erotism by Georges Bataille, a disproportionate number of the unsuggestions were books I had read and enjoyed. Strange.

Apr 8, 2007, 8:30pm

. . . I was writing about UnSuggestions in my blog when I came across this Talk. (I searched UnSuggestions on LT, you see.)

The best pair I can find is The Princess Diaries and How the Mind Works, by Steven Pinker, 5th and 7th on each other's lists, respectively; however, as both books are now in my library, they will drop quite substantially.