4 Great Sites To Do A Book Search By Plot or Subject

Will Mueller 17-08-2009

booksBooks are wonderful things. They can be filled with information and tell you about current events or they can be fictional and tell of adventures.


But what happens when you finish that perfect book only to look upon your shelf and find that you have no more new books to read? Oh, the horror!

Well, here comes the web to your rescue. Today, we will be looking at just 4 sites where you can conduct a book search by plot and find your next perfect book.



WhichBook is a mood-oriented book suggesting web app for those special occasions when you need just the right book for just the right mood.


Upon visiting the homepage, users are visited by 12 different mood based options that you can slide to either side to receive books that match your tastes. For example, you can search for books that are somewhat happy (closer to the happy side) although very serious, and unpredictable, then receive hundreds of books that match exactly your taste.



Booklamp is a slightly more sophisticated version of Whichbook with a very in-depth study for each book, making new book “matches” for users very effective.

Upon completing the simple sign up process, users are given the option to view their book matches, use the forums, or suggest books to be reviewed. Upon selecting the option to view your book matches, it offers a very thorough book search by plot – booklamp will give you a list of approximately 500+ books currently in the database and a descriptive look at each, including the number of words, number of scenes, as well as the scale and intensity of the dialog, description, action, density, and pacing for each scene throughout the entire book, then pair it with other books based on the same characteristics and give you a scale as to how closely other books relate (e.g. 98.7%).


The only downside to Booklamp at this time is the limited number of books in the library, although it does cover many classics and popular fiction novels, including 1984 by George Orwell, Jurassic Park by Michael Crighton and many others. In any case, Booklamp is definitely one to watch.



WhatShouldIReadNext? is a simple web app that gives users recommendations based on other user’s loved books. For example, a search for 1984 by George Orwell would bring up recommendations including, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley among others. And although it certainly is not perfect, WhatShouldIReadNext? is a simple way to find the next best book on the spot.

LibraryThing Book Suggester



LibraryThing’s Book Suggester does exactly what you would expect, suggest books; fortunately extraordinarily well. Upon visiting the home page, users are given the option to search using the “Book Suggestor” or the somewhat unconventional “Book Unsuggester.” Searching using the standard Book Suggesting feature, LibraryThing gives users a list of up to 200+ books that match the search term and then give a list of 20 of the most relevant and related titles based on the over 40 million books in LibraryThing’s user submitted database.

If you are feeling adventurous and decide to try LibraryThing’s “Book Unsuggester,” simply search for a book you own or enjoy and LibraryThing will show you the least likely to be related books and those you would be better off staying away from in the library.

What if there’s a book you know you want to read (or re-read) but can’t remember the author or title? Thankfully there are plenty of tools you can use to find a book without knowing the title or author.

What do you use to find the next best book? Tell us in the comments!


Image Credit: Mr. T in DC

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  1. Milu
    March 3, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Hey... I just remembered a book I had read some years back. It's about a girl who is avoided by everyone because she has white spot on her face. Then she gets a new home where a demon falls in love with her. The demon wants to keep her but is unwilling to show his face to her because his face is horrible. The girl wants to leave so to trap her the demon rapes her till she carries his baby.
    I don't remember the name of the book but if you can find it please send to me

  2. Royannis
    July 25, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Looking for a book about a man starting his own Mardi Gras crew. It has a theme about "Janus" maybe. The God of two faces. Starts out favorable but then things get scared. The other face of their mythical God is not so nice. Maybe took place in New Orleans.

  3. Royannis
    July 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I'm looking for a book about a knitter, middle aged woman, alone, no family. She always carries these bags with her. The bags are cumbersome to her but she takes them everywhere.
    She does beautiful knitting, but when faced with a deadline, she's overwhelmed. Don't remember the name of book or author, but was very good story.

    • You're Soaking In It
      November 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Oh crap, somebody wrote a book about me!?!?
      I'm just kidding. I don't knit. (!)
      Sorry, I do not know the book, but if it ever gets ID'd, it does sound interesting.

  4. Karen Ziegler.
    June 30, 2016 at 6:14 am

    I read a book in the 1970's about a young girl who was going home from boarding school in England to her father who lived on a station in the outback of Australia. She meets her governess or nanny at the airport in London, not realising that they are going to the same place. I think I bought it at the London Bookshop in Christchurch, New Zealand. I think the station is a weather station. Maybe a Mills and Boon book? The governess falls in love with the girls father.

  5. terry
    June 26, 2016 at 12:02 am

    The story starts off with a man who is walking by a doctors office and he see this beautiful blonde women whom he believes is a women who went missing. He talks to her and the doctor who took her in and gets in contact with her family. She is supposedly married and was very angry and argumentative with her husband who is now engaged to her former best friend Bonnie who is also very beautiful (a dark haired beauty). She moves back into her former home and explores her old life and is constanty gets flashbacks of her angry moods and fights. Her husband and friend are mad at her because they believe that she has kept and hidden family jewels that would belong to the estate. One night she finds one of the jewels behind a broken rock and is also accused of taking one of Bonnie's pieces. Anyway through out the story she realizes that she loves her husband and he loves her and that Bonnie was always conniving and trying to tear them apart. Some sort of confrontation happens and Bonnie runs away and they reunite. That's all that I can remember. Heroine's name might have been Sam or Hannah. Also book cover shows a women running and another women in the corner with dark hair pulling a knife or dagger out from beneath her shirt. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

  6. charliee1151
    June 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Looking for a 1960's paperback book/novel called, I think "Hunter". It is the story of an alien policemen Hunter" who chases a criminal to Earth. The policemen (and criminal) are some sort of amoeba-like gelatinous beings. Hunter "oozes" into the body of a young boy and spends a long time trying to understand normal human day-to-day living. Finally, having a reasonable command of the English language, he tries to get the boys attention by controlling the muscles in the boys hand to type a message on a typewriter. Failing that, Hunter eventually oozes out of the boy while he is sleeping, manages to pick up a piece of lead from a mechanical pencil (Hunter is not too strong), and leaves a note. Then, when the boy is prepared to accept evidence of Hunter's alien-ness, Hunter "speaks" to him by "writing" words on the boys cornea. Eventually, we come to find out that the Criminal has entered the boys father, and the boy manages to scare the Criminal out of his father by faking a life-threatening fire.

  7. Marge Flett
    May 23, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    about the story of a woman who goes to pick up her children from school only to find they are not there - they don't exist the school says so she goes back to her house only to find other people living there and they don't know her........... don't remember the rest....can anyone help?

  8. Ryn
    May 5, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Uhmm... the main character starts off as a young boy. His village is burnt/destroyed or something, maybe by dragons. Then scavengers and men come and find him hidden in a basement. At first he thinks they're friends but they laugh and say words to the effect of "You belong to Lord Dragon now" with the Lord Dragon being a human antagonist. He ends up as a slave in a mine. Spends the rest of his childhood there. When he's all grown up, he says the life of a young overseer (and earns the enmity of his fellow enslaved miners who wanted him to die) but the overseer then helps him escape as repayment of his debt.

    Yeah. Didn't get a lot into it. I'm actually not sure but this is probably an adult's book. Haven't gone too far into it though so it might not be.

  9. Ada
    March 30, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    A book about a caretaker in a boys public school who rises through the ranks and becomes more than a school caretaker (I think he becomes headmaster). The story is told by his child who attends the school under the guise of a fee paying pupil but actually the child is a girl posing as a boy. One incident at school results in another boy falling off the school roof (but this event is acutally engineered by the caretaker's child . It's quite a long book but very engrossing.
    Please post if you thinhk you know this book. Thanks

    • Bethwoo
      April 24, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Sounds like it could be gentlemen and players by Joanne Harris?

  10. Zoe
    March 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    a book about a homeless Melbourne girl who kills herself at the end

  11. jameson
    January 14, 2016 at 8:28 am

    the main thing is its this guy he just got dumped and his ex's friend is interested in him and seduces him and then one night he meets this strange girl and shes all weird and flirtatious
    and his ex's friend gets kidnapped and tied up naked surrounded by candles and has darts thrown at her

  12. Anonymous
    December 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Young daughter is kidnapped by the child's grandmother who is married to a senator.
    They find the little girl in San Francisco in a hidden room at the grandmother's mansion. The room is filled with clothes of every size and toys for the little girl.

  13. Marie
    January 3, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Also really useful is for finding romance books by plot, themes & topics. You can combine as many content keywords you want and it gives you a long list of matching romance books.

  14. rick
    September 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I lve you is a book i want to do but i don't nowhat to do to write the book i come in this webside to find if i can do it.

  15. Justin
    August 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Of course, one can always click on the subject in the library catalog to get more books on that subject...

    • MLx
      August 18, 2009 at 8:34 pm

      The people who work at your Public Library will be glad to help, too. :)

  16. Pankaj Singh
    August 18, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks Will. Nice article. I've always been looking for sites suggesting books based on one's tastes.
    You can also add to the list, which is quite similar to whatshouldireadnext.

    • Will Mueller
      August 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      Bookseer looks great! Thanks for the info.