Books Recommendation from StoryGraph

I’ve been slowly and quietly migrating from GoodReads to StoryGraph. Well, I’m pretty sure nobody is going to notice it anyway since I have few friends (which most of them actually are not active) and followers. XD. I’ve been using GoodReads for…4 years active from my current account plus 2 years actively and 8 years non actively from my previous account which is hacked by anonymous and spreading sex ad now. (No, I’m not joking) I’ve lost count. But I do remember, my first GoodReads account is created when I’m still in High School after my sister insisted me to create one. The first time I created the account, I was expecting it as a Tinder for a bibliophile. Where you are recommended to books that match your personality, mood, and interest. Not just showing popular books we’ve already seen in bookclub monthly choice. Up to now, I’m disappointed that GoodReads never gives me satisfying recommendations. Today’s interface doesn’t change much from ten years ago. My feed is flooded more with my friends’ books instead of recommendation generated based on the books I read. Well, if you are befriended with person who has similar taste, this won’t be bothering you. Otherwise, no matter how various and complex my book preferences are, they’ll keep recommending me boring gibberish suggestions or showing me my friends’ books including the review that don’t tell much about the book itself.

I didn’t know better replacement for GoodReads and using GoodReads has become a habit for me into these sequences:

  • Hear recommendations from trusted friends (mostly from my sister, my husband and few of my best friends)
  • Search premise and review on GoodReads
  • Add to read list

This habit isn’t much pain actually, but of course, I am open for better alternative than GoodReads. I wasn’t looking for its alternative too actually until one time I read apps-review about StoryGraphs, which pointing out some agreeable points about their cons on using GoodReads. GoodReads is somehow shifting from reader apps to another reader-social-media. Which fail me on recommending books that match my current mood and interest. Maybe right now, I won’t deactivate my GoodReads, I might come back if there are improvements that finally meet my expectation in a bookish apps. Meanwhile I am starting to invest my attention to books recommended by StoryGraph.

I won’t talk much about the StoryGraph right now, since my opinion won’t be much different from other GoodReads and StoryGraph users, I am more excited to talk about the book that StoryGraph has recommended for me based on my to read and read book!

Samguk Yusa: Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea

I always love history!I read amazing historical books from Asia such as Sam Kok (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) and books by Eiji Yoshikawa. While there are already so many European historical books, I am also interested in South American, African, Southeast Asian, Micronesian and Hawaiian history, but unfortunately it is difficult to find these books that are narrated as detail and epic as Sam Kok or Taiko. Of course, I’ve been looking for Korean Historical book too! I tried to search it, but most of them recommended me bookclub choice (such as Pachinko), although it is also on my to-read-list, this book isn’t what I’m looking for. The unfortunate problem with Asian classic literature is, it is not internationally introduced while the users of book apps are non-Asians. There will be only most popular Asian literatures appeared in every search. The first 5 minutes I am using StoryGraph, it shows me Sam Guk:

A fascinating work, dating from the late 1200s. This book (Yusa), is not just a story but a collection of histories, anecdotes and memorabilia, covering the origins of Korea’s three monarchies–Silla, Paekche and Koguryo, offering an account of the latter nation that differs quite a bit from what you’ll read in Chinese history books. Translated by Professor Ha Tae-Hung of Yonsei University, with special help from Grafton Mintz (the first Westerner ever to become a naturalized citizen of the Republic of Korea.)

I am instantly hooked! Whoa, this is truly what I’ve been looking for, THANK YOU!

Gladiators, Pirates and Games of Trust: How Game Theory, Strategy and Probability Rule Our Lives

Game Theory in politic? Definitely buying it!! I read John Nash’s thesis and read article about recent Nobel Prize winner in Economics Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson Auction Theory. It is so challenging and mind-blowing, thus makes me interested to know more about Game Theory. I love math, but I have few knowledges in economics. So I am looking for Game Theory that can be understood by non-economists. I found this books in StoryGraph. Looking its premise where offers a story how soldiers unknowingly applied Game Theory for military and politics purposes. I know Game Theory is mostly applied in economic strategy, but knowing it is actually applicable in more fields (who knows you are applying Game Theory on making coffee??) I am getting more intrigued to read this book. This topic is promising, I am pretty sure Game Theory can be applied in engineering too especially in a machine on making decision.

Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Egyptian Myths, Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters

Egyptian Mythology that is retold in modern style. Yes, please!!Stephen Fry’s Mythos Tetralogy has become my new standard in every Mythology books. I have enough Greek and Norse mythology (well, not really, I am still open for any Greek and Norse mythology books), now I want an Egyptian Mythology book! I used GoodReads feature ‘Friend Recommendation’ where asking the community about the book that I’ve been looking for. They did sent me some recommendations. But none of their recommendations are appealing. I even started to suspect, they only recommended it based on popular search on Google. This Egyptian Mythology I got from StoryGraph isn’t surprising, I guess this recommendation is based on how I rate Mythos. I compared the review of this book in GoodReads too, although most of them warn me not to expect it to be as good as Stephen Fry’s, it still makes me want to read. Nonetheless, this book is the closest one to my search.

Math Girls Talk about Trigonometry

Definitely YES!! I have read two Math Girls, it never disappoints me and currently ordering two more books of Math Girls series. StoryGraph surely realized how much I love in Math Girl from my read and to-read list. I am so surprised how GoodReads never recommends me any math books at all although it is very obvious only by looking at my database.

Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health

I am not sure how their algorithm generates that assuming I will like this book. Honestly, I never thought about reading any veterinarian books, but yeah, after reading its synopsis :

Do animals overeat? Get breast cancer? Have fainting spells? Inspired by an eye-opening consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo, which revealed that a monkey experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as her human patients, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz embarked upon a project that would reshape how she practiced medicine. Beginning with the above questions, she began informally researching every affliction that she encountered in humans to learn whether it happened with animals, too. And usually, it did: dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer, koalas can catch chlamydia, reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms, stallions self-mutilate, and gorillas experience clinical depression.

I got intrigued shortly.

Conclusion
Overall, I am so happy and excited to read the books StoryGraph has recommended for me. This is what I always want in every bookish apps: it gives you a pitch to a new discovery, new story, new thought, new wonder you never knew you will be interested in, you never knew you need it. During pandemic, we must change our daily needs in digital (hopefully temporary). No more visiting shops, including bookstores. This is how bookish apps supposed to be. You feel like walking around your favorite bookstore without touching the books. It might be taking times for me to adapt myself onto the apps, but I am totally ready to continue updating my list on StoryGraph. I am excited to see what their algorithm is going to offer after analyzing all books I read. The book they generated based on my list seems working so well!

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