Amazon Recommendations–Annoying! (but I check them all the time)

13Feb07

The book I read for work last night was pretty good, but it doesn’t appear to have been published in the US. Too bad, because it was lovely, with a sweet sense of humor and some indelible characters.

I hate hate hate that Amazon thinks that different editions of the same book are DIFFERENT BOOKS!

I told Amazon I liked Jane Austen’s Persuasion, so it recommends Persuasion from several different publishers. Do I lie and say that I did not like Jane Austen’s Persuasion? Well, I tried that, and now it only recommends sci-fi and fantasy to me.

Every so often I go in and try to optimize my recommendations, but it never seems to work. I would really like for recommendations to work, because I like hearing about new books and authors, but I’m so tired of seeing books I already own in my recommendations list just because they are in the public domain and have multiple publishers.

One recommendation I am seeking–what translation of War and Peace should I get? Anna Karenina whetted my appetite for what everyone says is the best novel ever written. I’m leaning toward the Constance Garnett version, but there are a lot out there. I really liked Joel Carmichael’s translation of Anna, which had flow but wasn’t “modernized.”

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2 Responses to “Amazon Recommendations–Annoying! (but I check them all the time)”

  1. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky are a husband and wife team who are setting a new standard for Russian translation. They haven’t tackled War and Peace yet, but you might want to keep them in mind for other Russian books. My ‘authority’ is that Russian is one of majors, and my professor loves to give me recs.

    He gave me War and Peace for Christmas, and he went w/ the Constance Garnett version. I haven’t read it yet (saving it for Peace Corps!), but it looks good (pretty cover).

  2. Thanks! I think I am on the verge of a new obsession with Russian novelists… good thing, too, because I have almost run out of British women authors from the 19th Century :)

    Plus, I have been to St. Petersburg and Novgorod and have a lot of love for mother Russia.


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