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Finding the luck

Joni Mitchell in Her Own Words cover
Lucky Day Collection

During the last few months while we've been social distancing and keeping close to home there have been times when I just want something new to read right now. And at those times I turn to the wonderful Lucky Day section of Wisconsin's Overdrive collection. On any given day when you click into the collection you'll see a lot of familiar authors like James Patterson and Jodi Picoult and Lee Child, to name a few. Totally makes sense that they'd put the most popular right there at the top of the list (usually numbering right around 2000 titles). But as I came back to the Lucky Day books more often I found I was wanting to dive a little deeper for something a little less known. If this sounds like you, then I've got a couple navigating tips for you.

First one is to use a random sort instead of popularity. When you click into the LD collection, you'll see in the upper right (above the grid of book covers) the drop down menu which defaults to "sorted by popularity". If you click on the down arrow you can see the option to sort by "random" and get your random options like John Connolly's The Wolf in Winter or Jana DeLeon's Swamp Spook or even Ice Bowl '67 by Chuck Carlson (how's that for a random selection). Want to see some more, just click on "sort by popularity" and then switch back to random sort again and see a whole new set at the start of the collection.

The other way I've found to dive a bit deeper is to leave it at the popular sort but then go down to the bottom of the first page of results and click on the last page number (when I did it for this post it was page 85 of results) to get to the least popular selections. Big note here: least popular does not mean less good, it just means the ones that no one knows about. And in fact, using this way of browsing I find a lot of locally written works, like Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food or Crunching Gravel: A Wisconsin Boyhood in the Thirties by Robert Peters. Starting at the end of the list will also give you a lot more nonfiction options like Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Gunner Comes of Age in Combat-1945 by John Irwin or Joni Mitchell in Her Own Words by Malka Marom.

So take a dive! I found it fun and interesting and I found some good reads (and listens) too.


Jun 19, 2020