Prentiss Riddle: Books

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Chain of fools

Mighty Girl recommends her friend Jenny Traig's memoir of an adolescence with OCD, Devil in the Details, a very funny book judging by the excerpts.

I was looking at its Amazon entry when I happened to click on the "Better together: buy this other book and save" link, which pointed to Ill-Equipped for a Life of Sex by Jennifer Lehr. That in turn linked to The Curse of the Singles Table by Suzanne Schlosberg, which linked to You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs by Laurie Graff, which linked to Slightly Settled by Wendy Markham, which ended the chain by linking back to You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs.

-> -> -> <->

Amazon is full of networks, based on "customers who bought this book also bought" relationships, "customers recommended this book in addition" or "instead", on "the page you made" recommendations, on reader-created guides, and no doubt more that I can't think of. But the single "better together" link is one that jumps out at you. I don't remember ever noticing a chain like this before.

I looked for more and couldn't find any. Is this a fluke? Do you suppose that memoirs or "pink lit" are more likely to create such chains than the other kinds of books I read? It probably helps if you start with authors who've published a single book, as titles are often reciprocally linked to another book by the same author. What else?

Black-boxing Amazon networks is a pastime well suited for someone who tends toward OCD. Who knows, there may even be something worth learning if you can dig deep enough, like Valdis Krebs provocative studies of the political polarization of Amazon customers' purchases.

Political Books -- Polarized Readers

books 2004.09.25 link

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