Random Number Generator // WTF do I read next?

10 September 2021

Header image with handwritten text saying 'wtf do I read next?' in pink writing. There is a photo image showing a book shelf with various handwritten notes pointing out books which have been read or are still waiting to be finished. Specifically The Dark Days Club series and the lady Sherlock series are loved. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston is unread and A Heart ofBlood and Ashes has been on the shelf for 6 months

I wasn't sure where to start with my return to blogging. What should I talk about when my reading is a little all over the place and I am struggling to find my feet with reviews? I’ve not been visiting other blogs so writing a discussion post seemed weird and reviews are difficult. But then I realised I did have an idea of what to write based on something I tweeted when I was struggling with figuring out what to read:


I know that it sounds ridiculous, the idea of using a random number generator to pick what to read but it also helped to relieve the pressure of reading. I think any reader can understand that there is a certain sense of pressure about choosing your next book. I hate it and it’s why I so often fall into a reading slump after reading a really good books because I feel that pressure to find another book just as good. I don’t think it helps that I am such a big mood reader. It was actually inspired by the fact that I had picked up and put down about 6 other books without being able to get into reading them. I was certain I was in the mood to read fantasy but all of the fantasy books I was trying just weren’t what my brain was looking for. I was starting to despair a little and wished I could just choose a book at random and then I realised I could.


How does it work?


The idea was simple, inspired by the way I often create Sims (I won’t explain that, because I’m sure most of you aren’t interested). I had intended to do it using my Goodreads shelves but I’ve not kept that up to date during my blogging breaks. I then thought maybe I could up date my physical and Kindle books on there, but my physical books are getting packed into boxes and I don’t really want to drag them out. I’ve been trying to cull them before my move and it’s difficult. Instead, I decided to do it simply using my unread Kindle books, especially as I have 400+ unread books to tackle for various reasons (we aren’t hear to talk about my shopping problems). It helps that choosing from my Kindle was far easier. I simply use a random number generator to choose a page on my Kindle, so for me I generate a number between 1 to 75. There are then 6 books on a page and I generate another number to choose which to read. It’s simple but effective because it led to me reading 4 very different books. Or trying to read them, as the case may be. It’s essentially a book jar with less writing and hand cramp on my part.

Why am I creating a whole post to explain a very simple concept? Because it also gives me the chance to say if it worked or not. I’ll explain if it was a good read, bad read, removed it from my TBR pile read.

The first book chosen by this method was:


The Broken Girls - Simone St James book cover. heavily in shadow with two girls holding hands running through a forest.

The Broken Girls - Simone St James

Published: 20th March 2018

Source: Purchased

Genre: Mystery, thriller, horror

My Rating: DNF

A breakout suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare.
Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . .

When I began this method of reading I was convinced I was in the mood for reading fantasy so this horror/thriller book was not what I expected to pick up to read next. I’d read another book from Simone St James last year and enjoyed it. I thought it was an excellent choice, not fantasy as I expected, but something different which would hook me in. When I first started reading, I liked it and I thought I could grow to be intrigued about the school and what happened to Fiona’s sister. But I became frustrated that when the book moved to the past I was seeing different perspectives. I always struggle with different POV in books and I think the fact I started reading then took a break and slept on it so early on in the story meant I could never truly get hooked on the plot. I hadn’t developed the connection to the characters and the proper investment in the story before taking my break from reading and that is a strong motivator for me reading. I need to feel invested.

Sadly, the book failed to capture that spark of interest I thought had been there when I first picked it up. I found myself constantly distracted when reading until eventually I DNFed it and placed it on my ‘abandoned books’ shelf on my Kindle. I think I was 20% of the way in and I just couldn’t get hooked and it was disappointing because I was genuinely excited to read it and I know I’m the odd one out looking at the positive reviews. I might have loved it if I had only found it at a different time, but the plot didn’t intrigue me enough to speed read through and that is a sign that I probably wouldn’t have loved the book, but simply liked it.


The Friend Zone - Kristen Callihan cover. Features a shirtless man on the cover

The Friend Zone (Game On #2) - Kristen Callihan

Published: 5th May 2015

Source: Purchased

Genre: Contemporary romance, sports romance

My Rating: DNF

Gray doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.
The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.
Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…
Gray drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.
Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to win Ivy’s heart. Game on.

I remember struggling with the first book in this Game On series (which is probably why I didn’t continue) and so it came as no surprise that the same thing happened here. To be fair, I’ve not been in the mood to read romance books for a while (I know, who even am I?) so it seemed obvious I’d struggle with this one. I’m happy to read romance, but contemporary romance? It’s not what I’m looking for right now and so the cards were stacked against this one. But I gave it a chance because I’d vowed to try and read whatever the random number generator threw up and I liked the concept of the couple, Gray and Ivy, exchanging texts before meeting. But the writing style and the characters and the plot, none of it was clicking. I just didn’t care about who any of them were, and maybe if I remembered the first books better I would have been more interested as I would have been seeing characters I’d met before. But I couldn’t remember a single one and I didn’t care to find out more about them.

I’d stupidly bought three books in this series before ever finishing the first one. I try not to do that so much any more, but I’ve still the third book on my Kindle. I do think that was the book I was most interested in reading but I am committed to reading a series from the start. In this case, it was probably a mistake. This soon was placed on my abandoned books list but I will try and read the next book and see If I like it.


The Duke Who Didn't - Courtney Milan cover

The Duke Who Didn’t (Wedgeford Trials #1) - Courtney Milan

Published: 22nd September 2020

Source: Purchased

Genre: Historical Romance

My Rating:

Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night.
Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe. In his defense, it took him years of attempting to be serious to realize that the endeavor was incompatible with his personality.
All he has to do is convince Chloe to make room for a mischievous trickster in her life, then disclose that in all the years they’ve known each other, he’s failed to mention his real name, his title… and the minor fact that he owns her entire village.
Only one thing can go wrong: Everything.

I like Courtney Milan’s books so I impulse bought this one when it was on offer at some point this year. I was pleased when this one came up on random selection. Some books you know you want to read but just need a little push to actually pick up and I thought this was one of them. I thought Chloe and Jeremy were both going to steal my heart and sweep me away and I’d be ready to throw this book at everyone to read.

That didn’t happen.

I want to say that this book is not a bad book, I think on another day I would have fallen in love and been swept away but my mood just wasn’t quote right. I found myself frustrated reading from Chloe’s perspective sometimes. She was so regimented and controlled, which was fantastic, but made it difficult to connect with her. In theory, I should adore her because she is this fantastic, strong woman who knows her mind and is determined and confident in herself. That is fabulous. But reading from her perspective made her seem cold. At least, at the start. It was from Jeremy’s perspective I truly grew to love her. He didn’t see her as cold but reserved, but also fiercely protective of those she allowed close. He saw all the best parts of her and I loved to see that.

I forced myself to finish this one and that could have been a mistake on my part. I should have put it on hold to another day when it fitted my reading mood better. But I worried that I might not pick it up again. I liked it once I finished. I grew to love Chloe (as I expected) and I loved Jeremy and I would say check this out. I might reread it again when I’m in a better mood for it and I’m sure my rating will change.


One Night With the Sexiest Man Alive (The One #1) - Ainslie Paton

One Night With the Sexiest Man Alive (The One #1) - Ainslie Paton

Published: 27th February 2020

Source: Purchased

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My Rating:

Haydn Delany’s Hollywood star shone so brightly, even being the manager of an event he was headlining didn’t ensure Teela Carpenter would get the chance to meet him, and she was fine with that. Really, fine. Okay, it was hugely disappointing not to meet the much-admired actor come activist dubbed the Sexist Man Alive.
Until Haydn appeared inexplicably on the balcony where she stood, kissed her hand and gave her a story to dine out on for years.
That was before a raging tropical thunderstorm, an annoying car accident and ruined shoes put him in her path again. This time as her white knight.
And a one-night stand that might just last forever.

This was the fourth try (fourth times the charm?) and I knew I was on to a winner as soon as I picked it up. Why didn’t I try this book from the start? I adore Ainslie Paton’s writing. I don’t think she has written a book I haven’t loved, I even count a few of her books as my all time favourites. Why is she not more well known and appreciated?

This was a quick easy read and I was hooked from the start. The characters were amazing, the sex was steamy and I was fully invested in the HEA. I am not normally a huge fan of celebrity romances. I’ve read some good ones but I go in wary because I don’t want it to be like those Wattpad fanfics that are pure cheese, you know? This was not that. Haydn was the sexy actor in Australia for a weekend (I totally pictured a younger George Clooney crossed with someone like Chris Evans. You know, like a clean cut sexy actor but with that charisma George Clooney has) and Teela was the smart, totally competent woman running her own business who caught his eye. They meet following an event that Teela helped to plan, she thought she had missed her opportunity to meet him properly when she offered her seat at the event to someone else because she knows that these events should be planned well and that the guests there are the priority. So when she meets him on a balcony that evening it’s pure chance. There was an obvious spark and they should never have met again. A car accident (nobody was hurt) and a storm later and they’re having a one night stand that lasts a whole weekend and fall in love. I loved that Teela took none of Haydn’s slick shit and was like stop putting on an act and charming me and just be real FFS and then he was ready to worship her whole body because he could see that was what she deserved, any man who didn’t realise it was a fool.

I was so happy the final book I’d randomly selected the final time turned out to be such a winner because I honestly thought it was going to be a fail of an idea. I would never have chosen any of these books to read if it weren’t for the random number generator. Partially because I forgot I owned some of them, but also because I didn’t think I was in the mood to read any of them. And some of them I wasn’t but I persisted, but it shows that sometimes the lucky dip is needed to clear out the junk and also to force you to pick up books you might otherwise avoid. It’s fun and next time I’m stumped on what to read I will definitely be doing this again. This may even be a new feature post where you get to see how much I don’t know what I want to read at any given moment in time.


Do you have fun ways of deciding what to read when you’re feeling a bit stuck? Have I inspired you to give my method a shot for when staring at your shelves for 2 hours just isn’t an efficient use of your time?

Post Signature
© A Fool's Ingenuity. Design by FCD.