Hello again, and welcome to the next instalment of Ashley’s AI Corner. Each month, I’ll offer you a small glimpse into the weird and wonderful experiments I’ve been conducting with the help of Microsoft’s Generative AI, Copilot.

This time, I thought I’d take a different approach and write a more lighthearted post for May.

First, I’ve been involved in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2024. I’ve set myself a target of 12 books this year (I’m not a massive reader, but it’s always good to push yourself). If you fancy getting involved, you can set a target for yourself for the rest of the year.

This year, I’ve read a few good books: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Babel by R.F Kuang, and the heart-wrenching Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. Since it was my birthday at the start of the month, I had a few Waterstones and Book Club gift cards, so what better way to use these than by getting AI to recommend some books?

The Process

The prompting for this one was straightforward compared to my guide on refreshing content with AI.

Step 1: Provide recommendations

With this prompt, I aimed for a few different things. I told Copilot that I was struggling with new books to read. I wanted it to provide me with 5 book recommendations, and I provided it with authors I have already read, so it needed to avoid them.

AI prompt asking the tool to provide a list of book recommendations

And based on the above prompt, here is what Copilot produced:

Ai answer showing a list of books including The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Piranesi, The Bone Season, and Mexican Gothic

These recommendations look pretty good and even sit in a similar genre to the authors I’ve included in the prompt. I’ve been reading V.E. Schwab, so I’m familiar with her writing style, but I’ve not heard of the recommended book, so I will check it out.

However, out of the list, Piranesi and The Bone Season have caught my eye. The latter sounds like a trilogy, so I will see what other information I can get about the first book without spoiling it.

Step 2: Provide additional information

Next, I’ve asked Copilot to blurb the book so that I get the usual information found on the back of the book while avoiding spoilers. The prompt is simple for this one:

AI prompt asking for a blurb to be produced for The Bone Season book

And here is what Copilot produced:

Ai answer showing the blurb for the book The Bone Season

The Bone Season sounds pretty cool. Annoyingly, my partner read it and said it wasn’t that good, but that wouldn’t stop me from giving it a go!

Step 3: Any other books I should keep an eye out for

With how well Copilot is doing so far, I thought I’d expand on the original 5 books recommended and get an additional 5 to build my list and ensure I don’t have another issue of not knowing what books to buy.

AI prompt asking for more books to keep an eye out for

And here are the recommendations that I got based on that prompt:

AI answer recommending 5 more books including The Night Circus, The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Song of Achilles, The Bear and The Nightingale, and Red Sister

Again, The Night Circus and The Lies of Locke Lamora have caught my eye. I’ll definitely have a look at these books when I head out to Waterstones.

Step 4: Exploring different genres

But what if I want to explore a different genre altogether? Then, I would need to prompt Copilot to provide recommendations based on a specific genre; here’s what the prompt could look like:

AI prompt asking for book recommendations from a different genre

And here is what Copilot has provided for its recommendations:

AI answer recommending books from the thriller genre including Happiness Falls, and The Winter Visitor

I’m leaning towards Knife Skills for Beginners. It sounds like a unique story compared to the usual Suburban Murder Mystery you see now. It’s being added to the list.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it—an effortless way to get recommendations based on specific authors or genres you read. I hope you enjoyed this lighthearted instalment of Ashley’s AI Corner. Feel free to tell me your favourite 2024 read so far. I’m always keen to add to my list!

Until next time,

Ashley is one of our Senior SEO Specialists, who joined us in October 2023 and has worked with clients like Silver Cross, Hardsoft, and Brandon Hire Station. Find Ashley on LinkedIn.