Branching path books were popularized in the 1980′s by the “Choose your own adventure” series. In branching path books the reader must occasionally choose a path in the story by turning to one of a selection of page numbers. The reader reads through the book segment by segment until reaching one of several possible endings, usually most endings are unfortunate ones.
Endless Quest Books: There were zillions of branching path books in the 80′s but my favorites were the Endless Quest Books, in particular the Pillars of Pentegarn (1983) and the Dungeon of Dread (1982) by Rose Estes. A mad wizard! A bone dragon! I’ll get ‘em this time! Damn, dead again.
Lost in Austen (2007): Emma Webster’s “Lost in Austen” kick started the rekindled branching path genre. Lost in Austen was also the basis of the movie by the same name.The setting is a mishmash of Jane Austen’s books in which the reader must try to find true love and avoid being shunned by society.
A few notable examples of the dearth of new branching path novels:
Save the Fair Maiden (2009) by Kimber Krochmal.
Meanwhile: Pick Any Path: 3,856 Story Possibilities (2010) by Jason Shiga.
Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest! You Decide How To Survive! (2011)
Infected! A Click Your Poison Book (2012) by James Schannep.
The branching path genre has recently taken a new form with the advent of e-readers which allow the reader to just click hyperlinks to move from one segment of text to another:
Choose Your Own Fashion Adventure [kindle] (2011) by Rowena Zita.
Can you survive Jack London’s Call of the Wild? (2011) by Ryan Jacobson.
Christopher Columbus and the Knights Templar [kindle] (2012) by Jon La Plante.
Quest for the Lost Treasure: Epic Pirate Adventure in a Fully Illustrated Picture Book [kindle] (2012) by Garry Gaston and Laura Livi.
The Most Boring Book Ever Written (2012) by Daniel Pitts and Rudolf Kerkhoven.