Skokie Public Library's Guide to...
NoveList

NoveList is an online readers’ advisory resource designed to help you find your next great read.  NoveList provides subject access, reviews, and annotations for over 120,000 fiction titles for every reading level.  It also includes author read-alikes, booklists, book discussion guides, book talks, and feature articles. You will also find features for teachers and for librarians who do readers’ advisory.

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Why Use NoveList?

NoveList allows you to use a favorite author or title to help locate other authors and titles that you might enjoy, and to search for novels by topic, setting, and character or series name.  NoveList is an excellent source of reading suggestions: it contains lists of award-winning fiction titles, and lists of books about certain subjects or set in particular locations. NoveList is also a good source of book reviews.  The following are the kinds of questions that can be answered using NoveList:

  • I love Danielle Steel, but I’ve read all of her books. Does anybody else write like that?
  • Our sophomore English teacher is requiring us to read historical fiction set in France during World War II.  How can I find some titles that meet that requirement?
  • Since I retired, I finally have time to read and I want to read all of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels.  Where can I find a list of these books in order?
  • I'm getting into alternate history – can I get a list of some good choices?

Searching

There are several ways of finding books to read in NoveList. You can use a favorite author or title as a starting point to find other authors and titles that you might enjoy, you can search by series name to find more books in that series, or you can use keyword searching to describe a book that you would like to read.  You can also browse lists of award winning fiction or lists of fiction titles by genre. Finally, you can use NoveList’s Author Read-alikes or Feature Articles to give you ideas for your next great read.


Find a Favorite Author

Use the Find a Favorite Author search to find new authors to read.  From the main page of NoveList, choose the Find A Favorite Author option, then type in the name of an author whose work you have enjoyed.  You may limit your search to Adult books, Young Adult books, Children’s or Easy readers; you may also limit by page range, Lexile rating, and publication year.  The results lists will be an alphabetical listing of titles by that author.  The record for each title by that author will include publication information, subject headings, and reviews when available. Use the Find similar image feature to locate titles with similar subject headings.


Find a Favorite Title

Use the Find a Favorite Title search to find similar titles to read.  From the main page of NoveList, choose the Find A Favorite Title option, then type in the name of a book that you enjoyed.  You may limit your search to Adult books, Young Adult books, Children’s or Easy readers; you may also limit by page range, Lexile rating, and publication year.  The record for the title will include publication information, subject headings, and reviews when available. Use the Find similar image feature to locate titles with similar subject headings.


Find a Series Name

Many fiction readers love to read books in series.  Use the Find a Series Name to get a list of titles in a series.  From the main page of NoveList, choose the Find a Series Name search, then type in the name of a series or the name of a character in a series.


Describe a Plot

Use the Describe a Plot search to search for titles set in a particular time period or locale, or books about certain kinds of characters or subjects.  From the main page of NoveList, choose Describe a Plot and then enter keywords describing the kind of book you would like to read.  You may limit your search to Adult books, Young Adult books, Children’s or Easy readers; you may also limit by page range, Lexile rating, and publication year.  This feature searches both subject headings and reviews, so the results list that you receive will likely be quite large.


Boolean Search

Boolean Searching allows you to search by keyword within certain fields that you designate. It is useful if you have a very specific subject, time period, or location in mind; it can also be used to search only reviews.  For example, if you are looking for a book that reads like a John Grisham novel, you could use the Boolean search to search reviews that mention Grisham, while excluding books that are written by him.  This will give you a list of titles that are described by reviewers in terms of John Grisham's style or subject.


Browsing

Best Fiction

Use the Best Fiction feature to browse lists of award winners and recommended books by genre.  Click on Best Fiction, then choose a reading level: Adult, Young Adult, Children’s, or Easy.  A number of icons will then appear, allowing you to select a particular type of fiction award winner to browse.  These categories are customized by reading level.  A description appears at the end of each list, explaining a bit about the award, including when it was founded, who sponsors the award, and what the award honors.


Explore Fiction

The Explore Fiction feature provides extensive lists of titles based on genre.  A description appears at the end of each list, explaining a bit about the books on the list.


All Authors, Titles, Series Names and Subjects

It is also possible to Browse all Authors, Titles, Series Names, and Subjects in NoveList.  This is useful when other searches have not produced the expected results, or when you cannot remember the correct spelling of an author, title, series, or subject.


Tips for Effective Searching

  • NoveList allows you to use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard to truncate words being entered. For example, a reader who is interested in politics, politicians, or political campaigns could enter polit* to retrieve records that contain every form of the word.
  • Quick Search is available on the orange sidebar on the left side of your screen. You can always search for Author, Title, Series, or Keyword using the Quick Search.
  • NoveList has an excellent Learning Center, accessible from the orange sidebar on the left, which includes instructional modules for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users. The Learning Center also has an extensive glossary.

Special Features

NoveList special features include Author Read-alikes, Book Discussion Guides, and Feature Articles.  Author Read-alikes include a brief discussion of why people tend to enjoy a particular author and a list of authors who write in a similar vein.  This feature includes authors of classics like Jane Austen as well as popular authors like Dan Brown.  NoveList features hundreds of book discussion guides, including Adult level titles and Young Adult level titles.  These guides include biographical information about the author, a summary of the book, suggested discussion questions and further reading.  The Feature Articles include author interviews, in-depth articles on many topics, and lists of suggested titles in various genres.


Handling Results

Records may be printed or sent to your email account from NoveList.  You may select the titles  that you wish to retrieve by clicking the Add button at the center right of the screen; when your list is compiled, you may print or email the entire list.  Alternatively, you may print or email records one at a time.  The options to print or email are listed on the orange sidebar on the left side of the screen.


Other Resources

NoveList is a unique database, but there are other resources to help you find a great book to read. Check Books We Love staff book reviews for brief reviews of favorite titles by Skokie Public Library staff members. The Reading section of the Skokie Public Library website is another excellent place to look for resources on genre fiction, book reviews, book lists, and recommended titles.