I’d wager that most library staff (myself included) look forward to patrons asking them a version of the following question: “Read anything good lately?” That’s usually an easy one! More difficult are the questions dealing with authors or genres that we’re not familiar with or perhaps have never even heard of. “You want a viking time-travel mystery novel?” Hmmmm, give me a sec to think about it. That’s when we frantically start rooting through our bag of tricks. Google is a good friend at times like these. So are booklists, our own reading tastes, sites like Goodreads and suggestions from our colleagues. One of the best tools in my reader recommendations kit is an online product called NoveList. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You have access to it too! All you need to do is visit the database page on our website and log in with your library card and PIN. Be warned though that extensive use of NoveList may cause your to-read list to grow to unwieldy proportions!
NoveList is a gold mine of information for those who love to read fiction. It includes book reviews, recommended reads, author and title read-alikes, feature articles, reading lists, genre studies and so much more. Not sure what ‘steampunk fiction’ is all about? There’s a booklist to get your started. Wondering what on earth a ‘space opera’ is? There’s a quick genre summary with a description and recommendations of key titles to get you up to speed. Enjoy the Armand Gamache series by Canadian crime novelist Louise Penny and looking for other female Canadian mystery writers? There’s an entire feature article on the topic with many recommendations. Exhausted the entire list of Jo Beverley’s romance titles and looking for something similar? There’s a Jo Beverley “read-alikes” list with suggestions. I could go on but really the best way to learn about NoveList is to get in there and start exploring.
I’ll admit that the recommendations aren’t always spot on, and of course making book recommendations is a very subjective area. However, NoveList is certainly a great place to get the conversation started.
Still not convinced to give it a try? Maybe this little video will change your mind. Novelist video