The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

May 29, 2009

Review: Library upgrades NoveList access

The reader’s advisory database NoveList is a database Joplin Public Library has subscribed to for many years and one that was reviewed in this column last November.

The subscription was recently upgraded to include nonfiction titles and a separate database just for children, tweens, and teens called NoveList K-8 Plus.

NoveList is now NoveList Plus and includes more than 220,000 fiction titles and 60,000 titles of readable or narrative nonfiction books (nonfiction books that read like a story). All the great features it had before for fiction readers, it now has for nonfiction readers.

The opening screen has the same look and you can still do basic searches, limit to age, browse award winners, look at author read-alikes and recommended reads, or view discussion guides and feature articles. Now, however, the award winners include categories such as Biography and Memoir, Current Events and Politics, Literary Nonfiction, and Spirituality and Religion.

Author Read-alikes include some nonfiction authors, and they are easily found as you scroll through the list. At the bottom of the entry, NoveList marks each entry and/or title with designations for Fiction or Nonfiction and age level (adult, teen, etc.). Each Read-alike entry has several paragraphs about the author and some of their works along with a recommendation on what to read first if the author is new to you. Following this information are the Read-alike authors. For instance, if you like Bill Bryson and “A Sunburned Country,” NoveList Plus says to try Tim Cahill, Charles Kuralt or Calvin Trillin.

Recommended Reads has many nonfiction lists, and perhaps if you’ve read all the Historical Fiction recommendations, you might try the History list or for a change of pace you might scroll down and sample some Nature Writing, Sports and Competition or True Crime. You can also see what is recommended for Teens (13-18), the Older Kids (9-12), or the Younger Kids (0-8). I know I could read Dr. Seuss every day!

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