Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) offers a real gem that avid readers and/or their parents should know about: Novelist Plus, a comprehensive readers’ advisory site for ﬁction and nonﬁction titles.
By Rachel Lamantia, Assistant Branch Manager, Richard Bird Library
Novelist and searching by “mood”
Novelist Plus is a ‘free to you’ database for which the library maintains a subscription. Any cardholder can access this resource from home 24/7 and it is so rich in content that many library staﬀ members consider it their secret weapon in making book recommendations for genres in which they’re less familiar.
In addition to traditional searching, Novelist created a mechanism for mood-based searches. In the mood for something Thought Provoking and Reﬂective? How about Suspenseful and Action Packed? Both are categories based on “appeal terms” – how a book appeals to its audience. Novelist even allows the nerdiest of us to create a personal mix of appeal terms and get a list of matching books. Unfortunately, not all the titles Novelist suggests for you will be owned by FCPL. Those that are owned will display a button that links to the library catalog.
Finding something similar – read-alikes
If you already have a book or two in mind and are interested in “more, please,” Novelist can help with that too. Say you like The Midnight Library by Matt Haig –Novelist can suggest a list of both title read-alikes and author read-alikes. Not only does it provide the list, it gives you the reason it suggests that title or author. This allows you to know if what you liked about The Midnight Library matches up and therefore if the suggestion is the best ﬁt for you!
Other nifty information
But wait, there’s more! Be sure to review Quick Links in the navigation. The Quick Links area includes some not-to-be-missed resources, such as:
- Page to Screen – tells you what titles are being adapted into movies or TV shows, when they will be available and where;
- Genre Guides – lists books in areas like Magical Realism for Older Kids or Nonﬁction that Reads Like Fiction for Adults;
- Working With Youth – featured content for diﬀerent age groups like Books by Time Period or Books for Gamers or a Body-Positive Booklist for Tweens;
- Explore Pages – Explore Genres, Authors or Books in the Media. This latter includes celebrity book club news and books you hear about on NPR, Comedy Central, Fox News or other outlets.
We really hope you visit Novelist and enjoy nerding out… uh, exploring its content as much as we do!