Friday, August 27, 2010

I Loved Harry Potter. Now What?

So, you've just finished an amazing book. It had just what you like: Action! Adventure! Mystery! Strong female characters! Romance! Vampires! Geeky kids! You loved the author and have already read everything else by the same person. What other books are similar to what you just enjoyed?

Meet the library databases NoveList K-8 Plus (will be referred to as NoveList K-8 in the rest of the post) and NoveList Plus (will be referred to as NoveList in the rest of the post). Both were recently updated, so they are more user-friendly than ever.

NoveList logosBoth NoveList K-8 and NoveList are robust online databases that you may access for free at the library or at home. NoveList K-8 contains books and authors for kids and teens, while NoveList contains books and authors for kids, teens, and adults.

Here are just a few examples of either database can help you choose your next book:

1. There's this book... by this author.... There's a girl, and I think there's a talking spider and maybe a pig. What book is it?

Charlotte's WebNoveList K-8 and NoveList give you the ability to do a search for keywords about the book or plot, and it will help you figure out the book you might want. In the example above, typing "spider pig girl" and selecting "All" returns the right book at the top of the list: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. If you look at the record for Charlotte's Web in NoveList, you will also see a link at the bottom to "Check the Library Catalog." This will take you to our online catalog, and you can come to the library and check out the book or put it on hold if it is currently out.

2. I just read The Lightning Thief, and I loved it! What book can I read that's similar?

The Lightning ThiefStart a new search in NoveList K-8 or NoveList and type "Lightning Thief," select "Title," and click "Search." The results page brings you directly to the entry for "The Lightning Thief." At the bottom of the entry, you should see a tab that says "Lists & Articles." This provides a list of lists that were contributed by reputable professionals in the library or book field. At the top of the section, you should see a link that says "If You Like...Lightning Thief." Click on that link to get a list of recommended books that are similar. Click on a title if you'd like to learn more about it, and click "Check the Library Catalog" to see if it's available. One recommended book from the list is Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Don't forget to check out other lists on the "Lists & Articles" tab!

3. My favorite author is Dan Brown. I can't get enough of his crazy and suspenseful plots! I've already read all of his books, so what other authors have a similar style?

Dan BrownSince Dan Brown writes books for adults, he can be found in NoveList. Access the database, then type "Brown, Dan," select "Author," and click "Search." You'll see a list of books that he has written. To find other authors with a similar style, click on the tab called "Lists & Articles" at the bottom of the page. Find the section that says "Author Read-Alikes" and click on "Dan Brown." You'll get an entire page dedicated to describing other authors that are similar to Dan Brown.

So, that's just a little introduction to the power of using NoveList K-8 Plus and NoveList Plus to find new books to read.

There are also other websites dedicated to this purpose:
The Book Seer - Try this book predictor to see what other books it thinks you might like next. Enjoy the quirky speech bubble interface and get recommendations from Amazon and LibraryThing.

Literature Map - Great for everyone. Type the name of a book or author you enjoy, and let Literature Map recommend other books for you to try.

Teen Reads - Great for teens. Learn about the latest and coolest new books to try.
As always, please visit the Youth Services desk and ask a librarian if you want help finding some read-alike books!

Posted by ws (formerly wk)