MARVELous NoveList!

Recently, I was in search of a new-to-me author – one I had never read, and, perhaps, had not heard of?!?!

Several months ago, a new feature appeared in our catalog – suggestions of books readers might like.  Off to check the Minerva catalog I go.  I know I enjoyed Gail Carriger’s Steampunk series, The Parasol Protectorate, so I do a search for Gail Carriger.  Once I bring up the first title in this series, I scroll to the bottom of the page – several book covers are displayed, with author, title, and “Why this match?”  I hover my cursor over the question and am given an idea of “Why this match?”  I see why this title is shown.
Clicking on the title of a book sends me right to the title in the Minerva catalog, and I am able to request a new author!
Being a bit curious, and pretty sure that this in generated through the MARVEL database NoveList, I decide to check out NoveList.
I do the same search of Gail Carriger and am offered the same titles.  That was easy!
While I’m here, I decide to poke around NoveList, and see what new features are available.
Back to the NoveList home page I go.  Across the top of the page I see Home ; Browse By ; Especially For; Quick Links and How Do I?  Hmmm . . . I’m pretty sure that Home brings me to the Home page, and hovering my cursor over the other options gives me ideas of what they might be used for.  Under the Browse By heading I see a couple of interesting ideas – Award Winners and Audiobooks to be specific.
I click on Award Winners.  WOW – there must be fifty or more listed as Popular Awards, and at the bottom of the page is a link to Browse All Award Winners and Notable Books.  Again, WOW! There are PAGES of award books to look through!
Next, I look at the Audiobooksheading.  There are not as many choices on this page, however there are several interesting Recommended Reading Lists on the right hand side of the page.  The site separates the lists as Adult Lists and Children & Teen Lists.  Among the Children & Teen Lists there is a list called Famous Voices: Celebrity Readers – interesting!  Clicking here brings me to a page with, you guessed it, audiobooks read by celebrities!  I really like this concept, as certain voices translate to audio better than others, but I wish there was a list like this for Adult titles, as well!
Back to the menu bar across the top of the page I go.  This time I hover over Quick Links.  There are a couple of links that look to be especially interesting to School Librarians and Teachers – Common Core and Curriculum Connections.  A link of possible interest for the next book discussion is Book Discussion Guides.  I am not able to search the Discussion Guides by title, but it might be helpful when searching for a title for a discussion group.
I do click on the Books to Movies link.  I am taken to a page titled Books To Movies – 2016.  This is an alphabetical list of some of the books that are being filmed this year.  I see a short bit of information about the books, but nothing about when the movie might be available, or actors, etc.  This actually makes sense, as I am looking at a book site, but as usual, I’m curious!
I go back to the menu bar again and look at How Do I?  As you might imagine, this is a link to those FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) we see on many websites.
Back on the Homepage, I notice on the left side tabs stating Fiction and Nonfiction.  Beneath the tabs there are choices – Adult, Teen, Ages 9-12 and Ages 0-8.  
As I am seeing the Adultlists first, both the fiction and the nonfiction have several genre related categories, as well as Best of 2015lists.  These lists would be a great way to gather items for specific book displays.  A tool to remember.
Moving through the age categories, they each appear to be genre lists as well.  There are a few lists, however, that I find intriguing.
All Kinds Of Livesis truly that.  These are book lists of a variety of backgrounds.  These include such ideas as Life On The Autism Spectrum, Teen Homeschoolers’ Lives and LGBTQIA.  What a great place to start when I have someone looking for Christian Lives,or The Disability Experience.
Another link I find of interest is For Fans Of . . .  This one appears to be of interest for someone who is a particular fan of specific television programs, movies or even music bands.  The Downton Abbey link gives several suggestions – Velvet Undercover, by Teri J. Brown and A Countess Below Stairs, by Eva Ibbotson, are just a couple.
Okay, it looks like I need to use NoveList on a MUCH more frequent basis and in many more ways than I have been in the past!
Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

I’m looking for something to read . . . .

 I don’t know about any of you, but I LOVE to read.  Yes, I am a reader, and I will read ANYTHING – some I love, some I  . . . dislike immensely . . . and some just fill the time while I wait for the next great book (at least to me).

I enjoy talking about books, but sometimes, I draw a complete blank when I get questions like “What do you recommend?” ; “Who’s a good author?” ; “What is your favorite book?”.  These are all great questions, and my answer, can and does change often.
I have a few questions that I ask the person asking me – confused yet?  I find out what author(s) a person likes, and why.  Is there a specific genre that my new acquaintance likes – mystery, fantasy, western, science fiction, humor, historical, or whatever else they mention, yes, even erotica.  About half the time I can come up with a title, and my friend is a happy camper. 
But . . .
There are times when this new friend and I must move on to other resources.
One of my favorite go-tos is NoveList Plus, which can be accessed from our website, though you will need a valid library card.  You can read my previous blog post about some uses for this website.  This is a very useful resource when searching for specific author read-a-likes.
Another fun place to find new authors, music or movies is Gnod.  This one is interactive, but in a different way.  Once on the website, I generally opt for Gnod Books, though Gnod Music and Gnod Movies are great as well, and work the same way.  If my new friend mentions more than one author as a favorite, Gnod’s Suggestionsgives me a place to enter up to three authors, and then gives me suggestions of other authors to consider.  Map of Literature uses one author but brings in many suggestions.  This feature is fun to play with, as the authors float around the screen a bit and settle near each other, as read-a-likes.
One more interesting resource is What Should I Read Next?  This one works well if there is a very specific title my new reading buddy likes, but I find it not as useful to look up an author.  It does give you the author and the majority of their work, but you still have to narrow by title.
Last, but by no means least, is adding another perspective to our conversation.  Often times, my co-workers have exactly the suggestion we’ve been looking for!
 Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Book Reviews!


This week I would like to tell you a little about the review magazines that we librarians read here at the library.  These magazines help us pick out what are the new releases that are coming out and the best books to buy for the library.  Some of these magazines are published monthly and others are published twice a month.  The names of some of them are Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist and Publishers Weekly.  For the young audience there is VOYA and School Library Journal.  A few of the magazines are available for patrons to check out in the magazine section.  The reviews of books are also available online at the publishers’ websites.  To find out how some of the books that you are reading are reviewed in the magazines, you can go to MARVEL and on to NoveList Plus as Ann Russell talked about in the blog on November 10, 2012.  Ann was using NoveList Plus at the time for series, but the reviews from the magazine are right there below the title and description of the book. 
I looked up on NoveList Plus In the Shadow of Blackbirdsby Cat Winters.  After finding the right book, I clicked on the title and got more information about this book.  Scrolling down the information on this book, you check what libraries have this book by clicking on Search Minerva by title and just below that is a tab that says REVIEWS.  For this book it has 3 different reviews, 2 of the magazines gave the book a STARRED REVIEW, which is the best review a book can get from one of these magazines. 
So look up the books that you are reading either on the publishers’ websites or on NoveList Plusand see what kind of reviews they are getting or check out one of the review magazines in our collection of magazines.  If you see us librarians reading off our computers or out of a magazine, we may be reading reviews to the get the latest and best books for our patrons.
Ginni Nichols, YA Librarian