Meet NoveList: Your New Best Book Recommendation Friend

April 26, 2018

So here’s my #1 frustration with working at Evanston Public Library. It’s not the people, they’re great. And it’s not the collection since I absolutely love what we already have on hand and what I’m able to get. No, for me, my frustration stems from all the incredible things we provide that nobody has even heard of. You know that self-published authors can get their ebooks into the library through Biblioboard, right? Or that harried parents have access to an untold wealth of picture book-to-film adaptations through Bookflix, right? No? Well, what about NoveList? Surely you know about NoveList, yes? No.

Time to change all that.

Today I’m going to introduce you to NoveList. Head on over to the library’s website (, but you already knew that) and you’ll see the category “Explore”, and under that heading “Resources A to Z”. Select those words and you’ll see the full list of every database we own. And just look at those beauties! Free access to Consumer Reports! Free access to Mango to learn a new language! Free genealogy resources! But today we’re going down to NoveList. Click on that and voila.

Now NoveList is useful when you want a good book recommendation. Did you enjoy The Woman in the Window? Want something like that? Do a search on it and you’ll see that it offers you “Title Read-a-likes” written by real people that justify why Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeny may be the perfect next book for you. But that’s not all it provides! You can refine your results so that you’re only considering books with certain tones, characters, writing styles, or time periods. Go on! Explore! Because the likelihood you’ll find something is strong. Here are the stats:

# titles in NoveList: 460,566 (print) ; 76,559 (audio)

# titles added each month on average, about 2,900

# titles in NoveList: 460,566 (print) ; 76,559 (audio)

# titles added each month:  on average, about 2,900

And now, some fast facts:

  • Most popular appeal factor? “Fast-paced” is their most-frequently-applied appeal term
  • Most unusual appeal factor? “Anthropomorphic” characters – bunnies acting like people in picture books for kids, or cats solving mysteries
  • First NoveList customer: Joyce Saricks, with Downers Grove Public Library
  • NoveList has subject headings for both humanoid and non-humanoid aliens
  • NoveList has a genre heading for “Weird Westerns” – think zombies gun-slinging at the old saloon

Our librarians here at Evanston Public Library are great at recommendations, but if you’re sitting at home looking for something to read, consider NoveList as the next best thing.

Readalikes: When You Have to Wait to Read

July 20, 2017

How many times has this happened to you? You hear about a pretty awesome sounding book. You go to the library to see if it is in. It’s not (naturally). You decide to place a hold on the item. Then you casually ask how many holds exist on the item already, and discover that the number is ridiculously huge. What do you do while you wait?  You really want to read that book. Is there anything like it?

Today I am happy to announce that the library has up and running a little display of readalikes. I looked and saw what the books with most holds were, and did some research to best ascertain the readalikes you can plunge into as you wait.  Enjoy!

While You’re Waiting for . . .


  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin
  • Fever by Mary Beth Keane
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • The Mayakovsky Tapes by Robert Littell
  • Russka by Edward Rutherfurd
  • The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast


While You’re Waiting for . . .


  • Insane City by Dave Barry
  • Season 0f Fear by Brian Freeman
  • The Forgotten by Heather Graham
  • You Belong to Me by Colin Harrison
  • A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes
  • Mississippi Blood by Greg Isles
  • Ex-Libris by Ross King
  • The Lost Island by Douglas J. Preston
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White


While You Wait for . . .


  • Woman by Natalie Angier
  • I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
  • Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof
  • The Obesity Paradox by Carl J. Lavie
  • Fat Girl by Judith Moore
  • How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  • Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen
  • This Is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe
  • Why Not Me by Mindy Kalin
  • Shrill by Lindsay West


In Stieg’s League: Millennium Trilogy Readalikes

July 6, 2010

If you count yourself among author Stieg Larsson’s many legions of fans, it’s likely that these days you’re caught in somewhat of a predicament.  If, on the one hand, you were one of the fortunate first to devour Larsson’s new The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, you’re probably already wondering what new crime fiction fare could possibly satisfy your continued hunger for the tragically-shortened Millennium Trilogy.  If, on the other hand, you find yourself buried deep on the waiting list for Larsson’s last, the chances are good you’re in need of a literary elixir to both stoke the pleasures and soothe the pains of anticipating your third and final date with what Entertainment Weekly recently dubbed “the hottest books on the planet.”  Whichever your situation, however, rest assured that there’s still a wealth of incredible Scandanavian crime fiction just waiting to be discovered.  In particular, Larsson’s native Sweden boasts a bumper crop of talented authors writing books that explore their country’s dark underbelly and feature mesmerizing characters, complex mysteries, and seat-of-your-pants suspense in the same vein as Larsson’s international bestsellers.  So, as they do in Sweden, pour yourself a coffee from the table thermos, stretch out on an IKEA-brand futon, and give one of the following thrilling translations a try:   Continue reading “In Stieg’s League: Millennium Trilogy Readalikes”

Yeah, There’s a Book Like That

May 21, 2010

Whether you’re looking for a new book to read and aren’t sure exactly what you want or you’re looking for your next great read and are absolutely certain what kind of book you want, than have we got a tool for you. For the next two weeks EPL is featuring a free preview of Books & Authors, a great research resource for readers of all types. The site lets you browse for books in all the usual ways–title, author, (extraordinarily detailed) genre–but also includes some far more unique and individualized search options as well. Continue reading “Yeah, There’s a Book Like That”

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