September 4, 2020

Spotlight on: Handwritten recommendations and descriptions

As Recommendations Lead here at NoveList, I have the distinct pleasure of editing our advisors’ reading recommendations and descriptions every day. Real live librarians and bookish experts handcraft these gems (in 100 words or less) to lead you and your customers to their next favorite title, author, or series.  

However, I realize that not everyone has the time to pore over NoveList in search of particularly magnificent handcrafted gems. To that end, here are a few wonderful examples from recent years. Why should I have all the fun?

Title recommendations match books that share similar appeals, plots, or context.

   
     
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg matched to The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey
Both of these engaging and heartwarming novels feature mature adults dealing with great loss. Missy Carmichael gets a new “leash” on life with a lovable dog while Arthur Truluv bonds with a pregnant teen and a charmingly nosy neighbor. – Erin DeCoeur

Series recommendations match series that share important similarities and appear on each volume of the work.

   
     
Every Day by David Levithan to If I Stay by Gail Carson Levine
These character-driven series explore relationships between teens complicated by the supernatural. Mia (If I Stay) leaves her body after an accident and must decide whether to return, while A (Every Day) wakes up in a new body each day. – Stephen Ashley

Author recommendations often link writers influenced by one another over time. 

   

Gail Sheehy to Brene Brown 
Although Gail Sheehy is a journalist and Brene Brown an academic, both writers combine broad sociological research with an engaging style to explore how character traits such as ambition, coping, and self-acceptance affect adults' personal transformations, career growth, and sense of purpose in contemporary society. – Michael Shumate

Series descriptions sum up the essence of a multivolume set of works. 


Hat Trilogy by Jon Klassen 
In these darkly humorous hat-related capers, anthropomorphic animals wrestle with questions of possession and justice presented with evocative minimalist illustrations. Each volume in the trilogy stands alone and they can be enjoyed in any order. Readers who enjoy surprising twists and deadpan humor will enjoy these books, all of which make excellent read-alouds. – Abby Johnson

Author descriptions sum up a writer’s entire oeuvre.


 
Canadian author Karma Brown writes engaging character-driven novels that center on women's lives and relationships. From infertility and memory loss to devastating accidents and stifling marriages, Brown's sympathetic protagonists typically experience some sort of sudden tragedy, difficult choice, or period of emotional upheaval. In their struggle to resolve personal, marital, or familial hardships, these relatable women develop their capacity for hope and strength over the course of their stories. Brown's books will appeal to readers seeking moving novels that offer an initial gut-punch alongside a satisfying resolution. Start with: The Choices We Make. – Catherine Coles

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Autumn Winters is the Recommendations Lead for NoveList. She is currently reading Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong. 
 





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