Appeal factors help readers decide whether or not a book fits their style or mood. What is “heartwarming” to one reader may be saccharine to another; what is “mildly sensuous” to you may be quite shocking to others.
Appeals are a signature feature of NoveList -- they help us match readers with their perfect books. We believe that appeal is the key to successful matchmaking – it’s the “chemistry” of readers’ advisory.
Librarians like Joyce Saricks, Nancy Pearl, and Neal Wyatt pioneered the idea of appeals, and NoveList continues the work by defining a set of standard appeal terms which we then apply to titles in our database and use in our read-alike recommendations. Our appeal terms are listed in The Secret Language of Books that you can download on the right.
NoveLists's appeal terms fall into a few broad categories including:
Character (e.g. character duos, flawed, quirky, etc.) NEW!
Storyline (e.g. action-packed, character-driven, sweeping, etc.)
Pace (e.g. fast-paced, leisurely paced, etc.)
Tone (e.g. bleak, funny, sarcastic, etc.)
Writing Style (e.g. descriptive, gritty, lyrical, etc.)
Illustration (e.g. cartoony, impressionistic, realistic, etc.) Learn more about Illustration appeals
Audio Characteristics (e.g. folksy, energetic, read by the author, etc.)
You'll see our appeal factors in all NoveList databases including: NoveList Plus, and NoveList K-8 Plus. They are also a feature of NoveList Select -- displayed in the What Appeals to Readers section. We also use appeals to inform all of our recommendations, wherever they appear. Do you like funny, fast-paced mysteries? Or, audiobook memoirs that are read by the author in a wry tone? Appeals help you zero in on the books that are exactly right for you.