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Why NoveList FAQ

What are story elements?

Story elements include appeal terms, themes, time periods and genres used to describe books. Our team of catalogers tags books with appropriate terms, making it simple to search for books on genre or subject as well as the unique themes and the feel of the book.

What are appeals?

Appeal terms are used to help readers determine what they enjoy about a book and whether a particular book fits their style. Appeal can be used to find books with the character types, pacing, tone, and writing style your reader likes. You can even find books based on illustration style or audiobooks based on narration qualities.

What are themes?

Themes are popular and recurring plot elements that are found among fiction books for all audience levels (Adult, Teens, Ages 9-12, Ages 0-8). The difference between themes and subject is that themes describe the overall plot, while subjects describe the types of people and actions in the story. For example, in NoveList you can find literary fiction books on the theme “fish out of water,” books on the Romance theme “opposites attract,” or books on how to “mind your manners” for young kids.

How are NoveList’s genres unique?

NoveList's librarians work hard to make sure our genres are not only relevant and up to date, but also reader-focused. We make sure to focus on language that readers actually use and understand, rather than that used only by catalogers. NoveList also creates genre headings to capture subgenres, like "Police procedurals", and new trends or unique search helpers, like "Parallel narratives" or "Books for adult new readers." Our catalogers regularly review our genre headings and add new genres based on what NoveList users are looking for.

How can story elements help readers find books?

Story elements are easily searchable in NoveList. You can combine appeals, themes, and genres all into one search, to find the perfect book for your reader!

What kind of recommendations, or read-alikes, are available in NoveList?

NoveList has book-to-book, author-to-author, and series-to-series recommendations. In NoveList Plus, you can also find audiobook-to-audiobook recommendations.

How are recommendations made?

Our librarians and book experts evaluate and write many of our recommendations, crafting them by hand. Along with each recommendation, we include reasoning as to why it is a good match, highlighting relevant story elements like appeal terms, genres, and subjects.

For those books, authors, and series for which don’t yet have a handcrafted recommendation, we use a sophisticated algorithm that considers subjects, our appeal terms, and more to create additional recommendations.

What types of articles and book lists can I find in NoveList?

NoveList offers lots of great articles and book lists for all readers, including:

  • Author Read-alikes: Read all the books by your favorite author? These articles give you a brief discussion on the author and why people enjoy reading the author, along with a list of authors who write like the author in question. These articles can be used as an extension of the read-alikes that are found at the author detail page.
  • Book Discussion Guides: These guides are a great resource to use with a book discussion group! They include a summary of the book, some questions to guide your conversation, and even suggestions for other books to read next.
  • Recommended Reads Lists: You can find book lists on a variety of genres and topics, across all reading levels.

Who writes and creates the articles and lists?

Readers’ advisory experts, like the librarians at NoveList and our NoveList contributors, write all of our articles and compile all of our book lists.