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What Should I Read Next?

What do you do when you have discovered a new (or new-to-you) author, and you want another book that is just like the one you finished?

You’ve read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on by ______ (fill in the blank) and want to read something JUST like (s)he writes.

Fascination with puppy dog tales – yes, I noticed the pun as well – has you craving more animal stories.

What do you do?  Yes, your local librarian is a wonderful help, but when you finish the book at midnight, and really, ReAlLy, REALLY need a new author SOON, please don’t call us! At least, not a midnight!

A fantastic website for you to find that new author, or subject area, or whatever piece of the title you just finished that sends you searching is part of the MARVEL database.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, this amazing resource is provided to all libraries in Maine, and with your current library card you will discover some great new authors and books.

Once you or I access the MARVEL database, which can be accessed through the library website, we need to scroll down, and click on the NOVELIST database.  There are two choices for Novelist – NoveList K-8 Plus and NoveList Plus.  As you might assume, one is geared more to the juvenile, but they both work the same way.

Okay, I’m here.  I type James Patterson in the search bar near the top of the page.  I’m doing a “Basic Search” at this point.  My results show me several things.  On the left side of the page there are several ways to “Refine Results”.  The majority of the page seems to be taken up by several tabs.  These tabs include Books ; Audiobooks ; Series ; Authors and Lists & Articles.

Since the Books tab is the first one (and open), I’ll see what it has to say.

My results include 389 citations.  I know Patterson is prolific, but 389???  Anyway, back to NoveList I go.  As I scroll down the first page, I see books by Patterson, books about Patterson, compilations that include Patterson, and books that he co-authored.  Many choices, but since I have read ALL of his stuff and am looking for something new, I click on the next tab.

Audiobooks appears to be exactly that – James Patterson books that have been recorded for our listening pleasure.  I do notice that the narrator of each audiobook is listed, and as a listener, there are some readers that I particularly enjoy listening to, as well as some that I would rather not hear again.  As I scroll down the first page, I realize that some of the titles are listed more than once and see that perhaps there is a choice of Abridged vs. Unabridged.  All in all, an interesting “tab” to look at.

The next tab is Series.  This one shows me the 22 series that Mr. Patterson writes.

The Authors tab lists six authors who in some way have been associated with James Patterson.  A couple of these authors appear to have written about him, or have co-authored works with him, or simply have the same name.

The last tab is Lists & Articles.  This is exactly what it claims – Lists and Articles about James Patterson.  A great resource for anyone interested in who Mr. Patterson is.

As I explored each of these tabs I noticed several things they had in common.  Below each citation there is a bit of information, as well as a few links.  I see a five-star popularity scale, whether the title is written for Adults, Teens or younger and the Read-alikes.  This is the piece I’m interested in right now.

I click on the Title Read-alikes link for one of the titles on this page.  If there were a specific title I LOVED this would be the time to choose it.  I am taken to a page with several new titles.  There is a “Reason” given for each of the titles on this page.

This process works the same way when I click on Author Read-alikes.  I am taken to a page with several – nine seem to be the maximum number – new authors that might be of interest.

Back to the original “James Patterson” search page I go.  This time I click on the book title itself, and am taken to a page with a description of the book, the genre and tone.  Also on this page, the far right column shows me Read-alikes.  I see the book covers, author and a link to this new title.  I know, I know, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover”, but … .

I can also search for those “puppy tales” I’m interested in.  The search bar is near the top of each of the NoveList pages, so I type in puppy tales.

Yup, this works as well!  I’m taken to pages that include more than 600 “puppy tales”.

Now, I’ve jumped around this great resource, my clock tells me it’s 2:00a.m., I didn’t disturb my local librarian, I’ve found some new reading ideas, and requested them to be picked up at the library.  This looks like several ticks in the WIN column to me!

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