Exploring the Library: NoveList Plus

by Tina Kakuske, Director, Door County Library

“Reading … a vacation for the mind …”

— Dave Barry

Summer is the perfect time to let your mind take a reading vacation, so we often hear these questions at the public library: “What should I read next?” “Can you help me find a book to read?” “I just finished a great book by [author’s name]. What else have they written?” 

At one time, reading widely was a prerequisite for anyone working at a library because without doing so, how would you know what to suggest to those who were looking for their next book to read? Imagine keeping so much book knowledge in mind, readily accessible. We all know superhero librarians who manage to do this!

Fortunately, we mere mortals have tools to help us in the search for good books. Websites such as Whichbook, Goodreads, LibraryThing and Bookish work in various ways and are all useful. 

Another truly powerful tool that’s available to anyone in Wisconsin with a library card is NoveList Plus, which includes both fiction and nonfiction works. To access it, visit, click on “Research Tools,” and scroll down to “Books & Literature,” where you’ll find the NoveList link. 

There are Recommended Reads lists for adults, teens, ages 9-12 and ages 0-8. In the center of the NoveList Plus opening page, books are also recommended by appeal, for when you’re in the mood for a read that’s “Engaging and Likeable,” “Intricately Plotted and Compelling,” “Reflective and Leisurely Paced” or “Atmospheric and Descriptive.” The searcher may also browse by genre grouped by age, awards books or audiobooks.

Those who want to do a more focused search may use either the basic or advanced search boxes that appear at the top of the NoveList Plus page. You’ll find one especially useful search option by hovering over Quick Links at the top of the opening page, then clicking on “Author Read-Alikes.” Want to read a book that’s similar to books written by, for instance, Larry McMurtry? Author Read-Alikes help the searcher find authors and books that share characteristics with the selected authors or books. 

For your next reading vacation for the mind, try using NoveList Plus, or have your kids try NoveList K-8, located right next to the NoveList link.