Tip: If you’re in love with an author but it’s time to move on, try “Author Read-alikes” in the NoveList database to find new authors you might enjoy.


NoveList is a reader’s advisory database that’s available to everyone who visits the BML. Cardholders can also search it from home.

Start at the BML web page, click on Resources, then scroll down a bit to find the NoveList link under Literature & Authors. If you’re searching from home, type in your library card number when prompted. Try searching an author name in the Find box on the first screen. The results will be grouped under various tabs, including “Author Read-alikes.”

Sometimes you will find a whole Read-alike essay on your author. These can include some surprising and interesting suggestions. For example, the entry on quirky mystery writer Alexander McCall Smith suggests Agatha Christie, R.K. Narayan, and James Thurber, among others. Sometimes your author will be mentioned in somebody else’s read-alike essay, and that will also appear under the Author Read-alikes tab.

I like that these notes go beyond surface comparisons to consider subtleties in authors’ styles. For example, Narayan is suggested for McCall Smith fans because “Straightforward but thoughtful prose illuminates Narayan’s investigation into human nature, and a gentle touch of humor and irony speaks to universal themes that transcend the fictional Indian town.”

Now that you’re in NoveList, don’t stop with Author Read-alikes; there are lots of fun features to explore.