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New Appeal Terms: Nonlinear, Open-ended, Intensifying

Post by Cathleen Keyser
Posted February 27, 2014 in NoveList Plus, Readers' Advisory News

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Ready for some new appeal terms?  Here are three to help satisfy your reading taste buds!

Two of these are new storyline terms that join our current cast of seven terms in this area.  First up, Nonlinear. If our appeal terms were people, this would be our Christopher Nolan. These books laugh in the face of a standard plot line. They may begin where they end or jump around in the narrative.  Here you will see books such as Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

Open-ended is our other new storyline appeal term. This is for books that have (as you may have guessed) an open-ended ending. Unresolved, inconclusive, or just plain puzzling endings abound, leaving readers with more questions than answers. For readers who like nice and tidy endings in which all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, you can use this term to avoid these potentially unfulfilling titles. Think books like Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg.

And last but not least is our new pace term, Intensifying. With slowing building momentum like that first hump in a roller coaster ride, these books gradually build tension throughout the story to end with a gripping conclusion! Look for books like 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, The Terror by Dan Simmons, or A Wanted Man by Lee Child.

By the way, all of three of these terms are used at the adult, teen, and older kids reading levels in NoveList.

Can you dig it? Or did we miss the mark? Have any questions on our appeal termsSend us a feedback -- we'd love to hear from you!