Archive for March, 2009

Sharp Teeth

March 31, 2009

Author: Barlow, Toby

Title: Sharp Teeth

Genre: Horror/ Thriller

Publication Date: January 29, 2008

Number of Pages: 320 p. (hard cover format)

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, California

Time Period: Present Day

Plot Summary: The full moon is only aesthetic beauty to this modern-day race of lycanthropes. Sharp Teeth is a horror/ thriller novel that dives into a subculture of battling packs of werewolves that prowl the streets of Los Angeles and can turn at will. The initiated seek converts from the unwanted, the unconcerned, and the down-and-out in an effort to build up their armies as a war looms. Lark is the sophisticated leader and alpha dog of the main pack. He helms this swarm of man-eaters as they shred their way through contract jobs for organized crime and kills for drug dealers’ competition. But now his attention is turned to a faction pack led by his former acolyte. Loner and subtle misanthrope, Anthony Silvo, finds a new job as a dog catcher; he hates it, but has no other prospects. Because the city’s dog pounds are a major means of recruitment for one of the packs, Anthony is unknowingly in the middle of this supernatural world. Part love story, he falls in love with a woman who has recently abandoned Lark’s pack and hides that she too is a shape shifter. Peabody is a detective that has caught the scent of a series of suspicious murders and crimes that inexplicably lead to the pound and some local meth labs. Like Anthony, he finds himself neck-deep in the unimaginable. Characters move across the sun-baked landscape of stucco houses, bridge tournaments, and methadone clinics. They all converge at a final battle in the city dump amidst trash, tires, government agents, blood, flesh, and fur. Written in free verse, Sharp Teeth is a violent and comedic tale that threads together stories of an ancient race that seeks domination in the modern world, love between a boy and a girl, and all the blood, bone, flesh, and marrow that hold it together.

Subject Headings: Los Angeles; dog catchers; dog pounds; meth labs; drug trafficking; werewolves; shape shifters; murder; love; gangs; gang warfare; detective; supernatural; card games; bridge tournaments; recruitment; free verse; multiple points-of-view; strong secondary characters; multiple story lines

Appeal: violent, drugs, sexual, raw, bloody, flowing, episodic, tense, vivid, comedic, urban landscape, fast-paced, strong language, dark humor, cinematic, episodic, offbeat, resolved ending, witty, aggressive

Similar Authors & Works: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is a story of Vivian, a 16-year old werewolf, who has fallen in love with a boy from school and must balance her two worlds. Women Who Run with the Werewolves: Tales of Blood, Lust and Metamorphosis by Pam Keesey is a collection of tales that revolve around the women-as-werewolves theme. Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and Berni Wrightson is an illustrated novella that tells a tale of a series of grisly murders in Tarker Mills, Maine that span across a calendar year.

Relevant Non-Fiction Authors & Works: the Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature by Brian J. Frost is a survey of the cultural impact of the werewolf legend. True Werewolves of History by Donald F. Glut is a collection of 87 different tales of werewolf accounts through history. Half Human, Half Animal: Tales of Werewolves and Related Creatures by Jamie Hall researches tales of shape shifters in multicultural folklore and oral history.

Andy

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The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (Audio)

March 26, 2009

Author: Braun, Lilian Jackson

Title: The Cat Who Came to Breakfast

Genre: Cozy Mystery          

Publication Date: 1994

Number of Pages: 272

Audio book: 7 hours, unabridged

Narrator: George Guidall

Geographical Setting: Fictional town of Pickax, in Moose County, (“400 miles north of everywhere”); Breakfast Island, an island near Pickax

Time Period: 1990s

Series: “The Cat Who . . .” series, book 17

Plot Summary: Middle-aged Jim “Qwill” Qwilleran is an independently wealthy, “happily unmarried” newspaper columnist in small-town Pickax. Koko and Yum Yum are his two Siamese cats, the former to whom Qwilleran attributes psychic powers and crime-solving ability. In this 17th installment of Braun’s cozy mystery series, they travel to nearby Breakfast Island, sometimes referred to as Pear Island in an attempt to attract tourists to its newly built resort. Gruff, acerbic Qwill has no interest in visiting the newly commercialized island until he learns of the death of a tourist by drowning and the food poisoning of 15 other tourists—all at the new hotel and all in the space of a week. Invited to investigate by his friend, who has opened a bed and breakfast there, Qwill soon finds himself situated in a hideous bed and breakfast, convinced that foul play is at work. This is a meandering, gently humorous mystery that moves at a decidedly leisurely pace, and features a gruff but likeable hero. Braun delights in the details of small town life, and gently pokes fun at the cheesy commercialization of the island. Eccentric and colorful characters abound, and scenes involving the cats are humorous and well-observed. Although reading the series in order probably enriches one’s understanding, installments do not have to be read in order. Narrator George Guidall has a different voice for each character, and most of them are wonderful—the exception being his sometimes prissy-voiced women.  

Subject Headings: bed & breakfasts; cats; cozy mystery; islands; journalists; mystery; redevelopment; small towns.

Appeal: folksy, conversational, accessible, 3rd person narration, leisurely paced, gentle, evocative, small-town, cozy, detailed setting, homespun, gently humorous, unaffected, amusing, local color, unpretentious, character-centered, likeable characters, realistic characterization, eccentric characterization, strong secondary characters

Relevant Fiction: Rita Mae Brown, “Mrs. Murphy” series. (Gently humorous mystery series set in a small-town, in which a postmistress solves mysteries with cat assistance). Mary Daheim, September Mourn: A Bed and Breakfast Mystery. (Gently humorous mystery series, bed and breakfast setting, strong frame, island setting). Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days (Colorful characters, small-town life, local gently humorous, meandering).

Relevant Nonfiction:  Vickie Myron, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat: Who Touched the World (Small-town life, cats and their importance to humans, gentle read, humorous, likeable characters). Heather Lende, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska. (Newspaper columnist, small-town life, eccentric characters, humorous, gentle read). Bill Kauffman, Dispatches from Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town’s Fight to Survive. (Middle aged newspaper columnist, humorous, small-town life, the impact of “redevelopment” and “progress” on small-town life, corporate impact on small-town life).

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time

March 26, 2009

Author: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Title: Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time

Genre: Bestseller, Nonfiction

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 338

Geographical Setting: Remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the United States

Plot Summary: Three Cups of Tea is one man’s story of using education and understanding to help combat terrorism and fight for peace. Greg Mortenson was a professional mountain climber whose failure to climb K2 changed his entire life. Battered and broken, he was nursed back to health by the people of a small village in the remote areas of Pakistan. Upon learning that they had no school, Mortenson vowed to return and build them one in gratitude for the care and compassion they showed him. This book is the tale of his quest to build this school as well as many others. It tells of all of the difficulties he encountered as he tried to build the schools; the dangers and conflict he faced in a from both Islamic extremists and Americans unable to understand his mission; as well as the personal, political, cultural and economic factors he was forced to overcome in order to make these schools and his dream a reality.

Subject Headings: humanitarian assistance, education in rural settings, schools for girls, social conditions in Pakistan, social conditions in Afghanistan, Islam, autobiography, current political events.

Appeal: inspirational, leisurely paced, compelling, detailed description, detailed setting, details of social conditions in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1990’s and 2000’s, rural life in Asia, earnest, hopeful, accessible language, engaging dialogue, vivid, thought-provoking, inclusion of maps and photos, honest, transformative

Red flags: A few negative sentiments and attitude towards the United States government and the War on Terror.

Similar Non-Fiction Authors & Works:

American Shaolin: flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the legend of Iron Crotch: An odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly (honest, compelling, detailed descriptions of social conditions in China, detailed setting, earnest

The Man Who Fed the World: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger: an authorized biogrpahy by Leon Hesser- (inspirational,leisurely paced, one man’s work to help those less fortunate than him- humanitarian assistance)

There is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to rescue Africa’s children by Melissa Fay Greene- (moving, inspirational, transformative)

Relevant Fiction Authors & Works:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni- Explores life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Moving and gripping.

Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra-Explore the social conditions in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, especially those affecting women.

Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie- Story of a Pakistani girl who is the daughter of an activist. Interweaves Pakistani fundamentalism, life under the Taliban with the story.

Name: Sarah

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

March 25, 2009

Author: Jeff Lindsay
Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 304
Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida
Time Period: 2004
Series: Dexter, Book 1
Plot Summary: Dexter Morgan is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department. He’s also a sociopathic serial killer with an aversion to blood. However, Dexter is the good guy; he only kills other serial killers, particularly those who target children. When prostitutes start dying in a manner startlingly similar to Dexter’s M.O., he is torn between catching the new killer in town and sitting back and admiring his work.
Subject Headings: Adoptees; Brothers and Sisters; Crime Laboratories; Crime Scene Searches; Father and Son; Florida; Forensic Scientists – Fiction; Men/Women Relations; Miami – Fiction; Murderer-Detectives; Mutilation; Personal Conduct; Police – Miami, Policewomen – Miami; Psychological Fiction; Psychopathic Criminals; Secrets; Serial Murder Investigation; Serial Murderers – Fiction; Serial Murders – Fiction; Suspense – Fiction; Vigilantes – Fiction;
Appeal: accessible, atmospheric, black humor, candid, cinematic, conclusive, contemplative, contemporary, dark, eccentric, edgy, details of forensic investigation, direct, fast-paced, flashbacks, frank, grim, interior, intriguing, introspective, investigative, ironic, light, macabre, morbid, offbeat, plot twists, political, psychological, quirky, resolved ending, sarcastic, series characters, smart, strong language, suspenseful, thought-provoking, unusual, urban, violent, vivid, witty
Red Flags: Strong language, murder, torture, mutilation and dismemberment.
Similar Authors and Works (Fiction):
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Serial murderers, psychopathic criminals, psychological, suspenseful, violence, grim, child abuse victims, interior, action, chilling, smart.
The Serial Killers Club by Jeff Povey. Serial murderers, psychopathic criminals, black humor, satire, quirky, offbeat.
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff. Vigilantes, psychological, suspenseful, secret organizations, assassins, fantastical, fast-paced, smart, well-developed, quirky, satirical.
Similar Authors and Works (Non-Fiction):
In Broad Daylight by Harry N. MacLean. Ken Rex McElroy terrorized the people of Skidmore, Missouri for years. When the law failed the community, several citizens decided to kill him themselves.
Wicked Intentions: the Sheila LaBarre Murders by Kevin Flynn. Sheila LaBarre killed two developmentally disabled young men, claiming she was “an avenging angel sent to kill pedophiles.”
The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation by N.E. Genge. This book contains step-by-step descriptions of the forensic investigation process with real and fictitious examples and plenty of references to television, film, and literature.
Name: Tori

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

March 25, 2009

Author: Bechdel, Alison

Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Genre: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 232

Geographical Setting: Pennsylvania

Time Period: 1960s-1980s

Plot Summary:

This darkly humorous memoir is about author Alison Bechdel’s life with her family while growing up in Pennsylvania. She explores her complex upbringing and her relationship with her closeted gay father, an English teacher and proprietor of the local funeral parlor. This book documents her coming of age and traces her life through adolescence to womanhood and her coming out as a lesbian. This story is well-suited for its graphic novel format, illustrated by the author with deliberate and sophisticated drawings. A distant and cold man, her father, Bruce Bechdel’s relationship with his family was complex. He was marred by his obsessive compulsive disorder and his many personal and deeply rooted issues which eventually lead to his death (possibly a suicide). Bechdel approaches this story and her relationship with her father with a large amount of honesty and openness.

Subject Headings: autobiographical; father and daughter relationship, lesbian, gay teenagers, funeral homes, victorian homes, death, suicide, closeted gay, GLBTQ themes, coming of age

Appeal: character centered, character driven, dramatic, layered, dark, tragic, cinematic, frank, honest, dramatic, deliberate, well-drawn characters, family-centered, sexually explicit,

Similar Non-Fiction Authors & Works:

Blankets by Craig Thompson- (multi-layered, family-centered, character driven, coming of age story presented in graphic novel format)

Running with Scissors: a memoir by Augustan Burroughs-(highly observant, dark and honest yet humorous memoir)

Percepolis: the story of a childhood by Marjane Satrapi-(autobiographical graphic novel of one girl’s coming of age in Iran. Honest, dark, cinematic)

Relevant Fiction Authors & Works:

Hero by Perry Moore- (A gay, teenage superhero coming of age story. Thom Creed is dealing with his sexual orientation and beginning to understand his superhero abilities. He is forced to keep these two things a secret from his less than understanding father.)

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes- (One of the definitive graphic novels with coming of age themes. Enid and Rebecca have been friends forever and have a difficult time letting each other grow-up. A bittersweet and cinematic story.)

Angels in America :a gay fantasia on national themes by Tony Kushner-( a complex and multi-layered play presented in two parts. Angels in America tells the story of people whose lives are inter-mixed and are all affected by HIV and AIDS, some of whom are living secret and closeted lives.)

Name: Sarah

Neverwhere

March 25, 2009

Author: Neil Gaiman.

Title: Neverwhere (sound recording of the “author’s preferred text.”)

Genre: Fantasy, Audio, Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, more of dark fantasy than horror novel.

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: Audio CD (Unabridged) 10 sound discs

Geographical Setting: London (London Above–reality, London Below–a fantasy world)

Time Period: Contemporary

Plot Summary: Richard Mayhew is just an average guy, well intentioned but a bit of a scatterbrained dolt. One day Richard stops to help a hurt, bleeding, and disheveled young woman, ignoring his harried fiancée Jessica’s demand that he let “someone else” help the girl. Through this act he is transported from his humdrum London life into London Below. This strange parallel London is the home the young woman called Door.  She is on the run from  the murderers of her family. A hidden underground city, London Below is a place where the forgotten and marginalized end up after they have “fallen through the cracks” of London life. It is unsettlingly similar to London Above, yet there are bizarre elements in this world including fallen angels, devils, monsters, murderers, talking rats, and feudal systems. Richard joins Door on her quest to find the murderers of her family and in doing so, he is tested in ways he never could have imagined and discovers parts of himself he never knew existed.

Audio details: The author narrates. His animated voicing of the characters immediately grabs your interest and holds your attention throughout. This audio version is longer than the original book. Gaiman was unhappy the abridgement of another reader’s earlier audio version, feeling it cut the heart out of the story and altered the meaning of the story (source: neilgaiman.com).

Subject Headings: London (England) Fiction; Businessmen Fiction; Subways Fiction; Fantasy fiction; Horror fiction; Audiobooks; Compact discs; Underground areas Fiction; London Underground transportation system–Fiction; Homeless persons Fiction; Fallen angles–Fiction; Good vs. Evil; Quests.

Appeal: detailed invisible world parallels contemporary London, magical fantasy world, magic frames the story, dark overtones tinged with humor, imaginative, rich description and character development, engaging and strong characters, lyrical and descriptive language paints the landscape, adventurous, plot twists, alternate reality, British humor and sensibilities, more a dark fantasy rather than dark horror, Urban Fantasy, portals to other worlds, suspenseful, sophisticated fear, engrossing, engaging journey through dark landscapes, good versus evil with shades of gray, quest, melancholy tone-although positive/optimistic ending, set ending with a possibility for a continuing story, explores themes of discovering one’s own potential and happiness, mythical creatures, extensive world-building, diverse characters, pacing increases as characters and worlds have been introduced, context of historical London.

Non-Fiction Works: What’s in a name? by Cyril M. Harris (details of the origins of the names London Underground stations). Haunted London Underground by David Brandon (details of ghostly stories and unexplained events associated with London’s Underground stations and abandoned lines, details of chilling tales related to the history of London’s Underground). The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How it Changed the City Forever by Christian Wolmar (details of the secret world beneath London, gripping read, details of the social aspect of the Underground and the benefits it brought London, complex story written with clarity and an intensity that relates the excitement and wonder that existed at the time the Underground was built).

Fiction Works: The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S Lewis’s (Good versus Evil, quests, alternate worlds, god and mythological beings, protagonists magically transported to alternate world to help handle a crisis, talking animals, magical fantasy worlds, perilous journey, many wonders and dangers, parallel universe, travel between parallel universes, detailed world building, lyrical and descriptive language). The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (British humor, alternate worlds, nature of good and evil, internal struggles, gods and mythological creatures, the coming of age, detailed world building, engaging and colorful language, action packed, colorful characters, imaginative, magical fantasy worlds). War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (human caught in a war between mythical creatures and forces, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, plot twists, language is evocative and intense, world building, reader is slowly drawn into the alternate world as it is described, references to British folklore and mythology, creative, good versus evil with shades of gray, a previously unknown alternate reality, otherworldly battles, themes of love and loyalty/life and death). There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe 2001 (door motif for inter-dimensional gateways to another world, contemporary, parallel worlds, fantasy, gods and mythology, magical realism, inventive imagery).

Name: Amy

Angel of Harlem (audio book)

March 25, 2009

Author: Haulsey, Kuwana
Title: Angel of Harlem
Genre: Historical fiction, African-American, audio book,
Women’s lives and relationships
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 368 p.
Geographical Setting:
Harlem, New York City
Time Period: 1900-1930
Series: None

Plot Summary: Angel of Harlem is a novel based the remarkable and groundbreaking life of Dr. May Edward Chinn, the first African-American doctor in New York. The author presents the story from May’s point of view, with a brief, third-person flashback that recounts her father’s dramatic and tragic flight from slavery during the Civil War. May’s own story unwinds at a leisurely pace and is told in deeply lyrical prose that paints a detailed and colorful portrait of the characters and the city and era in which they live, giving great attention to Harlem in the 1920s. Starting with her poverty-stricken childhood, early schooling, and battle with chronic illness, the novel ambles toward its true source—May’s late teen years and young adulthood, during which time she trains as a professional musician but ultimately changes directions into a career in science that eventually leads her to medicine. Throughout the story, May and her family and friends face prejudice and racism, and May often finds herself additionally challenged by sexism from white and black alike. Over the course of the story the reader also encounters, through May’s friendships, many important and influential figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. Angel of Harlem is an inspirational lesson in perseverance, dedication, self-determination, and love of self, family, and community.

This title was presented as an audio book narrated by Brenda Pressley. The audio book is available on 9 CDs with tracks of approximately three minutes in length.

Subject Headings: Chinn, May Edward, 1896-1980; African-American women physicians; women physicians; self-sacrifice in women; self-sacrifice in mothers; teenage pregnancy; determination in women; African-American role models; music; prejudice; racism; sexism; grief in women; cancer – research; African-American father and daughter; African-American mother and daughter; alcoholism; slavery; the Twenties (20th century); medicine; African-American fiction — 21st century; biographical novels

Appeal: bittersweet, character-centered, contemplative, densely written, detailed setting, details of 1920s Harlem; details of medical training and practice, dramatic, elaborate language, elegant language, engaging characters, faithful characterization, family-centered, flashbacks, graceful style, heartwarming, historical details, hopeful, insightful, intimate, introspective, issue-oriented, historical figures, leisurely-paced, literary, literary references, lyrical style, metaphorical language, optimistic, political, resolved ending, sympathetic characters, thoughtful, thought-provoking, unhurried, urban, vivid language, well-developed characters

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  • The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930. Watson, Steven. 1995. (illustrated history of the Harlem Renaissance, profiles of prominent Harlem Renaissance writers featured in Angel of Harlem)
  • The Hellfighters of Harlem: African-American Soldiers Who Fought for the Right to Fight for Their Country. Bill Harris. 2002. (History of the famous African-American regiment that fought in WWI, in which a secondary character from Angel of Harlem served)
  • Paul Robeson. Martin Bauml Duberman. 1988. (Biography of African-American scholar, activist, singer, actor, athlete, Paul Robeson, a secondary character in Angel of Harlem)

Name: Cynthia

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

March 25, 2009

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Title: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Genre: Mystery, Best seller, Audio book

Publication Date: 1998

Pages: 226 p.

Geographic Setting: Botswana

Time Period: Present Day

Series: The No. Ladies Detective Agency Mysteries

Plot Summary: Precious Ramotswe (Mma Ramotswe) starts the only female detective agency in Botswana. At first, cases are not east to find, but business picks up when people start to learn about her. Mma Ramotswe investigates the exploits of a cheating husband, a mysterious doctor who is only smart sometimes, a politician involved in witchcraft, and the kidnapping of a small boy. Strong secondary characters like, lovelorn mechanic J.L.B. Matekoni round out the entertaining cast. Through humor and the folksy African setting this gentle mystery story will warm hearts.

Subject Headings:   Women Detectives – Botswana, Missing children, Shamans, Kidnapping, Physicians, Miners, Botswana, Africa, Cozy mystery stories

Appeal:   deliberate, easy, insightful, faithful, realistic, recognizable, series (characters), strong secondary (characters), insightful, vivid, domestic, episodic, folksy, inspirational, investigative, resolved ending, detailed setting, details of Botswana, intimate, comfortable, gentle, heartwarming, hopeful, optimistic, playful, concise, dialect, engaging, thoughtful, unpretentious, humorous

Similar Authors and works (fiction): The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (insightful, investigative, gentle); The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (heartwarming, humorous, engaging, optimistic); Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (humorous, investigative, vivid, episodic)

Similar Authors and works (non-fiction): Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (heartwarming, folksy, inspirational); Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson (inspirational, hopeful, heartwarming, engaging) Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide by Peter Allison (details of Botswana, humorous, vivid, playful)

Name: Michelle K

The New Frontier, Volume 1 and 2

March 25, 2009

Author: Darwyn Cook

Title: The New Frontier, Volume 1 and 2

Genre: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: 2004, 2005

Number of Pages: 208 pg., 208 pg.

Geographical Setting: The United States, Space, Paradise Island

Time Period: 1950’s

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Following World War II, the United States is caught up in the suspicions and fear of the Cold War. During this time, Congress conducts hearings to unmask the heroes of the “Golden Age” and, those who do not follow the government’s request are branded as un-American and traitors. Many heroes leave the planet; some go into hiding, while others, like Superman and Wonder Woman, adhere to the U.S. policies and help to fight the Communists in secret missions. However, for most of the world, the superhero is a thing of the past.

The story is a retelling of many DC superheroes origins, drawn with a retro feel. Individual superheroes stories are told, which ultimately lead the new heroes, of the Silver Age, together into one exciting climactic conclusion.

Martian Manhunter is accidentally brought through space by a scientist’s experiment that has gone wrong. Trying to remain hidden, the Martian takes on the form of a detective and stumbles upon an evil cult claiming they follow a mysterious entity called, The Centre. During an investigation into the evil cult’s activities, Batman comes out of hiding and offers to help Martian Manhunter solve the case. The two detectives begin to discover that, The Centre, is causing strange things to happen all over the world including the reemergence of dinosaurs, cult activity, and many cases of insanity.

At the same time, Hal Jordan, back from the Korean War, is hired to test jet planes for an aircraft company. He is the best pilot they have so he is asked to join a secret mission to go to Mars. But, on his way to Mars, Hal soon realizes that the mission isn’t to land on Mars, but to conquer it. The spaceship is filled with atomic bombs and the government’s purpose was to destroy all life of Mars. After a struggle with his copilot in space, the ship is destroyed and Hal and the Earth face certain death as he and the warheads spiral out of control. Coming to the rescue is Superman, who is called in by the government to save the ship and, to once again, save the world.

Hal is left among the wreckage, unconscious and alone in the desert. When he comes to, a ship crashes from outer space carrier the Green Lantern, one of the guardian’s of the universe. Close to dying, the guardian gives his powerful lantern to Hal and commands him to be the next Green Lantern. Hal accepts and only too quickly discovers that the world is being attacked by a monstrous beast called, The Centre. Now Hal, as the Green Lantern, must join the other heroes, including Wonder Woman, Superman, the Flash, Adam Strange, and many others, to save the world. These new superheroes must stand together and unite the country from the evil that is causing all of the strange activity.

Subject Headings: graphic novel, superheroes, space travel, detectives, Martians, fighter pilots, Cold War

Appeal: fast-paced, familiar, multiple points of view, recognizable, inspiring, action-oriented, character-centered, multiple plot lines, mythic, nostalgic, campy, playful, simple, dramatic

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe – Interviews of test flight pilots who were viewed as America’s daring heroes as they ushered in the exciting space race of the 1960’s.

Yeager: An Autobiography, by Chuck Yeager – American hero Chuck Yeagar tells his incredible life story as a World War II fighter pilot and post-war test pilot. His amazing tales include being shot down during World War II and, as a test pilot, being the first man to break the sound barrier.

Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary Life of Jimmy Doolittle – Aviation Pioneer and World War II Hero, by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes – The captivating story of American war hero Jimmy Doolittle who led a remarkable life. This story of his life describes with vivid detail his death-defying raid over Imperial Japan, his pioneering flight from coast to coast across the United States, and his receiving of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The War That Time Forgot Vol. 1, by Bruce Jones ; Art by Al Barrionuevo and Jimmy Palmiotti. – During the World War II, a group of men from the U.S. military is stranded on an unknown island in the South Pacific. While searching for enemy soldiers, they encounter strange prehistoric monsters and must fight them to get off the island.

Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman; Art by George Perez – An evil being known as the Anti-Monitor is destroying the Earth’s of several parallel universes. Now many heroes, across time and space, including the modern Superman and the Superman of the Golden Age, must join forces to save their universe and our own.

Millennium, by Steve Englehart; Art by Joe Staton and Ian Gibson – the Green Lantern Guardians of the Universe have left our dimension and now the world and its heroes are at the mercy of the Manhunters, an evil robotic army ready to destroy all in its path. The heroes will need to remain united to destroy this common enemy.

Name: Mike

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy (Audio book)

March 24, 2009

Author: Maeve Binchy

Title: Scarlet Feather

Genre: Gentle Read

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: Audio book

Geographical Setting: Dublin, Ireland

Time Period: Present day

Plot Summary: Cathy and Tom are 2 people who met in cooking school and made plans to start a catering business one day. They start their business, Scarlet Feather. As with any new business, Cathy and Tom suffer hardships and setbacks, but there are also good and funny moments.

Subject Headings: Caterers and catering—Fiction, New businesses—Fiction, Friendship—Fiction, Twin brothers and sisters—Fiction, Nieces and nephews—Fiction, Sisters—Fiction, Dublin, Ireland–Fiction, Love Stories, Irish—Fiction

Appeal: detailed, engaging, familiar, lifelike, multiple points of view, realistic, recognizable, sympathetic, vivid, character-centered, domestic, family-centered, folksy, gentle, resolved ending, contemporary, comfortable, heartwarming, homespun, humorous, lighthearted, accessible, conversational, engaging, natural

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, engaging, lifelike, multiple points of view, vivid, domestic

Going to Bend by Diane Hammond, vivid, lifelike, contemporary, humorous, character-centered

Listen to Your Heart by Fern Michaels, humorous, contemporary, vivid, comfortable, character-centered

Relevant Non-Fiction Authors and Works:

Why Do I Love These People? Honest and amazing stories of real families by Po Bronson, interviews with 20 people and how they relate to their families.

How to Start a Home-based Catering Business by Denise Vivaldo. For the reader interested in creating their own catering business.

Cooking and Screaming by Adrienne Kane, a memoir of the author’s life. Kane suffered from a stroke at age 21 just walking down the street. She was paralyzed on her right side and had to figure out how to reuse her muscles. She started a catering business and was able to improve her life.

Anne