Archive for March, 2010

Girls in Trucks

March 31, 2010

Author: Katie Crouch

Title: Girls in Trucks

Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 241

Geographical Setting: Charleston, SC/New York City, NY

Time Period: The main character’s life, from childhood to present day.

Plot Summary: It’s hard to be a southern belle in a non-debutant world.  Sarah Walters grew up in Charleston, SC, born into one of the most prestigious Southern women’s society: the Camellias.  Along with the three other Camellias from her generation: Elizabeth (Bitsy), Charlotte, and Annie, Sarah does all the right things to be part of the antiquated Charleston society while trying to find her place in the world.  But in today’s society, Sarah’s training and upbringing aren’t enough to keep her within the confines of her small southern world, so she rebels against the strict societal rules of Charleston and runs away to New York City.

But Sarah soon learns that the southern rules that have governed her upbringing do not apply in the harsh world of the city, and the promise of a new life is not always as fulfilling as it seems.  She and the Camellias come-of-age as they sink into their respective addictions; Sarah, an abusive relationship, Charlotte, alcohol and substance abuse, Bitsy, an unhealthy marriage with an adulterous man, and Annie, a warped relationship with a man obsessed with painting.  As Sarah continues into unhealthy relationships with men and friends, family circumstances call her back to Charleston.

As Sarah faces family tragedy and discovers the deep secrets of her childhood, she learns that the adage ‘once a Camellia, always a Camellia’ will always run true.  Men will always let down the Camellias, but together the four women rediscover how their Camellia bond will always run deeper than failed relationships.

Subject Headings: City life, Debutantes, Women — Southern States, Rich women, Culture conflict, Coming-of-age stories, Domestic fiction

Appeal Terms: engaging, introspective, well-developed, insightful, interior, thought-provoking, episodic, sexually explicit, contemporary, emotionally-charged, evocative, nostalgic, character-centered, complex, conversational, thoughtful, unpretentious, accessible, bittersweet, earnest

Three Terms to describe this Book: Coming-of-age story, Southern women and their lives, Introspective look on friendships

Fiction:

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen: A Novel, by Susan Gregg Gilmore: A coming-of-age story about a Georgia girl who tries to leave her Southern home but is pulled back due to family tragedy. Gilmore shows that discovering that the place you run from is often the place that is truly home.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells: The story of how damaged Siddalee Walker, who outs her Southern family’s deepest, darkest secrets in a very public way, grows to understand her complicated mother.  A story of love and friendship that shows what happens in our past not only shapes ourselves, but those we love most.

Bound South, by Rebecca White: A story with three different female perspectives, White shows the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, and how the Southern way of life shapes each woman as they try to find themselves in the changing world.

Nonfiction:

Debutante: Rites and Regalia of American Debdom, by Karal Ann Marling: Marling shows the growth of the debutante in America from the 1700s until present day. She examines each aspect of being a Deb, from the clothes, to the society, to the mother/daughter Deb relationship.

We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle, by Celia Rivenbark: A collection of essays that examine the ins and outs of being a woman from a Southern perspective.

The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women’s True-Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out, or Faded Away, edited by Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell: An examination of friendships and why some last forever, and some simply fade with time.

Name: Jessica Coates

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The Lost Duke of Wyndham

March 31, 2010

Lost Duke of Wyndham - book cover

Author: Julia Quinn

Title: The Lost Duke of Wyndham

Genre: Historical Romance

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 371

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: Regency (1760-1820)

Series (If applicable): Two Dukes of Wyndham

Plot Summary: Grace Eversleigh’s parents died when she was a teenager, and the dowager Duchess of Wyndham took her in as her companion. Despite her initial act of charity, the duchess is often a cold and demanding employer. One night as the two women are traveling, a smooth-talking highwayman robs their carriage. Both women are shaken, not only by the robbery, but also by the highwayman himself. Grace feels an inexplicable attraction to him, and the duchess is positive that he is a newfound grandson. If so, he is the true Duke of Wyndham. The highwayman, Jack Audley, does not want the responsibility of being a duke, especially if it means he cannot be with a commoner like Grace. They share a sense of humor and a chemistry that builds, despite fears that their positions might keep them apart.

Subject Headings: Dukes/Duchesses, Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Sexuality, Heirs and Heiresses

Appeal: compelling, multiple points of view, series characters, well-drawn, complex, flashbacks, racy, sexually explicit, steamy, historical details, introspective, romantic, smart, witty.

3 terms that best describe this book: well-drawn characters, steamy, witty

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England by Venetia Murray: A social history of Regency England, which may be interesting to those who like the nobility and historical aspects of this novel.

Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England by Kristine Hughes: For those interested in the lives of the common people during this time period, this book includes excerpts from diaries and letters, timelines and illustrations.

Boucher by David Wakefield: The character, Jack, is fond of art, and a painting by Boucher plays a notable role in Quinn’s novel. Readers wanting to know more about his work might be interested in this book about the artist.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Kiss the Bride by Patricia Cabot: a historical romance that takes place in the U.K. (Scotland). The story also involves issues of inheritance and marriage.

The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick: A regency romance with elements of humor and suspense.

The Abduction of Julia by Karen Hawkins: Regency romance with series characters that are well developed.

Name: Christina

House of Leaves

March 31, 2010

Author:  Mark Z. Danielewski

Title: House of Leaves

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2000

Number of Pages: 709

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles/Virginia countryside

Time Period:  Modern day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:  Late one night, Johnny Truant gets a call from his friend, Lude.  Lude invites Johnny to explore his recently deceased neighbor Zampano’s apartment.  While looking through his things, Johnny finds a trunk filled with notes and manuscript regarding a documentary called The Navidson Record. The film is about a family who has recently moved into a home in the Virginia countryside.  They begin to notice strange changes in the house such as the interior measurements exceeding the exterior measurements and a hallway that should lead into their backyard but doesn’t.  As Johnny begins to piece together Zampano’s notes, he is plagued by nightmares and panic attacks and begins to lose his grip on reality.

Subject Headings:  Horror stories, psychological suspense stories, transformations- personal, paranormal phenomena, documentary films, supernatural

Appeal:  compelling, engrossing, detailed, intriguing, complex, layered, chilling, dangerous, dark, investigative, multiple plot lines, psychological, claustrophobic, unknowing, unreliable narrator

3 terms that best describe this book:  Complex, haunting, mysterious

Similar Works/Authors:

Non-Fiction:

The Black Hope Horror: the True Story of a Haunting by Ben Williams – When the Williams family moves into a house in a quiet Texas suburb, they are terrified to learn that their home was built on an old graveyard.  They begin to encounter strange occurrences, infestations of insects, and even death.

The Amityville Horror Conspiracy by Stephen Kaplan- Kaplan investigates the bizarre happenings at the Amityville house where a family fled for their lives after experiencing terrifying events.  Were these events real or is it all part of a hoax?

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern Day Demon Possession and Exorcism by David M. Kiely and Christina McKenna- The authors present ten true stories involving exorcism, haunted houses, and demon possession.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

House of Lost Souls by F.G. Cottam – Nick Mason must team up with a disturbed man in order to rescue his sister from a haunted house.  The two soon learn that the house has a dark and chilling past.

An American Haunting by Scott A. Johnson – Gabriel Rosewood decides to move his family into an old house in Texas.  When peculiar things begin to happen, he worries that their lives are in danger.

Turn of the Screw by Henry James- When a governess is hired to care for two orphans, she is soon haunted by the ghosts of evil servants who once inhabited the house.

Name:  Shannon Duffy

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg

March 31, 2010

Title: Home Safe

Author: Elizabeth Berg

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 258

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Geographical Setting: Chicago Suburb

Time Period: Present Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:

Helen Ames is recently widowed and trying to adjust.  She had been fortunate enough to have a stable marriage and a husband who had been a partner in every sense.  She had a fulfilling career as a writer, but recently hasn’t been able to write.  She’s had no inspiration, no desire and no compelling need to push herself to write. She’s been filling her time by interfering in her adult daughter’s life and depending on her for companionship, household repairs and advice until she gets a phone call from her accountant with the shocking news that her husband withdrew all their retirement savings, in cash, before he died.

Appeal Terms: measured, steady, closely observed characters, insightful, introspective, lifelike, realistic and recognizable, character-centered, thought provoking, contemporary, detailed setting, urban, candid, contemplative, earnest, hopeful and humorous, thoughtful, chatty, conversational, engaging, frank, natural.

Three terms that best describe this book: thoughtful, character driven, introspective.

Subject Headings: Widows — Chicago, Illinois, Mother and daughter, Life change events, Family secrets, Self-discovery in women,
Parent and adult child, Family relationships, Household finances, Chicago, Illinois, Psychological fiction, Domestic fiction, Women’s lives and relationships

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Ruby: a novel by Ann Hood traces the journey of a recent widow struggling with grief as she befriends a pregnant teenager.  Their friendship blossoms as they share lessons learned while coping with their individual crises.

Object Lessons by Anna Quindlen explores issues of family and friendships as life’s changes affect an entire family and secrets are unearthed.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo is a novel sharing the theme of reassessing one’s life from a man’s point of view. While attending a wedding in the town where he vacationed as a child with his parents, Jack Griffin reflects on his relationships with his wife, his daughter and his parents.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
A guide to Oak Park’s Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie School Historic District published by the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission, Village of Oak Park, 1999 presents beautiful photographs of sections of Oak Park.

The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell is reviewed as a must for all beginning writers.

Escaping into the open: the art of writing true by Elizabeth Berg is Berg’s own story of how she grew from a working mother to a published author.  The book offers advice to encourage writers to create stories that come from the heart.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

March 31, 2010

cover
Author: Stephen King

Title: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 1999

Number of Pages: 272

Geographical Setting: The Deep New England Forest

Time Period:  Modern Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:  Trisha McFarland is nine years old and about to learn an important lesson: things can always get worse.  Since her parents’ divorce, Trisha’s life has been devoid of peace and stability.  Her life seems to consist of listening to her mother and older brother bicker about nearly everything.  Little by little, she’s been fading into the background, playing the part of the contented daughter.  One day, while out on a hike with her predictably arguing family, Trisha steps off the path and gets lost.   Alone with only a picnic lunch and her Walkman, Trisha begins a journey that will test her wit and will.  But starvation and dehydration aren’t her only enemies.  There’s something evil in the woods, something that will eat her if it wants too.  Can Trisha find the stamina and the heart to escape the forest and defeat the lurking evil?

Subject Headings:  Children of divorced parents – Fiction; Pitchers (Baseball) – Fiction; Mountain life – Fiction; Fear — Fiction.

Appeal:  compelling, deliberate, engrossing, detailed, dramatic, evocative, intriguing, lifelike, realistic, vivid, authentic, complex, layered, mystical, racy, strong language, detailed setting, chilling, dangerous, gritty, hard-edged

3 terms that best describe this book:  mystical, dramatic, engrossing

Similar Works/Authors:

Non-Fiction:

Red Sox Nation: An Unexpurgated History Of The Red Sox by Peter Golenbock – Trisha’s enthusiasm for the Red Sox kept her going through her trying ordeal.  This book will acquaint the reader with Trisha’s passion.

Wilderness Survival: Living Off the Land with the Clothes on Your Back and the Knife on Your Belt by Mark Elbroch and Michael Pewtherer – Getting lost in the woods can happen to anyone.  This book will teach you to avoid some of the classic mistakes that Trisha makes.

Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce by Elizabeth Marquardt – The divorce of Trisha’s parents is the catalyst which starts her on the horrible journey through the woods.  Though often less dramatic, divorce has a huge impact on the lives of children.  This book will give you some idea of what Trisha was going through.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland – After the modern world crumbles two sisters must learn to survive in the woods together.  This post-apocalyptic tale of wilderness survival will remind the reader of Trisha’s desperate weeks in the dense woods of Maine.

Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – There’s a strange monster loose and killing people in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History.  The building suspense is very reminiscent of Stephen King’s work in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

Frankenstein: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz – This modern adaptation of Shelley’s classic novel is the ultimate in suspenseful monster stories.

Name:  Bethany Bates

The Last Song

March 31, 2010

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Title: The Last Song

Genre: Gentle Reads

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 390

Geographical Setting: New York and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Ronnie must leave her New York home to visit her father, who she has not spoken to in three years, who lives in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Ronnie’s father was a concert pianist and teacher before moving down there after the divorce. Ronnie’s mother thinks it would be best if Ronnie and her little brother stayed there the whole summer. There are many times that Ronnie threatens to leave and return back home, that is all until she runs into Will. She becomes attracted to him and they start a romance that makes her feel things that she has never felt before. All the while, she is getting to know her father more and she learns why he left in the first place. Throughout the summer she spends there, she learns more about what is really important in life and learns about love on many different levels.

Subject Headings: Fathers and daughters, Divorce, Love stories, American, Teenage girls, Bildungsromans, Divorced parents, North Carolina, Social life and customs, Death, Children of divorced parents, Domestic fiction

Appeal: engrossing, steady, dramatic, engaging, familiar, inspiring, intriguing, realistic, recognizable, sympathetic, domestic, family-centered, gentle, flashbacks, tragic, intimate, contemporary, bittersweet, emotionally-charged, moody, romantic, complex

3 terms that best describes the book: sad, hopeful, sappy

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. This book deals with a family that has a child that has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen- The tale of a recent high school graduate and how all her thoughts on love and being unattached to someone changes when a rocker comes into her life.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – Is a story of a man who suffers from chrono displacement disorder. It is about how he never will know when he wakes up where he will be and the love of his wife. This love for his wife is the one thing that is able to keep him anchored while he never knows when he wakes up if he will be in an important time in his past or his future.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Protecting Endangered Species in the United States: Biological Needs, Political Realities, Economic Choices by Jason F Shogren (Editor) John Tschirhart (Editor). A collection of papers written by economists, biologists, and political scientists about protecting the endangered species in the United States with regards to the challenges that are presented to society.

Surviving Cancer Emotionally: Learning How to Heal by Roger Garnet.  A guide for patients and their families on how to emotionally handle the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Piano Roles: Three Hundred Years of Life with the Piano by Professor James Parakilas. To celebrate the 300 year birthday of the piano this book takes the reader through all aspects of the piano from the making of a piano to the making of music with pianos and also the history that pianos has have had in cultures of the world.

Name: Emily

True Betrayals

March 31, 2010

Author: Nora Roberts

Title: True Betrayals

Genre: Romance / Suspense

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 400

Geographical Setting: Washington DC, Virginia, Southeastern states

Time Period: Present time

Series: Not part of a series

Plot Summary: Kelsey Byden lived the past 26 years surrounded by privilege, the arts, a wonderful education…everything a WASP could dream of. All of that comes to a halt when she receives a letter from her mother, her mother who died 23 years before, or so she thought. Kelsey decides to get to know this lost parent and moves to her horse farm. There she must face truths about the past – her own and her family’s. Enamoured with a new love of horses, her mother and a pushy (but sexy) neighbor Kelsey must fight to defend that when someone wants to bring that all down at any cost.

Subject Headings: Romance, Southern United States, Intrigue, Secrets, Horse Racing

Appeal: Love and romance, humor, mysterious, flashbacks, calculated, page turner, introspective, coming of age

3 terms that best describe this book: Insightful, passionate, gripping

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1. The Home Run Horse: Inside America’s Billion-Dollar Racehorse Industry and the High-Stakes Dreams that Fuel It by Glenye Cain  (Cain takes the reader from the winner’s circle to the stall, detailing what goes into horse racing and how it came to be the staple that it is; horse racing, true stories, humor, history)

2. Making Peace With Your Mom: Steps to a Healthier Mother-Daughter Relationship by H. Norman Wright (Wright helps readers come to terms with their mothers mistakes and rewrite their future relationship; self realization, mother-daughter relationships, making peace with the past)

3. Beyond the Homestretch: What I’ve Learned from Saving Racehorses by Lynn Reardon (Reardon writes about how adopting and rehabilitating horses changed her life and goals; horse racing, true stories, introspective, self realization)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1. Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe (Bobby Cameron takes a job training horses in England and must battle Milly every day to see who is the real trainer; love, humor, horse racing, family relationships)

2. The Chesapeake Diaries: Coming Home by Mariah Stewart (Grady and Vanessa help each other battle inner demons and uncover mysteries of the past; surprise love, determined woman, self-discovery, love, mystery)

3. Family Secrets: A Novel by Judith Henry Wall (Follow three sisters as the uncover the mysterious death of their grandmother and try to save their mother and their lives; love, mystery, family relationships, self-discovery)

Name:  Michael Ann

Love @ First Site

March 31, 2010

Author: Jane Moore

Title: Love @ First Site

Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 368

Geographical Setting: London, England

Time Period: Present time

Series: Not part of a series

Plot Summary: Jess Monroe is thirty four with a burgeoning career in television, great friends, a wonderful flat and no boyfriend. No boyfriend in the past year, six months, or on the horizon. Her friends decide it’s high time she find love and sign her up for the world of Internet dating. She endures horrible dates, confusing suitors, and a tragic blow to her family. Jess finally faces the reality that the dream relationships of her sister, parents and friends takes real work and sacrifice and whether or not she is ready for a true partner.

Subject Headings: London, Romance, Internet Dating, Relationships, Family, Friendships, Sisters, Illness

Appeal: Humorous, sarcastic, love and romance, sarcasm, linear plot, measured, reflective, first person, measured, sensible, determined, surprise ending.

3 terms that best describe this book: Sardonic, romantic and direct

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1. I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating by Evan Marc Katz  (Katz, founder of the world’s first online dating consultant firm, guides a novice through the world of internet dating and what they can expect; internet dating, sarcastic, true life experiences)

2. Vibrational Harmony: Why We Don’t Get What We Want and How We Can by Beverly Nadler (Nadler gives tips on how to recognize defeating self programming and overcome those obstacles to get what you really want; self realization, goals, well being, actionable steps for personal success)

3. Dead-End Lovers: How to Avoid Them and Find True Intimacy by Nina Brown (Brown advises readers on how to ditch the pointless relationships in their lives and how to open themselves up to find a true parter; maintaining relationships, introspective, boundary building, changing illusions)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1. Manhunting by Jennifer Cruise (Kate sets up a business plan to find the perfect man; dating, love, self-discovery, strong female characters, determined)

2. Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn (Mona is determined to make her crush fall for her, but does her dancing partner Mike have other ideas in mind? surprise love, determined woman, self-discovery, love)

3. Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin (Ellen wonders if she could have had a better life with her ex than with her husband; self-fulfillment; love, unresolved feeling, self-discovery)

Name:  Michael Ann

My Life in France

March 30, 2010

Author(s): Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme

Title: My Life in France

Genre:  Memoir/Cooking

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 333

Geographical Setting: Majority in France (Paris and Marseille), Germany, Norway, East Coast of U.S., California and various small American towns

Time Period: Late 1940’s through 1960’s

Series: Not part of a series

Plot Summary: Julia Child’s husband Paul, who is in charge of the promotion of United States culture throughout the world for the U.S. government, is assigned to work in Paris, France and Marseille for five years.  Julia doesn’t speak French, and really knows very little about culture outside of America.  However, Julia soon falls in love with French culture—the people, the landscape, the wine, and especially the food.  She quickly realizes that she must do something with her time, and decides to take cooking classes at France’s renowned Le Cordon Bleu cooking institute, and from there, Julia’s life takes off at full-speed.  This book is chock-full of the ups and downs associated with world politics during the 1950’s, including McCarthyism.  As the story progresses and Julia’s social circle expands due to her outgoing nature, we are introduced to such historical figures as Alice B. Toklas, the granddaughter of the creator of Benedictine liquor, Gary Cooper and legendary artist James Beard, to name a few.  We follow Julia throughout her life as she realizes her passion as a French cook, writes what is considered the most definitive cookbook on French cooking, her jet starter cooking show, and her beautiful romance with her husband, photographer Paul Child.

Subject Headings: France; Memoir; Romance; Cookery; Food and Wine.

Appeal: Quirky, sensible, appetizing, natural settings, countryside, sea side villas, easy-going, determined, love and romance, happy marriage, indulgence, culinary, linear plot, life-affirming, political, photography, celebrities, opulent dinner parties.

3 terms that best describe this book: Gastronomic, romantic and determined

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1. Julie and Julia: 365 days, 542 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell

(Julie Powell cooks all of the recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook in one year; memoir; culinary; decadent recipes; dedication; passion.)

2. The End of Overeating: Controlling the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler

(healthy living; well-being; appetite control; indulgence through moderation)

3. What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained by Robert L. Wolke

(cooking; science; technique; chemistry; temperature control; recipes)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1. Hungry Woman in Paris by Josefina Lopez

(cooking; love; self-discovery; food)

2. Blue Plate Special: A Novel of Love, Loss and Food by Frances Norris

(food; resilience; relocation; self-discovery; love)

3. The Feasting Season by Nancy Coons

(American in France; exploration of a new country; travel fiction; self-fulfillment; traditional French recipes)

Name:  Jillian

I, Robot

March 18, 2010

Author: Issac Asimov

Title: I, Robot

Genre: Science fiction

Publication Date: 1950

Number of Pages: 192

Geographical Setting: New York City

Time Period: The future

Plot Summary: The Three Laws of Robotics: (1) a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;  (2) a robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; and (3) a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. As humans develop robots, their creations must follow these three laws. But while robots make humans’ lives easier, other problems arise. A reporter writing the history of these creations in the year 2057 interviews Dr. Susan Calvin a robopsychologist at U.S. Robot and Mechanical Men. Through her reminisces we learn about the evolution of robots and the dilemmas that humans and robots must deal with under the Three Laws.

Subject Headings: Science fiction — American; Robots; Human/computer interaction

Appeal: compelling; measured; intriguing; reflective; multiple points of view; episodic; open-ended; evocative; polished; darker; psychological; haunting

3 terms that best describe this book: futuristic; contemplative; engrossing

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction

Margaret Atwood’s satire, The Handmaid’s Tale, takes place in the future in Gilead, what was once the United States. A handmaid named Offred struggles under a monotheocratic government that refuses her her femininity and her identity.

Robot Dreams, a textless graphic novel from Sara Varon, tells the tale of a lonely dog who orders and assembles himself a robot companion. But things don’t go quite as the dog or the robot were hoping.

Ted Hughes tells a compelling and poignant story of a boy and a huge alien robot in Iron Giant. After crashing to earth, the robot befriends a boy, and soon they are very close. But the townspeople and the Army are unsure if they want a giant robot roaming free.

Nonfiction

In Love + Sex with Robots: the Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, artificial intelligence (AI) expert David Levy examines what man’s relationship with robots will be in the future. Using anthropology, psychology and current research in robotics and AI, Levy paints a vivid picture of what robots will become and how humans will interact with them.

Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs by Gregory Benford and Elisabeth Malartre explores the history and future of robotics. More important is their examination of human’s uneasy relationship with sophisticated machines and their own will power.

Kim Vicente looks at the widening gap between humans and their technology in The Human Factor: Revolutionizing the Way People Live with Technology. With technology moving faster than we humans can manage it, Vicente argues for a technology that works for humans instead of surpassing them.

Name: Jason J. Lamb