Archive for July, 2011

Off the Mangrove Coast

July 30, 2011

Author: Louis L’amour

Title: Off the Mangrove Coast

Genre: Western, Adventure

Publication Date:  June 2000

Number of Pages: 277

Geographical Setting: Various settings including American West, a Parisian Café, and small town fight clubs

Time Period: Varies due to short story format

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Collected short stories. The premise of all stories is men and women fighting for justice and their dreams when the odds are far from favorable. The reader gets to experience many different adventures in one book.

Subject Headings: Adventure stories, war stories

Appeal: atmospheric, hard-edged, dramatic, action-oriented, detailed setting, well-crafted, cinematic, violent, intriguing, suspenseful, hopeful, dangerous

3 terms that best describe this book:

Adventurous, detailed, Gritty

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1.         Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska- by Guy Grieve

The author felt trapped and at a dead end. He hated his job as well as his commute. The author tells his story of moving to Alaska and the adventure that followed.

2.         Gifts of the Wild: A Woman’s Book of Adventure- another collection of short stories this time featuring women. This is the opposite of Off the Mangrove Coast because it focuses mainly on female characters but the theme is still adventure.

3.         The Edge of the Sea- Rachel Carson

This book explores the sea. The reader gets to explore the sea through the words eyes of the author.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.         The Jungle-Clive Cussler

A story filled with action and adventure about the crew of the ship the Oregon. The crew encounters many trials and obstacles as they continue on  their rescue mission. This is another tale of survival that readers of Off the Mangrove Coast can enjoy.

2.         Bad Luck and Trouble- Lee Child

Murder, action, and adventure drive this book .A man is killed and the character Jack Reacher is on a mission to find out the truth.

3.         Edge- Jeffery Deaver

The action begins when police detective Ryan Kessler becomes a target of a “lifter”.  He and his family are immediately put under the protection of Corte. The question of Corte’s loyalty drives this suspenseful story.

Name: Juanita Fisher

A Game of Thrones

July 25, 2011

Author: George R. R. Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 1996

Number of Pages: 694

Geographical Setting: The fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros (and surrounding continents)

Time Period: Set in fictional world/time that mirrors the 15th-century English Wars of the Roses

Plot Summary: In a Fantasy world in which seasons last for years, winter is coming to the tenuously united Seven Kingdoms, bringing with it a host of political and mystical problems. This intricate and layered first entry in a planned six-book series (of which the fifth was just released) follows eight “viewpoint characters” as several powerful families jockey for control of the throne. With various characters trying to keep the peace, conspiring to circumvent succession rights, struggling to protect the world against magical forces gathering outside its walls, and plotting a return from exile to challenge for power, there is no shortage of action, danger, intrigue and even romance. Though there appear to be clear good guys and bad guys, the multiple viewpoints allow Martin to slowly reveal different facts, motivations and biases that keep the reader guessing as to what will come next. The magical influences remain primarily behind-the-scenes for much of this first book, but promise to play an important role in the series. Violence and sexually explicit scenes, including rape and incest, are included throughout. This book is experiencing a resurgence in popularity tied to the recently produced HBO show Game of Thrones, which introduced it to a broader audience, and the just-released fifth book, A Dance with Dragons.

Series: A Song of Fire and Ice, Book 1

Subject Headings: Kingdoms, Political Intrigue, Magic, Dragons, Nobility, Knights, Fantasy Fiction

Appeal: Intricate plotting, realistic/flawed characters, multiple viewpoints, elaborate world building, shocking twists, epic in scale, political, grim, menacing atmosphere, well-crafted, television series crossover appeal

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: Multidimensional characters, layered storytelling, compelling

4 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook (multidimensional characters with mixed motivations, plot twists, multiple plot threads, conflict-heavy page-turner, gritty/dark tone, Fantasy series)

Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (vivid setting, treason and political machinations lead to war, complex characterization, moral ambiguity, father and children at heart of story, Fantasy series)

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Eriksen (layered storytelling, multiple viewpoints, multidimensional characters, epic war setting, gritty/dark tone, Fantasy series)

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (blends Fantasy with historical wars, mysterious presence of dragons, struggles between characters and among factions, meticulous world building, series)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir (non-fiction covering historical period after which Martin modeled his world, dramatic, compelling, political intrigue, readers might enjoy connecting the Yorks and Lancasters with the fictional Starks and Lannisters)

Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages by Richard Barber and Juliet Barker (gives historical detail regarding the settings of the book, balances information and readability, helps set the scene for ongoing conflict in series)

An Instinct for Dragons by David E. Jones (looks at dragons historically from mythical, anthropological and sociological standpoints, views of dragons as envisioned by different societies)

The Other Boleyn Girl

July 25, 2011

Author: Philippa Gregory

Title: The Other Boleyn Girl

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pub. Date: 2002

Number of Pages: 664

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: 16th century

Plot Summary: Two sisters become rivals in this story of love, lust and betrayal. Mary Boleyn wins the affections of King Henry VIII but her sister Anne is intent on becoming Queen and maneuvers herself into the role causing her Mary to be tossed aside. When Anne has difficulty giving the king a male heir, things begin to fall apart. This fast paced romantic story will have you eager to learn more of the love, sex, ambition, and intrigue that drives these two women.

Subject Headings: Boleyn, Mary, 1508-1543 Fiction.
Henry VIII, King of England, 1491-1547 Fiction.
Great Britain History 1509-1547 Fiction.

Appeal: fast-paced, dramatic, emotionally-charged, romantic, racy, historical details, colorful, vivid, claustrophobic, intrigue, melodramatic, dangerous

Three terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, historical details, emotionally-charged

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
The Reluctant Queen by Jean Plaidy – Lady Ann Neville is set to marry the future king but is in love with his brother.

The Innocent by Posie Graeme-Evans – Born a peasant, Anne beauty and knowledge of healing herbs lead her to happiness and a king.

To Dance with Kings by Rosalind Laker – The story of several generations of two families set at Versailles.

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
Scandalous Women : The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon – The stories of thirty five famous and infamous woman are told.

Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey – Information on the six different wives of Henry VIII.

The Tudor Housewife by Alison Sim – A look at marriage, childbirth, the upbringing of children, washing and cleaning, food and drink, the housewife as doctor, women and business, and women and religion for a 16th century woman.

Lethal Legacy

July 25, 2011

Author: Linda Fairstein

Title: Lethal Legacy

Genre: Thriller

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 367

Geographical Setting: New York, NY

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: Alexandra Cooper novels, Book 11

Plot Summary: In the eleventh entry in her Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper series, Fairstein sets a quick pace with an assault, an ancillary trial, and a murder, all in the first 50 pages of this thriller. Readers jump right in as Alex and her police detective colleagues investigate what initially looks like a sex crime, but turns out to be one of a series of offenses tied to a priceless sixteenth-century map. Packed with historical and atmospheric details sure to please bibliophiles and New York city-lovers alike, the action takes readers from interrogations in Fifth Avenue penthouses, to behind-the-scenes explorations of the New York Public Library, to an eventual climax in the bowels of a nineteenth-century cemetery. Though part of a series, this title stands alone, particularly for readers drawn to the subject matter. Murders are described only after the fact, but the book does contain some violence and perilous situations.

Subject Headings: Book Collectors, Rare Books, Map Collections, New York Public Library, Public Prosecutors, New York City, Legal Thrillers, Suspense Series

Appeal: Suspenseful, well-researched, appealing/familiar primary characters, eccentric secondary characters, series entry able to stand alone, jargon-laced, hard-edged, investigative, twisting plot, descriptive dialogue

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: Fast-paced, detail-packed, atmospheric

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Everywhere That Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline (urban setting plays role, series character, suspenseful, lawyer-turned-author lends authentic details)

Booked to Die by
John Dunning (covers subject of rare books, engrossing mystery, plot twists, series character)

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell (strong female protagonist, professional details, fast-paced mystery/thriller, series character)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
The New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building by Henry Hope Reed (readers can visualize settings from novel, delve further into history presented about the NY Public Library)

Putting “America” on the Map: The Story of the Most Important Graphic Document in the History of the United States by Seymour I. Schwartz (covers subject behind crime in novel: the Waldseemuller Map, reads like a mystery with twists and historical figure cameos)

Bronx D.A.: True Stories from the Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence Unit by Sarena Straus (true crime memoir, look at the real life of an ADA in the sex crimes unit, dramatic, page-turner)

Dirty Laundry

July 25, 2011

Author: Tori Carrington

Narrator: Anna Fields

Title: Dirty Laundry

Genre: Romantic Suspense (Audiobook)

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 318p. 7h 32min

Geographical Setting: Astoria Queens, New York City, NY

Time Period: 21st century

Series: Sofie Metropolis

Plot Summary: In the second book of the Sofie Metropolis series, Private Investigator Sofie searches for a missing dry cleaner, Uncle Tolly, who appears to have been the target of a mob hit. While handling other cases of cheating spouses and missing pets, Sofie also must deal with her meddling mother, feuding father and grandfather, the local police, and romantic advances from multiple men, including the mysterious and sexy Jake. When Sofie follows  Uncle Tully’s mob ties, it leads her into a world of danger she may not be able to handle. Anna Fields reads with a range of emotion, bringing the characters to life.

Subject Headings: Women private investigators New York (State) New York Fiction.
Dry cleaning industry Fiction.
Organized crime Fiction.
Mafia Fiction.
Astoria (New York, N.Y.) Fiction.

Appeal: compelling; fast-paced; humorous; suspenseful; romantic; familiar characters; Greek; series characters; 1st person; steamy; multiple plot lines; plot twists; contemporary; Queens, New York; details of Greek families; urban; chatty; witty; dialect

3 terms that best describe this book: suspenseful; romantic; details of Greek families

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

New York — strong ethnic ties — Romance — Humor

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

New York City – Witty – Chatty

Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial by Malcolm, Janet

Queens, New York – fast-paced – suspenseful

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie

Greek-American women; suspenseful; conversational

Mrs. Murphy Mysteries series by Rita Mae Brown

Women detectives; Witty; Strong sense of place

Sit, Stay, Slay by Linda O. Johnston

Humorous; Romance; Suspense

The Night Following

July 25, 2011

Author: Morag Joss

Title: The Night Following

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date:  Feb 2008

Number of Pages: 354

Geographical Setting: Wiltshire Countryside

Time Period: modern

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: A woman finds out that her husband is cheating and is not as bothered by it as she thought she would be. She starts to drive and in her absent mindedness kills a woman on a bicycle. She then has an ongoing battle with herself as to whether to turn herself in or not.

Subject Headings: England

Appeal: Suspenseful, psychological, uneasy suspenseful. Uneasy, psychological, leisurely –paced, descriptive, unhurried, sobering, introspective, well- developed, insightful, layered, timeless

Three Terms that Describe:Suspenseful, psychological, uneasy

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1.         Josser: days and nights in the circus by Nell Stroud

Explores the exclusive and familial life of circus performers through the eyes of Nell Stroud, who joined a traveling circus in 1991 at the age of eighteen, following her mother’s disastrous head injury.

2.         Breaking night: my journey from homeless to Harvard– by Liz Murray

Both stories show a characters journey. The author offers an account of her journey from a fifteen-year-old living on the streets and eating garbage to her acceptance into Harvard, a feat that prompted a Lifetime movie and a successful motivational-speaking career.

3.         If nights could talk: a family memoir by Marsha Recknagel

Another story about a characters journey. A poignant account of love and redemption in this memoir of a rich Southern family, who desperately needs emotional stability, follows the author, as she cares for her sixteen-year-old nephew, Jamie, who has escaped from his turbulent home, and attempts to repair the damage that has been done to this troubled boy.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.         The Sea-John Banville

Following the death of his wife, Max Morden retreats to the seaside town of his childhood summers, where his own life becomes inextricably entwined with the members of the vacationing Grace family.

2.         Howards End- Edward Morgan

Howards End, an English country house, passes to the moneyed, the cultured, and then to the lower class.

3.         The Golden Bowl- Henry James

The close relationship between American millionaire Adam Venuer and his daughter Maggie threatens their respective marriages.

Name: Juanita Fisher

Boy’s Life

July 25, 2011

Author: Robert R McCammon

Title: Boy’s Life

Genre: Fantasy

Pub. Date: 1991

Number of Pages: 578

Geographical Setting: Zephyr, Alabama

Time Period: 1964

Plot Summary: In 1964 in the small southern town of Zepher, Alabama, eleven year old Cory Mackenson and his father head out on his fathers milk route when they see a car run off the road and into a lake. In a rescue attempt, Mr. Mackenson discovers a murdered man, handcuffed to the steering wheel with a copper wire knotted around his neck. This begins a coming of age story that thrusts Corey into discovering the forces of good and evil in his hometown. He must face a one hundred and six year old woman called Lady who conjures snakes and hears the voices of the dead, the vicious moonshining Blaycock clan and a secret assembly of men united by racial hatred when he realizes that his own life and his fathers sanity are in peril.

Subject Headings: Small town life-the south, coming of age, southern life, murder

Appeal: builds in intensity, magical, suspenseful, cinematic, layered, small-town, colorful, vivid, atmospheric, foreboding, moving, episodic

Three terms that best describe this book: magical, small-town, coming of age

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – Two young boys in a small Midwestern town deal with a diabolical carnival.

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker – A ten year old boy discovers a magical house created by an evil magician and must find an escape.

The Borders of Life by G. A. Kathryns – An elderly woman is given the key to a magical garden where the boundaries between life and death are blurred to solve a mysterious murder.

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How civil rights activists took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama by Wayne Greenhaw – A look at the southern civil rights movement and the determined southerners who fought against the Ku Klux Klan.

King of the Moonshiners by Bruce E Stewart – The story of Lewis R Redmond and the moonshiners of southern Appalachia.

Hoodoo Mysteries: Folk Magic, Mysticism & Rituals by Rev. Ray T Malbrough – The history of Louisiana hoodoo and an exploration of the different types.

Name: Mary Othic

The Lost Symbol

July 25, 2011

Author:  Dan Brown

Title:  The Lost Symbol

Genre:  Suspense

Publication Date:  2009

Number of Pages:  509

Geographical Setting:  Washington, D.C.

Time Period:  Present day

Series (If applicable):  Same main character (Robert Langdon) as his novels The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons

Plot Summary:  Robert Langdon is pulled into yet another quest for answers in Dan Brown’s latest novel.  This time set in Washington D.C., only Langdon has the knowledge to solve the latest hunt for one of the biggest secrets in American history.  Langdon and this new cast of friends, law enforcement, and enemies race through our nation’s capitol on a suspenseful quest to protect the Masons longest-kept and most precious secret.

Subject Headings:  Suspense fiction; Washington, D.C.; Freemasonry

Appeal:  Fast-paced, engrossing, austere, suspenseful, detailed characters, multiple points of view, series character, well-drawn characters, action-oriented, cinematic, layered, detailed setting, academic, complex, well-crafted, well-researched

3 terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, well-researched, suspenseful

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

–       Paul Naudon’s The Secret History of Freemasonry: Its Origins and Connection to the Knights Templar – for anyone interested in learning more about the history of the Freemasons that are discussed so much in this novel

–       Scott W. Berg’s Grand Avenues: The Story of the French Visionary Who Designed Washington D.C. – discusses Pierre L’Enfant’s role in designing the architecture of Washington, D.C. as discussed in the novel

–       Robert Hieronimus & Laura Cortner’s Founding Fathers, Secret Societies: Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and the Decoding of the Great Seal – for readers interested in learning more about America’s secret societies

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

–       Daniel Silva’s Portrait of a Spy – recently published suspense spy novel with a similar fast-paced, suspenseful, and intricately plotted story

–       Robert Ludlum’s The Icarus Agenda – a fast-paced, suspenseful spy story involving the government

–       Jonathan Rabb’s The Book of Q – suspense story centered around centuries-old secrets and conspiracies, similar to Brown’s stories

Name:  Julie Foote

A Drink Before the War

July 25, 2011


Author: Dennis Lehane

Title: A Drink Before the War

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 1994

Number of Pages: 267

Geographical                                                Setting:  Boston, Massachusetts

Time Period: 20th Century, present day

Series: Kenzie and Gennaro Series (#1)

 Plot Summary:  Private investigators, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, take a case for a small group of politicians looking for some missing documents stolen by a cleaning woman.  Locating the cleaning woman proves to be an easy task, but the case only escalates from there.  Soon Kenzie’s and Gennaro’s lives are in the cross-fires of vying political factions and Boston gangsters as their  investigation uncovers state secrets, extortion, and a child pornography ring.

 Subject Headings:   Private investigators Fiction, Massachusetts Boston Fiction, Family violence Fiction, Mystery Fiction

 Appeal: compelling, suspenseful, intricately plotted, strong sense of place, bleak, dangerous, dark, engaging, violent, realistic

 3 terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, gritty, psychological

 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works

All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald, a gritty memoir of growing up in the violent neighborhood of South Boston

 The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century by Howie Carr, a compelling look at the strange, but true story of two brothers who reigned over Boston’s political and criminal underworlds during the latter half of the twentieth century

 Cold Crime: How Police Detectives Solved Alaska’s Most Sensational Cases by Tom Brennan, 13 short stories detailing some of Alaska’s most notorious crimes

3 Relevant Fiction Works

Dark Hollow John Connolly, both detective novels are psychological and suspenseful and take place in New England

 Love You More by Lisa Gardner, another intricately plotted, fast-paced thriller set in Boston, Massachusetts

 Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin, another gritty, fast-paced detective series

 Katie LaFramboise

The Lake House

July 25, 2011

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 376

Geographical Setting: Colorado/Washington D.C.

Time Period: Present-Technological Future

Plot Summary:  Ever dreamed of flying? This novel from award-winning author James Patterson follows six extraordinary children who can do just that. Max, Matthew, Icarus, Ozymandias, Peter, and Wendy come from a future where children can be genetically engineered with animal DNA, to produce super-humans. Max and her kind find safety with the only humans they’ve ever learned to trust, a couple, Frannie and Kit. Now villains from the children’s past are resurfacing. An evil doctor named Ethan Kane will try and find the kids so that he can use them in his own sick experiments. Will Frannie and Kit be able to keep these children, who aren’t even their own, safe? Or will these unique beings once again find themselves in cages, kept from the one freedom they love the most?

Subject Headings: Hard-edged Suspense; Advanced Technology; Fantasy; Romance; Biomedical Technology

Appeal: page turner, multiple story-lines, multiple points-of-view, engrossing, sympathetic characters, dramatic, emotional, moving, suspenseful, conversational language, gritty

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: Suspenseful, emotional, dramatic

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Flying the Alaska Wild: The Adventures and Misadventures of an Alaska Bush Pilot by Mort D. Mason (suspenseful, flying stories)

Biomedical Engineering: Bridging Medicine and Technology by W. Mark Saltzman (an introduction to biomedical engineering, interesting subject matter for those interested in the subject of biomedics)

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Bird by Christopher Perrins (entertaining, informational, accessible guide for bird-lovers)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Smash Cut by Sandra Brown (dramatic, page-turner, action-packed)

Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell (romantic, suspenseful, engrossing)

Rules of Prey by John Sanford (sympathetic main character, evil antagonist, suspenseful, violent)

Name: Tara Bauer