Posts Tagged ‘adventurous’

Angels & Demons

July 23, 2012

Author:  Dan Brown

Title:  Angels & Demons

Genre:  Adventure

Publication Date:  2000

Number of Pages: 569

Geographical Setting:  Vatican City, Rome

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series:  Robert Langdon

Plot Summary:  This fast-paced book follows world renowned Harvard symbologist Rorbert Langdon when he is unexpectedly summoned to the Vatican City where there was a murder and the victim had the name of an ancient society, the Illumni burned into the body.  Robert is tasked with uncovering clues that point to the resurgence of an ancient secret society that has issued a vendetta against the Catholic Church.

Subject Headings:  Secret societies, popes – election, signs and symbols, Vatican City, Illuminati, Vendetta.

Appeal:  fast paced, adventurous, sentimental, dangerous, historical details, detailed setting, suspenseful, intricately plotted, engaging characters, plot-driven, descriptive writing style, atmospheric.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  detailed setting, suspenseful, plot-driven.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Truth and fiction in The Da Vinci Code: a historian reveals what we really know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Constantine by Bart Ehrman.   A biblical historian examines the history of the early Christian church, pointing out inaccuracies in The Da Vinci Code and providing an introduction to biblical scholarship.

Cracking the symbol code: revealing the secret heretical messages within Church and Renaissance art by Tim Wallace-Murphy.   This non-fiction book gives the real history of Christianity, as revealed in the hidden symbols used by such heretical groups as the The Knights Templar and the Freemasons to preserve true spiritual knowledge.

The conclave: A sometimes secret and occasionally bloody history of papal elections by Michael Walsh.  This book explores how popes are chosen, revealing a history of vendettas, bribery, family feuds and political intrigue that sometimes ended in the death of voters.

 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors (why they are similar):

The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw. When the ancient ruins of Atlantis are discovered along the Spanish coast, linguist and archaeologist Thomas Lourds joins a violent competition to be the first to gain entry into the lost civilization.

Map of Bones by James Rollins.  This book centers around a group of parishioners that are burned to death in a German cathedral, the U.S. sends in the SIGMA force to investigate.   This is more than a case of arson when it is revealed that a priceless treasure, the bones of the biblical Magi is stolen.  

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.   This is the first book of the Jason Bourne series where Jason is dragged from the sea, with a face altered by plastic surgery and no memory of how he got there. Now he is running for his life, the target of assassins, and at the center of a deadly puzzle.  

Name:  Olivia Button

Lonigan

July 16, 2012

   Author:  Louis L’Amour

   Title:  Lonigan

   Genre:  Western, Short Stories

   Publication Date:  1988

   Number of Pages: 177

   Geographical Setting:  The West (United States)

    Time Period:  Old West (late 19th century)

Series:  n/a

Plot Summary:  This book contains six separate short stories about the Wild West.  Each centers around one character as they come up against challenges and strive to do what is right according to the way of the West.  It features pioneer life, ranches and outlaws.

Subject Headings:  Frontier and pioneer life – The West (United States), Outlaws, Ranches, Gunfights.

Appeal:  fast paced, adventurous, sentimental, romantic, dangerous, historical details, detailed setting, rural, gritty, menacing atmosphere, strong secondary characters, flawed characters, criminal behavior, justice.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  adventurous, rural, ranches.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Growing up western: recollections edited by Clarus Backes.  Seven old writers of the West reminisce about their growing-up years, how their rural upbringings shaped their lives.  Growing up western will appeal to readers who want to learn first-hand how living in the Wild West was in the early 20th century.

Historic ranches of the Old West by Bill O’Neal.  A number of ranch headquarters still serve their original function; others are museums or guest ranches.  This book offers a visit back to a romantic and fascinating era.

The Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West by Michael Willis.  This book chronicles the history of the 101 Ranch and discusses how the ranch’s traveling show embodied the spirit of the American frontier.  The book will appear to readers who want to learn about a ranch life.  This features a ranch in Oklahoma.

 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors (why they are similar):

Best stories of the American West, vol. 1 edited by Marc Jaffe- This book features contemporary short stories set in the American West.  Like Lonigan, Best Stories of the American West is full of over twenty stories, featuring the pioneering life, relationships and adventure.

Ghost brand of the wishbones: a western trio by Peter Dawson.  This book contains a trio of short stories set against the backdrop of the Old West.  It features a story about an elderly lawman, a range war and a robbery of an entire cattle train.  This book features fast paced adventure about pioneer life.

On dangerous ground: stories of western noir edited by Ed Gorman  This book features short stories that are character driven but in a more bleak, moody atmosphere.  Like Lonigan, this book features short stories of the Wild West, looking at the dark tones of living out in the elements.

Name:  Olivia Button

American Gods

February 11, 2012

Author: Gaiman, Neil

Title: American Gods

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: 2002

Number of Pages: 592

Geographical Setting: America

Time Period: Current

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: 

Shadow, before being released from prison, finds out that his wife has been killed. On his way home, he is confronted by a man known as Mr. Wednesday, who seems to know a lot about Shadow and offers him a job as a bodyguard. Shadow’s acceptance of this offer takes him on a dangerous journey. Shadow is used for many strange tasks and he encounters things he never knew existed as well as various gods living in America. This novel follows the story of Shadow but at the end of each chapter, a little story about a certain god living in America can be found. Shadow, a gritty man, takes the reader on an adventure full of suspense and haunting images.

Subject Headings: National characteristics, American Fiction; Spiritual warfare Fiction; Ex-convicts Fiction; Bodyguards Fiction; Widowers Fiction; Fantasy fiction.

Appeal: Fast-paced, character-driven, intricately plotted, darkly humorous, dramatic, romantic, haunting, gritty, thought-provoking, suspenseful, macabre, witty, adventurous, compassionate, familiar, and well-developed.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Darkly humorous, macabre, and haunting.

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors: Erikson, Steven – Crippled God (A mortal woman challenging the gods); Parker, T. Jefferson – Storm Runners (Taking place in California, an ex-cop loses his whole family from a bomb explosion and takes on a job as a bodyguard); Harrison, Kim – Pale Demon (A bounty hunter goes on a cross-country drive across America with supernatural companions to clear her name).

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors: Azzarello, Brian – Filthy Rich (Vertigo Crime) (A hired bodyguard who ends up committing murder for his boss); Henderson, Jeff – Cooked: from the streets to the stove, from cocaine to foie gras (Story of an ex-convict who becomes an executive chef); Bailey, John – Gods and men: myths and legends from the world’s religion (Mythical Gods).

Name: Jun Yoon

River of Doubt

November 9, 2011

Author: Candice Millard (Narrated by Paul Michael)

Title: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 353 pages (10 audio discs)

Geographical Setting: Amazon River Basin

Time Period: 1912-1914

Plot Summary:   After a defeat in his run for a third Presidential term, Theodore Roosevelt decides to explore an uncharted river in the Amazon river basin with his son Kermit, and a cast of American participants, some who ultimately end up risking the success of the expedition.  The Brazilian government assigns an experienced explorer, Candido Rondon, to navigate and accompany the American group. This expedition faces a myriad of challenges from the Amazon rainforest itself, as well as indigenous Brazilian Indian tribes, lack of proper boats, food and medicine.  The narrator of the audio version does a good job of bringing the different characters to life, including the Spanish/Portugese accents and moving us through the details of this very complex story.

Subject Headings: Natural history; Presidents; Rain forests; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919; Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition (1913-1914)

Appeal: adventurous, atmospheric, exotic, accessible, informative, engaging, suspenseful, graphic, vivid, moving, optimistic, academic, steady pacing

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: detailed setting, well-researched, compelling

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

This book chronicles the search for the lost adventurer Percy Fawcett, who disappeared on an expedition in the Amazon basin in search of the fabled Lost City of Z.  This is a richly detailed book that illustrates the dangers of the Amazon and is partially based on diaries, like the River of Doubt. This is also a New York Times Notable book like the River of Doubt.

When Trumpets Call by Patricia O’Toole.

This book chronicles the complete ten years after Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, including his adventures on the River of Doubt and the African safari he went on with his son Kermit prior to his Amazon expedition. This book illustrates that Teddy Roosevelt does not recede in the background after his Presidential term is over and not only is an adventurer and a naturalist, but still remains active in political life.

Fordlania by Greg Grandin

The author, a NYU professor of Latin American History, tells the true yet unbelievable story of Henry Ford in his attempts to transform part of Brazil’s Amazon River basin into small-town America in order to produce rubber for car tires. Until now, the colossal failure of this project had not been well documented, and this Top 10 Business Book of 2009 shows what happens when a capitalist visionary ignores cultures, politics and nature.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

This compelling, richly detailed and atmospheric novel set in the Amazon basin, and specifically near  Manaus ( the end of Roosevelt’s expedition), is character centered with interesting characters, similar pacing as the River of Doubt  and a sense of unease and danger lurking around every page.

The Seamstress by Frances de Pontes-Peebles

This work of historical fiction in 1920’s and 1930’s Brazil, follows two impoverished sisters, who share excellent sewing skills, into their adult lives with the backdrop of the populist revolt of 1930.  This sweeping novel describes the political instability that affected Brazil at this time, while the attention to detail provides a vivid sense of place and a good characterization of the sisters’ relationship.

The Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage

This debut novel follows a Brazilian Chief Inspector Mario Silva as he attempts to solve the murder of a bishop while navigating the politically charged local battle between wealthy Brazilian landowners and the landless poor. The author, who lived in Brazil for many years, builds a fascinating character in Mario Silva, vividly evokes a contemporary sense of Brazil’s social and political problems and sets the stage for two additional Mario Silva novels.

Name:Cheryl

Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of a Man Who Dared to See

March 30, 2011

https://i0.wp.com/img.hotbooksale.com/books/9780812973686/1/Crashing-Through-The-Extraordinary-True-Story-of-the-Man-Who-Dared-to-See.jpgAuthor: Kurson, Robert

Title: Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of a Man Who Dared to See

Genre: Nonfiction/ Biography/ Inspirational

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 299

Geographical Setting: California

Time Period: 1953 – present

Series: n/a

Plot Summary:

When Mike May was blinded at the age of 3 during a chemical explosion, his family was told he’d never see again.  As he grew up, May didn’t let vision loss stand in his way. He crashed through life, both literally and figuratively, from learning to ride a bicycle to driving his sister’s car down the middle of the street. May studied abroad in primitive conditions in Ghana, was hired as the first blind employee of the CIA, and won three gold medals in the Paralympics. At a routine ophthalmologist appointment Mike was offered the chance to see again.  Yet alongside this remarkable opportunity came enormous risks, including re-loss of vision and death.

Robert Kurson deftly captures Mike May’s amazing life story with a straightforward and candid approach. Alternating chapters of past and present paint a realistic and intimate look at May’s upbringing, failures and successes, marriage, family life, and life-changing decision. This inspirational story of adventure, courage, determination and loss is humorous, moving and bittersweet.

Subject Headings: Stem cell transplant, blindness, living with vision loss, living with a disabled family member, entrepreneur, science writing, skiing, Paralympics, vision restoration, life changing events, brain science, California

Appeal: Character centered, candid, inspirational, thought-provoking, humorous, upbeat, family oriented, engrossing, adventurous, well-drawn characters, informative, entertaining, detailed, candid and realistic portrayal of living with blindness

3 terms that best describe this book: inspirational, courage, vision restoration

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Armstrong, Lance—It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life (descriptive, candid, overcoming medical odds, inspirational, adventurous, heartwarming, autobiography)

Callahan, John—Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot: The Autobiography of a Dangerous Man (inspirational, humorous, candid look at disability, autobiography)

Hockenberry, John—Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence (autobiography, adventurous, candid account of living with a disability, society’s reactions to a disability, entertaining)

Kuusisto, Stephen—Planet of the Blind (autobiography, blind persons, family reactions to impairment)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Bray, Libba—Going Bovine (humorous, life changing events, adventurous, character centered)

Cowell, Alan—A Walking Guide (realistic depiction of disability, adventurous, well-drawn characters)

Deford, Frank—An American Summer (upbeat, bittersweet, character-driven, courage, humorous, acceptance of disability)

Name: Debbie Siegel

Jack Absolute

February 16, 2011

https://i0.wp.com/img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n29/n145424.jpgAuthor: C.C. Humphreys

Title: Jack Absolute

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 310

Geographical Setting: Present-Day United States/Canada, some parts in England

Time Period: American Revolution

Series: Jack Absolute (Book 1 of 3)

Plot Summary:  After many years in the American Colonies, and then several more seeking his fortune in India, Captain Jack Absolute returns to England.  He soon founds himself forced to flee London and return to his old army regiment in America, where, though he is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause, he finds himself spying for the British army.  In America, Jack fights not only American Revolutionaries, but also a secret society that seeks to kill him.

Subject Headings: American Revolution, Espionage, War, Historical Fiction, Adventure

Appeal: Intense, detailed characters, introspective, evocative, descriptive, adventurous, fervid, historical details, action-filled, detailed setting, sexually explicit, layered

3 Terms That Describe This Book: Adventurous, historically and geographically detailed, occasionally violent

3 Relevant Fiction Works:

Benedict Arnold: A Novel by William J. Wolf (Another historical novel based in the American Revolution)

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (The first in a series of books about espionage and adventure)

A Matter of Honor by William C. Hammond (The first in a series of tales of American  Revolution maritime adventures)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works:
The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence by John H.  Rhodehamel (A collection of more than 70 Revolution-era writers, on both sides of the  war)

History of My Own Times by William Otter (Autobiography and memoir of an average  citizen of colonial America)

Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia by Woody Holton (An account of the lesser-known groups that played involuntary roles in the founding of the United States)

Lee Sigman

The Graveyard Book

June 21, 2010

The Graveyard Book (Audio) Cover

Author:  Neil Gaiman (narrated by the author)

TitleThe Graveyard Book (unabridged audio)

Genre:  Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, YA fiction

Publication Date:  2003

Length: 7 CDs; 7.75 hours

Geographical Setting:  Great Britain

Time Period:  present day

Plot Summary:

On a dark, quiet evening a cold and efficient killer wielding a razor sharp knife- a man called ‘Jack’- is making quick work of his assignment: to murder a family of four in a small British town. All is going according to plan until Jack finds that the youngest, an 18 month-old boy, has left his crib and toddled off, out into the night. Following his keen sense of smell, Jack stalks up the hill and into the graveyard, looking for the child that got away. But Mr. and Mrs. Owens, deceased couple and graveyard residents, find the boy first. Sensing the distress of the boy’s recently dead mother, the Owenses hide and protect him, and the man called Jack leaves to look elsewhere.  With the narrow escape, a prophesy unfolds.

The ghost couple adopts the child and Silas, a mysterious character neither ghost or human, agrees to be his guardian. They name him “Nobody Owens,” or Bod for short. Bod is given “the freedom of the graveyard” and grows up walking a line between the worlds of the living and the dead. He befriends ghosts, witches, and werewolves, and learns the skills of haunting. For the most part Bod is safe in the graveyard, but he can’t avoid the outside world forever. The man named Jack is still looking for him, and will not rest until his mission is complete.

Neil Gaiman’s narration delights, frightens, and engrosses, making the listener laugh while at the same time expressing the danger lurking. He effortlessly embodies characters of varying ages and historical periods, from ancient vengeful spirits and ghouls, to a sleek white haired businessman and teenager with a Scottish brogue. Each disk ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader clamoring for the next chapter.

Subject Headings:  Boy orphans, Supernatural, Cemeteries, Orphan Boys, Ghosts, Werewolves, Dead, Occult fiction, Fantasy fiction

Appeal: creepy setting, haunting, witty, dark, quirky characters, multi-generational, humorous, magical, adventurous, foreboding, heroic, coming-of-age, climactic ending

3 terms that best describes this book: humorous, creepy, coming-of-age adventure

Similar Authors and Works:

Nonfiction

The Black Hope Horror: the True Story of a Haunting by Ben & Jean Williams and Bruce Shoemaker

Odd occurrences, violent storms, plagues of insects, and finally five swift deaths strike the Williams family upon moving into a quiet Texas subdivision, which, they soon discover, is situated on a graveyard.

Similarities: spooky, creepy, haunting, graveyards, nightmares, cinematic

Necropolis: London and its Dead by Catharine Arnold

Offers an historical narrative of the city’s attitude to going the way of all flesh. This blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes phenomena such as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; and public executions and bodysnatching. This book covers both anecdotal history and cultural commentary.

Similarities: graveyards, culture of death, Danse Macabre, British atmosphere and culture

The World before this One by Rafe Martin

This collection of 14 Seneca tales is presented through the retelling of one central story into which all of the others are artfully woven. The Author’s Note sets the stories in their historical context, relating the importance of the Seneca as one of the founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. An introduction by Seneca Elder Peter Jemison sets the stage for Martin’s storytelling in the tradition that’s gone before.

Similarities: boy orphan protagonist, coming of age, storytelling, adventure

Fiction

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

Jack sets out to seek his fortune in Toy City and hooks up with Eddie Baer as they try to stop a serial killer who is murdering old nursery rhyme characters.

Similarities: Humorous (British humor), dark, adolescent protagonist, quirky characters

A Brief History of the Dead Kevin Brockmeier

A city in the afterlife world is inhabited by the recently departed who are sill remembered by the living. Here Marion and Phillip Byrd fall in love again, while their living daughter, Laura, is stranded alone in an Antarctic research station. As souls disappear from the city in droves, it becomes clear that tragedy has swept planet Earth.

Similarities: contrasts/ explores the living world with afterlife, fantasy environments, imaginative

Nation by Terry Pratchett

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Similarities: Witty, humorous, good vs. evil, similar characters, fantasy, adventure story

Name: Amy

Water for Elephants

October 21, 2009

Author: Sara Gruen

Title: Water for Elephants

Genre: Bestsellers, Fiction

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: U.S.

Time Period: The Great Depression in 1932

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Jacob Jankowski is almost done with veterinary school when he receives word that both his parents have been killed. Distraught, he runs away and jumps onto a passing train that happens to be part of a second-rate circus train. In the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth circus world he encounters freaks, misfits, and the love of his live, Marlena. When an elephant, Rosie, is bought for the show, it is Jacob who figures out how to communicate with her and learns a lot about the human-animal bond in the process. This story is from 90-year-old Jacob’s perspective as he looks back upon his life with the circus and Marlena. The book is partially based on real circus stories and is illustrated with historical circus photographs, which add to the magic of the story.

Subject Headings: Circus performers; Reminiscing in old age; Depressions—1929-1941; Traffic accident victims; Human/animal relations; Parents—Death; Veterinarians; Men/women relations; Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Women circus performers; Circus animals; Women horse trainers; Elephants; Human-animal communication; Manic-depressive men; Circus

Appeal: Dramatic, Romantic, Circus performers, Adventurous, Compelling, Historical details, Vivid, Cinematic, Tragic, Emotional, Mystical, Timeless, Detailed

3 terms that best describe this book: Dramatic, Engaging, Circus

Similar Authors and Works

Non-Fiction:

  1. The Circus Age: Culture and Society Under the American Big Top by Janet M. Davis- This is the fascinating history of the circus as public entertainment in the 1900’s. Davis also suggests that the circus culture continues today in places like Las Vegas and Disneyland.
  2. Love, War, and Circuses: The Age-Old Relationship Between Elephants and Humans by Eric Scigliano- This book describes the historical relationship between elephants and humans, and the use of elephants in warfare, industry, and circuses.
  3. Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence- and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg- The story of a famous African Grey parrot. The book documents his 30-year relationship with his trainer.

Fiction:

  1. Madeleine is Sleeping by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum- Young Madeleine falls into a deep sleep and finds herself leaving the tangible world of her French village and joining a gypsy circus.
  2. The Blue Moon Circus by Michael Raleigh- Ringmaster Lewis Tully tours the American west in 1926 with his circus act.
  3. Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCraken- An elderly man, Mose Sharp, looks back at his life in show business with his vaudeville act partner Rocky Carter.

Name: Kim

The Rolling Stones

June 11, 2009

Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Title: The Rolling Stones

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 1952

Number of Pages: 276p

Geographical Setting: Our Solar System

Time Period: Not too distant Future

Series: Juvenile Series

Plot Summary: The Rolling Stones is Heinlein’s “family values” novel, with the highest virtue held to be loyalty to one’s kin. The Stones are a space-minded family of pioneer earth people who came to the moon to live. The family is headed by Hazel, a pistol-toting grandma; however, most of the interest centers around Castor and Pollux, the fifteen year old “unheavenly twins”, a mischievous brace who want to go to Mars to sell second-hand bicycles, at a smart profit.  Accordingly, the twins had the idea of buying the spaceship and flying out to the asteroid belt to make their fortune in space mining ventures. Their father rejected this plan, preferring to send them to Earth for a formal university education. But Grandma Hazel prevailed with more ambitious counsel, and the whole family ended up buying the spaceship and becoming an adventurously nomadic collection of rugged individualists.

Subject Headings: Family, Space Travelers, Twin Brothers, Space Flight to Mars, Asteroids, Space Vehicles, Home (concept), Mars, Science Fiction (American), Domestic Fiction

Appeal: Adventurous, mischievous, futuristic, idealistic, expressive, influential, compelling, family centered, vivid, timeless, colorful, unusual, insightful

Three Terms that Describe it: coming of age, exploration, space

Relevant fiction:

Lois McMaster Bujold- The Curse of Chalion– Shares Heinlein’s strong characterization, pacing and dialogue.

Alexi Panshin-Rite of Passage– Like many of Heinlein’s books, the story revolves around a central character’s struggle to grow up. In 2198, one hundred and fifty years after the desperate wars that destroyed an overpopulated Earth, Man lives precariously on a hundred hastily-established colony worlds and in the seven giant Ships that once ferried men to the stars.

Marge Piercy- He, She and It– Similar to Heinlein, this is a diverting tale of the 21st century, Piercy explores a world where information has become a commodity more precious than gold.

Relevant Non-fiction:

Alfred Korzybski- Manhood of Humanity- Heinlein was deeply interested in Alfred Korzybski ‘s General Semantics, and attended a number of seminars on the subject. His views on epistemology seem to have flowed from that interest, and his fictional characters continue to express Korzybskian views to the very end of his writing career published in 1921, introduced the notion of time-binding as the defining distinction between humans and other organisms.

Twenty First Century Books- Exploring the Origins of the Universe/Stars & Galaxies/Space Travel and Exploration/Black Holes-Heinlein’s stories often take place in outer space. This book can provide some insight to the realms of space and exploration.

George Edgar Slusser- Robert A. Heinlein: Stranger in his Own Land-This book can provide some biographical insight to Heinlein and his writings.

By: Allison Robins

Valhalla Rising

June 1, 2009

Product Details

Author: Clive Cussler

Title: Valhalla Rising

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 2001

Number of pages: 544

Geographical setting: Many locations around the globe

Time Period: 20th century

Series: Dirk Pitt novels

Plot Summary: Dirk Pitt, Clive Cussler’s aging but still potent superhero, returns in the 16th adventure in this popular series about the director of special projects for the National Underwater Maritime Administration (NUMA). Pitt’s NUMA survey ship happens to be in the vicinity when the world’s newest and biggest cruise ship founders and sinks, giving Pitt the chance to stage the daring rescue of nearly 2,000 passengers. Among those who perish is a famous scientist whose revolutionary engines powered the ship to her watery grave; while Pitt is unable to save Dr. Egan, he rescues his beautiful daughter Kelly from the sea, and later from a murder attempt aboard the rescue vessel. Pitt and his trusty pal Al Giordino track the sinking to the boardroom door of a multinational conglomerate called Cerberus, whose evil CEO has designs on the world’s oil supply. He’ll do anything to keep Egan’s advanced engines and secret formula for frictionless oil off the market–even sabotage another vessel, this time a luxury passenger submarine. By the time our heroes have foiled the mastermind’s nefarious plots, they’ve also uncovered the existence of a working submarine nearly a century before one actually existed–irrefutable proof of a Viking landing on the Hudson River–and the remains of the British sailor who inspired Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo.

Subject Headings: National Underwater Marine Agency, Billionaires, International intrigue, Pitt, Dirk, Treasure Hunters, Cruise ships, Ship Wrecks—South Pacific Ocean, Underwater rescue operations, Sabatoge, Underwater archeology, Suspense stories, Adventure stories, Eco-fiction

Appeal: adventurous, suspenseful, action-packed, superhero like character, sabotage, sidekick, catastrophes, Viking mystery, cruise line disasters, kidnappings, assassinations, piracy, romance, enthralling, tantalizing, daring

3 terms that best describes this book: Action-packed, Underwater adventure, Overcoming obstacles

Similar Authors: Ian fleming, Jack B. Du Brul, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Ted Bell, Matthew Reilly, James Rollins, David Baldacci, Brad Thor, Steve Berry

Three relevant fiction titles:

Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child-another action packed adventure in the recovery of pirated treasure.

Hawke by Ted Bell- this work of fiction combines many of the same elements used by Cussler. This is an action adventure that includes another modern day hero.

Takedown by Brad Thor- This is another action adventure following a hero type character.

Three relevant Non-fiction titles:

The Vikings (Lost Worlds) by J.M. Clements- This book illuminates every aspect of Viking history and culture, from their legends and lore to their journeys of exploration and their discovery of America five hundred years before Columbus. Given Cussler’s adventure intertwined some Viking history, this book could be very helpful.

Underwater archaeology: The NAS Guide to Principles and Practice by Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)– This guide will help in understanding some of the underwater interactions experienced by Cussler’s characters.

The Mammoth Book of Storms, Shipwrecks and Sea Disasters: Over 70 First-Hand Accounts of Peril on the High Seas, from St. Paul’s Shipwreck to the Prestige Disaster by Richard Lawrence-This book will give graphic examples of shipwrecks, and help provide readers with insight to Dirk Pitt’s adventures.

By: Allison Robins