Posts Tagged ‘classic’

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

October 31, 2012

Author: Ira Levin

Title: Rosemary’s Baby

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 1967

Number of Pages: 218

Geographical Setting: New York

Time Period: 1960s

Plot Summary: Do you like reading books that have been made into movies? Then check this one out. Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy Woodhouse moved into a famous apartment building in New York. A close friend of there’s feared that due to many incidents in the building’s past, there was something wrong with the building and they should not have moved there. This story progresses through Rosemary’s painful pregnancy and surprising birth of a child. Unfortunately, Rosemary’s friend hinted within a book that he left her before his death, that something was wrong with her neighbors. Could her neighbors be a coven of witches? Is her husband aware of this problem? Do the witches desire to take her baby? Has Rosemary gone insane? If you are a fan of literary fiction and want just a taste of horror, then try this book.

Sequel: Son of Rosemary

Subject Headings: Pregnancy, Witches, Witch Coven, Devil Worship

Appeal terms: leisurely paced, unhurried, bleak, melancholy, bittersweet, quirky, eccentric, tragic, investigative, classic, character centered, descriptive

Three appeal terms: tragic, character centered, quirky

Similar Authors and Works:


The servants of twilight by Dean Koontz: This is a tale of a cult that is targeting a child because he may be the Antichrist. It was one of Koontz’s best works.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller: This is a classic play about the Salem Witch Trials.

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice: This book is part of the “Lives of the Mayfair Witches” series. It tells the tale of four centuries of witchcraft.


In the Devil’s Snare: the Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton: This is a book about the history of the Salem Witchcraft trials of 1692.

The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen: This is a history of witchcraft accusations in New England. The author wrote about the social, religious, and economic reasons for accusing people of being witches.

Wicca for Beginners: fundamentals of philosophy & practice by Thea Sabin: This is a book about the philosophy, culture, and beliefs of Wiccan religion, a modern day version of a witchcraft based spirituality.

Name: Rachel Fischer

Vlad: A Novel

October 31, 2012

AuthVlad: A Novel by Carlos Fuentesor: Carlos Fuentes

Title: Vlad: A Novel

Genre: Horror; Mexican Fiction

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 122

Geographical Setting: Mexico City

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Not part of a series, but a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Plot Summary: Yves Navarro, an attorney, is ordered by his boss, the enigmatic Don Eloy Zurinaga, to find and secure a house for an old school friend of his from Europe, a certain Count Vladimir Radu, who tiring of constant unrest in the Balkans has recently decided to move to Mexico City. At first, Navarro is merely puzzled by some of Radu’s eccentric requests: the home must admit no light and a large tunnel is to be excavated beneath the premises. But after an unsettling dinner with the count, a repulsive, pale-skinned and bulbous-headed figure clumsily disguised with a wig, false mustache, and dark glasses, Navarro becomes anxious for his own safety. A sense of foreboding and menace come sharply into focus as the attorney begins to suspect Radu may be a vampire. But when Navarro discovers a photograph of his own wife and daughter taped inside an armoire in the count’s chambers—a sense of panic grips him, as he realizes too late that he has become ensnared in a web, the contours of which he is only dimly aware. Fuentes’ reimagining of the Dracula story is filled with vivid and darkly disturbing scenes, and punctuated by moments of humor, mostly in the form of roman à clef references to the Bram Stoker’s original. Beneath the tragic horror is a philosophical meditation on the meaning of mortality and what it is to be human.

Subject Headings: Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, 1430 or 31-1476 or 7; Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912; Dracula — Sequels; Vampires; Lawyers; Real estate agents; Grief; Aging; Mortality

Appeal: compelling, fast paced, dramatic, eccentric, intriguing secondary characters, quirky, vivid, character centered, layered, some elements of humor, literary references, historical references, mystical, mythic, open-ended, tragic, bleak, dark, foreboding, menacing, philosophical, sensual, suspenseful, classic, concise, elegant, sophisticated

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: character centered, dark, philosophical

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead (2010) by J. Gordon Melton

Vlad: A Novel weaves familiar tropes of vampire fiction into its narrative and playfully references Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Readers who want to delve further into the lore and literature of the vampire will enjoy perusing this exhaustively detailed collection of some 500 essays on the subject.

The Philosophy of Horror (2012) by Thomas Fahy

Carlos Fuentes’ characters rhapsodize with philosophical musings about the nature of God, the fear of dying, and grief and loss. Fahy’s thought-provoking and persuasive guide to the philosophical subtexts of horror stories will resonate with readers who responded to the thematic underpinnings of Vlad: A Novel.

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (2012) edited by Suzanne Bost and Frances R. Aparicio

Carlos Fuentes is a much-admired author and critic in his native Mexico. Readers taken with Fuentes style and subject matter, and who want to learn more about the broader landscape of Latin American Literature, will find here a collection of forty scholarly but accessible essays that describe the most significant Latino and Latina authors and their work.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic (2012) edited by Eduardo Jimenez Mayo and Chris Brown

Three Messages and a Warning will appeal to readers who enjoyed Vlad: A Novel and want to read more tales of the supernatural and the macabre told from a uniquely Mexican perspective. Thematically serious, like Fuentes’ work, the short stories found in this anthology similarly offer a sense of the vibrant Mexican literary scene. The creepy but stylistically complex tales include: a pact with the devil, an apocalyptic ghost story, and an encounter with a doppelganger.

Anno Dracula (New Edition; 2011) by Kim Newman

Fans of Bram Stoker’s Dracula who enjoyed seeing the character revisited in Vlad: A Novel may appreciate Newman’s offbeat and compelling spin on the venerable vampire. In the alternate history of Anno Dracula, Count Dracula has not only not been vanquished, but is married to Queen Victoria and rules over England with an iron fist. Fuentes’ story is filled with references to characters and moments from the original Dracula; Newman goes one further and presents a supporting cast of familiar literary and historical characters, including Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jeckyll, and Sherlock Holmes.

The New Annotated Dracula (2008) by Bram Stoker; edited by Leslie S. Klinger

After reading Fuentes’ interpretation of Dracula, those who wish to revisit Bram Stoker’s atmospheric and menacing gothic tale will find a treasure trove of history and lore along with the original story in Klinger’s lushly illustrated and comprehensively annotated edition. Along with Stoker’s original manuscript, this edition also includes an alternate ending penned by the author sure to surprise readers who think they already know the story well.

Name: John Rimer

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

October 17, 2012

Author: Sylvia Plath

Title: The Bell Jar

Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Lives and Relationships, Bestsellers

Publication Date: 1963 (England), 1971 (USA)

Number of Pages: 216

Geographical Setting: New York, Massachusetts

Time Period: Six months in 1953

Plot Summary:  This is a semi-autobiographical novel related to the author’s life. She killed herself shortly after it was published. This is a coming-of-age story of a 20-year-old woman as she discovers herself and her desires, just as any college student does. Esther Greenwood was going to college on a scholarship when she got accepted for a special internship with a fashion magazine in New York for the summer. The book describes her relationships with her family, friends, colleagues, and psychologists in a descriptive manner. As this melancholic story progresses, Esther slowly loses her mind to mental illness and eventually attempts to commit suicide. The lyrical and poetic writing is a must read for fans of literary fiction. It is an excellent book to recommend for those interested in studying psychology or going through their own quarter life crisis.

Subject Headings: Depression, Suicidal Behavior, Psychological Fiction, College Students

Appeal terms:  leisurely-paced, introspective, psychological, emotionally charged, melancholy, detailed, realistic, character-centered, timeless, classic, lyrical, literary

Three appeal terms: character-centered, psychological, and literary

Similar Authors and Works:


Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger- A reviewer has compared Sylvia Plath’s book to Salinger’s Franny. Both books are about the experiences of female college students during the same time period.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen- This book is about an 18 year old that spent two years living in a psychiatric hospital, in 1967, that Sylvia Plath may have spent time in.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender- This book is a young adult fantasy. It is about a girl that can taste the true emotions of the person who made her food.


Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis: Advice from Twentysomethings Who Have Been There and Survived by Alexandra Robbins- This is a guide for those that are lost and confused as they become adults in order to help them get through their quarter life crisis.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One by Carla Fine- This book offers advice for those who have lost family members due to suicide. The author’s husband was a doctor who committed suicide.

Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir by Lauren Slater- This is the memoir of a woman that had a psychological problem in which she was a compulsive liar. The character, Esther Greenwood, regularly lies in The Bell Jar.

Name: Rachel Fischer

The Body in the Library

July 30, 2012

Author: Christie, Agatha

Title: The Body in the Library

Genre:  Mystery

Publication Date: 1941

Number of Pages: 220

Geographical Setting:  St. Mary’s Mead and Danemouth, England

Time Period: 1920s

Series (If applicable):  Miss Marple series #3

Plot Summary:  A body is discovered in Colonel and Mrs. Banrdry’s home library.  Mrs. Bandry instantly knows she needs to bring in her good friend and amateur sleuth, Miss Jane Marple.  By linking people and situations from her town of St. Mary’s Mead to the people and situations of the murder, Miss Marple is able to unravel the mystery a step ahead of the police.

Subject Headings:  Mystery—Fiction, England—Fiction, Women Detectives

Appeal:  Builds in Intensity, Easy to Read, Humorous, Engaging Characters, Intriguing, Multiple Points of View, Series (Characters), Conclusive, Investigative, Plot Twists, Rural, Classic, Clever

3 terms that best describe this book:  Clever, Investigative, Plot Twists

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale (2008)

This book provides an account of the murder that started the modern fascination with detection and nearly ruined the career of one of Scotland Yard’s best inspectors, Jonathan Wincher.

Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks by John Curran (2009)

A look into the notebooks, letters, and drafts that Christie’s daughter, Rosalind kept after her mother’s death.  The book includes two unpublished Poirot short stories.

An Autobiography by Agatha Christie (1977)

Agatha Christie’s autobiography tells the story of how she became one of the most celebrated detective writers of all time.  The book delves into her life from childhood until her 70s.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (1998)

Mma Precious Ramotswe is a local sleuth in her town in Botswana.  If Miss Marple were fat, jolly, and African, she and Precious would be nearly identical.  Precious solves small cases that mirror human nature.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

If Miss Marple is the most famous female detective, then surely Sherlock Holmes is the most famous male.  He can deduce just about anything about anyone.  This collection has some of his most famous cases, all chronicled by Dr. John Watson.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (2003)

After World War I, Maisie Dobbs becomes a private investigator.  Her first case seems to be one of infidelity, but soon she begins to uncover much darker secrets about the war and herself.

Name: Erin Sloan

The Hound of the Baskervilles

October 12, 2011

The Hound of BaskervillesAuthor: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Title:  The hound of the Baskervilles

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: 1902

Number of Pages: 272

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: Early 1900’s

Plot Summary:  Generations ago a hound of hell tore out the throat of Hugo Baskerville on the English moors.  Once again the legend lives as the latest head of the line Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in the same area with a massive hound’s print found nearby.  It is up to Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend Dr. Watson to piece together the puzzle before the next Baskerville in line winds up dead.

Subject Headings: Curses; Detectives; Dogs; Moors and heaths; Holmes, Sherlock; Watson, John H.; Murder investigation; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Nineteenth century

Appeal: Plot-driven, Fast-paced, Suspenseful, Compelling, atmospheric, dark, sophisticated, intriguing, series (characters), investigative, plot twists, classic

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, atmospheric, investigative

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases by E. J. Wagner

Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle’s accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact. The author avoids the technical details that mar so many other efforts in this genre, injecting life into her narrative by weaving in true crime cases that either influenced Holmes’s creator or may have been influenced by a published story from the Baker Street sleuth.

The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases
by Michael Capuzzo

Once a month, several forensic experts gather in a posh Victorian brownstone in downtown Philadelphia, have a sumptuous lunch, and then consider cold cases brought to them by baffled detectives. The club is called the Vidocq Society, named after the nineteenth-century French criminologist who was one of the inspirations for Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind  by Josef Steiff

Sherlock Holmes sees things others don’t. He sees the world in a different way, and by so doing, allows us to see that same world – and human behavior – in different ways as well.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The 39 Steps  by John Buchan

He has been feeling bored with London life – until he discovers a dead man in his flat, skewered to the floor with a knife through his heart. Only a few days before, the victim had warned him of an assassination
plot that could bring the country to the brink of war. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the murderer, ordinary man Richard Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland. There, on the wild moors, he must use all his wits to stay one step ahead of the game – and warn the government of the impending danger before it is too late.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Village rumor hints that Mrs. Ferrars poisoned her husband, but no one is sure. Then there’s another victim in a chain of death. Unfortunately for the killer, master sleuth Hercule Poirot takes over the investigation.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

One of the first English detective novels, this mystery involves the disappearance of a valuable diamond, originally stolen from a Hindu idol, given to a young woman on her eighteenth birthday, and then stolen again.

Name: Jason Rock

A Lesson Before Dying

August 17, 2011

Author:  Gaines, Ernest J.

Title:  A Lesson Before Dying

Genre:  African American Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Publication Date: 1997

Number of Pages:  256

Geographical Setting:  Bayonne, LA

Time Period:  late 1940s, post-World War II

Series:  N/A

Plot SummaryA Lesson Before Dying is the story of Jefferson, a young black man in rural Louisiana in the 1940s sentenced to die for a murder he did not commit.  In his closing statement, Jefferson’s defense lawyer argues that Jefferson is as ignorant and stupid as animal, no better than a mere hog, incapable of planning such a crime, but the all-white jury finds him guilty.  From that point on, Jefferson only thinks of himself as a hog.   Miss Emma, Jefferson’s grandmother, persuades Grant Wiggins, the local schoolteacher to speak to Jefferson to help raise him up to believe in himself again as a man, so that he may die with dignity.  The story is told in first person by Wiggins, the black boy who was able to leave the plantation to pursue a better life, but is back as the schoolteacher, burned out now by the futility of teaching poor blacks in the rural South.  Full of self-doubts, Wiggins doesn’t feel he is up to the task, but during their meetings in prison, he discovers as much about himself as Jefferson, and both men re-examine what it means to be a human being, and the strength of the human spirit.  A Lesson Before Dying is a realistic and insightful look at life in the rural South in the 1940s, and the racial prejudice that was an accepted part of everyday life. The characters are believable and very human.   In simple but powerful prose, Gaines lets the realities of the story speak for themselves almost as if this were a nonfiction peace of work.

Subject Headings: Rural Poor, African American Death Row Prisoners, African American Men, African American Teachers, Injustice, Manhood, Race Relations, The South

Appeal: moving, character driven, eloquent, emotional, detailed, ennobling, heartbreaking, powerful, classic, realistic, touching, thought provoking, simple, deep, honest, unflinching

3 terms that best describe this book: simple, honest, eloquent

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors: A Saint on Death Row:  The Story of Dominique Green by Thomas Cahill is an eerily similar story of a black man on Death Row accused of shooting a white man during a robbery.   Jackie Robinson:  A Biography by Arold Rampersad is the story of the first black Major League baseball player.  Brainwashed:  Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell deals with the disturbing question of why so many blacks still think and act like slaves.

3 Revelant Fiction Works and Authors:  As I Lay Dying by William Falkner has the similar bleak setting of life in the rural South, as well as the same poignant feel .  To Kill a Mockingbird has a similar plot, setting, and sense of hopelessness of a black man falsely accused and judged by whites.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck has the same simple prose and similar theme of rural poverty and injustice.

Chris M.

The Adventures of Unemployed Man

August 10, 2011

Author: Erich Origen and Gan Golan

Title: The Adventures of Unemployed Man

Genre: Science Fiction/Graphic Novels

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: unpaged

Geographical Setting:

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Follow the amazing adventures of Unemployed Man, formerly known as The Ultimatum until good intentions and a stand against The Man got him The Boot. Shrewd, witty commentary on the state of the economy and the roots of our nation’s fiscal woes inform the action in this cleverly written, beautifully illustrated graphic novel. The parody is ripped straight from today’s headlines—supervillains like Cobra (he’ll cover your insurance after being laid off, only $200 a month!) and Kollectus (he comes after outstanding debts and takes everything) show up alongside heroes such as perpetual grad student Master of Degrees, fix-it-with-tape Ducto, pain-shrinking therapist Good Grief, and Wonder Mother (she built her invisible jet from pieces of the glass ceiling), all presented in a dead-on tribute to many classic comic book styles. Nods to noted comics illustrators such as Jack Kirby and others are just some of the sharp, wonderful little details crammed into every page. The parody is not limited to the characters, however; the book itself is organized as a parody of a comic book, right down to the inclusion of phony ads for products and a wickedly funny section titled Fantastic Facts. Origen and Golan back up their stylistic accomplishments with an insightful, provocative story, made all the more effect for its presentation in such a fun, familiar and nostalgic format. This would be a good book for fans of graphic novels or superheroes with a twist, or patrons looking for an interesting presentation of basic socioeconomics in an easy to follow format.

Subject Headings: Unemployed; Graphic novels; Humorous stories; U.S. economic conditions; 21st century; Superheroes

Appeal: Witty, satirical, humorous, smart, shrewd, Swiftian, clever, sophisticated, retro, hopeful, classic, illustrated, insightful, provocative, social commentary, parody

3 terms that best describe this book: Shrewd, provocative, witty

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Expanded edition of the fascinating, humorous and poignant look at modern economics; new graphs, photos and drawings further add to the impact of these astonishing discussions)

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis (An inside look at the build-up of the housing and credit bubble during the 2000s and the resulting economic downturn)

The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, by Steven Greenhouse (Bleak picture of the current environment for the American worker, emphasis on the role corporations play)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Inside Straight, edited by George R.R. Martin (From the classic Wild Cards series, this mosaic novel sometimes humorously, sometimes matter-of-factly presents a universe where extranormal abilities are an accepted fact, with characters competing to win a new reality show, American Hero)

Superheroes, edited by John Varley (Collection of superhero-themed stories with an ironic, antihero twist)

The Pursuit of Other Interests: A Novel, by Jim Kokoris (Chicago ad exec suddenly loses his job, and with the help of assorted colorful new friends gains a new perspective on his life through a series of unfamiliar challenges)


Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Authorized Adaptation by Ron Wimberly

August 3, 2011

Author: Ron Wimberly

Title: Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Authorized Adaptation

Genre: Horror, Graphic Novel

Publication Date: July 19, 2011

Number of Pages: 130

Geographical Setting: Green Town, Illinois

Time Period: Late October in the 1920’s

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Something Wicked This Way Comes is about two 13-year-old boys, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, who have a harrowing experience with a nightmarish traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern town one October. The carnival’s leader is the mysterious “Mr. Dark” who bears a tattoo for each person who, lured by the offer to live out his secret fantasies, has become bound in service to the carnival. Mr. Dark’s malevolent presence is countered by that of Will’s father, Charles Halloway, who harbors his own secret desire to regain his youth. Jim and Will recognize the dark magic at work and have to come up with a plan to stop this ancient evil. As a graphic novel, the addition of dark/light pages and detailed illustration add to the ambiance of the story.

Subject Headings: carnival, boys, fathers and sons, magic, male friendship, the Illustrated Man, good vs. evil.

Appeal: fantastical, nostalgic, vibrant, classic, creepy, suspenseful, imaginative, entertaining, dark.

3 terms that best describe this book: mysterious, disturbing, phantasmagorical.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

American Sideshow by Marc Hartzman. (A fascinating look into the history of the American sideshow and its performers. Learn what’s real, what’s fake, and what’s just downright bizarre.)

Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth by Peter Kelder. (Offers practical instructions for the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, which resemble yoga postures.)

The Fortune Telling Book: Reading Crystal Balls, Tea Leaves, Playing Cards, and Everyday Omens of Love and Luck by Gillian Kemp. (Filled with practical advice, gypsy folklore, and both ancient and modern divinations, this lavishly illustrated primer reveals the future to all those who believe and shows how to employ crystal balls, tea leaves, and playing cards to predict the future.)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Bloody Carnival by Matt Kurtz, Darren W. Pearce, Neal Levin, and Mindy MacKay, etc. (Freak shows, rusted rides, demonic ring mistresses, demented clowns, melting beauty queens, flesh-eating fun-seekers, ghosts, gremlins and other terrors haunt the pages of this bloody collection of thirty-four short stories.)

The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon. (A eight-year-old boy runs away and joins the carnival only to realize that a threat far greater than his cruel father inhabits the carnival and has been searching for him longer than he has been alive.)

The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. (Odd and creepy with dark secrets. This is another graphic novel that features a carnival, in this case a mini one, a traveling Punch & Judy show.)


August 3, 2011

Author: Bram Stoker

Title: Dracula

Genre: Horror

Publication Date:  June 2000

Number of Pages: 358; Audio/Playaway

Geographical Setting: Transylvania

Time Period: Nineteenth Century

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: An Englishman goes on a trip to Transylvania to conduct business with an interesting client, Count Dracula. Not soon after the Count shows his true colors. Dracula leaves Transylvania for England for fresh blood. Unexplained incidents begin to happen all over London. It takes some time to figure out what exactly or who exactly is causing all this mayhem.

Subject Headings: Horror, Vampires, Transylvania

Appeal: imaginative, dramatic, haunting, detailed setting, well-crafted, cinematic, violent, intriguing, suspenseful, dangerous, sophisticated, chilling

3 terms that best describe this book:

Exotic, historical details, classic

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1.         Monsters: a celebration of the classics from Universal Studios – by Roy Milan

This book is for the true fan of horror. This book is filled with movie stills and full-color film posters.  A behind the scene look at some of the most famous monster movies is included in this book. Some of the movies are: Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, and The Invisible Man.

2.         Werewolves- by Jon Izzard

Staying with the movie monster trend is a book about werewolves and there origination. This book also examines the love/fear relationship people have with the werewolf.

3.         Vampire forensics: uncovering the origins of an enduring legend -by Mark Jenkins

This book is for the vampire lover. This book studies the history of Dracula and ancient civilizations and archeological findings of vampires.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.         Interview with a Vampire-Anne Rice

This is another classic vampire story that vampire lovers will like to read. This is the story of a vampire who tells the story of his first two hundred years on earth.

2.         The Historian- Elizabeth Kostova

Upon discovering a medieval book and a bunch of letters, an American girl becomes a historian just like her late father. She investigates the legacy of Vlad the Impaler.

3.         Fledgling- Octavia E. Butler

A young girl suffering from amnesia wakes up to find that she’s actually a middle-aged vampire. Her family has been killed for creating a race of people who are half human half vampire.


Name: Juanita Fisher

The Alchemist’s Daughter by Katherine McMahon

April 5, 2011

The Alchemist's Daughter

Author: Katharine McMahon

Title: The Alchemist’s Daughter

Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships / Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 338

Geographical Setting: Buckinghamshire, England (some scenes in London)

Time Period: 1700s

Series (If applicable): none

Plot Summary: Nineteen year-old Emilie Selden has lived her entire life on her family’s estate, learning alchemy and natural philosophy from her father, himself a student of Isaac Newton. Her mother died in childbirth, leaving Emilie her exotic French features and not much else. While Emilie is a brilliant scientist, she has had no exposure to society, nor to matters of the heart. Her father protects her fiercely, but even his shelter can not keep her from the eyes or arms of the dashing merchant who comes to call. Cast out of her only home and into the clutches of the London social scene, Emilie makes startling discoveries about human nature, her father’s scribbled observations, her new husband’s motives and her own strengths and weaknesses.

Subject Headings: history, scientists, romance, England, London, high society, fathers and daughters, 18th century

Appeal: easy pacing, engrossing, dramatic, introspective, thoughtful, closely observed, detailed, eccentric, flawed, sympathetic, well-developed, character-centered, domestic, sexually explicit, thought-provoking, detailed setting, details of scientific method, historical details, small-town, classic, descriptive, frank, polished, smart

3 terms that best describe this book: self-discovery, young woman, England

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Newton and the Counterfeiter: the Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist by Thomas Levenson.

Details how Newton outwitted master counterfeiters as Master of the Mint. (For those interested in more about the science of the time)

Hubbub: Filth, Noise & Stench in England 1600-1770 by Emily Cockayne.

An examination of how truly gross things were in ye olden days, from dead bodies on the curb to how horribly the living people smelled, too. (For those who appreciate lively, witty explanations of history)

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick.

A tribute to the lasting contributions made by the Royal Society 350 years ago. (For those interested in Emilie and her father’s work and the group he participated in/revered)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The Glass Virgin by Catherine Cookson.

Detailed historical fiction about a sheltered young English woman whose family is not all it appears. She must also question who she really is and plot twists build as she grows from a girl into a woman. (Historical / similar dark family secrets and personal discovery/growth)

The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys.

Historical fiction set in England during the Second World War. Gwen Davis leaves London to work with the Women’s Land Army raising crops in the countryside. She is socially awkward and inexperienced, thrust into a tumultous world, but perhaps the attentions of a Canadian soldier stationed nearby can open her eyes and heart. (Historical / similar awkward young woman and romance)

The Wet Nurse’s Tale by Erica Eisdorfer.

A bawdy young woman in Victorian England enters the upper class world as a wet nurse, leaving her illicitly-conceived child and abusive father behind. (Historical / for fans of Emilie’s London-born maid Sarah, who had her own demons to hide)

Name: Genevieve Grove