Posts Tagged ‘dialect-rich’

The Help

November 28, 2012

Title: The Help
Author: Stockett, Kathryn
Publication Date:2009
Pages:464 pages
Geographical Setting: Jackson, Mississippi
Time Period: The Sixties (20th century)
Genre:Historical fiction
Series: N/A

Plot Summary:
The author tells a sombre story using three women’s perspective as they share their experiences in Jackson, Mississippi in the mid 60’s. Aibileen and Minny are African American women working as maids in white holds. Aibileen, though has had her own share of personal tragedies, however she is dutiful, loyal and loves the white children she takes care of. Minny on the other hand is sour, resentful and does not hesitate to speak her mind. Skeeter, a young white graduate has an inner struggle about finding who she is and settling down like all of her friends. As the story develops, Skeeter an aspiring writer, feels compassion for the plight of these black maids as they are mistreated while working for these families. She tries to convince the maids to tell their story about how it feels to cook, clean and take care of these white children under such degrading circumstances. As we learn about these women’s lives, we also get an insight into the racial prejudice and discrimination in the the south during the mid 1960‘s. The story moves very fast urging you to follow the characters they develop to find out what eventually happens.
Despite the evocation of sadness and melancholy in the story, the occasional interjections of humor help liven up the overall tone of the book.

Subject Headings: African-American women, Civil Rights Movement, College graduates,
Domestic workers, Housekeepers, Interracial friendship, Race relations, The Sixties (20th century)

Three Appeal Terms: Fast-paced, Compelling, Thought Provoking,

Appeal: Touching, thought-provoking, humorous and compelling, provocative, lively, dialect-rich, upbeat, moving, strong sense of place, engrossing, captivating, Fascinating

Fiction Read-Alikes:

The healing by Odell, Jonathan
A historical fiction – a personal account of a former slave’s experiences during pre civil rights movements in the south. This is a great read alike for those who truly enjoyed The Help and are curious about the lives of the slaves and how they coped.

We are all welcome here by Berg, Elizabeth
Here again, like the The Help we find three women but facing different types of struggles and survival – a bedridden mother, a teenager looking for freedom and an African American caregiver. The author portrays the relationship between race and class during the civil rights movements. This book would appeal to those interested in women’s quest for survival under grave circumstances, but with a lighter tone than in The Help.

Roots: the saga of an American family by Alex Haley
This award winning novel takes you right into the authentic story of slavery portrayed by this African American family. You follow the protagonist Kunte Kinte directly from capture in Africa, his resistance and eventual arrival and forced into slavery. This story spans seven generations of this family recounting their history through work in plantation, civil war and reconstruction period.

Non-Fiction Read-Alikes:

Song in a weary throat: an American pilgrimage by Murray, Paulie
Find a real personal account of Pauli Murray on the civil rights movement, women rights and advocacy. This will appeal to those who would like to learn more about race integration and major works on women’s rights.

Civil rights movement: people and perspectives by Michael, Ezra
For those who are interested in civil rights movements and its effect on the nation, this is a great resource. The book is comprehensive and gives various perspectives on the events of the civil rights era.

W.E.B. DuBois: biography of a race, 1868-1919 by David Levering Lewis
The biography of DuBois is an intelligent and detailed work. It is a great resource with in-depth account and analysis of the history of racism, civil war and civil rights movements. A well researched book and a credible source. Those intrigued by the level of racism and prejudice as portrayed in The Help would appreciate this resource.

Chyna Black by Keisha Ervin

August 13, 2012

 Author:  Keisha Ervin

Title:  Chyna Black

Genre:  African American, Urban Lit

Publication Date:  2004

Number of Pages:  259

Geographical Setting:  St. Louis, Missouri

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series (If applicable):  N/A

Plot Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Chyna Black catches the eye of Tyriek James, a handsome 22-year-old drug dealer living a life filled with fast cars, expensive jewelry, and designer name clothes.  Unheeding her girlfriends’ advice that Tyriek is nothing but trouble, Chyna is blinded by her passion and pursues a relationship with him, forsaking everything else.  Chyna, infatuated and caught up in his lifestyle, goes from straight-A student to high school dropout, begins to isolate herself from her friends, and gets thrown out of her mother’s house.  Although things go well for a while between her and Tyriek, their relationship soon becomes fraught with jealousy, infidelity, violent physical and emotional abuse, passionate make-up sex, and insincere promises of devotion.  Chyna learns all too late the unhealthiness of their relationship, returns to her mother’s house, and begins dating an old boyfriend, LP, who gets her pregnant.  Without LP’s support, she decides to keep the baby and get her life back on track by getting a job and her GED.  One year later, at her daughter’s first birthday, Tyriek reappears with new promises of devotion.  Chyna Black is a fast-paced, gritty tale of urban fiction written in a raw, conversational style that is heavy with dialect and loaded with profanity.  Chyna and Tyriek’s relationship is a maelstrom of drama and passionate eroticism that is sure to engage readers who enjoy these elements.

Subject Headings:  African American Teenage Girls; Inner City Life; Teenage Pregnancy; High School Dropouts; Drug Dealers; Unhealthy Relationships; Responsibility; Coming-of-Age Stories

Appeal:  Conversational, informal, unpretentious, authentic, raw, gritty, dialect-rich, sexually explicit, strong language, erotic, romantic, melodramatic, hopeful, inspiring, fast-paced, open-ended

3 terms that best describe this book:  Dialect-rich, raw, and strong language

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

            3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Dear Diary, I’m Pregnant: Ten Real Life Stories by Anrenee Englander

This book is a collection of candid interviews with ten teenage girls from various socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, and faiths about their experiences with pregnancy.  The girls’ stories also touch on topics such as abortion, adoption, and deciding to keep their babies.  This title is suggested to those who want to read true-life stories about teenage pregnancies after reading about Chyna’s experiences.

2)  A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

A harrowing yet inspiring memoir of how the author overcame her history of childhood neglect, abject poverty, trauma, rape, prostitution, gang affiliation, and substance abuse and became a California attorney and motivational speaker.  Like Chyna Black, this is a gritty, raw, and inspiring story of an African American woman taking back control of her life.

3)  Brothers (and Me): A Memoir of Loving and Giving by Donna Britt

An honest and introspective memoir about how the author, growing up as the only daughter in a middle-class African American family, sacrificed her own ambitions and self-identity for the men in her life: her three brothers, her father, her boyfriends, and her husband.  After the police shoot and kill one of her brothers, she reflects on the ways in which she has continually given of herself to others at the expense of her own individuality.  Chyna Black comes to a similar realization when she breaks things off with Tyreik and begins to take responsibility for her future.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Every Thug Needs a Lady by Wahida Clark

Roz puts her personal aspirations of becoming a physical therapist aside when she meets and gets involved with Trae, a drug dealer.  She soon realizes the cost of getting into a relationship with a gangster.  Every Thug Needs a Lady and Chyna Black are similar urban tales of young African American women blinded by their passion for handsome, wealthy thugs at the expense of everything else.

2)  Black: A Street Tale by Tracy Brown

When her mother throws her out of the house, 17-year-old Kaia is forced to live on the streets.  Trying desperately just to survive, she meets and gets involved in relationship with a local hoodlum named Aaron.  Although this relationship changes her life, she questions whether it has changed for the better or if it is stifling her freedom.  Suggested to readers looking for another story about a young African American teenage girl who is thrown out of her home and becomes romantically involved with a dangerous man.

3)  Push by Sapphire

Sixteen-year-old Precious Jones lives in a severely abusive household where her father routinely rapes her and her mother emotionally and physically abuses her.  When she finds herself pregnant with her father’s child for the second time, she enrolls in an alternative school in Harlem to overcome her illiteracy.  Her teacher, Blue Rain, encourages and pushes her to learn how to read and write.  By learning these skills, Precious is able to find an outlet for communicating her tragic existence.  Push is suggested to readers looking for a grittier, bleaker, and more harrowing tale of a pregnant African American teenage girl gaining the confidence she needs to confront the adversity and trauma she has suffered.

Name:  Zach Musil

Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table

August 8, 2012

Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table

Author: Ruth Reichl

Title: Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table

Genre: Nonfiction; Memoirs; Autobiographies (Best Seller)

Publication Date: 1998

Number of Pages: 282

Geographical Setting: New York and Connecticut

Time Period: 1950’s

Plot Summary: Ruth Reichl, Gourmet magazine’s editor-in-chief and restaurant critic for The New York Times, writes memoirs about her childhood written under the umbrella of food and cooking. Cooking was her escape from her dysfunctional family, but especially in dealing with her mother who suffered from a mental illness. Although it sounds like this book should be sad and tragic, the stories are told in an amusing and heartwarming way. This novel is set at a relaxed pace as you get to know Ruth as well as the many other descriptive and engaging characters.

Subject Headings: Reichl, Ruth; Cooking; Growing up; Food habits-United States; Recipes

Appeal: character-driven, relaxed pace, amusing, bittersweet, heartwarming, inspirational, nostalgic, candid, conversational, descriptive, dialect-rich, engaging, lush, hopeful, thoughtful, imaginative, clever, colorful, metaphorical

3 terms that best describe this book: heartwarming, descriptive, and character-driven

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber – If you enjoy reading memoirs about food and culture and liked the relaxed pace and amusing nature of Tender at the Bone, you may enjoy this book.

2.    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver- If you enjoy reading memoirs about food and are interested in finding out more about locally grown foods, you may enjoy this read alike.

3.      Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell – If you enjoy reading autobiographies about food and cooking,and appreciate a book with a conversational and humorous tone just like Tender at the Bone, you might want to try this book. (Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs – If you like reading humorous stories about a chefs and cooking set in a relaxed pace, you may enjoy this book.

2.      Corinna Chapman Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood – If you enjoy reading engaging mysteries about food and cooking, this series might appeal to you. (First book in the series is Earthly Delights.)

3.      The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – If you liked the character-driven nature of Tender at the Bone, but would like to try something a little bit more offbeat and lyrical, you might want to try this book.

Name: Patty Prodanich

The Graveyard Book

July 17, 2012

The Graveyard Book


Author: Neil Gaiman   Illustrator: Dave McKean

Title: The Graveyard Book

Genre: Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 307

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: Modern

Plot Summary: This is the story of “Nobody” Owens (nicknamed Bod for short) who as a toddler, escapes his home while his family is murdered. He wanders into a graveyard and ends up being raised by the dead. As he gets older he finds out the truth about his family and “the man Jack” who is still out to kill him. This adventurous fantasy starts out a bit relaxed, but becomes more quickly paced towards the end. It is a suspenseful and sometimes creepy story filled with witty and engaging language and characters. Neil Gaiman portrays the atmosphere and characters of this old English graveyard using dialect-rich language.

Subject Headings: Cemeteries, Ghosts, Werewolves, Orphans, Dead, Supernatural, Paranormal

Appeal: scary, suspenseful, quick-paced, witty, heartwarming, dialect-rich, engaging characters, atmospheric, creepy, humorous, clever, descriptive, attention grabbing

3 terms that best describe this book: suspenseful, witty, engaging plot and characters

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      Creepy Chicago: A Ghosthunter’s Tales of the City’s Scariest Sites by Ursula Bielski (Illustrated by Amy Noble) – Just like the haunted graveyard in The Graveyard Book, this book tells about local Chicago sites that are said to be haunted.

2.      The Haunted Cotswolds by Bob Meredith (Illustrated by Peter Reardon) – This book would appeal to readers who would like to learn about a true ghost hunter who writes about supernatural happenings throughout Cotswold.

3.    England: An Illustrated History by Henry Weissser – There are many historical references in The Graveyard Book so this nonfiction companion would appeal to those who would be interested in learning more about the history of England.

Ursula Bielski (Author)

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3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      The Color of Magic: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett – If you enjoyed the British “feel” and humor in The Graveyard Book, you may also enjoy this.

2.      Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – You may enjoy this book if you enjoy reading scary fiction books about ghosts.

3.      The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – The Graveyard Book has a similar theme to Kipling’s book where a child is raised under unusual circumstances.

Name: Patty Prodanich

The Committments

March 22, 2012

Author: Roddy Doyle

Title: The Commitments

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publication Date: 1987

Number of Pages: 140

Geographical Setting: Dublin, Ireland

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): The Barrytown Trilogy

Plot Summary: When Dublin youths Outspan and Derek decide to start a band, they enlist their friend Jimmy Rabbitte to manage them. Jimmy is that kid everyone knows who has his finger on the pulse of music. “Jimmy had Relax before anyone had heard of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and he’d started slagging them months before anyone realized that they were no good.” Instead of advising the band (And And! And) to continue doing covers of Depeche Mode songs, or turning them punk or metal or grunge, he goes way back and decides they should be a soul band. He calls it “Dublin Soul”, and surprisingly hits the nail on the head, as it turns out that soul music by African Americans has an appeal for working class Dubliners. The band expands to include Joey “The Lips” Fagan, an aging musician who has played trumpet with most of the bands the young boys are idolizing, Deco Cuffe, a talented singer with a large ego, and cute background singers The Commitmentettes. The band starts small, and then start to build a loyal following. Just when a record deal is about to be signed, the band pulls apart from ego, the saxophone player’s growing interest in jazz, and everyone wanting to get with the cutest Commitmentette. This charming coming of age novel hits that point of time when nothing else matters except the music that hits you hard. Woven into the humor is the fervor the love of music can inspire, along with philosophical musings about what soul music is really about. The Commitments also lays the groundwork for the next two books, which become increasingly personal and bittersweet as the series goes on.

Subject Headings: Working class teenagers — Dublin Ireland. Soul Music. Rock Music. Egotism in teenagers. Ambition in teenagers.

Appeal: funny, strong sense of place, dialect-rich, engaging, character-driven, colorful, urban, quirky, strong secondary characters, breezy, direct, jargon, unaffected, exuberant, impassioned, playful, eccentric, unpretentious.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: dialect-rich, strong sense of place, engaging

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom by Peter Guralnick

Someone who wants to learn more about soul music might enjoy this history of Stax Records, the company that signed many of the rhythm and blues singers that the Commitments are trying to emulate. Guralnick gets deep into not just the music, but the cultural and racial tensions that tore Stax apart in the end.

Nowhere To Run: The Story of Soul Music by Gerri Hirschey

This book is a bit more narrative than “Sweet Soul Music.” Hirschey compiles oral tellings and recollections gleaned from years of working as a music journalist, and writes with a literary flair. It’s the best of both worlds as it’s both a comprehensive history of soul music interwoven with anecdotes about riding around in a limo with James Brown and Al Sharpton.

Me Father Was a Hero and Me Mother Was a Saint by Eamonn Sheridan

Someone interested in the Irish working class should pick up this memoir. Sheridan’s father fought for the IRA during the War of Independence against the British, then fought for the British army during WWII while his mother raised their 11 kids. Sheridan reminisces living in poverty in Dublin until they were forced to emigrate to England.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Hornby’s Rob Thomas could be the grown up version of Jimmy Rabbit, with a giant record collection, a ready knowledge of all things music, memories of his happiest times being a dj, and his own record store. When Rob questions, “Which came first…the music or the misery?” Jimmy would promptly answer, “the music” because the misery hasn’t sunk in quite yet for him.

Glue by Irvine Welsh

Carl is Jimmy’s Scottish soul mate, going to the record store every week to buy something new, and becoming attracted to an unconventionally pretty (plump) girl because she can talk about music with him. Welsh also has a laser-like sense of place for Edinburgh, Scotland just as Doyle does for Dublin, Ireland, and both have come up with their own killer dialect for their regions.

The Exes by Pagan Kennedy

After Hank and Lilly break up (and are finally back on speaking terms), they come up with a great idea for a band comprised entirely of exes. They enlist Shaz, a talented bass player who brings in her one male ex, Walt to play drums. The band starts to creak as they all want different things for this…Hank wants to find that perfect spot where a band is indie-famous without selling out, Lilly wants to be the next Gwen Stefani, Shaz has been in a major band before and just wants to play for fun, and Walt is simply trying to hold it together as he faces down his demons of depression and anxiety. The Exes are from the east coast, but the final chapter takes place in Chicago as the Exes play the Metro, and Kennedy gets the sense of place just right.

Name: Jessica


July 25, 2011

Author:  Robert B. Parker

Title:  Appaloosa

Genre:  Western

Publication Date:  2005

Number of Pages:  276

Geographical Setting:  The town of Appaloosa, western United States

Time Period:  late 1800’s

Series:  Book 1 in the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series

Plot Summary:  In the lawless Old West town of Appaloosa, ranch owner Randall Bragg and his ranch hands take and do pretty much whatever they please.  Sharpshooters and guns for hire Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are called in to tame Bragg and his hands.  West Point graduate Hitch and the mysterious Cole set up shop as town marshals and quickly establish a reputation as men not to be messed with, attracting the interest of manipulative town newcomer Allie French.  Just as Cole and Hitch seem to have everything under control, Bragg kidnaps Allie French and uses her to get under the skin of the usually calm and collected Cole.  The conflict between Cole, Hitch and Bragg culminates in an action that speaks to the nature of true friendship.  In Appaloosa, well-known mystery writer Parker crafts a gritty and action-packed look into the Old West, complete with cowboys, Indians, and showdowns.

Subject Headings:  Western fiction; frontier and pioneer life; ranchers; peace officers; outlaws

Appeal:  fast-paced, gritty, plot-driven, atmospheric, dramatic, dialect-rich, spare, concise, unembellished, vivid, recognizable characters, stereotypical characters

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors: 

Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West by James Reasoner: Readers who like tales of lawmen versus outlaws will enjoy Reasoner’s fast-paced and engaging look at famous shoot-outs.

Famous Gunfighters of the Western Frontier: Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Luke Shot and Others by W.B. Masterson: A collection of vivid mini-biographies on adventurous and well-known Old West personalities that were originally published as magazine articles in 1907.

Tough Towns: True Tales from the Gritty Streets of the Old West by Col. Robert Barr Smith: If readers enjoyed the lawless setting in Appaloosa, they might enjoy reading these accounts of small towns that fought back against gangsters and renegade gunslingers.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Crossfire Trail by Louis L’Amour:  Wanderer Rafe Caradec promised dying rancher Charles Rodney that his property would be left to his daughter, but when Caradec reaches the Wyoming ranch, he finds that other greedy ranchers have sent their sights on the land.  Crossfire Trail is a fast-paced, dialect-rich and action-packed story.

The Gunfighter’s Apprentice by Jerry S. Drake (Book 1 in the Tom Patterson series):  After killing the brother of a deadly gang leader in an act of self-defense, Matt McKay’s father hires a former gunfighter by the name of Tom Patterson to teach him how to
properly handle a weapon.  As Matt and Tom’s student/mentor relationship strengthens, they prepare for the final showdown.  Readers who appreciated Parker’s atmospheric and gritty western will enjoy The Gunfighter’s Apprentice.

The Lawman by Lyle Brandt (Book 1 in the Lawman western series): Gambler Jack Slade returns to Oklahoma to investigate the mysterious death of his estranged brother.  During his search, Slade is recruited as a deputy marshal and as a result, grapples between justice and revenge as the pieces fall into place.  Spare and fast-paced, this book will appeal to first-time and veteran
western readers.

Name:  Mieko Fujiura

Telegraph Days

July 25, 2011


Author:  Larry McMurtry

Title:  Telegraph Days

Genre:  Western Stories : Humorous stories

Publication Date:  2006

Number of Pages:  289

Geographical Setting:  Rita Blanca, Dodge City, Oklahoma Panhandle

Time Period:  1876-1916

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary:

Marie Antoinette Courtright, better know as Nellie, is a flirtatious, take charge girl who moves with her brother to Rita Blanca after the death of her father.  In one day, she gets her brother appointed to deputy and becomes the telegrapher of the town.  Her brother makes the town famous by killing the six Yazee brothers by pure luck.  With her quick thinking and entrepreneurial sense, she writes a dime magazine that puts Rita Blanca on the map and allows for the introduction of famous characters of the Old West such as the Wyatt brothers, Buffalo Bill, and Jesse James to name a few.  Nellie encounters multiple gunfights and has many sexual romps with whoever meets her fancy and lives to write about and sensationalize the West in movies.

Subject Headings:  Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, Small Town life- the West, Telegraph-19th century, Outlaws


Character-driven, gritty, descriptive, relaxed, humorous, easy, romp, historical details, strong sense of place, dialect rich, small town life, flawed

3 terms that best describe this book:

Character-driven, gritty, descriptive

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Buffalo Bill’s America Louis S. Warren (Buffalo Bill, main character in the novel)

The Victorian Internet: the remarkable story of the telegraph and the

            nineteenth century on line pioneers Tom Standage (History of the telegraph)

Hurray for my new free country Leon Charles Fouquet (First person view of living on the plains)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Ghost Town Robert Coover (Humorous, story of a small town and outlaws)

End of the drive Louis L’Amour (Stories of men/ women relationships, humorous, stories of the old West)

The adventures of Johnny Vermillion Loren D. Estleman (Story of outlaws, set in a humorous tone)Leaving Missouri Ellen Recknor (strong female character, coming of age in West)

Name:  Sara Bartels


Anansi Boys: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

April 13, 2011

Author: Neil Gaiman

Performed by: Lenny Henry

Title: Anansi Boys: A Novel (unabridged audiobook)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure Fiction

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 8 CD discs unabridged 10 hours (book version 336 pages)

Geographical Setting: London; Florida; St. Andrews—a Caribbean island; and the abode of ancient gods

Time Period: Contemporary and the ‘beginning of the world’

Plot Summary: “Fat Charlie” has been living a somewhat pathetic and routine life in London. All of that changes after his father’s death leads to the revelation that Charlie is the descendant and relative of trickster gods. Just as Charlie thought he had passed into adulthood and escaped all ties to his humiliating childhood and obnoxious father, he begins a relationship with Spider—the brother he had never known. Although Spider’s pranks bring excitement and new people into Charlie’s sheltered life, they cost Charlie his job, his fiancée, his dignity, and a good deal of his sanity. At his wit’s end, Charlie naively seeks assistance to get rid of his brother and he makes an allegiance with Bird Woman whose dark realm is closer to that of his father’s world. Meanwhile, Charlie’s sociopath former boss has maliciously implicated Charlie in an embezzlement and murder scheme that leads to grave danger for him and all of his loved ones. Charlie, now all the wiser and braver, is compelled to save his mischievous, but non-malevolent brother, and to build his life anew.

Subject Headings: Anansi (Legendary Character), Fathers and Sons, Brothers, Adventure Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Trickster God, West African Trickster God, Spider-God, Mythology, Magic, Heroes

Appeal: likeable flawed characters, compelling secondary characters, gentle humor, playful, dialect-rich, plot builds in intensity, magical, menacing atmosphere, optimistic, fast paced dialogue, detailed, conclusive

3 terms that best describe this audiobook: a captivating performance of multiple dialects and voices of the young and old; memorable characters; and blurred line between heroes/anti-heroes and gods/mortals. Captivating, memorable, magical

3 Relevant Fiction Works:

Trickster: Native American Tales A Graphic Novel edited by Matt Dembicki (a graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales that almost parallel that of the West African spider-trickster god)

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark (another fantasy novel, albeit with historical accounts, that is set in London, questions human sanity, is humorous, and is character driven)

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones edited by Sheree R. Thomas (a short stories collection of sci-fi, folktales, and fantasy written by, or retold by, popular African American authors)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works:

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (a cross-cultural scholarly, yet popular look at heroes, at the recycling of ancient heroes, and at how humans express reality through myths)

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (a Grammy Award winning audiobook in which the author performs the multiple voices of his black Kenyon and white American relatives both young and old)

Read on Fantasy Fiction by Neil Hollands (a helpful, fun book for Neil Gaiman and fantasy fans to find, or to assist others with, their next great read)

–Jeanne Jesernik