Posts Tagged ‘engaging characters’

Heart-Shaped Box

October 31, 2012

Heart-Shaped Box Book CoverTitle: Heart-Shaped Box

Author: Hill, Joe

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 374

Geographical Setting: New York, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia

Time Period: Present Day/Contemporary

Plot Summary:  In this chilling tale that should be read with all the lights on, aging rock star Judas Coyne is no longer touring and releasing album. Instead he spends his time dating Goth chicks, such as his current lady Georgia, and expanding his bizarre, macabre collection of artifacts including a witch’s confession and a snuff film.  So when his assistant Danny mentions an auction for the suit of a dead man that comes with a ghost, Judas is hooked and must have it.  But when the suit arrives, danger and chilling nightmares enter Judas’ life.  He begins to see the dead man everywhere swinging a deadly razor from a chain or rocking in a Shaker chair.  Judas cannot escape the ghost’s hypnotizing presence or the haunting words about taking “a ride on the nightroad.”  It turns out the ghost has a link to Judas’ past and it is out for revenge of the deadliest kind.  As the terror and sense of dread builds, Judas and Georgia are eventually forced to hit the road to face their pasts and solve the mystery surrounding the dead man to avoid the dreaded “nightroad.”  Winner of the Bram Stoker Award, it is a horror novel reminiscent of your favorite classic ghost stories but with a contemporary feel.  You will be wary with each turn of the page as the uneasy, menacing atmosphere builds throughout the story until its satisfying conclusion.  This is a great novel for both newcomers and seasoned veterans of the horror genre, and will have you rooting for its flawed, compelling characters to triumph over evil.

Subject Headings: Ghost stories, Rock Musicians, Suspense Fiction, Supernatural, Paranormal Phenomena, Apparitions, Men/Women Relations, Life after death

Appeal:  builds in intensity, atmospheric, chilling, suspenseful, menacing atmosphere, flawed characters, plot twists, well-crafted, uneasy mood, character-driven, creepy, dangerous, haunting, macabre, sense of dread, compelling, violent, engaging characters, foreboding, vivid storyline, descriptive

Three Most Relevant Appeal Terms: Creepy, Flawed Characters, Suspenseful

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft

Horror fans and novices can enjoy this classic collection of ghostly stories from a pioneer of the genre.  Here are 16 classic tales to chill the bones and haunt your dreams, and are just as menacing and creepy as The Heart-Shaped Box.

Christine by Stephen King

Go from haunted suit to a haunted car with this classic novel by Stephen King. Written by Joe Hill’s father, here is a similarly compelling and suspenseful horror novel where teen Arnie Cunningham falls in love with a 1958 Plymouth car dubbed “Christine.”  This car is not as simple as it seems, and it starts to haunt and endanger Arnie as well as those around him.  With Christine, you can get to know the work of Stephen King to whom Heart-Shaped Box was dedicated.

Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

A horror story that also has hypnotism and a similar mood, Tom Wallace mockingly agrees to be hypnotized at his brother-in-law’s party.  But when Tom awakens from the hypnotism, he discovers that he can hear the thoughts of those around him.  Even more compelling and terrifying, through this new ability he receives a message from beyond the grave that leads Tom onto a dangerous, creepy path in order to solve the message.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Crap I bought on eBay: 101 Crazy Bizarre, Seriously Weird, Ridiculously Raunchy Items Exposed by Cary McNeal and Beverly L. Jenkins

A great book for those fascinated by the macabre collection of character Judas Coyne.  The book highlights 101 of the craziest things actually bought on eBay by the authors.  Enjoy a mixture of laughter and shock as you browse these real-life items.

The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil

Get to know the crazy rock n’ roll world of Judas Coyne with this tell-all book about 80’s heavy metal group Motley Crue.  Written by member of the band with the help of music writer Neil Strauss, this book reveals the tours, drugs and alcohol, rock music and sex.  A fun glimpse into a crazy rocker’s world.

Hidden Depths: The Story of Hypnosis by Robin Waterfield

Hypnosis was featured throughout the novel, and with this book you can become more familiar with it.  You will get to know the history, practice and modern uses of this controversial field.

Name: Margita Lidaka

Shattered

October 3, 2012

Shattered Book Cover
Title: Shattered

Author: Robards, Karen

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 388

Geographical Setting: Lexington, Kentucky

Time Period: Present Day/Contemporary

Plot Summary: In this fast-paced and steamy read; Lisa Grant grew up with wealth and privilege in Kentucky’s horse loving country.  But when the recession hits, Lisa loses her job with a Boston law firm and moves back home to care for her ailing mother and their vanishing finances.  She gets a research assistant job working for District Attorney Scott Buchanan.  Tall, dark and difficult Scott has known the vexing, unattainable Lisa and the Grant family since his teenage years, when they helped him escape his abusive, alcoholic father.  Lisa is sent to organize the cold case files and stumbles upon a family who went missing about 30 years ago.  She becomes enthralled in unraveling this mystery, especially since she looks just like the mother from the missing family.  The case heats up as does the chemistry and passion between Lisa and Scott.  There is a steady build-up to the dramatic conclusion, while fans of this genre will also enjoy the sultry love scenes.  A romantic suspense novel filled with mystery, danger and most importantly romance.

Subject Headings: Young Women, Cold Cases (Criminal Investigation), Family Secrets, Romantic Suspense, Arson, Rescues, Horse Farms, District Attorneys

Appeal: Fast-paced, Engaging Characters, Dramatic, Contemporary, Investigative Storyline, Suspenseful, Conversational, Detailed Setting, Romantic, Plot-driven, Accessible, Steamy, Descriptive, Resolved Ending, Plot Twists

Three Most Relevant Appeal Terms: Steamy, Suspenseful, Plot-driven

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Black Hills by Nora Roberts

As seen in Shattered, this read is filled with intrigue, danger, romance and has a rugged landscape with the story being set in the hills of South Dakota.  We meet childhood sweethearts Cooper Sullivan and Lil Chance; former sweethearts who have grown up and drifted apart.  Similar to Shattered’s Lisa Grant, Cooper leaves his investigator job in New York to return home and care for his grandparents while Lil Dare continues to work towards opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge. They reenter each other lives and must work together to avoid danger from a serial killer.

The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

This novel links FBI agent Max Daniels and Dr. Ellie Sullivan, when Ellie saves Max’s life after a terrifyingshooting.  Like Shattered, this book has drama, suspense, great character names and especially hot romance.  You will get more of the strong verbal banter experienced in Shattered, as well as a strong heroine and tenacious male lead who will be unable to resist their mutual attraction.

Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown

TV news reporter Britt Shelley wakes up next to rising star police detective Jay Burgess, but without knowing how she got there or how Jay ended up dead.  Disgraced firefighter Raley Gannon experienced the same occurrence 5 years earlier.  Now Ray sees a chance to get redemption through Britt Shelley, and they must work together to solve these murders while also dealing with their attraction to each other.  Although grittier, this is another fast-paced and plot-driven novel that deals with solving criminal cases while providing characters with great chemistry.

 

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive by Lisa R. Cohen

On May 25, 1979, 6 year-old Etan Patz was on his way to his school bus stop when he went missing forever.  This heart-breaking story generated headlines and consumed the nation.  This compelling true crime book explores the details of the case over the years and is suggested for readers who want to delve into a real-life missing persons investigation.

Kentucky Horse Country: Images of the Bluegrass by James Archambeault

A great read for those wishing they could have seen the beautiful Kentucky landscape described in the book.  This book contains vivid images of Kentucky Bluegrass land that includes beautiful horses, horse races and shots of the enchanting countryside.

The Science of Cold Case Files by Katherine Ramsland

Author Ramsland who spent a year working for well-known former FBI profiler John Douglas reveals the inner workings of the world of cold case files and forensic science, which the A&E’s Cold Case Files Television show is based on.  Great for those who want to learn more about the process of cold case file investigation brought up in Shattered, and also great for fans of TV shows like Bones and CSI.

Name: Margita Lidaka

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

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

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

1st to Die

October 3, 2011

Author: James Patterson

Title: 1st to Die

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: 462

Geographical Setting: San Francisco and Napa Valley, California; Cleveland, Ohio

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Women’s Murder Club

Plot Summary:  In San Francisco, a serial killer brutally murders and sexually assaults newly married couples oftentimes just hours after their weddings.  Enter Lindsay Boxer, a police inspector who battles not only a maniac killer in the world, but her own potential murderer in her own blood.  Fortunately, Lindsay has the support of her greatest friends: Claire, a medical examiner, Jill, an assistant district attorney, and Cindy, an up and coming reporter for the Chronicle.  Together, they make up the Women’s Murder Club and work together to catch a killer.  Along with her new partner, Chris Raleigh, Lindsay must race against the work of a homicidal maniac as well as against the ticking time bomb in her own body in order to solve the case before time runs out.

Subject Headings: Serial killers, Suspense, Romance, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Cleveland, Domestic Abuse, Sexual sadism, Negli’s aplastic anemia

 Appeal: Engrossing, breakneck, dangerous, suspenseful, sexy, romantic, multiple points of view, series characters, engaging characters, action-oriented, explicitly violent, plot twists, sexually explicit, simple language

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Breakneck, dangerous, sexy

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

This title delves into the practice of profiling serial killers and how that works in the real world.  It gives insight into the mind of the real serial murderer.  In 1st to Die, Lindsay mentions the profile of the killer they are hunting and the book also gives insight into the murderer’s mind.

Murder by the Bay: Historic Homicide In and About the City of San Francisco by Charles F. Adams

This book tells the stories of real life murders that occurred in San Francisco and involved many of the well-known celebrities of the day just as 1st to Die’s fictional murders involved high profile citizens in Patterson’s version of San Francisco.

Many Overboard: Inside the Honeymoon Cruise Murder by Joan Lownds

Details the story of a real-life murder that took place on a couple’s honeymoon just eight days after their wedding. This mirrors the honeymoon killings that take place in 1st to Die.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Burning Time by Leslie Glass

The first of the April Woo mysteries, this book mirrors 1st to Die in that it features a female investigator and a psychopathic killer who stalks his victims.

Fall From Grace: a Noir Thriller by Clyde Phillips

This book is the first of the Jane Candotti mysteries and similarly to 1st to Die, features a female investigator working in San Francisco.

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

This book, part of the Rizzoli and Isles series, is a gritty, fast-paced novel about two women, a police inspector and a medical examiner, who work together to solve a crime, similarly to the work of the Women’s Murder Club.

Name: Christi H.

Maybe This Time

April 6, 2011

https://ra763.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/maybethistime.jpg?w=198Author: Crusie, Jennifer

Title: Maybe This Time

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 342

Geographical Setting: Ohio

Time Period: 1992

Series: n/a

Plot Summary: Andie Miller can’t resist when her former husband offers her $10,000 to look after his two orphaned wards for one month.  How hard can it be to tutor the children and get them ready to move from their home?  Little does Andie know that ghosts bind the children to their haunted mansion, and those who tried to remove the children in the past met with mysterious deaths.

This family centered contemporary romance features well-developed, quirky, and engaging characters.  Andie is a strong and independent woman.  Her former husband, North, used to be a distant and unemotional workaholic.  He eventually realizes the power of romance as he tries to win back his first love.  Crusie’s use of witty dialogue, humor, and descriptive language move this fast-paced, suspenseful, sometimes playful—sometimes steamy romance to a satisfying conclusion.

Subject Headings: Divorced women, Ohio, ghosts, grief, haunted houses, paranormal, orphans, newfound families, second chance at love, séances

Appeal: humorous, fast-paced, upbeat with occasional dark moments, suspenseful, quirky characters, witty dialogue, steamy, detailed small town setting, resolved and happy ending, descriptive language, engaging characters, character-centered, ghostly, lighthearted, strong sense of place

3 terms that best describe this book: quirky, likable characters, ghostly plot

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Gilbert, Elizabeth—Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia (humorous, strong sense of place, divorced women, engaging characters)

Roach, Mary—Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (ghosts, humorous, witty, séances, engaging)

Ryan, Trish—A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances (second chance at love, relationships, humorous, witty)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Blair, Annette—Sex and the Psychic Witch (racy, paranormal romance, humorous, lighthearted, upbeat, ghosts)

Evanovich, Janet—Smitten (divorced women, upbeat, character- driven, witty dialogue, humorous contemporary romance)

Showalter, Gena—Animal Instincts (funny, steamy, lighthearted contemporary romance, character-centered, divorced women)

Name: Debbie Siegel

Annie on My Mind

June 24, 2010

Author: Nancy Garden

Title: Annie on my Mind

Genre: GBLT Romance

Publication Date: 1982

Plot Summary: Artistic Annie Kenyon is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art singing to herself one day when Liza Winthrop followers her tune and they meet for the first time. The story includes the intimate and passionate hyper-awareness of new love and weaves the confussion of new realizations intricately into the prosaic dialogue. This is a romantic and poignant story of two girls who find themselves and each other. This is a bittersweet story because they feel the need to keep their relationship a secret and thought-provoking events evolve from this issue-oriented book. Will Liza accept her newly discovered orientation? When will she decide to live her life in the open? And what will her family, friends, and the town say? When Liza agrees to house sit her teacher’s pets one week and invites Annie, we find out. With surprising plot twists, this one big flashback to a secret love will keep you reading all night.

Subject Headings: Lesbian — fiction

Appeal:

bittersweet, character centered, compassionate, descriptive w/o overdoing it, engaging characters, episodic, familiar characters, hidden/secretive, intimate (setting), issue-oriented, poignant, prosaic, realistic characters, romantic, sensual, thought provoking, thoughtful, unembellished, well-crafted

3 words to describe book: secret, poignant, engaging

Read a likes:

Fiction

Girl Walking Backwards – Bett Williams

Just like Liza, Skye is lonely and confused until she meets another girl she falls in love with.

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

A famous author that has a similar writing style to Garden, discusses being a teenage lesbian whose mother tries to train her.

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

A bestselling author writes about a man reading a diary to a woman he doesn’t know. The story turns out to be his story of when he was young and in love and their parents kept them apart. Similar because it’s a love story.

NF

Covering: the hidden assault on our civil rights – Kenji Yoshino

This is a memoir that brings into legal aspects of homosexual civil rights.

Love, Ellen: a mother/daughter journey – Betty DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres’s mother writes a memoir about her reaction when her daughter told her she was homosexual, and how their relationship changed and evolved over time.

Jocks: True stories of America’s gay male athletes – Dan Woog

A collection of true stories about athletes that come out to their athletic community, their reactions and relationships, and how coaches did and should respond.

Angel of Harlem (audio book)

March 25, 2009

Author: Haulsey, Kuwana
Title: Angel of Harlem
Genre: Historical fiction, African-American, audio book,
Women’s lives and relationships
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 368 p.
Geographical Setting:
Harlem, New York City
Time Period: 1900-1930
Series: None

Plot Summary: Angel of Harlem is a novel based the remarkable and groundbreaking life of Dr. May Edward Chinn, the first African-American doctor in New York. The author presents the story from May’s point of view, with a brief, third-person flashback that recounts her father’s dramatic and tragic flight from slavery during the Civil War. May’s own story unwinds at a leisurely pace and is told in deeply lyrical prose that paints a detailed and colorful portrait of the characters and the city and era in which they live, giving great attention to Harlem in the 1920s. Starting with her poverty-stricken childhood, early schooling, and battle with chronic illness, the novel ambles toward its true source—May’s late teen years and young adulthood, during which time she trains as a professional musician but ultimately changes directions into a career in science that eventually leads her to medicine. Throughout the story, May and her family and friends face prejudice and racism, and May often finds herself additionally challenged by sexism from white and black alike. Over the course of the story the reader also encounters, through May’s friendships, many important and influential figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. Angel of Harlem is an inspirational lesson in perseverance, dedication, self-determination, and love of self, family, and community.

This title was presented as an audio book narrated by Brenda Pressley. The audio book is available on 9 CDs with tracks of approximately three minutes in length.

Subject Headings: Chinn, May Edward, 1896-1980; African-American women physicians; women physicians; self-sacrifice in women; self-sacrifice in mothers; teenage pregnancy; determination in women; African-American role models; music; prejudice; racism; sexism; grief in women; cancer – research; African-American father and daughter; African-American mother and daughter; alcoholism; slavery; the Twenties (20th century); medicine; African-American fiction — 21st century; biographical novels

Appeal: bittersweet, character-centered, contemplative, densely written, detailed setting, details of 1920s Harlem; details of medical training and practice, dramatic, elaborate language, elegant language, engaging characters, faithful characterization, family-centered, flashbacks, graceful style, heartwarming, historical details, hopeful, insightful, intimate, introspective, issue-oriented, historical figures, leisurely-paced, literary, literary references, lyrical style, metaphorical language, optimistic, political, resolved ending, sympathetic characters, thoughtful, thought-provoking, unhurried, urban, vivid language, well-developed characters

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  • The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930. Watson, Steven. 1995. (illustrated history of the Harlem Renaissance, profiles of prominent Harlem Renaissance writers featured in Angel of Harlem)
  • The Hellfighters of Harlem: African-American Soldiers Who Fought for the Right to Fight for Their Country. Bill Harris. 2002. (History of the famous African-American regiment that fought in WWI, in which a secondary character from Angel of Harlem served)
  • Paul Robeson. Martin Bauml Duberman. 1988. (Biography of African-American scholar, activist, singer, actor, athlete, Paul Robeson, a secondary character in Angel of Harlem)

Name: Cynthia

Hondo by Louie L’Amour

March 11, 2009

Author: Louis L’Amour

Title: Hondo

Genre: Western

Publication Date: 1983

Number of Pages: 191

Geographical setting: South East Arizona, Desert

Time Period: 19 century, During U.S. Westward expansion

Plot Summary: Army scout, part Apache, and very deadly with a gun, Hondo Lane, along with is dog Sam, are tactfully making their way across the desert on their way back to the fort after a run in with the Apache’s left Hondo horseless and the Apaches’ dead. He comes upon a ranch where he hopes to borrow a horse and finds the ranch is home to a woman and her son, whose husband is out with cattle, at least that’s the story she is telling. They are in a very dangerous situation, being all alone in Apache country without a man around, and Hondo tries to take them with him, for reasons other than their safety. The woman refuses to go, but later will regret that decision. After arriving back at the Army fort Hondo hears of the Apaches continued attacks on the “white man” and decides he is going back out to the dangerous desert to rescue the woman and her boy. Hondo is anticipating trouble from the Apaches as he makes his way across the desert, but unbeknownst to him, there is also trouble following him from the fort that has a particular interest in making sure he never makes it back to the ranch. Hondo must use his knowledge of the desert, his knowledge of the Apaches, as well as his colt rifle, if he wants to ever see the woman and her son again.

Subject Headings: Western; Arizona; Desert; Desert living; Indians–Apaches; Indian–wars; Tracking; Horses; Man–dog relationships; Man — boy relationships; Man–woman relationship; U.S Army–Apache wars; Gunmen.

Appeal: Steady pace, engaging characters, lifelike characters, realistic characters, action oriented, semi-violent, straight forward plotline, detailed setting, desert setting, accurate setting, details of life in the desert setting, details of Apache life setting, menacing atmosphere, foreboding, candid language, natural language, western dialect language.

Red Flags: Scalping, descriptions of death by guns, stabbed dog, horses shot.

Suggested Fiction

The Searchers by Alan Lemay. Man–Child relationship; Desert setting; Indians

A Town Called Fury by William Johnston. Indian aggression; Details of Western life; Man–Woman relationship.

Gunmen of the Desert Sands by Ralph Cotton. Details of Western Life; Gunmen; Man–Women relationship.

Suggested non-Fiction

Frontier by Louie L’Amour. A history of the people, the places and the ideas that shaped the West. This book will help the reader understand where one of the greatest writers of Western novels, L’Amour, gets his motivation and characters.

Shadow’s at Dawn: a Borderland Massacre and the Violence of History by Karl Jacoby. The True account the massacre of Apaches Indians performed by Americans, Mexicans and other Indian tribes early one morning in the desert. The book looks at the attack form all four viewpoints of the groups involved. The reader will gain a better understanding of the thoughts of the inhabits of the west in regards to each other and why they acted the way they did.

Elite 91: U.S Army Frontier Scouts 1840-1921 by Ron Field. The true stories of U.S. Army scouts who were used to guide soldiers, advise the Army about Indian war tactics and knew how to live off the land. Western readers will recognize the survival tactics described in this book as ones that characters in westerns often employ.

John B.