Posts Tagged ‘family’

90 Minutes in Heaven

April 11, 2012

Author: Don Piper, Cecil Murphy

Title: 90 Minutes in Heaven

Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian, Religion and Spiritual

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 207

Geographical Setting: United States,

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary: On the way home from a conference, Don Piper’s car was crushed by a semi that crossed into his lane. Medical personnel said he died instantly. While his body lay lifeless inside the ruins of his car, Piper experienced the glories of heaven, awed by its beauty and music. Ninety minutes after the wreck, while a minister prayed for him, Piper miraculously returned to life on earth with only the memory of inexpressible heavenly bliss. His faith in God was severely tested as he faced an uncertain and grueling recovery. Now he shares his life-changing story with you. 90 Minutes in Heaven offers a glimpse into a very real dimension of God’s reality. It encourages those recovering from serious injuries and those dealing with the loss of a loved one. The experience dramatically changed Piper’s life, and it will change yours too.

Subject Headings: Christian Faith, Heaven, Ministry, Religious, Memoir

Appeal: Bravery, Strength, Spirituality, Religion, Inspiration, Heaven, Christians, Spiritual Life, Thought-provoking, Engaging, Death-religious aspects, Christian men, Family, Fast Paced, Biography,

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Spiritual, Inspiration and Family

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A remarkable account of miracles, angels and life beyond this world by Kevin Marlarkey. When Kevin and his son Alex are in a horrible car crash, Alex is paralyzed and in a coma for a few days. When he finally awakes, the six year old shares his incredible story of entering heaven and meeting Jesus.

Facing your giants: a David and Foliath story for everyday People by Max Lucado. This inspirational novel sees to inspire people by suggesting that God can help ordinary people to overcome obstacles just as David did when he faced the giant Goliath. What Pastor Lucado brings to life is the same challenges that face people today and using David as an example to win over the challenges.

The Vow: A Kim and Krickett Carptendor story. An inspiring true story of a man and a woman who meet, fall in love and begin their life together as a newly married couple. A few months into their marriage, the couple endurs a car crash that leave Kim barely alive and Krickett fighting for her life. After what seems like a miracle, Krickett recovers from her injuries including a short-term memory loss which leads her to forget ever meeting her husband, dating or even marrying him. A gripping novel of what it truly means to take a vow of love for better or for worse.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The Shack by William P.Young. A father name MacKenzie Phillips took his children camping and lost one of them to a man who has kidnapped and killed others. Mack has grieved since then. Understandably, his relationship with God has suffered. Then, one wintry day, he receives a note in his mailbox inviting him back to the woods, to the shack in which his daughter’s dress and bloodstains were found. The note, it would seem, is from God.

The Ice Queen: a novel by Alice Hoffman.  A novel- Inspired by fairytales, an eight-year-old girl wishes to never see her mother again. During that same night, her mother passes away in a car crash. As an adult, she lives with this terrible tragedy of her wishing come true. An insightful, entertaining and through-provoking novel young teens and adults will benefit from.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.  This psychological and inspirational novel explains the meaning of traveling to Heaven and finding out people who will be there. Eddie, through his own encounters meets with five people who have all impacted his life in some way or another. One by One, Eddie’s five people discuss the connections and the meaning of an afterlife.

Name: Caitlin

A Home at the End of the World

August 17, 2011

Author: Michael Cunningham

Title: A Home at the End of the World

Genre:  Gay/Lesbian

Publication Date:  November 1998

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: Cleveland, New York City, Upstate New York, Arizona

Time Period: 1990’s

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Jonathan and Bobby have been friends since the age of thirteen. The boys live out this time in their lives in Cleveland and eventually end up in New York. Clare comes into the picture and the relationships become complicated. The three of them try to become a family and live their lives together.

Subject Headings: Family, Relationships, Gay Men,

Appeal: bittersweet, thoughtful, leisurely paced, insightful, well-developed, issue-oriented, engaging, moody, hopeful, realistic, detailed setting, cinematic

3 terms that best describe this book:

bittersweet, hopeful, well-developed

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1.         Leaving Mother Lake: a girlhood at the edge of the world – by Namu Yang. A young girl who is Chinese tells the story of life in Moso country in the Himalayas. She lives in a society led by women and after enduring conflicts with her mother decides to leave. This story is also about growing up and finding ones way in the world.

2.         The invisible wall: a love story that broke barriers- by Harry Berstein

Here is another tale about growing up and discovering one’s own path. Harry Bernstein grew up in a small English town. The town seemed like every other small town except for the invisible but real line that divided the Christian families from the Jewish families. Life gets further complicated when Harry’s older sister falls in love with a Christian boy.

3.         Falling Through the Earth -by Danielle Trussoni

Family problems and dysfunction is the theme of this book. This book follows the author’s life growing up with a Vietnam veteran. Her father is haunted by the war and both have to deal with the outrageous behavior and the damage that it caused.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.         The Memory of Running-Rom McLarty

While working in a toy factory in Rhode Island, the main character finds himself without friends and battling alcoholism. Suddenly after a tragic event he decides to bike cross-country.

2.         Carry Me Home- Sandra Kring

Earl always depended on his older brother. His older brother is sent to war and returns three years later but not as the same person. Earl finds himself in the position of protector instead of the one who is being protected.

3.         The Song of Names-Norman Lebrecht

Two close friends Martin and Dovidl, a violin prodigy, live in London in the 1930s and at the end of World War II. All is well unitl Dovidl disappears on the night before his first performance.


Name: Juanita Fisher

Fun Home

November 18, 2009

Author:  Alison Bechdel

Title:  Fun Home: a family tragicomic

Genre:  Gay/Lesbian

Publication Date:  2006

Number of Pages:  240

Geographical Setting:  Beech Creek, Pennsylvania

Time Period: 1960 – 1980

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: A non-fiction account of the author’s life that describes growing up living in Beech Creek, Pennsylvania with her closeted homosexual father, a distant mother and two brothers.  The family ran the local funeral parlor part time and her father was also an English teacher at the local high school. Her father is killed in an accident that may or may not have been a suicide. The book talks about what it was like to grow up in a family like this as well as the author’s realization that she, too, is gay.  She also works through her relationship with her father in hindsight as she learns the facts of his life and also in relation to the accident and his death.  The story is told in a graphic novel format.

Subject Headings:  Bechdel, Alison, 1960-Comic books, strips, etc., Father and daughterComic books, strips, etc., Closet gayComic books, strips, etc., Lesbian teenagersComing outComic books, strips, etc., BrothersComic books, strips, etc., English language teachersComic books, strips, etc., Gay menComic books, strips, etc., Undertakers and undertakingComic books, strips, etc., Parent and childComic books, strips, etc., Children of divorced parentsComic books, strips, etc., Funeral homesComic books, strips, etc., Teacher-student relationshipsComic books, strips, etc., DivorceComic books, strips, etc., DeathComic books, strips, etc., Historic preservationComic books, strips, etc., CartoonistsUnited StatesComic books, strips, etc., Autobiographical comic books, strips, etc., Autobiographies (Adult literature) Comic books, strips, etc., Graphic novels (Nonfiction)

Appeal:  Non-fiction, Memoir, Graphic Novel, Graphic, Gay/Lesbian, Intellectual, Literary, Realistic, Frank, Humorous, Ironic, Books, Authors, Past, Childhood, Sad, Fast paced, Emotional, Historical, Award Winner, Accessible, Artistic, Relatable, Discovery, Father/Daughter, Mother/Daughter, Family, Relationships, Coming Out.

Three terms that best describe this book: Intellectual, Literary, Relatable.

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

3 Non-fiction

Loving Ourselves: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to Self-Esteem by Dr. Kimeron Hardin – This book talks about self-esteem and self-worth for those in the gay community.  Written by a licensed clinical psychologist.

The Way Out: The Gay Man’s Guide to Freedom No Matter if You’re in Denial, Closeted, Half In, Half Out, Just Out or Been Around the Block by Chris Nutter – A book to help men deal with their homosexuality and to be a more authentic person living a true and authentic life.

The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families, Revised and Expanded Edition by Amity Pierce Buxton – Insights and coping strategies for straight spouses and their families to cope with a homosexual partner and parent.

3 Fiction

My Heartbeat by Garret Freyman-Weyr – The story of a young girl, Ellen, who has a crush on her brother’s best friend, James.  When some kids at school ask her if her brother and his friend are in love, she doesn’t understand, but wants to find out what was meant.  When she asks her brother, Link about this, he refuses to discuss it.  James and Link have a falling out because of the secrets they share and Ellen, who loves them both, tries to help them repair their friendship and learn and understand the truth.

Lessons by Kim Pritekel – A girl goes off to college more so to escape her controlling parents than to choose a course of study.  She doesn’t really know herself yet. She finds friendship and maybe love with her Psych 101 TA who used to be her childhood babysitter.

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle – The story of David whose friend comes out to him but he doesn’t want to seem “gay by association” even though he has the same feelings.  The coming of age story of a boy trying to deal with his homosexuality.

Name:  Chris S.

The Kid

November 17, 2009

Author: Dan Savage
Title: The Kid: What Happened When My Boyfriend and I Decided To Go Get Pregnant, An Adoption Story

Genre: Non-Fiction, Gay
Publication Date: 1999
Number of Pages: 256
Geographical Setting: U.S.
Time Period: Modern Day
Series: yes (Skipping Towards Gomorrah, The Commitment: Love Sex Marriage and Family)
Plot Summary: Famous sex column (Savage Love) writer Dan Savage writes about life as a gay man with a quirky, and in your face sense of humor. In The Kid Dan picks up where he left off in Skipping to Gomorrah. Dan and his partner Terry set off to have a child through adoption. Dan details the experience with a heavy dose of sarcasm, and humor which keeps the sometimes heavy topics of longing to be a parent coupled with discrimination light and funny. Dan takes us through the ups and downs of the process: the seminars with the adoption agency; the agony of waiting to be picked by a birth mother; the fears that she would change her mind and keep the baby; and the trying relationship with both the birth mother and the baby’s biological father.

Subject Headings: GLBT Family, Gay Adoption, Gay parenting,
Appeal: accessible, humorous, quirky, intriguing, witty, nonfiction, fast paced, family, discrimination, sociatal norms, character centered, compelling, funny, sarcastic, introspective, political, (some strong language, and sex-the author writes a sex column)
3 terms that best describes this book: Adoption, Gay Parents, Humor.
Similar Authors and Works
• Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage- The beginning of the journey to find love and acceptance as a Gay man.
• The Commitment by Dan Savage- First comes love, then baby, then Marriage…If it’s legal.
• 21st Century Gay by John Malone Williams- Looks at sexuality in history and the events that have influenced the gay movement.
• Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems by David Rakoff- The story of a a new U.S. citizen and the trials and tribulations of life in the land of excess.
• When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris- Sarcastic and funny essays about life as a smoker and a homosexual in France.
• Payment In Full by Henry Denker- Rebecca and David, a young Jewish couple, have no children, however when they are the only ones left to raise an eight-year-old African American girl, they decide to form a loving family unit, against society’s mores.

Name: Laura Bartnik


October 20, 2009

Title: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History (mid1930s to Winter 1944)

Author: Art Spiegelman

Publication Date: 1986

Number of Pages: 159

Genre: Graphic Novel/Historical/Biography/Memoir

Geographical Setting: New York, and World War II Poland

Time Period: The Present, 1930’s and 1940’s

Series: Part 1 of 2

Plot Summary: Art Spiegelman tells the events of his parents’ last years as survivors of the Holocaust, and the effect it has had on him. Art, who was born after the war, is visiting his father, Vladek, to record his experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Nazis, portrayed as cats, gradually introduce increasingly repressive measures, until the Jews, drawn as mice, are systematically hunted and herded toward the Final Solution. Vladek saves himself and his wife by a combination of luck and wits, all the time enduring the torment of hunted outcast. Each scene begins at Spiegelman’s father’s home in New York. An important theme emerges as the reader grasps that fact that Art has had an extremely difficult time adjusting to his own life, due to the burdens he bears regarding his parents’ experiences. As both author and artist, Spiegelman portrays a very realistic view of the difficulties his family has faced as first and second generation Holocaust survivors in this graphic novel format. Readers won’t want to miss the second part of the story in Maus: A Survivor’s Tale II: And Here My Troubles Began.

Subject Headings: Holocaust, Memoirs, Jewish history, Hitler, Europe, War survivors, Comic books, Children of Holocaust survivors, Father and son, Jewish-American men, Jewish-Americans, Biography, Graphic Novels (nonfiction), History, Wars, World War II, Concentration Camps, Anti-Semitism, The 1930s, The 1940s, The 1970s, Auschwitz survivors, Nazi prison camps, Genocide, Suicide, Wartime Poland, Contemporary New York, Brutality, Deprivation, Gas Chambers, Judaism, Jewish, Politics, Genocide, Polish Army, Old Eastern Europe, Stereotypes

Appeal: engaging, stimulating, compelling, realistic, relatable, struggle, survival, dark, intense, visual, historical, heart-wrenching, family, relationships, fathers and sons, symbolism, heroism, ominous, tormenting, complex, chilling realism, suffering, humor, mesmerizing, colorful, flawed

Three terms that best describe this book: Fast-paced, Intense,Visual

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Berlin: A City of Stones (2001) by Jason Lutes This graphic novel takes place in Berlin during the time period between the two World Wars. It uses black and white art, but it is not a gentle read. This novel shows some of the political changes that were, including the rise of the Nazi party and the increasing discrimination of the Jews. Readers should be aware that this book involves scenes which include sexual content and sexual orientation. Berlin was originally published in comic book form, 1-8.

A Jew in Communist Prague: Loss of Innocence (1997) by Vittorio Giardino — The first book in a series, recounts the childhood of Jonas Finkel, whose father is mysteriously taken by police in 1950 Communist Prague. Young Finkel is victimized by anti-Semitism, removed from school, forced to work as an errand boy, and isolated from his peers. The story ends hopefully as Jonas and his mother learn that his father is alive and being held in a prison camp.

A Generation of Wrath (1984) by Elio Romano – The story reads like a memoir, but the author considers it to be a work of fiction. It is an account of the author’s survival of five years in 11 different Nazi concentration camps in Germany and Occupied Poland. Elio Romano was 15-years-old, a member of an Orthodox Jewish family living in the quiet Polish town of Oswiecim, (or Auschwitz), when the German poured across the border. After he tried to escape to the Middle East, Romano was captured and dragged back to Poland, forced to help build the camp which soon became Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was liberated by the Americans in April of 1945, one of only 36 survivors of a last-minute German massacre.

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Mendel’s Daughter: A Memoir (2006) by Martin Lemelman – This graphic novel is a true story about the life of a Jewish girl growing up in Poland during the 1940s, describing how the Nazi persecution led to the deaths of her parents and other members of her family, while she and her brothers survived the war by hiding in the neighboring forest. The story is in the form of a “memoir” told in the voice of Lemelman’s mother, Gusta, a holocaust survivor. Lemelman’s charcoal drawings and photographs give the story a very subdued, historical point of view.

Night (1960) by Elie Wiesel Night is an amazing autobiographical narrative, in which the author describes his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. One of four children, Wiesel was the only one in his family to survive the holocaust. Translated from the French, the English version of this book captures the author’s youthfulness. Wiesel’s autobiography is easily an equal comparison to The Diary of Anne Frank due to the suffering shared, and the emotional and spiritual journey the author must deal with as a young boy.

Fax From Sarajevo (1996) by Joe Kubert — This graphic novel details the true account of artist Ervin Rustemagic who was trapped during the Serbian seige of Sarajevo. The only way Ervin could keep in touch with the outside world was to send faxes to various people he knew. Joe Kubert is an American friend of Ervin’s and he received faxes, which he turned into this book. Ervin and his family (his wife Edina and two children, Maja and Edvin) were forced to stay in war-torn Sarajevo as the Serbs continued to attack the city. This book won an Eisner Award for best new graphic album and it won a Harvey Award for best graphic album of original work.

Name: Maurine

Sole Survivor

October 7, 2009

Title: Sole Survivor

Author: Dean Koontz

Publication Date: 1997

Number of Pages: 403

Genre: Thriller

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, California

Time Period: Present Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Joe Carpenter, a Los Angeles Post crime reporter, suddenly finds himself without his wife and two daughters after a plane crash takes the lives of 330 people. He is told there are no survivors from Flight 353. Quitting his job, Joe walks around in a world of his own for a year. Then he meets a woman named Rose who claims to be the flight’s sole survivor. Rose shows Joe a picture and tells him that she will explain more later, and then suddenly disappears because the authorities are after her. Someone is after her, but Joe isn’t sure who “they” are as he sets off on a quest to find out if there are other survivors. Believing that there has been a cover-up, Joe is motivated by love for his family to find out the truth behind the plane crash. As the story unfolds, Joe methodically chases from one place to another, looking for clues along the way. Sole Survivor takes the reader on a fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster ride to the very end.

Subject Headings: Airplane accidentsColoradoAirplane accident survivors
Crime reportersLos Angeles, CaliforniaSuicideGenetic engineering
Government cover-upsGood and evil – Paranormal – Mind control – Mental Powers

Appeal: mysterious, psychological thriller, airplanes, complex, heart-wrenching, death, suicide, paranormal, espionage, good versus evil, catastrophic, unexplainable, paralyzing grief, heart-stopping, emotional, family, cover-up, investigation, hope, gripping, mythological symbolism, experiments, cults, conspiracy, corruption

Three terms that best describe this book: chilling, fast-paced, complex

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Without a Trace by Colleen Coble – After the disappearance of a plane carrying her husband and son, Bree Nichols starts her own investigation and discovers a link to a violent crime that threatens to tear apart the peaceful town of Rock Harbor. (Intense action, personal investigation, search for missing family members, air plane mystery)

The Brueck Equation by Simmons Norwood – While working on a project for the eccentric mathematician Antoine Brueck, graduate student Steven Brooks discovers that one of the professor’s chaos theory formulas appears to predict airplane crashes. Steven’s own life is thrown into total chaos as he races against time to understand what is happening…and to prevent the next disaster. Can Brueck’s equation really predict plane crashes, or is there a more sinister explanation? And can Steven unravel the mystery in time to save the lives of 437 passengers on final approach to disaster? (Airplane crashes, theory, disaster, mystery)

Phenomenon by Sameer Zuhad – Vikrant Vasan, an enigmatic parapsychologist, demonstrates psychic feats and explains the underlying facts of the mysterious phenomena of life and the universe. (Parapsychology, mysterious phenomena, paranormal activity)

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell – Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. (Survival, secret mission, government)

Cloning and Genetic Engineering (Life in the Future) by Holly Cefrey – Science fiction becomes science fact in this intriguing series that explores the extraordinary scientific advances modern man is making – and their impact on society, economics and our future. (Science fiction, scientific advances, experimentation)

Mind Control, World Control by Jim Keith – Is mind control technology linked to UFO activity and UFO abductions? A little-known and controversial subject, mind control is thoroughly examined by veteran author and investigator Jim Keith. Exploring a startling amount of information, Mind Control, World Control analyses the technology used to control human minds. It reveals the methodology of implants and exposes mind control assassins and couriers, as well as famous mind control victims Sirhan Sirhan and Candy Jones. Among the many revealing chapters in this shocking work are those on early CIA experiments such as Project Artichoke and Project RIC-EDOM. (Mind control, controversy, technology, implants, victims, government experiments)

Name: Maurine