Posts Tagged ‘Friendships’

The Graveyard Book

October 31, 2012

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book

Genre: Horror, Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: October 2008

Number of Pages: 312 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Cemetery grounds in Great Britain

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: When he was just a baby Nobody Owen’s family was murdered by the man called Jack. Fortunately for Nobody he escaped this man and crawled to safety to the cemetery up the hill. There Mr. and Mrs. Owen found the boy and with the help of his new guardian Silas the boy would grow up protected in the graveyard. He is given “the freedom of the graveyard” which allows him to communicate with the dead and the living. He even learns skills of fading, dream walking, and the languages of nonhuman being. Over the years however curiosity got the best of him and he finds himself on many adventures, both in and out of the graveyard. Some involving witches, ghouls, ghosts, werewolves, snake like creatures and more. Even attending a school for the living doesn’t go as planned for Nobody. Throughout his youth, the man named Jack is in constant pursuit of the boy and wishes to finish what he started years ago. He will not stop until his job is complete.

This coming of age story will appeal to those in their teen years as well as any adult with an imagination. Darkly written at times with a chilling atmosphere, this book is sure to please those who like suspense novels. Witty and humorous at times, this book will ease those who don’t want to be “scared to death” but enjoy a darker tales.

Subject Headings: Orphan boys, Cemeteries, Ghosts, Supernatural, Werewolves, Dead, Boys

Appeal: Orphan boy, Graveyard, Murder, Ghosts, Suspenseful, Friendships, Creepy, Witty, Fast Paced, Bittersweet, Coming of age, Scary

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Coming of Age, Scary, Ghosts

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Weird encounters: true tales of haunted places (Sep 2010)
This book tells the stories of over 75 hauntings and supernatural experiences found throughout the United States. If you liked the idea of a boy growing up in a graveyard and at times haunting people you may like to read about “real” haunting in the US.
Similarities: Ghosts, Graveyards, Scary

2. Orphan Train Rider: One boy’s true story (1996) by Andrea Warren
Tells the story of one mans trip on the orphan train and how over 200,000 abandoned children were relocated to new homes between 1854-1929.
Similarities: Orphan boy, Coming of age
3. Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England ghost town (2009) by Elyssa East
Tells the story of a ghost town in Massachusetts. Where murder took place and witches still hold ceremonies in the woods surrounding the town to this day. People claim sightings of pirates and ghosts.
Similarities: Ghosts, Murder, WitchesThree Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:1. Ghostgirl (Aug 2008) by Tonya Hurley
If you liked reading about a boy growing up in a graveyard, you may like reading about a girl who goes to a high school for the dead. She lives among the dead but wishes to go to the school dance with the living and her crush. Switching roles from a live person living with the dead to a dead person wishing to be alive again will give readers a chance at a different view on the meaning of life and death. Similarities: Ghosts, Fantasy, Death2. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children (Jun 2011) by Ransom Riggs
If you liked reading about a boy with some unusual abilities then you’ll enjoy Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children. In this book a young boy goes to visit the orphanage his grandfather was sent to in order to escape the Nazi’s. Upon arriving he finds that the children from his grandfathers stories are still there and are in danger and so is he.
Similarities: Orphans, Suspenseful, Supernatural, Creepy

3. The replacement (Sep 2010)
Mackie, a changeling, replaced a human baby when he was just a baby. Every seven years the inhabitants of the underground dwelling take a human baby as a sacrifice and leave in its place a changeling. Now with another baby gone, Mackie finds himself going back to his place of birth and setting things right, before the townspeople find out who he really is.
Similarities: Creepy, Fantasy, Supernatural

Name: Madison Gailus

Lost & Found

April 5, 2012

Author:  Jacqueline Sheehan

Title:  Lost & Found

Genre:  Women’s Lives

Publication Date:  2007

Number of Pages: 278

Geographical Setting:  Maine

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: Rocky Pelligrino

Plot Summary:   Rocky (Roxanne) came home one day to find her husband Bob unconscious on the bathroom floor.  Her instincts, left over from her lifeguarding days, kicked in, but it was not enough to save him.   His death came suddenly from a heart condition that put him at risk for cardiac arrest.  Rocky decided to take a yearlong leave of absence from her job as a psychologist.  She felt she could no longer counsel her patients while she was grieving herself.  She decides to move east to Maine, somewhere where no one would know of nor ask about her recent loss.  She falls right into place in Maine making new friends, finding a place to rent, and starting a new job as the Animal Control Warden.  While on the job, Rocky volunteers to provide a foster home for a wounded black lab she names Lloyd.  With the help of her new canine friend Rocky begins to overcome her grief.  At times the perspective switches to Lloyds and the reader sees how the lab is actively trying to help Rocky through her grief.  Eventually news of Lloyd’s previous owner surfaces and Rocky is faced with the possibility of losing the relationship that has been holding her together.

Subject Headings:  Animal welfare – fiction, heart attacks – fiction, Maine – Fiction, psychologists – fiction

Appeal:  heartwarming, remarkable pets, heart disease, widows, loss, grieving, new careers, friendships, relaxed pace, cancer, archery, animal cruelty, emotional disorders, eating disorders

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: heartwarming, overcoming grief, remarkable pets

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Dog Years (2007) by Mark DotyDoty relies on the unconditional love and joy of his two retrievers, Beau and Arden, to comfort himself and his terminally ill partner Wally.  Dog Years is a story of remarkable pets and of dealing with death and grief.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (2008) by Vivki MyronThis heartwarming book is about a librarian who unexpectedly adopts a cat.  The remarkable pet becomes a library mascot and fosters lasting friendships.

Dogs and the Women Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Loyalty, Healing, and Inspiration by Allen AndersonThis book is collection of stories about women who were healed or nurtured by their extraordinary dogs.


3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

 Abide With Me (2006) by Elizabeth StroutWidower Tyler Caskey is grieving from the loss of his wife Lauren in a small town in 1950s Maine

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst  – Paul Iverson investigates the mysterious death of his wife with the help of his dog Lorelei.  Paul believes he can get Loerelei to communicate with him the true nature of his wife’s death.

Home Safe (2009) by Elizabeth Berg – Helen Ames has recently lost her husband Dan.  In her grief she is no longer able to maintain her career as a writer.  This Women’s lives genre novel deals with grieving and overcoming loss.

Noel M.

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

April 6, 2011

Brava, Valentine

Author: Adriana Trigiani
Title: Brava, Valentine
Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships, Gentle Reads
Publication Date: 2010
Number of Pages: 332
Geographical Setting: New York City
Time Period: Contemporary

Plot Summary: In Adriana Trigianai’s second novel in the Very Valentine series, Brava, Valentine further expands on the love stories, family dramas began in the first, and adds new twists and passions that make up the life of main character Valentine Rancalli.  The novel opens with the wedding of Valentine’s beloved grandmother and fellow custom shoemaker, Teodora.  Valentine is then faced with changes to her life and her business.  Throughout the story, Valentine further discovers her passion for custom shoemaking and past love Gianluca.  She takes on a new avenue in expanding her business, and expanding her heart in her long-distance romance with Gianluca.  Of course, her family dynamics and relationships take center stage as they weave in and out of the novel, with an entertaining and hilarious scene at Thanksgiving, and as we learn more about her brother Alfred, who is now her business partner.  Change and self-discovery are prevalent for Valentine as she learns not only about her family, her love, but also herself.  A well-developed story leaves an ending without lose ends, but with anticipation for what happens next.

Subject Headings: Family relationships, Family businesses, Italian Americans, Weddings, Long-distance romance, Grandmothers, Sibling rivalry, Businesswomen, Dating, Mentors, Female friendship, Relationships, Transformations, Past loves, Power struggles, Brothers and sisters, Family secrets, Scandal, Self-discovery; New York, Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.), Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America, Argentina; 2000s, 21st century; Fiction Romance, Contemporary, Domestic Saga Family; Italian American, Grandmother, Newlywed Italian; Businesswoman, Artist, Businessman, Financier

Appeal: romantic, love story, career woman, friendships, custom shoemakers, lush, passionate professional, Italian-Americans, family relationships, change, acceptance, self-discovery, New York City, Greenwich Village, Buenos Aires, fast paced, humorous, emotionally charged, sophisticated, sensual, family businesses, stylish, glamorous, down-to-earth characters, series novel, bestselling author

3 terms that best describe this book: family relationships, Italian-American experiences, passionate female businesswoman

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The World in a City: traveling the globe through the neighborhoods of the new New York by Joseph Berger is a nonfiction books for people who want to learn more about New York City, it’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods and constant change in people, culture, cuisine and sights.

Marcella Amarcord Remembers: the story of a woman who started out to teach science in a small town in Italy, but ended up teaching America how to cook Italian by Marcella Hazan traces the life story of the best-selling cookbook author from her childhood in a quiet Adriatic Sea fishing town and her family’s struggles through World War II to her marriage and her work as a cooking instructor.

Coffee With Nonna: The Best Stories of My Catholic Grandmother by Vincent M. Iezzi; The author complies stories his nonna shared with him while he was a child during World War II in his Philadelphia neighborhood.  Other readers describe this as heartwarming and precious.  Found this book using Amazon “What other customers bought.”

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Fair Play by Deirdre Martin is the second in the New York Blades series.  Each novel is about a different woman hired to “take charge” of a problem surrounding one of the New York Blades’ players.  This novel is about PR maven Theresa Falconetti, hired by Michael Dante, the winger for the New York Blades, to publicize his family’s restaurant.  A romance ensues between Michael and Theresa, yet Theresa is torn as she tries to stick to her ‘no hockey players’ rule.

Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe by Jennie Shortridge is the story of Mira Serafino, a woman who recently discovered her husband was having an affair.  She decides to change her life, moves to Seattle, and takes a new job, all while keeping the news about her marriage from her large Italian family.

Love and Meatballs by Susan Volland is the story of thirty-something Jo Cerbone who is struggling to keep her Italian-American family’s restaurant running.  She finds herself in the midst of a romance between two men, and in the midst of learning more about what she really wants to do with her life.

-Jennifer Peterson

Mercury In Retrograde

November 4, 2009

Author:  Paula Froelich

Title:  Mercury in Retrograde

Genre:  Women’s Lives and Relationships

Publication Date:  June 2009

Number of Pages:  272

Geographical Setting: New York

Time Period: Present Day

Series (if applicable):  NA

Plot Summary:  Penelope, a reporter, Lena, a socialite magazine editor, and Dana, a high- powered attorney are all having a bad day.  Mercury is in retrograde and it is wreaking havoc on their lives.  Penelope is fired from her job after setting the photo studio on fire and throwing up on her boss.  Lena has been cut off from her wealthy parents and evicted from the apartment they own because she is spending too much.  Dana’s divorce is final and she now finds out that her husband’s new wife is having the baby she so desperately wanted while they were married.  Circumstances help them all become neighbors in a SoHo apartment building and then friends.  Through friends in common they help each other to make it on their own and to find happiness and hopefully love in their lives.

Subject Headings:  Single women, New York City Socialites,  New York City Women Journalists, New York City Women Lawyers, New York City Women Friendship, New York City Life change events, SoHo, New York City, Chick lit

Appeal: Funny, Astrology, New York City, Page-Turner, Multiple Points-of-View, Romance, Fashion, Famous People, High Society, Friendships, Gentle Read, Relationships, Optimistic, Female Protagonists, Happy Ending, Contemporary Setting, Conversational Writing Style, Unusual Format – Horoscopes, Family, Friends, Well Developed Secondary Characters, Upbeat

3 Terms that best describe this book:  Funny, Upbeat, and Contemporary

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?)

3 Non-Fiction Works

New York: The Big City and Its Little Neighborhoods by Naomi Fertitta – More than 20 neighborhoods are covered in detail including history, maps, photos and more.

Rock Your Stars: Your Astrological Guide to Getting it All by Holiday Mathis – Humorously written contemporary advice on how to live your life with the help of astrology.

Mercury Retrograde: Your Survival Guide to Astrology’s Most Precarious Time of Year by Chrissie Blaze – Describes ways to use Mercury in retrograde to your advantage instead of getting caught in its disasters.

3 Fiction Works

Prospect Park West: A Novel by Amy Sohn – The story of four Park Slope, New York married women whose lives are commingled and the neighborhood they live in.

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell – This book describes the lives and careers of three friends in New York City.

Girls’ night out by Roz Bailey – The story of three New York City girls who go on a reality dating show and race to find love and win a million dollars.

Name: Chris S.