Posts Tagged ‘measured’

A Single Man

August 13, 2012

Author: Isherwood, Christopher

Title: A Single Man

Genre:  Literary Fiction, GLBTQ Fiction

Publication Date: 1964

Number of Pages: 192

Geographical Setting:  Los Angeles, California

Time Period: Late 1950’s/Early 1960’s

Series (If applicable):  N/A

Plot Summary: Before the book begins, George has lost his partner, Jim, in a car crash, but he has told everyone that Jim has moved home to live with his parents for a while.  The story follows one day in the life of George, a late/middle-aged British man who teaches at a university in LA.  The book is comprised almost entirely of George’s thoughts and dialogue is very sparse.  In an almost stream-of-consciousness style, the reader learns about George’s opinions on almost every aspect of his day.  As a gay man in the 1960’s, his thoughts are often tinged with wariness over what people think about him—who knows he’s gay, who knows about Jim, what they would think if they knew, etc.  George has interactions with a variety of characters, some of whom know about his sexual orientation, and some who do not.    As the day goes on, he begins to reach some fascinating conclusions about his life without Jim.

Subject Headings:  Homosexuality, Middle-aged Men, Grief

Appeal: Builds In Intensity, Measured, Bittersweet, Contemplative, Emotionally-Charged, Stark, Insightful, Introspective, Melancholy, Layered, Character-Centered, Lyrical

3 terms that best describe this book:  Bittersweet, Character-Centered, Introspective

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette

This book is the autobiography of Paul Monette.  It follows him from childhood to adulthood as he attempts to keep hide the fact that he is gay from himself and from his family.  Monette’s story is similar to A Single Man because both characters feel the need to hide their sexual orientation from the outside world.

Los Angeles: Portrait of a City by David L. Ulin

Photographs of the city from a variety of time periods give readers the opportunity to look at both George’s Los Angeles and the Los Angeles of modern times.  Because the book describes the city in such detail, it would be helpful to see what the city really looks like (for those who have not visited).

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski

Spanning 500 years of American History, this book looks at how homosexuality has evolved.  This book will give readers a greater understanding of the viewpoints of Americans during George’s era.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Maurice by E. M. Forester

Set in Edwardian England, this book follows Maurice, a brilliant young boy, as he grows up, attends university, and works in his father’s firm.  In many ways, he seems like a stereotypical young man, but he is also gay.  Forester’s book will give readers insight into homosexuality in a different time period.

The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal

A young man, Jim, “experiments” with his male friend, Bob, and finds his life turned upside down.  When he finds himself separated from Bob, he ignores the wishes of his family and decides to find Bob no matter how long it takes.  Jim’s journey takes him all over the country and expands his ideas of homosexuality and how he fits in.  This breakthrough novel in gay literature will help readers see the evolution of the literary genre.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Also following a day in the life of a single character, Mrs. Dalloway focuses on a woman preparing for a party later in the evening. In stream of consciousness, the reader learns about her past, her present, and her thoughts on the future.  With subtle homosexual themes, this book provides readers with a look at the female side of the GLBTQ genre.

Name: Erin Sloan

Fifty Shades of Grey

August 1, 2012

Author: E.L James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey

Genre: Romance; Erotica

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 514

Geographical Setting: Seattle, WA

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: 1st vol. in Fifty Shades Trilogy

Plot Summary: As Anastasia Steele is about to graduate from college she meets twenty-seven-year old, CEO Christian Grey. Steele is bookish and does not have a lot of experience with men, but for the first time in her life, Steele has finally found a man that sweeps her off her feet. However, Grey is emotionally distant and has a dark past that he will not discuss. In order to have a relationship with him, Anastasia has to sign a contract agreeing to engage in a BDSM relationship. Anastasia is unable to sign the contract for fear that she will be emotionally or physically wounded and longs for a traditional relationship. The first book ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader wondering if Grey and Anastasia will ever be able to reconcile their different desires and have a happy ending. Readers will be impatient to get their hands on the other two books in this trilogy and find out how this romance ends.

Subject Headings: College students — Fiction. Businesspeople — Fiction. Man-woman relationships — Fiction. Erotic fiction.

Appeal: measured, humorous, romantic, distant, dramatic, eccentric, steamy, strong language, informal

3 terms that best describes this book: episodic, character-centered, sexually explicit

3 Nonfiction Read-a-likes:

Career Building through Fan Fiction Writing: New Work Based on Favorite Fiction, Miriam Segall

If you want to learn how to write stories based on your favorites books, TV shows, or video games, then this book will teach you the basics for writing successful fan fiction, and potentially turn writing into a career. E.L. James started out as a fan fiction writer and became a best selling author. If she has inspired you to try your hand at writing fan fiction, then this is a great book for you.

Kama Sutra: the Guide to the Art of Pleasure, V¯atsy¯ayana.

This 2,000-year-old Hindu instructional book for sex is considered to be the most famous work regarding erotic pleasure. If you enjoyed the steamy, sex scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey, and are looking for some inspiration, then check out this instructional guide to sex.

Seven Years to Seven Figures: the Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire, Michael Masterson

If Christian Grey inspired you to become a millionaire, check out Michael Masterson’s seven to step plan to become a millionaire in seven years or less. It will guide you on how to increase your yearly income, invest, and save wisely. Masterson’s book offers real life examples ofentrepreneurial success stories that will show you how to become a financial and business success.

3 Fiction Read-a-likes:

Story of O, Pauline Reague

At her lover’s chateau, the female protagonist experiments with all sorts of sexual scenarios involving two different men. A book considered as racy as Fifty Shades of Grey, this is a great suggestion for a reader who is looking for a book as steamy, eccentric, and dramatic as E.L. James’s works.

Sweet Persuasion, Maya Banks

Serena has spent the past five years fulfilling the fantasies of her clients at Fantasy Incorporated. In that time she has been dreaming for her own fantasies to come true. When she meets Damon Roche, the owner of an exclusive sex club, she believes she has finally found the man she has been searching for. This is a book that shares a similar plot line as Fifty Shades of Grey, because both books deal with BDSM relationships. If you are searching for your next steamy, sexually explicit, and character centered story, then this is a good pick for you.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

A book that is frequently mentioned in Fifty Shades of Grey, Tess of the d’Urbervilles is a classic read that questions Victorian society and ideologies regarding sex. Tess Durbeyfield tries to align her self with her well-off d’Urberville side of the family, but she falls victim to her cousin, Alec, who forever tarnishes Tess’s chance at a happy ending. This book is less sexually explicit and lacks strong language, but it is a great read-a-like for someone who enjoys a character-centered story, a measured pace, and is dramatic like Fifty Shades of Grey.

Name: Alison Kulczak

World War Z

April 4, 2012

Author: Max Brooks

Title: World War Z

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2006

Number of pages: 320

Geographical Setting: Global

Time Period: not too distant future

Series (if applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: This book takes place after the zombie war has already occurred. Compiling interviews from all sorts of people from many different countries, Brooks attempts to piece together exactly what happened when the dead began to rise. Interviews range from doctors to American housewives to body guards to war veterans, detailing where they were when they discovered this disease wasn’t “rabies” like they were told, and how the world eventually conquered over two million walking corpses. The pacing is moderate, but the short interviews from so many different types of people make this a page turner. Highlights include the doctor in China who discovers “Patient Zero”, a twelve-year old boy who had been bitten while swimming, the body guard assigned to protect a mansion full of rich people and celebrities from zombies while they get filmed to the masses, and a Japanese warrior monk who recounts how he escaped a high rise full of zombies back when he was a socially awkward computer nerd. Part war novel and part survival guide, this book will keep the reader up at night planning out his/her escape route for when the undead come scratching at the door.

Subject Headings: undead, zombies, diseases, epidemics, supernatural, survival (after epidemics) war.

Appeal: builds in intensity, measured, chilling, darker, nightmare, deadpan, intriguing, multiple points of view, explicitly violent, action-oriented, political, stark, conversational, journalistic, straight-forward, well-crafted, well-researched.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: chilling, multiple points of view, explicitly violent.

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis by Peggy Layton.

If after reading World War Z, you are feeling less than prepared for the zombie apocalypse, or any other disaster, this book will teach you how to equip your home with food, water, medical supplies and fuel.

2. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson.

One of the terrifying aspects of zombie lore is that it begins as a disease and turns into an epidemic that no one knows how to cure. The Ghost Map chronicles such an epidemic when cholera breaks out over London in 1854.

3. Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie by Wade Davis.

Zombie mythology originates from Haitian voodoo (voudon), and is an unfortunate stereotype of a complex religion. Davis explains how one goes about making a zombie (a harsh punishment exacted to someone found guilty of a heinous crime), as well as the politics of Haitian culture.

 

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Twelve-year-old Oskar has a crush on the new girl (“I’m not a girl,” she keeps telling him) living next door, who only comes out at night. Both bone-chilling and heart-warming at the same time, this updated take on classic vampires who drink real blood and don’t sparkle, compels the reader to fall in love with Eli and root for her no matter how gruesome her actions become.

 

2. Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson

In Koontz’s take on Frankenstein, 7 foot monster Deucalion is living peacefully in a Tibetan monastery when he discovers that his creator is still alive and living in New Orleans. Deucalion must track him down before he creates an army of “posthumans” that take over the world.

 

3, The Wolfen by Whitley Streiber.

Two detectives in New York discover a secret pack of werewolves preying on weak humans who won’t be missed. Streiber plays with the werewolf myth to create a separate race of wolf-men with heightened sense of smell and hearing and superhuman intelligence.

 

Name: Jessica

Zeitoun

August 10, 2011

Author: Dave Eggers

Title:  Zeitoun

Genre:  Non Fiction

Pub. Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 346

Geographical Setting: New Orleans

Time Period: Hurricane Katrina

Plot Summary:  Abdulrahman Zeitoun, his wife and four children are residents of New Orleans and owners of a successful contracting business when Hurricane Katrina hits. Zeitoun decides to ride the storm out in order to protect his house and business. After days of helping neighbors and those in need Zeitoun disappears. His family begin a harrowing search to discover what has happened. It will change forever the way they feel about this country, New Orleans and their place in it.

Subject Headings: Hurricane Katrina, Disaster victims, Louisiana New Orleans, Culture conflict

Appeal:  measured, engrossing, disturbing, emotionally-charged, moving, sobering, detailed, vivid, issue-oriented, thought-provoking, political, journalistic, thoughtful, informative

Three terms that best describe this book: issue-oriented, thought-provoking and moving

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Budhos – The story of three immigrant girls and the social adjustments they must face. Issue-oriented, thoughtful and moving story.

Little Bee by Chris Cleeve – Hits on political issues both in Africa and the U.S. Moving, disturbing and thought- provoking.

When We Were Strangers by The story of a young Italian immigrant woman working through tragedies such as the Chicago fire to find a better life. Vivid, moving and emotionally-charged.

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned by Cathy Scott – This heartwarming book introduces us to the stories of animals rescued after Hurricane Katrina. It would appeal to those interested in learning more about these rescues after reading about the trapped dogs that Zeitoun feed.

In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster by Susan Zakin – Haunting images that bring home the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in a visual way. A nice supplement for readers of Zeitoun who are interested in seeing for themselves the disastrous effects of a hurricane.

Isaac’s Storm: A man, A Time and the Deadliest Hurricane in History  by Erik Larson – A fast paced account told from the point of view of Isaac Cline, the senior U.S. Weather Bureau official in Galveston at the time. This is a different time and a different hurricane but may appeal to readers of Zeitoun who want another non fiction account of a devastating hurricane and it’s affect on the people who lived through it.

Mary Othic

War Dances

August 1, 2011

War Dances by Sherman Alexie

Author: Alexie, Sherman; narrated by Sherman Alexie

Title: War Dances

Genre: Literary Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Audiobook

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 209, 4 discs

Geographical Setting: Seattle, United States

Time Period: 21st Century

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Twenty-three short stories and poems combine to examine the mental insights of a range of men; fathers and sons, friends who become enemies, husbands and lovers. The work begins with the story of a film editor of Native American descent who kills a young black man who has broken into his home and continues by examining other men, some who belong to the Spokane tribe and others who do not. The title short story, “War Dances”, follows a man through the discovery of a small tumor in his brain, as he remembers his father’s slow, “natural Indian death” from alcohol and diabetes. Written in a mixture of lyrical elegance and casual, every day jargon, Alexie captures each member of his cast of characters as they face a range of situations and conflicts. Alexie’s narration captures the lyrical quality of his writing, as well as the cadence of traditional native speech.

Subject Headings: Short Stories, American; Indians of North America-fiction; Spokane Indians-fiction

Appeal: Darkly humorous, lyrical, character-driven, bittersweet, moving, reflective, candid, conversational, measured, introspective, sympathetic, flawed

3 terms that best describe this book: Darkly humorous, lyrical, bittersweet

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors: Frazier, Ian On the Rez (Look at life on Indian Reservations in the 21st century); Moody, Fred Seattle and the Demons of Ambitions: From Boom to Bust in the Number One City of the Future (Information about Seattle); Chabon, Michael Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son (essays on fatherhood and manhood)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors: DeWeese, Dan You Don’t Love This Man (Literary fiction about fatherhood); Erdrich, Louise Love Medicine (family and relationship fiction); Towers, Wells Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (a collection of short stories, with unusual characters).

Meg Cichantk

The Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis

April 20, 2011

Author: De Robertis, Carolina

Title: The Invisible Mountain

Genre: Latino/a

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 364 p.

Geographical Setting: Uruguay and Argentina

Time Period: Spans the 20th Century

Series: Not Applicable

Plot Summary: Three extraordinary women, grandmother, mother, and daughter, and their experiences span the 20th century. Pajarita, the Uruguayan miracle of 1900, Eva, her rebellious daughter with a traumatic past, and Salomé, the political rebel who cannot be contained during a political age. Pajarita endures a life of loneliness but filled with love for her children, especially her daughter Eva. Eva, whose traumatic childhood is disturbing and heart wrenching, yields way to a talented poet. Her daughter, Salomé, a political rebel, completes the lineage of women. Though plot-centered at times, this story is truly a tale of family, culture, and the bitter sweetness of life.

Subject Headings: Mothers and daughters, Fiction; Uruguay, Fiction; Miracles; Mothers and daughters; Family relationships; Survival; Motherhood; Daughters

Appeal: Engrossing, measured, engaging, well-developed, episodic, strong language, detailed setting, accurate, intimate, political, contemplative, dramatic, emotionally-charged, unpretentious, complex, frank, smart, vivid.

3 Terms that Best Describe this Book: Character-centered, bittersweet, lyrical.

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Amy Green’s Bloodroot: Literary, lyrical, interwoven; a similar style, but with more perspectives following an American family over generations.

Julia Alvarez’s Saving the World: Suspenseful, romantic, lyrical; a woman deals with disease in two time frames.

Jean M. Auel’s The Land of Painted Caves: Character-centered, strong sense of place, family relationships; a look at family relationships, but in a prehistoric setting.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Jung Chang’s Wild Swans: Heart wrenching, researched, unhurried; Chang’s family saga, including her grandmother, her mother, and herself in China.

Asuncion Lavrin’s Women, Feminism, and Social Change in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay: Detailed, thought-provoking, accurate; a comprehensive look at the first part of the 20th century.

Lucy Moore’s Maharanis: Detailed, progressive, character-centered; the following of four queens of India in a similar time frame.

Annotation by Carlen

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson

April 14, 2011

Kabul Beauty School Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

Author: Deborah Rodriguez with Kristin Ohlson performed by Bernadette Dunne

Title: Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: (Duration) 8:59:30

Geographical Setting: Kabul, Afghanistan; Michigan

Time Period: 21st century

Plot Summary: In a truly compelling narrative, Deborah Rodriguez recounts her experience running a beauty school in Kabul, Afghanistan. In explaining how she came to arrive in Kabul, Rodriguez describes her life up until then. There were the years as a hairdresser, there was the time she bought a boat and hosted parties for people she barely knew, there was the time she was employed as a corrections officer, and there was the time she revisited her faith and married a preacher. It is the unhappy marriage to the preacher that motivates Rodriguez to travel, and it is her desire to do something meaningful that leads her to attend terrorist disaster-relief training in Chicago just three weeks prior to 9/11. In no time, Rodriguez is in Kabul with a humanitarian organization and finds her hairdressing skills are in great demand. After much negotiation the Kabul Beauty School is up and running. The students of the beauty school are carefully drawn, their stories equally inspiring and heart-wrenching. The plight of women in Afghanistan during and after Taliban rule is well-illustrated through Rodriguez’s Western eyes, explaining cultural differences one only learns over time and with many questions. An incredibly immersive story that brings vivid life to an unfamiliar but oft-discussed country on the other side of the globe.

Subject Headings: Women — Afghanistan — Kabul — Social life and customs — 21st century; Muslim women — Afghanistan — Kabul — Social conditions — 21st century; Kabul Beauty School; Beauty shops — Social aspects — Afghanistan — Kabul; Kabul (Afghanistan) — Social life and customs — 21st century.

Appeal: compelling, measured, relaxed, bittersweet, compassionate, contemplative, haunting, humorous, impassioned, moving, poignant, well-drawn

3 terms that best describe this book: culturally immersive; thought-provoking; inspiring

Similar Authors and Works:
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (war-torn Afghanistan, inspiration, inequality).
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (travel writing, Silk Road, Afghanistan, Eastern culture).
The Storyteller’s Daughter by Saira Shah (travel writing, Afghanistan, cultural identity).

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Lipstick in Afghanistan by Roberta Gately (character-driven, Afghanistan, moving, lyrical).
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (historical fiction, psychological fiction, Paris, Holocaust survivor).
Peony in Love by Lisa See (historical fiction, love stories, 17th century China).

Name: Sasha Neri

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume One by Laurell K. Hamilton

April 13, 2011

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel)Author: Laurell K. Hamilton, adapted by Stacie Ritchie (Issues 1-5) and Jess Ruffner-Booth (Issue 6)

Title: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, Volume One

Genre: Graphic Novel, Mystery, Horror

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 168

Geographical Setting: St. Louis, Missouri

Time Period: 21st century

Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter

Plot Summary: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, Volume One, collects the first six comic books into one graphic novel. Anita Blake is a necromancer for Animators, Inc. She raises the dead for a living, a useful skill when a will is contested or the only witness to a murder is the dead person himself. Anita Blake has other skills, talents which have earned her the nickname “The Executioner” from the vampire community. She kills vampires who have proven mortally dangerous to humans. At the beginning of Guilty Pleasures, Anita is approached at Animators, Inc., by a vampire who is willing to pay a large sum of money if she’ll find out who is slaying vampires. Anita refuses the job because she doesn’t work for vampires. The vampires, however, won’t take no for an answer. Using Anita’s friend Catherine as a bargaining chip, the vampires, through the St. Louis Master Vampire Jean-Claude, compel Anita through fear and violence to undertake the investigation. Furthermore, the vampire murders have attracted the attention of Edward, a fellow vampire slayer, which illustrates to Anita the enormity of the situation. Soon Anita is far deeper into the vampire world than she ever asked to be and has to figure out who can be trusted and how far before it’s too late.

Subject Headings: Vampires Missouri Saint Louis Comic books, strips, etc.; Werewolves Comic books, strips, etc.; Blake, Anita (Fictitious character) Comic books, strips, etc.; Saint Louis (Mo.) Comic books, strips, etc.; Romance comic books, strips, etc.; Graphic novels; Horror comic books, strips, etc.

Appeal: compelling, measured, dangerous, edgy, foreboding, sarcastic, series, violent, plot-centered, contemporary, moody, urban

3 terms that best describe this book: compelling world, dark characters, conflicted protagonist

Similar Authors and Works:
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
Ghost Town: While St. Louis Sleeps by Eric Post, photography of St. Louis at night.
The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead by J. Gordon Melton, an exhaustive book on vampire lore.
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, a true crime account of a serial killer in Italy.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher, fast-paced mystery/fantasy graphic novel about a wizard P.I. in Chicago.
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, urban fantasy fiction about a mercenary caught in a power struggle between necromancers and shapeshifters.
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, fast-paced paranormal romance about a southern girl who discovers her own unique ability.

Name: Sasha Neri

In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan

March 16, 2011

Find at Local Library

Author: Goonan, Kathleen Ann

Title: In War Times

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 348 p.

Geographical Setting: United States and various European countries

Time Period: 1941-1980

Series: Not Applicable

Plot Summary: Soldier Sam Dance, who enlists during WWII, receives mysterious plans from his professor one night. The captivating nature of her disappearance and the plans she provides result in Sam’s attempt to build her secret device, right under the nose of the military. The effects of this produce intriguing and surprising results in this alternate-reality novel. The plot-centered story creates a sophisticated, richly-detailed setting combined with both historical references and a healthy dose of physics.

Subject Headings: Science fiction; Alternative histories (Fiction); Time travel, Fiction; World War II; The Forties (20th century); Saxophonists; Time travel (Future); Technology; Jazz music; Jazz musicians; Soldiers; Brothers — death; Technology and civilization; Futurism; Women physicists; Men/women relations.

Appeal: Bleak, chilling, complex, contemplative, deliberate, densely written, detailed, detailed setting, elaborate, engaging, historic details, intriguing, investigative, issue-oriented, layered, measured, political, resolved ending, sophisticated, thought-provoking, unhurried, well-developed.

3 Terms that Best Describe this Book: Plot-centered, complex, unusual.

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

John Birmingham, After America, follows Iraq after an energy wave disrupts North America. Dystopian with military aspects as well, but more contemporary.

Dexter Palmer, The Dream of Perpetual Motion, provides a steampunk, alternate reality novel involving aircrafts and physics.

Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver, is set in the time of Isaac Newton and promises as much adventure as science and math.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon, provides a collection of tales revolving around the periodic table and scientific discoveries. The humorous tone of the book entices non-scientists as well.

Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, follows the engrossing history of the HeLa gene, DNA that was stolen from her at death for the benefits of science.

Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten, examines the youth of Oliver Sacks and provides an unusual perspective of his “chemical” upbringing.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Carlen

Shanghai Girls

February 23, 2011

https://i1.wp.com/www.lisasee.com/shanghaigirls/files/2011/01/ShanghaiGirls_cover.jpgAuthor: See, Lisa

Title: Shanghai Girls

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 314 p.

Geographical Setting: Shanghai, China and Los Angeles, United States

Time Period: 1937-1957

Series: Not Applicable

Plot Summary: Two sisters, Pearl and May Chin, are beautiful girls who live life to the fullest in 1937 Shanghai. Unfortunately for the girls, their father has arranged marriages for them to reconcile his debts. Additionally, the Japanese open fire on China. Under great difficulty, Pearl and May immigrate to the United States to meet up with their husbands, but suffer countless delays and tragedies. Many historical characters and events fill the book. The engaging narrative, with powerful descriptions, well-developed characters, and heart wrenching events, creates a richly detailed account.

Subject Headings: Sisters, Fiction ; Chinese, United States, Fiction; Immigrants, United States, Fiction; Family secrets, Fiction; Chinese, California, Los Angeles, Fiction; Arranged marriage, Fiction; Historical fiction.

Appeal: Engrossing, measured, deliberate; atmospheric, candid, dangerous, evocative, introspective, melancholy, moving, thoughtful, unsettling; detailed character development, detailed secondary character(s) development, realistic, sympathetic; family-centered, linear, resolved ending, thought-provoking; intimate; classic, unpretentious.

3 Terms that Best Describe this Book: Character-centered, bittersweet, detailed setting.

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, examines a Chinese coming-of-age story during World War II. Similar theme, complete with family relationships, but with a multi-layered plot.

Tania James, Atlas of Unknowns, follows two sisters immigrating from India, but in a more contemporary setting.

Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses, is a true-life novel set in the American West at the turn of the 20th century. Comparable with respect to character development and frame detail.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Rhoda Janzen, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress : A Memoir of Going Home, follows the introspective journey of a Mennonite who returns to her childhood roots.

Christopher Buckley, Losing Mum and Pup : A Memoir, examines Christopher’s self-discovery after losing his parents in his fifties.

Hanan Shayka, The Locust and the Bird : My Mother’s Story, examines Shayka’s mother’s arranged marriage and experiences in the 1930s.

Carlen DeThorne

Author: See, Lisa

Title: Shanghai Girls

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 314 p.

Geographical Setting: Shanghai, China and Los Angeles, United States

Time Period: 1937-1957

Series: Not Applicable

Plot Summary: Two sisters, Pearl and May Chin, are beautiful girls who live life to the fullest in 1937 Shanghai. Unfortunately for the girls, their father has arranged marriages for them to reconcile his debts. Additionally, the Japanese open fire on China. Under great difficulty, Pearl and May immigrate to the United States to meet up with their husbands, but suffer countless delays and tragedies. Many historical characters and events fill the book. The engaging narrative, with powerful descriptions, well-developed characters, and heart wrenching events, creates a richly detailed account.

Subject Headings: Sisters, Fiction ; Chinese, United States, Fiction; Immigrants, United States, Fiction; Family secrets, Fiction; Chinese, California, Los Angeles, Fiction; Arranged marriage, Fiction; Historical fiction.

Appeal: Engrossing, measured, deliberate; atmospheric, candid, dangerous, evocative, introspective, melancholy, moving, thoughtful, unsettling; detailed character development, detailed secondary character(s) development, realistic, sympathetic; family-centered, linear, resolved ending, thought-provoking; intimate; classic, unpretentious.

3 Terms that Best Describe this Book: Character-centered, bittersweet, detailed setting.

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, examines a Chinese coming-of-age story during World War II. Similar theme, complete with family relationships, but with a multi-layered plot.

Tania James, Atlas of Unknowns, follows two sisters immigrating from India, but in a more contemporary setting.

Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses, is a true-life novel set in the American West at the turn of the 20th century. Comparable with respect to character development and frame detail.

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Rhoda Janzen, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress : A Memoir of Going Home, follows the introspective journey of a Mennonite who returns to her childhood roots. Christopher Buckley, Losing Mum and Pup : A Memoir, examines Christopher’s self-discovery after losing his parents in his fifties.

Hanan Shayka, The Locust and the Bird : My Mother’s Story, examines Shayka’s mother’s arranged marriage and experiences in the 1930s.

                                                                                                                        Carlen
DeThorne