Posts Tagged ‘Nonfiction’

Without Pity: Ann Rule’s Most Dangerous Killers

November 7, 2012

Author: Ann Rule

Title: Without Pity: Ann Rule’s Most Dangerous Killers

Genre: True Crime, Essays (Nonfiction)

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 431

Geographical Setting: Various geographical settings, but mainly Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.

Time Period: 1970s through 2002

Plot Summary: This collection of stories features some of Ann Rule’s most deranged and horrendous criminals. The book is a collection of twelve true stories about criminals, and includes three cases (the first three of the book) that have never been included in other collections. Ann Rule is a relatively popular true crime writer, and has published many collections of true crime stories, and this one is a collection of some of the worst from her first eight volumes. Each story is set up similarly, with an opening describing the particular town and the victims, and the tone is very reminiscent of a true crime TV show.

Subject Headings: Murder, Murderers, Criminals, Crime, Vic tims, True Crime, United States Case Studies

Appeal: Gritty, Compelling, Emotionally Charged, Menacing, Macabre, Chilling, Nonfiction, True Crime, Journalistic, Compelling, Realistic, Well Researched,

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Gritty, Journalistic, Well Researched

Similar fiction authors and works:

Azzarello, Brian. 100 Bullets Volume 1: First Shot Last Call

A mysterious man known as Agent Graves approaches strangers on the street and offers them the chance to exact revenge on someone who has wronged them in their past. He provides them with a gun, untraceable bullets, and guarantees immunity from any troubles, including murder. This first book in a collection of 13 graphic novels is gritty and chilling, and takes a look at what people will do when offered guaranteed protection.

Collins, Max Allen. Double Dealer: CSI Crime Scene Investigation Book 1

A homicide cop, a forensic analyst, and their team of hard boiled police force members work together to solve a murder. Fans of the gritty writing style of Without Pity, or fans of the television show CSI will surely enjoy this novel.

Ellroy, James. Crime Wave: Reportage and Fiction from the Underside of L.A.

This collection of short stories presents some dark and gritty fiction tales taking place in the L.A. crime scene. Fans of the gritty chilling writing style and the short story presentation of Without Pity will be sure to enjoy this fictional but no less dark collection.

Similar nonfiction authors and works:

Connelly, Michael. Crime Beat

This nonfiction work by a well known fiction writer is sure to interest readers. Connelly tells a collection of stories of his time working as a crime reporter in both Florida and Los Angeles, and how these stories have influenced his work as a bestselling fiction crime writer.

Schecter, Harold. True Crime: an American Anthology

This true crime work is a collection of stories from all different time periods. It includes some well known cases and also some lesser known ones, by a variety of authors from Ben Franklin to Ann Rule, and spans over 300 years of true crime writing.

Campbell, John H. Profilers: Leading Investigators Take You Inside the Criminal Mind

This collection of fifteen essays compiles stories from some of the nation’s top homicide investigators. It chronicles the investigation process and the mysteries that surround a variety of crimes, from murder to abduction.

Post by Ellen

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

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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
Non-Fiction:
• 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.
Fiction:
• 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

Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends

November 11, 2009

Author: David Wilton
Title: Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 240
Geographical Setting: NA
Time Period: NA
Series: no
Plot Summary:
This book will come in handy as a conversation starter. The author does a great job of exposing some of the most popular “word myths”, such as; Ring Around the Rosie refers to the Black Death, that Eskimos have 10,000 words for snow, or that Posh is an acronym for “Port Out, Starboard Home.” Each chapter is a brief history of the linguistic urban legend, and when possible tells the true tale of how a word or phrase came to be. In this book you will discover the true story behind popular words and expressions such as “rule of thumb,” “the whole nine yards,” “hot dog,” “raining cats and dogs,” “chew the fat,” “AWOL,” “under the weather,” “in like Flynn,” “Dixie,” “son of a gun,” “tinker’s damn,” to name a few. I also learned that SOS was not originally an acronym for “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls,” but was chosen because the Morse code signal (3 dots, 3 dashes, 3 dots) was easy to send and recognize. Also, “let the cat out of the bag” does not refer to the whip (the “cat”) used to punish sailors aboard ship. The term “upset” (to defeat unexpectedly) does not date from the horse race when the heavily favored Man O’ War was beaten by a nag named Upset (Upset was the only horse ever to defeat Man O’ War, but the word predates the race by half a century). And Thomas Crapper did not invent the flush toilet, nor do the words “crap” or “crapper” derive from his name. It is fun to set the record straight when these urban word myths pop up at parties or over the holiday dinners…

Subject Headings: Linguistics, Urban legends, Language, True History, Trivia, and Etymology.
Appeal: accessible, detailed, historic details, fact, engaging, engrossing, humorous, quirky, intriguing, witty, language, nonfiction, academic, authoritative, fast paced.
3 terms that best describes this book: Etymology, Myth, History
Similar Authors and Works
Non-Fiction:
• Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Abley-A travel guide through some of the regions where language is literally disappearing.
• Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus byAmerican Heritage Dictionaries- Uncovers the origins of five hundred everyday English words.
• Word Origins And How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone by Anatoly Lieberman- insights into how our language has evolved, mutated and otherwise morphed over thousands of years
Fiction:
• Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn- the English language is being eroded one letter at a time, will it stop, how will we communicate?
• The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker by Eric Liu-The struggle that comes with losing your language, heritage, and culture.
• The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco-the story of a breakdown in communication between a married couple.
Name: Laura Bartnik