Posts Tagged ‘quick paced’

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    England: An Illustrated History by Henry Weissser – There are many historical references in The Graveyard Book so this nonfiction companion would appeal to those who would be interested in learning more about the history of England.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

The Boys on the Rock

April 11, 2012

Author: John Fox

Title: The Boys on the Rock

Genre: LGBT

Publication Date: 1984

Number of Pages: 146p.

Geographical Setting: Bronx, N.Y.

Time Period: 1968

Series (If applicable): n/a

Plot Summary: It’s 1968 in the Bronx and Catholic High School sophomore, swim team star, and narrator Billy Connor is gay and knows it and likes it.  Unfortunately, he has only been able to explore his sexuality in very frequent, detailed, creative, and enthusiastic masturbation sessions that the reader will come to know very well.  Billy, not wanting to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, is a Gene McCarthy supporter who meets Al, the head of the local McCarthy campaign office.  Canvassing soon leads to lingering dinners at a pizzeria, which leads to making out, which of course leads to the sex that Billy has longed for.  Billy is very talented in graphic and detailed accounts of his and Al’s lovemaking, leaving not a thing to the reader’s imagination.  While Billy feels newly free and empowered by his relationship with Al, is it really love?  And is it a love that will last?  With the tumultuous Democratic presidential primary and a colorful cast of neighborhood friends and eccentrics as a constant backdrop, Billy brings the reader along for the first few baby steps he will take onto the path that will lead him to the man he will become.

Subject Headings: Coming of age stories, Gay teenagers, Eroticism, U.S. history–1968, Presidential elections–1968, First love, Homosexuality, Graphic sex–homosexual, Graphic sex–heterosexual, Political assassination, Gene McCarthy, Bobby Kennedy, Bronx, Competitive swimming, Catholic school, Homophobia, Nostalgia, Masturbation.

Appeal: Quick-paced, bittersweet, candid, passionate, adolescent, horny, dramatic, edgy, sexual, graphic, gritty, impassioned, nostalgic, naive, sensual, romantic, unpretentious, foul-mouthed, colorful, unrelenting, rebellious, melancholy, vivid, sexually explicit, steamy, issue-oriented, introspective, retrospective, political, historical detail, urban, colloquial, dialect, direct, unaffected, hormonal, empowering, gay, sweaty, messy, intimate, personal discovery, sexual discovery.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: adolescent, gritty, sexually explicit.

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Joy of Sex: The Ultimate Revised Edition by Alex Comfort

The Joy of Gay Sex, Revised & Expanded by Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano

The Joy of Lesbian Sex: A Tender and Liberated Guide to the Pleasures and Problems of a Lesbian Lifestyle by Dr. Emily L. Sisley and Bertha Harris

Yes, I know three books are not one book, but I feel I must evoke an “apples and oranges” (and “pears”[?]) exception in this case.  For people that may find appeal in any of these works, two titles will be completely useless (sort of) to them.  And the goal is to be able to satisfy 100% of readers, yes?

There is so much graphic sex and language in Boys that it would seem almost impossible that a reader wouldn’t take some stock of their own romantic life at some point.  These seminal, highly respected, and somewhat clinical works are certainly the “safe” and “tasteful” (yet graphically illustrated) suggestions that could be a stepping off point for a reader who may want to explore better or newer ways in which to get their freak on.

Time 1968: War Abroad, Riots at Home, Fallen Leaders and Lunar Dreams

The United States +1968= CRAZY: MLK shot, RFK shot, protests, race riots, political riots, cities on fire, Vietnam, Tet Offensive, Chicago Democratic Convention (police beatings and rioting and the MC5, for those too young), drugs, sex, rock and roll, men on the moon—and those are just the headlines.

While the rebellion, protest, and awakening of Billy’s 1968 took place mostly in his head and underwear, there is much happening around him that will inform a bevvy of decisions, political and not.  Here is an overview of that year with lots of color pictures.

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

One year later from Billy’s awakening, the gay community of Greenwich Village rose up against police harassment to spark the beginning of the gay rights movement.  I can vividly picture Billy chanting slogans and punching cops in the face.  Here is a timeline of the events leading up to, and the riots themselves, as well as the aftermath.  This comprehensive account is the result of hundreds of interviews, public and sealed files, and a decade of research.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Forever by Judy Blume

If one took a plot synopsis of Boys and replaced the Bronx with a woodsy, well-to-do suburb, and weekends of beer in the park with ski trips, and animalistic gay sex with meticulously thought-out hetero sex, and Billy with a Katherine, and a cowardly Al with an impossibly sensitive Michael and then washed everyone’s mouths out with soap, one would be left holding a copy of Forever. Had those who have taken the often challenged Forever (ALA 7th all-time) to trial had known that Boys may have been right around the corner, I shudder to think at the number of libraries that may have burned.  While certainly trying to please entirely different audiences, these two books are identical thematically, giving Forever large appeal to the reader who may have picked up Boys hoping for a sentimental tale of teenage sexual awakening, but just not as sticky.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Luckily for the high-school kids that populate Boy Meets Boy, Levithan has created a bizarro-world town where there is no prejudice of any sort, especially sexual.  This bodes well for a school that features a Harley riding cheerleading squad and a cross-dressing star quarterback/Homecoming Queen.  The book centers on Paul, who thinks he finally may have found true love in Noah.  Simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking, Levithan brilliantly illustrates that freed of the burden of prejudice, hatred, and ignorance these are just kids, whatever their sexual orientation, awkwardly trying to find their place in the world and maybe a little happiness, too.

Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 by D.L. King, Giselle Renarde, Kathleen Warnock and Kirsty Logan

Best Gay Erotica 2011 by Johnny Murdoc, Natty Soltesz, and Rob Wolfsham

Sweet Confessions: Erotic Fantasies for Couples by Violet Blue

Again, I must use the “apples and oranges” rule exception.  For any reader of Boys that enjoyed the very detailed and descriptive sex scenes, here you go: a little something for everyone.

Name: Bill S.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

February 23, 2011

Author: Meg Cabot

Title: Insatiable

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 451

Geographical Setting: Romania; New York City

Time Period: Present

Plot Summary:Meena hates vampires; they are the taking over the world, one television show at a time.  Too bad her new boyfriend is a real vampire.  Not only a vampire, but the dark prince: Dracula’s eldest son.  She finds out soon enough when a vampire slayer shows up at her home demanding that she tell him where the vampire is.  Meena has unintentionally stepped right into the middle of a vampire civil war and both sides want her for themselves because, up until now, Meena has been keeping her own supernatural secret: she can predict people’s imminent deaths.  Too bad she can’t see her own.

Subject Headings: Vampires; Romania; New York City; Psychic; Death Prediction; Subway; Soap Operas; Bats; Countess; Dragon; Vatican; Rome; Joan of Arc; The Metropolitan Museum; St. George’s Church; Fire; Nuns

Appeal: Satirical, funny, quick paced, light-hearted, romantic.

3 terms that best describe this book: Funny, Vampire, New York City

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Vampires in Their Own Words by Michelle Belanger (Anthology of quotes from vampire characters)

Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism by Marina Warner (Meena compares herself to Joan of Arc subconsciously)

Palatine Guard by Lambert M Tennoe and Mariam T Hensen (The Palatine guard in the book is a band of vampire slayers)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (referenced many times in the novel)

James Patterson Witch and Wizard (quick, Supernatural, suspense, multiple points of view)

The Sookie Stackhouse Series (Witty, Strong female, fast reads)

~Angela Bennett

One of the Money

February 25, 2009

Title: One for the Money
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: 1994
Page Numbers: 320
Geographic Setting: Trenton, New Jersey
Time Period: Modern, c late 1990s
Series: Stephanie Plum Mysteries #1

Plot Summary:
Recently unemployed Stephanie Plum is down on her luck but her luck is about to change when she stops into her cousin’s bail bonding company. Enter Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter. If she can turn in bail jumper and murderer Joe Morelli, an ex cop from her past, she could become $10,000 richer. But it proves to be harder than it looks when Morelli slips out of her grip time and time again. But when she gains unwanted attention from crazed boxer Bentino Ramirez, she is no longer fighting just for the money; she is fighting for her life.

Subject Headings: women bounty hunters -Trenton, New Jersey; women detectives – Trenton, New Jersey; women bail bond agent-detectives; mystery stories, American; humorous stories, American.
Appeal: quirky, character centered, mystery series, series characters, action-oriented, strong secondary characters, romantic situations, quick paced, strong language, sexually explicit, humorous, eccentric characters, plot twists, urban, engaging

Similar Authors:
Sierra Lavotini mysteries by Nancy Bartholomew. Stripper/detective Sierra Lavotini solves crimes with the help of a quirky cast of characters. Features the same type of fast pace, action and snappy dialogue you’ve come to expect from the Plum series.

Bubbles Yablonsky mysteries by Sarah Strohmeyer. Fashionable Bubbles Yablonsky investigates crimes in the urban neighborhoods. Action packed and fast paced and don’t forget the smart-mouthed remarks.

Perfectly Plum: An Unauthorized Celebration of the Life, Loves and Other Disasters of Stephanie Plum, Trenton Bounty Hunter by Leah Wilson. A collection of essays on the life, loves, and crazy adventures of Stephanie Plum.

Non Fiction
Modern Bounty Hunting: A Real-Life Guide for the Bail Fugitive Recovery Agent by Rex Venator: Find out what it takes to be a modern bounty hunter. Full of textbook instruction and real lessons that show that even if you do everything right, things could go wrong.

The Huntress: The True Saga of Dottie and Brandi Thorson, Modern-Day Bounty Hunters
by Christopher Keane and Dottie Thorson. After the death of famed bounty hunter Ralph Thorson, his widow and daughter stove to take over the family business. Read as these two courageous women prevail in a profession of men and work their way to the top.

Bail Enforcer: The Advanced Bounty Hunter by Bob Burton: “America’s most successful bounty hunter reveals advanced details and tricks of hunting and capturing humans. Learn how to obtain an arrest contract, surveillance tips, what to wear during a bust, how to work with the police, hazards of the use of deadly force, how to avoid your own arrest, legal precedents of the trade and more.”

Michelle B.