Posts Tagged ‘rich and famous’

Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace

November 7, 2012

Author:  Kate Summerscale

Title:  Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady

Genre:  Biography

Publication Date:  2012

Number of Pages:  291

Geographical Setting:  Scotland and England

Time Period:  Victorian Era, 1850-1859

Plot Summary:  Isabella Robinson was a 31 year-old widow with a young child when she met and married Henry Robinson in 1844.  The Robinsons subsequently had two children of their own, and the family became firmly ensconced in upper middle class society in Scotland and England.   Isabella ultimately grew unhappy with her aloof husband, and spent more and more of her time in the company of family friends and academics whom she admired.  After stumbling upon and reading Isabella’s private diary in 1857, Henry Robinson promptly sued his wife for divorce in the English courts on charges of adultery.   The resulting divorce hearings and trial erupted into in a scandal of massive proportion when The London Times printed a series of unedited excerpts from Isabella’s diary in which she described, in lurid detail, a series of intimate encounters with Edward Lane, a respected London doctor and friend to the Robinson family.  Was Isabella really a bold, unrepentant adulteress or simply a discontented wife who wrote unashamedly about her sexual frustrations and fantasies?  Why was Isabella subject to public scorn, while Dr. Lane was afforded greater sympathy?  Summerscale provides readers with a moving portrait of Isabella’s life, details of her relationship with Edward Lane and his family, and an informative look at the moral and cultural influences of the Victorian era.  This well-researched work includes excerpts from Isabella’s diary and letters, relevant court transcripts and news reports of the day, and excerpts from the personal letters of historical figures such as Charles Darwin and controversial phrenologist George Combe, both of whom were patients of Dr. Lane’s, and acquaintances of Isabella’s.  Overall, this work offers a fascinating examination of the role of women in the Victorian era, and the inequalities afforded them by society and the courts.

Subject Headings:  Robinson, Isabella (1813-1887)—Diaries;  Middle class women—Scotland—Edinburgh—Diaries;  Edinburgh—Scotland—Social life and customs—19th century;  Divorce—England—19th century

Appeal:  compelling, densely written, stately, atmospheric, dramatic, introspective, sophisticated, thoughtful, detailed, evocative, insightful, sympathetic characters, authentic, details of the Victorian era, complex, investigative, rich and famous, accessible, colorful, engaging, informative, journalistic, polished, well-researched

Three Appeal Terms that Best Describe this Book:  compelling, insightful, well-researched

Three Fiction Read-alikes:

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

In Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace, Isabella Robinson is aware of the scandal surrounding the publication of Madame Bovary in France in 1856, and the charges of obscenity which prevented its publication in Scotland and England.  Did the tale of Emma Bovary’s discontent and adultery influence Isabella’s behavior or simply spark her imagination?  Flaubert’s classic novel mirrors Isabella’s life with its theme of a passionate woman dissatisfied with her marriage and way of life.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Readers of Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace interested in its examination of the effects a scandalous affair can have on a woman’s reputation may also enjoy this fictionalized account of the relationship between architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress of many years, Mameh Cheney.  Horan’s award-winning novel focuses on the impact their long-time affair had on Wright’s wife and family, and the public derision Cheney endured after she left her husband and children to make a new life with Wright.

Clara Callan by Richard Bruce Wright

Readers of Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace who enjoyed learning about societal expectations impacting women in a bygone era may also enjoy Wright’s novel about two sisters pursuing separate dreams against the backdrop of the political and social upheaval of the 1930’s.  Written as a series of letters and diary entries, Wright’s novel offers a vivid portrait of the lives of the two women, one pursuing a career in glamorous New York City, while the other struggles with the limitations of a more traditional life in her small Canadian town.  Interwoven throughout the story are real world events that shaped the era, including the effects of the Great Depression and the rising political tensions in pre-WWII Europe.

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works:

Marriage, Feminism, and the Law in Victorian England, 1850-1895 by Mary Lyndon Shanley

In Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace, Isabella Robinson found herself a victim of society’s attitudes toward the role of women in Victorian era England, as well as antiquated and discriminatory divorce laws which afforded women few rights when a marriage was dissolved.  Out of the struggles of married women like Isabella, a feminist movement was born.  Shanley’s title examines the Victorian feminists’ battle for fundamental reforms to marriage law that ultimately transformed both the legal and social status of married women.

Hydotherapy:  Simple Treatments for Common Ailments by Clarence Dail and Charles Thomas

Edward Lane, the doctor who was the object of Isabella Robinson’s passion in Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace, was the proprietor of a popular health retreat that specialized in hydrotherapy, a relatively new and fairly provocative medical treatment at the time.  In addition to Isabella, his patients included upper class members of society, celebrities of the era, and historical figures such as Charles Darwin.  This title by Dail and Thomas examines modern-day beliefs surrounding the healing powers of water.

 Darwin:  Portrait of a Genius by Paul Johnson

As one of many famous patients to take treatment at Dr. Lane’s health retreat throughout the 1850’s, influential scientist Charles Darwin makes several appearances in Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace, with his opinion regarding the scandal surrounding Dr. Lane and Isabella reflected in his writings of the time.   Readers interested in learning more about Darwin will find much to enjoy in Johnson’s new biography, which details the life and times of the celebrated scientist, whose groundbreaking work Origin of the Species was published in 1859, just as the Robinson divorce case was reaching its conclusion.

Breakdown

October 17, 2012

Author:  Sara Paretsky

Title:  Breakdown

Genre:  Mystery

Publication Date:  2012

Number of Pages:  431

Geographical Setting:  Chicago, Illinois

Time Period:  Contemporary

Series:  The V.I. Warshawski Series (#16)

Plot Summary:  Chicago private detective V.I. Warshawski investigates the potential involvement of a group of preteen girls interested in the Supernatural in the grisly vampire-style murder of a local private detective.  Meanwhile, a polarizing cable TV news host ratchets up his attempts to smear a candidate for the U.S. Senate by digging up dirt on wealthy businessman Chaim Salanter, an elderly Jewish supporter of the candidate and the grandfather of one of the girls discovered at the scene of the murder.  Plotlines converge at breakneck speed when Salanter’s granddaughter is kidnapped.  With the girl’s life hanging in the balance, Warshawski races to determine how the original murder and Salanter’s well-kept secrets are related to the kidnapping, a vicious attack on an old friend, and the death of an orderly at a state mental facility.  As the plot twists and turns, it seems clear that someone is willing to go to great lengths to make sure events of the past stay buried. 

Subject Headings:  Warshawski, V.I. (Ficticious Character)—Fiction; Women Private Investigators—Illinois—Chicago—Fiction;  Murder—Investigation—Fiction; Rich People—Fiction; Political Campaigns—Fiction;  Chicago (Ill.)—Fiction

Appeal:  fast-paced, compelling, suspenseful, dangerous, dark, gritty, sarcastic, engaging, series characters, intricately plotted, multiple plotlines, plot twists, investigative, rich and famous, contemporary, urban, political, details of Chicago, candid, earthy, straight-forward

Three Appeal Terms that Best Describe Book:  fast-paced, intricately plotted, suspenseful

Fiction Read-alikes:

A Trouble of Fools by Linda Barnes

Fans of Sara Paretsky’s tough, female private investigator V.I. Warshawski may also enjoy getting to know Carlotta Carlyle, the smart, hard-nosed female P.I. at the heart of Linda Barnes’ fast-paced mysteries, which are set against the gritty urban landscape of Boston. In this first title of the series, Carlotta’s investigation into the disappearance of a missing cab driver soon draws her into intrigue involving the IRA, a major drug ring, the FBI, and a member of the Mob.

The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Readers who enjoyed following the nasty political campaign and related media tie-ins at the heart of Breakdown may also enjoy this suspenseful and intricately plotted mystery involving murder and sleazy politicians.  Plotlines converge as Detective Jake Brogan investigates a series of murders of young women in Boston, while disgraced reporter Jane Ryland covers a seemingly-unrelated sex scandal involving a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The Chicago Way by Michael T. Harvey

Readers of the V.I. Warshawski series who enjoy its gritty Chicago setting may also enjoy this first title in Harvey’s series about ex-Chicago cop and private detective, Michael Kelly.  At the request of his former partner, Kelly agrees to investigate a cold case involving a violent rape committed 8 years ago.  After his partner is found dead the next day, Kelly’s investigation soon points to the possibility that a serial killer/rapist is currently on the loose.  In this fast-paced mystery, the body count mounts as Kelly races to expose a cover-up related to the original crime.

Related Non-Fiction:

Politics on Demand: The Effects of 24-Hour News on American Politics by Alison Dagnes

A major plotline in Breakdown revolves around the efforts of a popular, politically polarizing host of a major cable TV news program to influence the outcome of a campaign for the U.S. Senate.  This book examines the proliferation of the 24-hour news cycle perpetuated by cable news stations, and the resulting shift in coverage away from substantive treatment of political issues to opinion-based reporting.   Also discussed is the impact this type of coverage has had on Americans’ understanding of politics and government, changes in the ways in which news organizations use politicians, and vice versa.

The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps, 1939-1944 by Herman Kruk

A significant plotline in Breakdown involves an investigation into a major character’s experience as a youth living in the Jewish Ghetto of Vilna, Lithuania during WWII.  This book is a translation of a diary kept by Herman Kruk, a Polish Jew who lived in the Vilna Ghetto, who ultimately perished in a labor camp in Estonia.  The diary provides a heartbreaking account of the conditions, violence, and cruelty that marked everyday life in the Ghetto.

Vampires, Zombies, and Shape-shifters (Secrets of the Supernatural)  by Rebecca Stefoff

Secret rituals surrounding membership in a book club for a (fictitious) popular series of books about vampires and shape-shifters inadvertently connects a group of preteen girls to a dangerous murder plot in Breakdown.  This book provides a review of the legend and folklore surrounding the enduring myth of vampires, zombies, and shape-shifters (e.g., werewolves).

Becky King

From Barcelona, with Love

October 3, 2012

Cover of From Barcelona, with LoveAuthor:  Elizabeth Adler

Title: From Barcelona with Love

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 338

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, Barcelona, Spanish Sierra Mountains

Time Period: Present day

Series: Mac Reilly, P.I.; Book 4

Plot Summary: Bibi Fortunata, a famous singer, is released from trial by a judge due to lack of evidence for the murder of her lover and his latest mistress, her supposed best friend. Rather than allow the scandal to affect her seven year-old daughter, Paloma, Bibi decides to leave her in the care of an aunt, and promptly disappears without a trace. Two years later, young Paloma meets TV detective show host and private investigator Mac Reilly, and Bibi’s family asks Mac to take up the case: find Bibi—if she is still alive—and reunite mother and daughter once again. Mac follows the trail to Barcelona, where he must discover the truth behind the murders before Bibi’s sinister ex-husband comes to take Paloma away, and claim her inheritance of a Spanish wine-making dynasty for himself. Moving at a brisk pace, and filled with plot twists, From Barcelona with Love is framed by the atmosphere and rich detail Adler evokes of cosmopolitan Barcelona and the more pastoral wineries and villas of the Spanish countryside. And the tone of the novel strikes a graceful balance between mystery and romance, as the story unravels the secret of Bibi.

Subject Headings: Barcelona (Spain), Murder investigation, Frameups, Women celebrities, Jilted women, Missing Persons, Suspicion, Detectives, Mothers and daughters, Murder suspects, Triangles (Interpersonal relations), Extramarital relations, Americans in foreign countries.

Appeal: compelling, fast paced, intriguing secondary characters, dramatic, vivid, series (characters), character centered, plot twists, resolved ending, rich and famous, steamy, contemporary, detailed settings, exotic, strong sense of place, lush, suspenseful, colorful, conversational.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: character centered, plot twists, detailed settings

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Spain: A Culinary Roadtrip by Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Spanish food and wine figure prominently in From Barcelona, with Love, and readers who may wish to learn more on the subject will likely enjoy this gastronomic tour of Spain co-written by a preeminent chef, the food critic for the New York Times, and a celebrity foodie.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli by Lisa Abend

There are multiple scenes in Adler’s novel that evoke the contemporary Spanish cuisine known as molecular gastronomy, that was first popularized by maverick chef Ferran Adrià. Readers who enjoy food writing and want to explore the topic further will find much to savor here.

Barcelona The Great Enchantress by Robert Hughes

For readers who want to learn more about the historic sites described in From Barcelona, with Love, award-winning travel writer Hughes here vividly describes the Spanish city which he has admired and visited for over forty years.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Someone to Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught

Readers who enjoyed From Barcelona, with Love may also like this steamy Romantic Suspense novel, which similarly focuses on relationships and the foibles of the rich and famous. Leigh Kendall, a Broadway star, awakens in the hospital after a car crash to discover that she is suspected in the disappearance of her well-to-do husband.

Veil of Night by Linda Howard

As From Barcelona, with Love is an example of the gentler side of Romantic Suspense, Veil of Night may appeal to some of Adler’s readers. Howard’s fast-paced novel is focused on romantic relationships, and is humor-inflected with an accent on mystery. Wedding planner Jaclyn Wilde must team with P.I. Eric Wilder to solve the murder of one of her clients, a bridezilla depised by everyone she came in contact with.

Winter Garden by Hannah Kristin

Readers who appreciate Adler’s story of family secrets, sense of place, and richly detailed descriptions of exotic locales may enjoy this story of a woman trying to uncover the mysteries of her mother’s tragic past hidden in a Russian fairy tale she used to tell her children. Winter Garden takes the reader on a journey from apple growing country in the Pacific Northwest to Stalin-era Leningrad.

Name: John Rimer

Mama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris

April 20, 2011

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Author: E. Lynn Harris

Title: Mama Dearest

Genre: African-American fiction

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 387

Geographical Setting: New York City, NY; Miama, FL

Time Period: 21st century

Plot Summary: Yancey Braxton Harrington has seen better days. Performing in a traveling production of Dreamgirls, Yancey needs a comeback to keep her Upper East Side townhouse and to restore her to the life she was once accustomed. Though a beautiful talented singer and actress, Yancey is indeed past her prime and jealously guards her diminishing fame. It is in Miami that she meets S. Marcus Pinkston, worldly, wealthy, and well-connected, and he thinks a reality television show is just what Yancey needs to return to the spotlight. Feeling better than she has in years, Yancey returns to New York only to discover her mother, Ava Middlebrooks, has been released early from prison. Reluctantly Yancey allows Ava to stay temporarily. Ava also dreams of the good life she too had once known, and will do anything to get it back. Yancey, in a moment of shock, reveals to Ava that a young rising Disney star is the daughter Yancey gave up for adoption while still in college. Marcus is not all that he seems, Ava is hiding something, and Yancey is going to need all the help she can get. In this tale of mothers and daughters, betrayal, and intrigue, love and redemption will heal old wounds.

Subject Headings: African American women singers Fiction; African American actresses Fiction; Mothers and daughters Fiction.

Appeal: fast-paced, suspenseful, flawed, multiple plot lines, racy, rich and famous, conversational, intricately plotted, character-driven, engaging, dramatic, details of entertainment industry

3 terms that best describe this book: intricately plotted, dramatic, engaging

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin (humor, entertainment industry, autobiography)
Friends by Angela Bassett (arts and entertainment, African American film actors and actresses, memoirs)
Chicken Soup for the Mother Daughter Soul: Stories to Warm the Heart and Inspire the Spirit (family and relationships, inspiration, moving)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Envy by Sandra Brown (intricately plotted, details of publishing industry, betrayal, revenge)
Babylon Sisters by Pearl Cleage (African-American fiction, family relationships, redemption)
What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Philips (fast-paced, celebrities, engaging)

Name: Sasha Neri

Audition

June 16, 2010

Author: Barbara Walters
Title: Audition
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 587
Geographical Setting:  Primarily New York City
Time Period:  20th Century
Series: No
Plot Summary:  This vivid, engrossing memoir follows Barbara Walters from her childhood as the daughter of an entertainment magnate to her present as a journalism icon. Told in her own familiar voice, Walters gives great insight into how she moved from position to position and network to network, as well as candid looks into interviews with celebrities and politicians big and small. Named for her feeling that her entire life has just been a series of one audition after another, despite her fame, she allows her fears to show through despite her famous name. A big revelation of an affair with another celebrity is tempered by details of her day to day family life, including her handicapped sister and troubled daughter.  Teeming with celebrity names and juicy stories, this memoir reads like a novel as the pages fly by.
Subject Headings:  Celebrity, Journalists, Biography, Memoir
Appeal:  Engrossing, candid, detailed, character-centered, episodic, rich and famous, family-centered, funny, details of broadcast journalism, chatty, colorful, vivid
Three Terms that Best Describe this Book:  Engrossing, candid, rich and famous
Similar Works:
Fiction:
Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Suzanne  (rich and famous, engrossing, vivid)
Everyone Worth Knowing, Lauren Weisberger (rich and famous, witty, character-centered)
Postcards from the Edge, Carrie Fisher (rich and famous, funny, witty, candid)
Nonfiction:
This Time Together, Carol Burnett (funny, engrossing)
Personal History, Katharine Graham (engrossing, literary, details of journalism, detailed)
Live from New York, by James Miller and Tom Shales (episodic, details of tv show, behind-the-scenes)

Swapping Lives

October 21, 2009

Author: Green, Jane

Title: Swapping Lives

Genre: Chick Lit/Audiobook

Publication Date: 2005

Geographical Setting: Highfield, Connecticut & London

Time Period: present day

Series: no

Plot Summary: Vicky Townsley is a 35-year-old editor at a popular women’s magazine in London who is convinced that her real life can only begin once she is married with children. But first she needs to find a man who is ready for commitment. Amber Winslow is a wealthy wife and mother in Connecticut with a mansion, a gardener, and a full-time nanny. She loves her husband and children but feels as though her life has become a meaningless competition. When Amber and Vicky trade lives for a month as part of a magazine contest, both women get a chance to live the life they think they want. But both women come to realize that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

This audiobook, narrated by British actress Rosalyn Landor using many different voices and accents, features plenty of dialogue, a contemporary plot that is character-centered but engaging, and an intriguing concept of switching lives. Although the two main characters seem perfect on the outside, the author relates their inner struggles in detail. Secondary characters are easily recognizable but fun: the supportive friend, the ladies man boyfriend, the catty “friends” at the fundraisers. The settings—both London and a wealthy suburb in Connecticut—provide a peek at glamorous jobs and lifestyles, with plenty of descriptions of fabulous homes and designer fashions. The dialogue and plot get a bit racy at times, with plenty of talk of “shagging” and some strong language. Despite the sometimes melodramatic introspective musings of the two main characters, this book is basically a light read, with a happy ending for all involved.

Appeal Terms: humorous, romantic, chick lit, detailed, inner dialogue, glamorous, motherhood, relationships, light read, self discovery, British customs, romance, happy ending, Connecticut, London, marital problems, fresh starts, suburban, quick read, role reversal, identity crisis, fashion-centered, familiar characters, introspective, multiple points of view, sympathetic, character-centered, domestic, multiple plot lines, racy, rich and famous, strong language, contemporary, emotionally charged, melodramatic

Subject Headings: women’s magazines (fiction), London (fiction), role reversal (fiction), housewives (fiction), Connecticut (fiction), women and dating (fiction), marriage (fiction), suburban living (fiction), motherhood (fiction), identity

Three Terms that Best Describe the Book: glamorous, identity crisis, character-centered

Three Nonfiction Titles:

The Handbag: An Illustrated History by Caroline Cox
– Examines the history of handbag design within the context of changing society and women’s roles in it

Little Black Book of London by Vesna Neskow
– This travel guide features insider recommendations and full-color neighborhood maps that pinpoint landmarks, museums, entertainment, pubs, clubs, and hotels in London

Queen Bees & Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman
– The characters in Swapping Lives could learn a few things from this book about cliques and social climbing girls

Three Fiction Titles:

Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes
– Depicts the lives of three women in the fashion magazine industry, exploring the trials and tribulations as well as the happiness and joy of true friends in the fast-paced world of love and career.

I Don’t Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother by Allison Pearson
– Kate Reddy, a hedge fund manager and mother of two, struggles to juggle her professional and personal lives and to balance work and home.

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
– A celebrity gossip reporter turned suburban Connecticut housewife sets out to solve the mystery of a super mom found dead on the floor of kitchen in this light mystery.

Mary, Mary: A Novel

October 7, 2009

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Author: James Patterson

Title: Mary, Mary

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: November 2005

Number of Pages: 392

Geographical Setting: Various places in USA: Washington D.C., and Seattle, WA, but mainly Los Angeles, CA

Time Period: Contemporary (post e-mail invention)

Series: Alex Cross Mysteries 11

Plot Summary: Alex Cross is finally getting away on vacation in Disneyland with his three children and grandmother when he finds himself pulled into the latest case. Someone assuming the name Mary Smith has started to pick off wealthy, successful mothers in LA and Alex’s expertise is needed once again. There are also other linked killings which do not fit this profile. Meanwhile, as every target is hit, an e-mail by the person claiming to be the killer is sent to a popular critic for an entertainment magazine. Parallel to the serial killings plot, there are also events taking place in Alex’s personal life involving his ex-wife, Christine and his youngest son, Alex Jr.

3 fiction read-alikes and why:

  1. John Sandford Prey Series for the lover of suspense and graphic details
  2. Harlan Coben Tell No One for the lover of the fast-paced, simplistic page-turner
  3. Douglas Kennedy The Big Picture for the engrossing, edge-of-seat appeal

3 nonfiction read-alikes and why:

  1. Ted Schwarz The Hillside Strangler: the three faces of America’s most savage rapist and murderer and the shocking revelations from the sensational Los Angeles trial! For the reader who wants to read a book set in LA about a graphic account of a psychotic serial killer. Also includes interviews from policeman and psychiatrists who worked on the case.
  2. Clifford L. Lindecker Night Stalker: a shocking story of Satanism, sex, and serial murders for a reader who likes serial killing set in LA.
  3. John Gilmore Severed: the true story of the Black Dahlia is a good documentation on the unsolved murder of an aspiring LA starlet.

3 terms that best describe the book: murder investigation, psychological suspense story, cinematic

Subject Headings:

Police – Fiction

Police Psychologists

Murder – Investigation

Psychological Suspense Stories

Los Angeles, California

Crimes against Actors and Actresses

Suspense Stories

Mystery Stories

Name: Susan

The ex-Mrs. Hedgefund

June 15, 2009

Author: Kargman, Jill

Title: The ex-Mrs. Hedgefund

Genre: Women’s lives & relationships/chick lit

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 304p

Geographical Setting: New York City, NY

Time Period: 2006

Series: (if applicable) N/A

Plot Summary:

In this witty, fast-paced tale of New York City’s rich and famous, Holly Talbott becomes disenchanted with her life among the elite Upper East Side society, comprised of über-rich hedgefund managers and their wives. Holly’s situation is further complicated when she discovers her husband’s infidelity and files for divorce. Holly and her ex-sister-in-law, Kiki, set out on an adventure in search of fun and romance in New York City in this entertaining and upbeat romp.

Subject Headings:

Divorced women; rich people; extramarital relations; dating (social customs); conflict in marriage; New York City

Appeal:

Romantic, fast-paced, witty, dialogue-filled, plot-centered, easy, familiar characters, racy, rich and famous, romp, domestic, exciting, steamy, urban, contemporary, detailed New York City setting, edgy, emotionally-charged, humorous, upbeat, vivid, candid, chatty, entertaining

3 Terms that best describe this book:

New York City, upbeat, romp

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Lauren Weisberger, Everyone Worth Knowing and Chasing Harry Winston, are novels about young, rich women having the time of their lives in New York City. These novels are exciting, fast-paced, candid and entertaining romps for chick-lit readers.

Holly Peterson, The Manny is a novel for readers who like fast-paced, New York City based, chick-lit novels about wealthy, Park Avenue women and trends.

Plum Sykes, The Debutante Divorcee is for fans of juicy, New York City’s Upper East Side-based chick-lit novels. Fast- paced, it is about divorced women who turn into high-society husband huntresses.

Similar Non-fiction Authors and Works:

Paul Weitz, Privilege, is the story of two Upper East Side brothers and how their lives change when their father is accused of insider trading.

Pamela Keech, The Curious Shopper’s Guide to New York City: inside Manhattan’s shopping districts is a guide to the different shopping districts in Manhattan and many stores in this book are mentioned in The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund.

Karen Covy, When Happily Ever After Ends: how to survive your divorce – emotionally, financially and legally presents divorce settlement options and strategies and dealing with a difficult ex-spouse.

Name: Natalie Ochockyj

Soul Mates Dissipate

April 1, 2009

Author: Mary B. Morrison

Title:  Soul Mates Dissipate

Genre:  Romance, African-American Fiction, Urban Lit

Publication Date: 2000

Pages: 234

Geographic Setting:  Oakland and San Francisco California

Time Period:  Present Day

Series: Soul Mates Dissipate

Plot Summary: Jada Diamond Tanner has it all; she is successful male model photographer who is engaged to her true soul mate, Wellington Jones.  As Jada and Wellington’s wedding date nears, Jada meets Wellington’s well-off family, and conniving mother Cynthia.  Determined to make sure Wellington marries the right type of woman Cynthia invites an old friend of Wellington’s, Melanie, to visit for a while.  Jada soon learns her soul mate may not be faithful, and finds herself challenging what she thought was destiny.

Subject Headings:  Love stories, African-American; African-American women; Soul mates; Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Men/women relations; Fiancés

Appeal: compelling, fast-paced, dramatic, evocative, recognizable, cinematic, complex, open-ended, plot-centered, plot twists, racy, rich and famous, sexually explicit, steamy, strong language, tragic, contemporary, urban, lush, candid, didactic, edgy, melodramatic, romantic, accessible, concise, conversational, natural, simple

Similar Authors and works (fiction): So You Call Yourself a Man by Carl Weber (plot twists, racy, melodramatic); Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby (dramatic, plot twists, fast-paced); The Other Women by Eric Jerome Dickey (dramatic, racy, plot twists)

Similar Authors and works (non-fiction): Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey (candid, accessible, conversational); Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans (candid, rich and famous, edgy), Have you Meet Miss Jones? By Tarsha Jones (steamy, contemporary, candid)

Name: Michelle K

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.

March 17, 2009

Author:  Sandra Gulland
Title:  The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 1995
Number of Pages: 436
Geographical Settings:  France, Martinique
Time Period:  1777-1796
Series:  Josephine B. Trilogy

Plot Summary:
Marie-Joseph-Rose de Tascher de al Pagerie, later known as Josephine Bonaparte, Empresses of the French, was born on an island, Martinique.  While living there, a Voodoo priestess told her she would be Queen.  This is the story of before she was queen, before she married Napoleon, when she was simply known as Rose.  In Martinique, Rose grows up on a sugar plantation and the age of 14 she is betrothed to a man in France, and begins her adventure.  Her husband Alexedre de Beauharnais soon joins the revolution, and Rose is caught up in the chaos. After her husband dies she meets another powerful politician, Napoleon.  The first in a trilogy about Josephine, this vivid depiction of Josephine’s life, told through diary-entries is an engrossing tale of romance, revolution, struggle, and determination.

Appeal:  compelling, engrossing, dramatic, lifelike, vivid, well-developed, realistic, character-centered, family-centered, layered, multiple plot lines, rich and famous, detailed setting, details of the French Revolution, historical details, political, intimate, rural, urban, candid, romantic, accessible, conversational, unpretentious

Subject Headings:  Josephine, Empress of the French, 1763-1814; Napoleon, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821; Women rulers – diaries; Biographical novels; Marriages of convenience; Political corruption

Similar Authors and Works:
Fiction:  Emilie’s Voice by Susanne Dunlap (French History, French royalty, rich and famous) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (royalty, romantic, dramatic) The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll (royalty, romantic, political)
Non-Fiction:  The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon’s Josephine by Andrea Stuart (historical details, intimate, layered) Josephine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress (historical details, intimate, Napoleon)  The Days of the French Revolution by Christopher Hibbert (historical details, details of the French Revolution, layered)