Posts Tagged ‘Sad’

Nathan’s Run

May 26, 2010
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Author: John Gilstrap

Title: Nathan’s Run

Genre: thriller (crime thriller)

Publication Date: 1996

Plot Summary: 12 year old Nathan Bailey is an escaped murderer. He stabbed his prison guard to death and is now on the loose in Virginia. The whole book is based around this basic problem, but goes to different perspectives of the people who get embroiled in the investigation. There is Warren, who is the lieutenant of the local police department and the detective on the case. His own son died the previous year and he is obviously still dealing with his grief as he draws connections between Nathan and his own son, making him more sympathetic to the fugitive as the case unfolds. We see Nathan’s perspective as he is trying to  remain at large and uncaptured, thinks through his crimes and motives, and tells his story to the radio host, “The Bitch.” Monica is the radio host who receives Nathan’s call as she is discussing his escape and murder on her radio show. Nathan’s Uncle Mark, who had custody of him before his initial arrest is featured and he has an interesting part in the plot (which I won’t give away).

Subject Headings:

Boy murder suspects, Orphans, Fugitives, Juvenile justice system, Suspense stories

Appeals: compelling, emotionally-charged, sarcastic, philosophical, archetypal, multiple points of view, character-centered, puzzle, cinematic, episodic, issue-oriented, strong language, thought-provoking, sad, simple, straightforward, jaded

3 words to describe book: fugitive, multiple perspectives, philosophical

Read a likes:

Fiction

The Client -John Grisham

This book is similar to Nathan’s Run, in that a kid is being tracked by organized crime because of a crime he witnessed. This is slightly different in that it is also a lawyer type of thriller. Mark is 11. He witnesses a guy who tries to kill himself by gassing himself in his car in the woods. Mark and his little brother, Ricky, are in the woods at the time. Ricky goes into shock and has to be institutionalized. Mark tries to stop the guy. The man, before he shoots himself, tells Mark that he is a lawyer who was defending a mafia person. The mafia man killed a senator and the lawyer tells Mark where the body is. So now, Mark has to help his brother and save his family, without being killed by the mafia tying up loose ends. The family gets the eccentric lawyer, Reggie Love, to try and end the chaos before they all end up dead.

New York Dead – Stuart Woods

This is the first book in the Stone Barrington series. Stone Barrington is a humble detective in a snotty setting. On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, irresistibly famous and sexy Sasha falls 12 stories from her condo right in front of Stone… He always seems to be in the middle of the action. But, she is still alive. When her ambulance gets into a crash, she disappears. Stone doesn’t believe that Sasha’s lesbian lover is the killer, so he goes beyond the NYPD investigations to find out himself. This is a read alike for those who like melodramtic detective thrillers with sexual undertones.

The Bone Collector – Jeffery Deaver

This is the first book in the Lincoln Rhyme series. Lincoln Rhyme is the main character throughout these series, who is a criminologist (famous and extraordinary in the novel’s world). He gets in a bad accident which scared him and injured him. He cannot rest, though, because a serial killer is on the loose. He and his side kick Amelia Sachs go through New York City following clues the egotistical killer leaves behind on purpose. This is good if you like another thriller with a sexual tension and a puzzle to solve.

NF

Juvenile – Joseph Rodriguez

This addresses the philosophical controversy thread throughout the book about juveniles in prison, what it’s like, and the issues behind it. In Gilstrap’s novel, the radio host and callers, as well as the detective and his family discuss whether Nathan is to blame and how he should be punished.

Hidden evidence: Forty true crimes and how forensic science helped to solve them – David Owen

This discusses how detectives solve crimes. In Gilstrap’s book, Warren is the detective in the book trying to find Nathan, the boy killer, based on clues and leads he finds throughout the books. Readers would want to see how real detectives do this.

Villains’ paradise: A history of Britain’s Underworld – Donald Thomas

True crime of organized crime, including mafia and gangs. This is for people who like to read about history. It also involves crime, which is the basis for Gilstrap’s thriller.

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.

Let the Right One In

November 4, 2009

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Title: Let the Right One In (Let Me In) (Låt den rätte komma in)

Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 480

Geographical Setting: Sweden (suburbs of Stockholm)

Time Period: Present day

Series: no

Plot Summary:

Oskar is a struggling 12 year old who collects articles about serial killers and murders. He is tortured at school, and since his parents divorce his home life is not much better. Life in general is gray and lonely for Oskar until his new neighbors move in, an old man and his young daughter. Late one night Oskar meets Eli, the young androgynous looking girl. Right away Oskar notices that she is odd. She is pale like Oskar, but smells bad (like rotten meat) and in the dead of winter and she has no coat, and no socks and shoes. They form a friendship as lonely outcasts of a small town. She encourages him to stand up to the bullies at school, and he becomes her closest confident. Due to Oskar’s slightly morbid side he is neither shocked or frightened when Eli tells him that she survives on blood, and that the old man is not her father, but an aging pedophile who kills for her in exchange for money and the promise that one day he can touch her. The old man is soon caught by the police, and now Eli must fend for herself. Fearing that the town is suspicious of her she says her goodbyes to Oskar and leaves. Life goes on with out his only friend, until it is almost ended at the hands of his bullies. In the midst of a swim practice the boys gang up on Oskar and try to drown him. Eli intervenes in a gruesome way, she pulls Oskar from the blood filled pool and they escape together.

Subject Headings: Vampires, 12 year old boys, Revenge, Swedish Horror

Appeal: Vampire, Horror, coming of age, Sweden, Bullies, twisted love story, Dark, Sad, Lonely, Gruesome, character centered, Controversial, Mysterious, Suburban, Cold, Morbid, Divorce.

3 Terms that best describe this book: Lonely, Dark, Friendship

3 fiction read alikes

Popular music from Vittula: a novel by Mikael Niemi

(Looks at life in a small Swedish village during the 1960s and its colorful inhabitants, including an African missionary, a German tourist who happens to be an ex-Nazi, and a music teacher who has no fingers on his right hand.)

The princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson

(When the mutilated body of the local reformed troublemaker is found, Inspector Ann Lindell takes time off from maternity leave to uncover the killer and is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a vicious murderer.)

Depths: a novel by Henning Mankell

(Swedish naval officer Lars Tobiasson-Svartman finds himself attracted to a young widow whose wild nature is in total contrast to his wife’s reserved personality.)

3 non-fiction read alikes

The dead travel fast: stalking vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula by Eric Nuzum

(A cultural exploration of vampire lore and the lifestyles it has inspired)

Fight scenes by Greg Bottoms

(Suburban male coming of age vignettes from around the U.S.)

Real Vampires by Daniel Cohen

(Argues that vampires are not merely creatures of fiction, and provides instances of real-life encounters with vampires from Middle Europe to Middle America, from medieval to modern times)

Name: Laura