Posts Tagged ‘sexual’

Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0-22

April 18, 2012

Author: MariNaomi

Title: Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0-22

Genre: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 331

Geographical Setting: California

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:

This graphic novel is full of sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and often surprising stories from the authors life.  The stories, told in chronological order, follow MariNaomi’s love life from before she was born, starting with her parents story and ending when she is roughly 22 years old.  Some of the stories are short and sweet, while others are longer or more complicated. In addition to her stories of sex, love, and heartbreak, MariNaomi tells of her adolescence rebellion, getting kicked out of her house and running away several times throughout her youth.  She also tells of her experiments with drug use and sexuality. Almost anyone can relate to at least a few of the stories from Naomi’s life.  The black and white illustrations depict the stories well.

Subject Headings: MariNaomi, Young women – Identity, Mate selection for women, Women – Sexuality, Dating (Social customs), First sexual experience, Self-discovery in women, Women — Interpersonal relations

Appeals: touching, fast-paced, sexual, heartbreaking, candid, bittersweet, character-centered, self-discovery, sympathetic characters, funny, relatable, coming of age

3 Appeal terms to best describe book: fast-paced, touching, coming of age

Non-fiction:
Blankets: An Illustrated Novel by Craig Thompson- In this coming of age, autobiographical graphic novel the author takes us through his adolescence.  Thompson describes the experience of falling in love for the first time as well as the power of sexual attraction and young love.

Talking to Girls about Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut by Rob Sheffield- In this funny, upbeat coming of age novel the author describes his experiences trying to find love starting at the age of 13.  The book leads the reader all the way through to the author’s first apartment and real girlfriend with 80’s and 90’s music as a guide.

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel. This graphic tells of the love life of a diverse group of lesbian friends.  These funny, witty stories explore sexuality between women, which MariNaomi experiments with in Kiss & Tell.

Fiction:
Shortcoming by Adrian Tomine- This funny graphic novel follows a twenty something, Ben, as he looks for the perfect girl. Much like MariNaomi the story is told with humor and follows the life of a Japanese American in their quest for love.

Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross. This semi-autobiographical story follows Melissa as she enters high school. Experimenting with drugs, failing classes, and dealing with the opposite sex are just some of the subjects discussed in this coming of age graphic novel.

Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun. Korean teen Joon runs away from her home in Brooklyn at the age of 12. This novel follows her as she lives in homeless shelters, struggles with drug abuse, and puts herself in dangerous situations. MariNaomi also ran away and was kicked out of her home several times as a teenager.

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.

The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar

March 30, 2011

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Author: Terri Cheney

Title: The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar

Genre: Nonfiction

Publication Date: March 1st, 2011

Number of Pages: 288 pages

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, CA

Time Period: Late 1960’s – 1970’s

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Terri Cheney chronicles her life as a young girl struggling with bipolar disorder while growing up in a suburban Los Angeles home in this engaging memoir.  She eloquently retells stories about her childhood and teen years, pulling the reader in with a sense of urgency through every incident.  Throughout the book, she is hiding a secret that she herself is too young to understand, even though on the outside she was a smart and successful student, beloved by her father.  Candid and straight-forward, Cheney doesn’t hide anything that happened to her as a child, nor does she make excuses for why she did those things, other than the fact that a force inside of her, whom she named as the “Black Beast”, drove her into this destructive, manic lifestyle.

Subject Headings: Bipolar Disorder, Childhood, Dysfunctional Families, Self-Discovery, Sexual Experimentation, Spirituality and Religion, Writing, Suburban Life

Appeal terms: Intense, dramatic, ominous, sexual, volatile, urgent, hostile, bittersweet, angst-ridden, complex, uneasy, evocative, candid, character-centered, morbid, bleak, angry

3 terms that best describes this book: Disturbing, intensely dramatic, emotional

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask by Hilary Smith

A funny and insightful book that dives deep into a difficult issue with humor only someone who has been there can truly write about.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir by Kay Redfield Jamison

A psychiatrist opens up about her life struggles with depression, varying from her personal stories to scientific knowledge about the disease that both distraught and thrilled her.

Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder by Karen Winters Schwartz

The teenage daughter of a psychiatrist is bipolar, and every member of the family is affected by her behavior, though they handle it in different ways.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Written in free verse, this is the story of three psychologically troubled teens connecting after they are committed to a mental health facility after suicide attempts.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Largely seen as autobiographical, this is a fictional work about a young female writer in the 1950’s whose talent was overshadowed by her constant struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

A young teenage girl struggling with schizophrenia has to fight for a way to live sanely and escape the torments of her fantasies.

Name: Lian Sze

Julie and Julia: My year of cooking dangerously

June 16, 2010

Author: Julie Powell

Title: Julie and Julia: My year of cooking dangerously

Genre: nonfiction, memoir, best-seller

Publication Date: 2005

Plot Summary:

Just like you should always do your grocery shopping on a full stomach, you should not read this book until after you have eaten. Powell’s delectable descriptions of her cooked meals are short, succinct and sexy. In this memoir, Julie Powell is a women stuck in the vicious circle of temp jobs after failing (or not even really trying) to be an actress in New York. On her latest hysteric breakdown, her husband, encouraging to a fault, suggests she do something that she actually likes, cooking, for example. Julie decides to start a blog about cooking through every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book is cynical, hilarious, self-obsessed and triumphant. For all you horror genre lovers out there, Julie has to stalk lobsters through the boroughs of New York and murder them with knives and boiling water, while they wiggle their innocent little tentacles at her and try to jump the grocery bag.

Subject Headings:

Food Writing; Humore Writing; Autobiography; Memoir; Julie Powell; Julia Child; Women Cooks—anecdotes; French Cooking; Food Habits; Marriage

Appeals: cynical, hilarious, self-obsessed, triumphant, sexual, intimate, urban, dramatic, accessible, profanity, witty, unhurried

3 words to describe book: cynical, funny, appetizing

Read a likes:

Fiction

The School of Essential Ingredients – Erica Bauermeister

This novel tells of a cooking class that takes place at a restaurant where the students learn that they need more than just recipes and become involved in each other’s lives. This is if you like a more literary pick.

Cooking for Mr. Right – Susan Volland

At a similar age as Powell, a Seattle chef has a quarter life crisis because of her recent pink slip and break up, so she decides (once again, like Powell) to cook up a scheme to redeem her life.

Deep Dish – Mary Kay Andrews

The Cooking Channel is hiring. Gina wants the job. So does Mr. Kill It and Grill It. He is the ideal candidate, but Gina knows she can take him on… or turn him on? For foodies that also like romance.

Nonfiction

Mastering the Art of French Cooking – Julia Child

A given. Julia Child’s French cook book for American housewives without servents. The book that Julie Powell cooked out of.

My Kitchen Wars – Betty Harper Fussell

If you like historical fiction, this would be a next step. Fussell writes about her personal war with the place of women during and following WW2.

Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

Sedaris, a humorist writer, remembers his days living in Paris as an American. (Julia Child also moved to Paris as an American, which is where she started writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking.) The book is similarly a humorous memoir like Powell’s.

The Resort

April 1, 2009

Author: Bentley Little
Title: The Resort
Genre: Horror
Publication Date: 2004
Number of pages: 390
Geographical Setting: Rural Arizona
Time period: Contemporary
Series: n/a

Plot summary: When Lowell Thurman and his family book a week-long stay at the luxury Arizona resort, The Reata, all of them are looking forward to a leisurely, relaxing vacation. At first, everything seems perfect – a helpful staff, a beautiful suite, scores of fun activities, and, of course, the idyllic desert backdrop. Appearances are deceiving, however, and a bizarre incident on their first night sets the stage for ever more frightening and disturbing events as The Reata seemingly begins to take on a life of its own. The Reata’s guests know something is wrong, but are powerless against the mental stranglehold the resort holds over them. When Lowell’s children discover the mysterious ruins of another resort bearing the same name in the desert, they know that, somehow, this is an integral part of the puzzle. As the week wears on and they are subjected to a host of strange employees, gruesome deaths, and violent games, the Thurmans know that the dangerous climax cannot be far away. As The Reata plunges deeper into chaos, its up to the Thurmans to uncover the resort’s ugly secret in order to save themselves and their fellow guests, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.

Subject headings: Horror stories; Resorts; Family relationships; Arizona; Ghosts; Supernatural

Appeal: disturbing, suspenseful, paranormal, foreshadowing, rural, dark, graphic, sinister, multiple points of view, violent, altered reality, foreboding, contemporary, sexual, fast paced, intense, mysterious, atmospheric

Similar works (fiction): The Shining – Stephen King (isolated hotel setting, plot centers around a family, paranormal)
Psycho – Robert Bloch (fast paced, motel setting, murder)
Under-ground – Craig Spector (haunted/evil setting, graphic, battle of good and evil)

Similar works (non-fiction): Sleeping With Ghosts: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Arizona’s Haunted Hotels and Inns – Debe Branning (paranormal, Arizona setting, haunting)
Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places – Brad Steiger (stories of real life hauntings)
Encyclopedia of the Undead: A Field Guide to the Creatures that Cannot Rest in Peace – Bob Curran (ghosts, demons, supernatural occurrences)

Name: Suzanne

Sharp Teeth

March 31, 2009

Author: Barlow, Toby

Title: Sharp Teeth

Genre: Horror/ Thriller

Publication Date: January 29, 2008

Number of Pages: 320 p. (hard cover format)

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, California

Time Period: Present Day

Plot Summary: The full moon is only aesthetic beauty to this modern-day race of lycanthropes. Sharp Teeth is a horror/ thriller novel that dives into a subculture of battling packs of werewolves that prowl the streets of Los Angeles and can turn at will. The initiated seek converts from the unwanted, the unconcerned, and the down-and-out in an effort to build up their armies as a war looms. Lark is the sophisticated leader and alpha dog of the main pack. He helms this swarm of man-eaters as they shred their way through contract jobs for organized crime and kills for drug dealers’ competition. But now his attention is turned to a faction pack led by his former acolyte. Loner and subtle misanthrope, Anthony Silvo, finds a new job as a dog catcher; he hates it, but has no other prospects. Because the city’s dog pounds are a major means of recruitment for one of the packs, Anthony is unknowingly in the middle of this supernatural world. Part love story, he falls in love with a woman who has recently abandoned Lark’s pack and hides that she too is a shape shifter. Peabody is a detective that has caught the scent of a series of suspicious murders and crimes that inexplicably lead to the pound and some local meth labs. Like Anthony, he finds himself neck-deep in the unimaginable. Characters move across the sun-baked landscape of stucco houses, bridge tournaments, and methadone clinics. They all converge at a final battle in the city dump amidst trash, tires, government agents, blood, flesh, and fur. Written in free verse, Sharp Teeth is a violent and comedic tale that threads together stories of an ancient race that seeks domination in the modern world, love between a boy and a girl, and all the blood, bone, flesh, and marrow that hold it together.

Subject Headings: Los Angeles; dog catchers; dog pounds; meth labs; drug trafficking; werewolves; shape shifters; murder; love; gangs; gang warfare; detective; supernatural; card games; bridge tournaments; recruitment; free verse; multiple points-of-view; strong secondary characters; multiple story lines

Appeal: violent, drugs, sexual, raw, bloody, flowing, episodic, tense, vivid, comedic, urban landscape, fast-paced, strong language, dark humor, cinematic, episodic, offbeat, resolved ending, witty, aggressive

Similar Authors & Works: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is a story of Vivian, a 16-year old werewolf, who has fallen in love with a boy from school and must balance her two worlds. Women Who Run with the Werewolves: Tales of Blood, Lust and Metamorphosis by Pam Keesey is a collection of tales that revolve around the women-as-werewolves theme. Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and Berni Wrightson is an illustrated novella that tells a tale of a series of grisly murders in Tarker Mills, Maine that span across a calendar year.

Relevant Non-Fiction Authors & Works: the Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature by Brian J. Frost is a survey of the cultural impact of the werewolf legend. True Werewolves of History by Donald F. Glut is a collection of 87 different tales of werewolf accounts through history. Half Human, Half Animal: Tales of Werewolves and Related Creatures by Jamie Hall researches tales of shape shifters in multicultural folklore and oral history.

Andy