Dead Until Dark

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, 2008, 2001

Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, horror, vampire

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 1

ISBN: 9780441015979

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 312

Setting: Bon Temps, Louisiana

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When the vampire Bill Compton returns to Bon Temps, LA after over a century of travelling, he immediately catches Sookie Stackhouse’s attention.  Sookie is a cocktail waitress at Merlotte’s Bar and has a unique disability; she’s telepathic.  She constantly has to keep her mental guard up or she can hear other people’s thoughts – but not with Bill.  With him, all Sookie hears is silence, which makes him very appealing to Sookie (she doesn’t like being able to hear other people’s thoughts).  Unfortunately, right around the time Bill shows up in town, Bon Temps has its first murder in years.  As the bodies continue to pile up, tensions arise between humans and vampires and Sookie, with her unique talent, is caught in the middle. Continue reading

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Fox Bunny Funny

By Andy Hartzell (author and illustrator)

Place: Publisher & Year: Marietta, GA: Top Shelf Productions, 2007

Genre: Fantasy, animal story

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9781891830976

Intended audience: Adults (but would be fine for young adults)

Number of pages: 104

Settings: Foxville, Bunnyburg, and Funniopolis

Time period: contemporary

Plot summary: In a world populated by foxes and bunnies, the foxes brutally hunt and devour the bunnies.  Everybody knows this and their places within this world – everybody except one lonely fox who doesn’t fit in. Continue reading

Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer

By Rosita Arvigo with Nadine Epstein and Marilyn Yaquinto

Place: Publisher & Year: San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994

Genres: Non-fiction, ethnobotany, anthropology, autobiography, biography, traditional medicine

ISBN: 9780062502551

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 190

Setting: San Ignacio, Belize

Time period: 1980’s (1981- 1993, most of the book’s story is 1981-1987)

Plot summary: When Rosita moves to San Ignacio, Belize with her husband and daughter, they have dreams of establishing a farm along with their medical practices, but find life quite challenging.  When Rosita meets Don Elijio Panti, a well known Mayan healer in the area, she asks to become his apprentice.  She has a thirst for knowledge about the local plants and his healing techniques; she also recognizes that Don Elijio’s knowledge was in danger of becoming lost to the world if he didn’t pass it on to someone else.  Don Elijio, however, politely denies her request thinking that the Mayan spirits would not accept a gringa.  She also had no sastun.  In spite of his rejection, Rosita regularly visits Don Elijio, helping and learning from him.  Eventually, Rosita receives a sastun, and her apprenticeship begins in full. Continue reading

Pippi Longstocking

By Astrid Lindgren; translated by Florence Lamborn; illustrated by Louis S. Glanzman

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: The Viking Press, 1985, 1950

Genre: Humorous stories

ISBN: 9780670557455

Intended audience: children – tween

Number of pages: 160

Setting: The end of a tiny town (in Sweden)

Time period: Not specified

Plot summary: Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking is a nine year old girl who “always come[s] out on top”(p. 12).  She has an angel for a mother and a cannibal king for a father.  She lives with a monkey named Mr. Nilsson and a horse.  She is also remarkably strong and not afraid to use her strength when she needs to. Continue reading

Cancer Vixen: A True Story

By Marisa Acocella Marchetto

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006

Genres: Non-fiction, autobiography

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9780676978247

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 212

Setting: NYC- lower Manhattan

Time period: 2001- 2005

Plot summary: “What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds a lump in her breast?” (p. 1).  Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells her own true story about fighting cancer and living life to the fullest. Continue reading

Ill Wind

By Nevada Barr

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Berkley Books, 2004, 1995c

Genre: Mystery, eco-fiction

Series: Anna Pigeon mysteries; 3

ISBN: 9780425197257

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 309

Setting: Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Time period: mid 1990s

Plot summary: Anna Pigeon recently transferred to Mesa Verde National Park for a promotion.  She arrived just as the park is replacing old waterlines to public buildings.  Many of the park’s staff are distressed by the digging for pipelines in this archeologically rich area.  There have also been an unusually high number of visitors who have had to be carried out from Cliff Palace this summer.  Worst of all, though, is the death of a friend and co-worker, Stacy Meyers. Continue reading

Blood Work

By Michael Connelly

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Warner Books, 1998

Genre: Mystery, suspense

Series: Terry McCaleb mysteries; 1

ISBN: 9780446690447

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 469

Setting: Los Angeles, CA

Time period: contemporary (late nineties)

Plot summary: Former FBI agent Terry McCaleb has a new lease on life, which comes from his recent heart transplant.  However, when Terry discovers that the woman from whom he has received his heart was murdered, he knows he must do what he can to try and find the killer.  Unfortunately, that fact that he is retired and under doctor’s orders to take it easy makes this task even more challenging. Continue reading