Undead and Unwed

By MaryJanice Davidson

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Berkley Sensation, 2004

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal, romance, vampire, chick lit, humorous stories

Series: The Undead SeriesBetsy; 1

ISBN: 071831006998

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 255 (277 including an excerpt from Charlaine Harris’ Dead to the World)

Setting: Twin Cities, MN (Minneapolis & St. Paul)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Betsy Taylor’s last day alive wasn’t much fun – she was laid off from her job as a secretary before being hit by a car.  However, waking from death in a cheap pink suit and her stepmother’s cast off shoes was pure hell.  Betsy has no idea how she became undead, but she does know that she wants to live her death the same way she lived her life.   This is a problem because the other vamps in town just won’t leave her alone; they’re either bowing down to her or trying to torture her.  As Betsy is dragged into a world filled with vampire politics, prophecies, and history, there is one thing she’s sure of: she’ll be wearing designer shoes. Continue reading

Warriors Don’t Cry: The Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High

By Melba Pattillo Beals

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Simon Pulse, c1995, 2007

Genres: Non-fiction, autobiography, memoir

ISBN: 9781416948827

Intended audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 226

Setting: Little Rock, Arkansas

Time period: 1950’s – most of the story takes place during the school year of 1957-58 (includes an epilogue from 1987 and an introduction from 2007).

Description: Three years after the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education, Melba Pattillo was chosen to go to Little Rock, Arkansas’ Central High School.  She and eight other students became the Little Rock Nine; they were the first Black students to attend this previously all White school.  Every day of the school year, Melba faced some form of violence and hostility, transforming her from an everyday teenager to a warrior.  This is her story in her own words. Continue reading

French Women Don’t Get Fat: the Secret of Eating for Pleasure

By Mireille Guiliano

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, c2005, 2007

Genres: Non-fiction, health & fitness, healthy living, women’s health, diet, nutrition

ISBN: 9781400042128

Intended audience: “Women throughout the developed world” (p. 7)

Number of pages: 264

Setting: France & USA

Time period: Written for the present, but includes narratives from various points in Guiliano’s life between the 1950’s and 2005.

Description: Written by a French woman who has lived and worked in the US for most of her life, this book examines the differences in culture between the two countries in relation to food, life, and pleasure.  Recipes are interspersed with personal narrative, observations, and much common sense.  This is not a diet book; it is a book about attaining a healthy relationship with food and enjoying oneself while doing it. Continue reading

The Mystery of Grace

By Charles de Lint

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Tor, 2009

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, mythic fiction, paranormal

ISBN: 9780765317568

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 269

Setting: Solona, Arizona (along the San Pedro River and I-10)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Grace Quintero’s grandfather died, she started smoking again.  Her abuelo was not only a kind and gracious man; he was also the one who helped Grace discover her calling – restoring classic Ford cars.  After his death, Grace had such a hard time that she succumbed to her old smoking habit.  They say that smoking can kill a person; in this case it’s true.  If she hadn’t needed that pack of smokes, she wouldn’t have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.  To make matters worse, after her death Grace is stuck in her neighborhood with a few other people who had the misfortune of dying in the vicinity.  There’s no escape from this limbo except twice a year when the dead can return to the land of the living.  Complicating her existence even more, on her first trip back Grace falls in love. Continue reading

Dead as a Doornail

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, c2005, 2006

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

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 5

ISBN: 9780441013333

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 295 (310 including an excerpt from the next book – Definitely Dead)

Setting: Bon Temps, Louisiana

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Someone has been shooting at shape shifters in the Bon Temps vicinity and Sookie is determined to discover who it is, especially before anyone can gun down the only living family member she has left.  Sookie also needs to prove that her brother is not the shooter, since many in the shifter community think that he is the most likely suspect. Continue reading