Sweet and Deadly

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: USA: Severn House, 2010 (c1981)

Genres: Mystery, suspense

ISBN: 9780727869487

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 262

Setting: Lowfield, Mississippi

Time period: early 1980s

Plot summary: Catherine Linton moved back to the small town where she was raised after her parents died under suspicious circumstances.  When Catherine finds the body of a woman who worked with her father in an abandoned shack, she knows that it must somehow be connected to the death of her parents. Continue reading

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

By Brady Udall

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Vintage Contemporaries, c2001, 2002

Genre: General fiction

ISBN: 9780375719189

Audience: Adult, young adult

Number of pages: 423

Setting: Various locations in Arizona, including San Carlos Reservation, Globe, and Fort Apache.  Also set in Richland, UT and Stony Run, PA.

Time period: Hard to decipher, but it seems like late 1960s to early 1970s.

Plot summary: “If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head” (p. 13).  Edgar Mint’s life is not an easy one.  After dying and being brought back to life, Edgar awakens from a coma utterly alone in the world.  His mother and grandmother, both believing he is dead, have disappeared.  Once well enough to leave the hospital, Edgar is sent to live at a BIA school where a distant ancient uncle works.  The trials Edgar endures here make the mail truck incident seem like a picnic.  In spite of this, Edgar not only perseveres, but manages to leave the school for an idyllic family setting in Utah, which ends up being not so idyllic.  What seems like it should be a tragically sad story is filled with humorous incidents, offbeat characters, and Edgar’s  persistent wish to find and forgive the man who almost killed him. Continue reading

I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You

By Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Will Russell, & Scott Shuffitt; Foreward by Jeff Bridges

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Bloomsbury, 2007

Genre: Non-fiction, social science, popular culture

ISBN: 9781596912465

Intended audience: Achievers

Number of pages: 237

Setting: USA, mostly California but also Louisville, Kentucky

Time period: Contemporary

Description: This book is a must read for any “Achiever”, or true fan, of The Big Lebowski.  Written by the folks who created Lebowski Fest, it is filled with trivia, interviews, and true life stories upon which parts of the movie were based, such as the real Little Larry. Continue reading

Mockingjay

By Suzanne Collins

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Scholastic Press, 2010

Genres: Science fiction, adventure, dystopian, thriller

Series: The Hunger Games; 3

ISBN: 9780439023511

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 392

Setting: Panem – mainly District 13 & the Capitol, but also Districts 12, 8, and 2

Time period: Sometime in the future

Plot summary: Katniss must face the reality of her new situation.  She and her family are all alive and living underground in the rebel District 13.  Peeta has been captured by the Capitol.  The rebels of District 13 want Katniss to become the face of the revolution; they want her to become the “Mockingjay”, a role which has already been designed for her without her knowledge or acceptance.  The questions are: what does Katniss want?  And how will she go about getting it? Continue reading

Who Fears Death

By Nnedi Okorafor

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Daw Books, Inc., 2010

Genres: Fantasy, dark fantasy, science fiction, magical realism

ISBN: 9780756406172

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 387

Setting: Jwahir & Seven Rivers Kingdom, Africa

Time period: An unspecified time in the future

Plot summary: In a post-apocalyptic Africa, Onyesonwu is born to an Okeke mother.  As a child of rape with a biological father who is Nuru, Onyesonwu is considered an Ewu.  As such, she is despised and mistreated by most people whom she encounters.  As the Nuru continue their warfare and genocide against the Okeke, Onyesonwu struggles to learn about her own special abilities, while teaching others that she is not evil.  She is, in fact, the one who will lead both Nuru and Okeke to peace and healing. Continue reading

Matched

By Ally Condie

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Dutton Books, 2010

Genres: Science fiction, dystopian, romance

Series: Matched; 1

ISBN: 9780525423645

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 369

Setting: The City & Mapletree Borough, Oria Province

Time period: An unspecified time in the future

Plot summary: Cassia Reyes lives in a perfect society.  Debilitating illnesses have been eliminated.  People die when they are old, surrounded by loved ones.  The Society makes all the decisions for everyone to ensure that everyone is contributing to The Society for the benefit of all.  This includes who people will love and to whom they will be Matched.

When Cassia learns that her Match is her best friend Xander, she is both happy and confused.  It is extremely rare for Matches to know one another from childhood.  Her confusion is magnified, however, when she looks up the information about her Match given to her by The Society at the Matching Banquet.  For a moment, she does not see Xander’s face on the screen; she sees another friend.  But how can this be?  The Society does not make mistakes. Continue reading