Precious: Based on the novel Push

By Sapphire

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Vintage Contemporaries, c1996, 1997, 2009

Genres: General fiction, urban lit, street lit

ISBN: 9780307474841

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 177 (180 including Reader’s Guide)

Setting: Harlem, Manhattan, NYC

Time period: 1987 – 1989

Plot summary: Sixteen year old, Precious Jones lives an extremely hard life.  Born and raised in Harlem, she has been raped by her father and abused by her mother in a variety of ways since she was a small child.  She bore her first child at the age of twelve and is pregnant again at the age of sixteen.  She is illiterate, obese, and has no friends or self-esteem.  Her life changes radically for the better when she is expelled from her traditional school and enters a pre-GED program. Continue reading

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Caught Stealing

By Charlie Huston

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ballantine Books, 2004

Genres: Thriller, crime thriller, suspense

Series: Hank Thompson series; 1

ISBN: 9780345464774

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 240

Setting: Lower East Side, NYC (Manhattan)

Time period: 2002 or 2003

Plot summary: Hank Thompson has had a really bad day which has stretched into over a week of nightmares.  After passing out at the doctor’s office (to have a problem with his feet checked), he wakes up in a hospital with one less kidney.  Not only does he have to make a lifestyle change which leaves him unemployed, he also has an insanely large debt from being hospitalized without insurance.  To make matters worse, he has somehow gotten involved with a very nasty group of people – all from being a good neighbor and pet sitting a cat. Continue reading

No Dominion

By Charlie Huston

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Del Rey, 2006

Genres: Mystery, suspense, paranormal, vampire

Series: Joe Pitt Casebook; 2

ISBN: 9780345478252

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 251

Setting: Manhattan, NYC

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When vampyre detective Joe Pitt discovers that there is a new drug in his neighborhood designed solely for vampyres, he has to find out more about it.    Unfortunately for him, no one is officially asking him to look into this matter and he is almost out of both blood and money with no hopes of refilling his supply of either.  Even worse is when he discovers that the source of the drug is coming from uptown.  He has to cross Coalition territory to get above 110th street, which is a very risky venture for him.  Even if he can do this without getting killed, he still needs an uptown contact. 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

Already Dead

By Charlie Huston

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ballantine Books, 2005

Genres: Mystery, suspense,  paranormal, vampire

Series: Joe Pitt Casebook; 1

ISBN: 034547824X, 9780345478245

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 268

Setting: Manhattan, NYC

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Joe Pitt wasn’t born with his name.  Like most Vampyres he knows, he changed his name after he was turned.  It helps to put one’s old life behind and to focus upon the present – even when one doesn’t want to.  Presently, Joe has to deal with a shambler (or victim of zombification) that’s on the loose in his territory.  And he’s got to deal with it quick, before it turns other people into shamblers.  But that’s only one of his problems.  Other problems include dealing with Vampyre clan politics, finding a missing girl, feeding, staying out of the sun, and dealing with Vampyre clan politics. Continue reading