Posted by Book Mavens on 14th July 2011
Posted by Book Mavens on 3rd February 2011
Author: Lauren Grodstein
Publisher: Algonquin Books, November 2009
Summary: Dr. Peter Dizinoff seemingly has everything anyone could hope for. He has a successful practice, a beautiful, loving wife and an adopted son who he adores. Peter is devoted to his son Alec, now 20 years old, and has pinned all his hopes and dreams on his son’s future. Unfortunately, Alec drops out of college after just 3 semesters and moves into an apartment above his parents’ garage hoping to pursue his passion which is art.
The drama starts when Alec becomes infatuated with the older daughter of his father’s best friend. The problem is, when Laura Stern was a teenager, she was accused of murdering her newborn baby upon birth.
Peter Dizinoff becomes so distracted with his son’s relationship with Laura that his personal life, as well as his practice, begin to spin out of control.
This is a compelling story which shows how far a parent will go to protect his child. But…Dr. Peter Dizinoff suffers the consequences in the end.
Recommended by: Beverly, Circulation Coordinator
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Posted by Merry Mao on 9th February 2009
Title: A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child
Publisher: Comics Lit, February 2009
Summary: After his transatlantic flight, Charles Lindbergh became an international hero, icon, and to his chagrin, celebrity. In the early ’30s, he and his wife moved to a new home in New Jersey in an attempt to live a private life. Little did they know that the tragic events that followed would thrust them even futher into the spotlight. Rick Geary begins his Tales of XXth Century Murder series with the story of the kidnapping (and murder) that led to ‘The Trial of the Century.’
We follow the events of the kidnapping, meet the various players in the investigation, and witness the trial and execution of Bruno Hauptman, who maintains his innocence throughout. Geary also discusses several of the alternate theories of the crime that persist to this day. Like his previous true crime graphic novels, this book is concise, informative, even-handed, and impossible to put down.
Who will like this book?: Fans of true crime and non-fiction graphic novels. Anyone interested in this famous crime, or the exploits of Charles Lindbergh.
If you like this, try this: Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Books in Geary’s A Treasury of Victorian Murder, including Jack the Ripper and The Borden Tragedy. The Plot Against America by Philp Roth.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian
Posted by Merry Mao on 30th September 2008
Title: After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival
Author: Robin Gaby Fisher
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, August 2008
Summary: On January 19, 2000, a fire set in a freshman dormitory at Seton Hall University killed 3 students and injured 58. After the Fire is the true story of the two most severely injured survivors. Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos were roommates, housed just yards away from the student lounge where the fire had been set. The author describes, in heartbreaking detail, their struggle to escape the building and then survive their horrible injuries.
I’m not going to lie. This is a very emotional story. The details about the methods used to treat burn victims are a necessary part of this story. Rather than repel you, they will probably bring you to tears. You will be amazed by these two young men and the St. Barnabas medical staff that perform miracles every day. Though the fire and the months immediately after it are a big part of this book, the deep bond that develops between Shawn and Alvaro is the author’s main focus. Their friendship and support of each other is enviable. We should all have friends like this.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Posted by Merry Mao on 21st August 2008
Title: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Diaz
Publisher: Riverhead, September 2007
Summary: Beware the fuku. This ridiculously good novel is part immigrant family saga, part ghetto epic and entirely unforgettable. The narrative traces the history of the de Leon family, from a doctor living under the brutal dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic to the titular character – an obese, insular, brilliant aspiring sci-fi writer. Peppered with references to fantasy masterworks such as Dune and Lord of the Rings, and narrated in a vibrant, gritty street Spanglish, this Pulitzer Prize winner tells of the fuku – a devastating family curse akin to the evil eye – that has haunted Oscar’s family through the generations, causing misery at every turn.
Can the fuku be thwarted? Oscar’s quest is reminiscent of those made by his fantasy heroes – equal parts bravery and tragedy. This book is as hilarious as it is haunting, describing the horrors of living under Trujillo and the mortification of being Oscar. Junot Diaz is a true original, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Who will like this book?: Readers who are willing to stretch their boundaries. People interested in stories of the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic. Fans of immigrant family dramas.
If you like this, try this: Drown, a collection of stories by Diaz. For more on the Dominican Republic under Trujillo, try In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian