Contemporary Literature

Book Choices  -- Fall Semester 2002

Ms. Rinaldi
Room 204
(303)698-6100 ext. 21411


The Alienist Caleb Carr  (Mystery).  

New York, turn-of-the-century, serial killer.  Premise is that it is the first  time psychology is used to solve a crime.

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man Fannie Flagg  (Comedy).  

Coming-of-age of wacky southern girl.  In the form of her diary from 14 to 18.

Last Days of Summer Stephen Kluger (Comedy).  

A series of letters between a Brookyn Dodger and a Jewish kid living in Brooklyn in the 1950’s. Very funny.

Sophie’s Choice William Styron (Drama).  

Heart-wrenching, post WWII story of a woman tormented by something that happened to her during the war.

The Stand Stephen King (Horror).  

Plague decimates the population and the few survivors try to find one another and go on with their lives.

The Bone Collector Jeffrey Deaver (Mystery).  

Quadriplegic genius helps cop find a serial killer.

Perfume Patrick Susskind (Horror).  

Very weird book.  Man who has extremely heightened sense of smell emits no odor.

Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt (Drama).  

Non-fiction memoir of the utter and extreme poverty that the author faced while growing up in Ireland.

The Love Hunter Jon Hassler (Drama) 

Powerful book about a dying man’s efforts to have his best friend take care of his wife when he’s gone.

Black Ice Michael Connelly (Detective) 

First Harry Bosch novel.  Bosch is a detective in LA battling the demons within and without.

House of Sand and Fog Andre Dubus III (Drama) 

Modern tragedy with two factions warring over the possesion of a house.

The Dragonriders of Pern Anne McCaffrey (Fantasy) 

People on a distant planet develop empathic relationships with genetically engineered dragons to fight the biological threat to their planet.

The Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley (Fantasy/legend) 

Retelling of the Arthurian legend from the perspectives of the women involved.

Interview With the Vampire Anne Rice  (Horror/Fantasy) 

Fascinating historical and philosophical examination of a vampire's struggle with his identity.   

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Gregory Maguire  (historical/fantasy)  

A twist on Cinderella revealing the "real" story behind the fairy-tale.

One True Thing Anna Quindlen  (Drama)  

Incredibly powerful book  based on the author's life and her experience taking care of her ailing mother.  Excellent story with strong characters.

Practical Magic Alice Hoffman (Magical Realism)  

Story about two "normal" sisters who have a talent for witchcraft.  Great read.

Bel Canto Ann Patchett (Drama)  

Beautiful book about a group of people being held hostage at a birthday party by terrorists.  Great characters.

Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry (Western)  

One of the best reads ever, a story about U.S. Marshalls, their lives, loves, adventures in the wild west.  A huge book, but worth every page.

Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson (Drama) 

Love story as a flashback to WWII on the Pacific coastal islands.  Beautiful and moving.

Ms. Rinaldi's Syllabus Page

South English Faculty

South Reading and Writing Center