Contemporary Literature

Book Choices  -- Spring Semester 2003

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.

Black Ice Michael Connelly (detective)

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

The Bone Collector Jeffrey Deaver (Mystery). 

Quadriplegic genius helps cop find a serial killer.

House of Sand and Fog Andre Dubus III (Drama) 

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

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.

Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson (Drama) 

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

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.

Last Days of Summer Stephen Kluger (Comedy). 

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

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

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

Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt (Drama). 

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

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.

Song of Solomon Toni Morrison (Magical Realism) 

One of the greatest books written in the 20th century, beautiful writing, weird characters, very insightful and deep perspective of African American experience.

The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien (Drama) 

Soldiers in Vietnam, incredibly powerful book.

My Year of Meats Ruth Ozeki (Drama/Social) 

Fascinating story about parallel lives of American and Japanese women centered around the American meat industry.

Bel Canto Ann Patchett (Drama) 

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

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.

Empire Falls Richard Russo (Drama)  

Wonderful book about a guy and his daughter in a small town. Her high school experience is worth reading about.

Sophie’s Choice William Styron (Drama). 

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


Ms. Rinaldi's Syllabus Page

South English Faculty

South Reading and Writing Center