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Posts by Ryan P. Donovan

Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - "Obsessed" (2009)

How far would you go to protect what's yours?

A wealthy, successful businessman has settled down and started a family with his former female assistant (played by Beyoncé Knowles). A new blonde temp has started at his office, and after some mild flirtation in an elevator on her first day, it's clear the temp has her eyes set on our hero. She finally makes her move at the staff Christmas party. When she's flat out rejected, well that's when things start getting really crazy.

She quits her job, but continues stalking the businessman anyway. By the time his 

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Summer Reading Favorites: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

James Sveck doesn't like to talk to people. This makes his parents concerned.

The thing is, it's not that James doesn't like speaking; it's just that he doesn't feel that verbal language accurately expresses his thoughts. His parents decide to send him to therapy. It is there that James is confronted with either having to convey himself through words or sitting in abject silence for the entire hour. While his therapist tries to navigate her way through James's tricky wordplay, the pair begins to narrow in on a mysterious event in his life that happened last year 

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Summer Reading Favorites: Runaways, vol. 1

What if you found out one night that your parents are evil? This is the very real problem that six kids face in the first volume of Runaways after seeing their respective parents kill an innocent girl. After witnessing the murder (and as the title might suggest), the teens decide to run away. They kids are, in order of appearance:

Alex Wilder, the smart kid who loves playing online role playing games. Gertrude Yorkes, the purple-haired sarcastic egghead. Karolina Dean, the almost perfect vegan daughter of ... Read More ›

MORE STUFF! "Dollhouse" (2009)

Meet Echo. She used to be somebody. Now she's nobody. After deciding to voluntarily give up five years of her life, Echo is one of many "dolls" - mindless, programmable people who can be rewired to do... well, pretty much anything.

Such is the premise of Dollhouse, Joss Whedon's (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's 

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MORE STUFF! The Doom Machine by Mark Teague

Taking place in the fictional town of Vern Hollow in 1956, The Doom Machine follows main characters Jack Creedle and Isodora Shumway on an intergalactic adventure. The pair meet by chance as Isadora and her mother are driving through the town on their way to Boston. Vern Hollow is all but deserted after a flying saucer was spotted there just a few days before.

The saucer, belonging to the alien skreeps, are in town looking for the titular 'doom machine' - a device their queen wants, but no one 

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MORE STUFF! "X-Men" (1992)

The first volume of the animated X-Men cartoon introduces Jubilee, a teen who can throw fireworks from her fingertips, as the newest addition to the X-Men. After defeating the gigantic mutant-hunting robots the Sentinels, the X-Men have to battle the master of magnetism himself, Magneto. The mutant team also has to contend with the looming threat of the immortal mutant Apocalypse and his evil four horsemen.

The first season incorporates many X-Men throughout the comics as guest stars, 

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MORE STUFF! Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Predators and Prey

The fifth installment in the immensely popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 graphic novel series, this collection of single issue comic books is probably my favorite out of all the other volumes so far. These stories follow what happened to vampire slayer Buffy Summers after her television series ended.

In the first tale, classmate-turned-vampire Harmony Kendall decides to reinvent herself 

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Reader's Den: "The Human Stain" Wrap Up

Thank you for participating in this month’s Reader’s Den! I hope you enjoyed reading The Human Stain by Philip Roth. Remember, the Reader's Den is always open! You are always welcome to come back and post your comments about the novel.

If you’re interested in reading other works by Philip Roth or titles that are similar, then I would suggest these books:

American Pastoral by Philip Roth ... Read More ›

Reader's Den: Further Discussion, "The Human Stain"

Didn't get enough discussion questions last week? Well don't worry; the Reader's Den is back with a few more for you! Don't forget, it's never too late to put your copy of Philip Roth's The Human Stain on reserve at your local branch library. Join the discussion today!

There are many supporting characters in The Human Stain. For example, Coleman's lover Faunia Farley. Did Faunia Farley kill her two children due to negligence? Was she guilty of murder? Do you accept Les Farley’s account of 

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Reader's Den: Discussion Questions for "The Human Stain"

After having a few weeks to read The Human Stain and consider the text, I would like to present a few questions that you can start to think about while you continue your reading. Feel free to click on Post New Comment below and join the discussion.

There are many questions to consider about the novel's main character, Coleman Silk.

For instance, is Coleman racist? Many characters in the novel debate whether or not Coleman Silk’s use of the word “spooks” was racist. Do ... Read More ›

Reader's Den: About the Author Spotlight on Philip Roth

I hope that all of you are enjoying reading The Human Stain. For this week, I thought it might be fun to take a brief time out and learn a little more about the author of this month's pick, Philip Roth.

The author of over 20 novels, several short stories, memoirs, and various other forms of fiction, Philip Roth has been described as one of the most prolific authors of his generation. A Newark, New Jersey native of Jewish-American descent, a majority of Roth's work is 

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Reader's Den: "The Human Stain" by Philip Roth

Welcome to the May 2010 edition of The Reader’s Den! For this month's online book discussion, we will be focusing on The Human Stain by Philip Roth. This multi-award winning book was originally published in 2000, and was adapted as a major motion picture in 2003 by Miramax Films.

The Human Stain is the story of college professor Coleman Silk. After revolutionizing a quiet New England college for most of his professional career, Coleman is forced into early retirement when a passing comment about 

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Even More Stuff for the Teen Age - Suggested GLBTQ Fiction Titles

Did you love reading The Vast Fields of Ordinary and The Mariposa Club from the Stuff for the Teen Age List? Want to read some more cool books like that? Here are a few GLBTQ-themed titles that I enjoyed reading. Some will make you laugh and some will make you cry... but all of these titles will tell a great story involving relatable teenage gay or lesbian 

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Even More Stuff for the Teen Age - My Favorite Realistic Fiction Titles

This year's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List featured many books about teenagers in real-life situations like How to Say Goodbye in Robot and The Monster Variations. Sometimes these stories are serious and sometimes they are just plain funny, but many of the titles usually fall somewhere 

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Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - Skins, vol. 1 & 2

Every parent's worst nightmare come to life, Skins follows a group of English teenagers in Bristol doing what many teens do: partying, drinking, drugging, and having sex.

Each episode in the series, save for the first and last follows one of the ensemble main characters and we learn about everyone else from their vantage point. The main character Tony delights in causing misery in those closest to him. Michelle, Tony's girlfriend, desperately wants to believe that Tony loves her. Other 

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Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - Time and a Half

The latest installment of Peter David's X-Factor series, this trade paperback collects all the stories following Marvel Comics epic Secret Invasion storyarc.

Theresa, one of the characters on the superhero detective team X-Factor is pregnant with Jamie Madrox's child. Theresa can scream real loud and Jamie can make duplicates of himself. By the end of the first part, Theresa delievers her child and names him "Sean" after her late father. When Jamie holds Sean for the first time... he absorbs the baby into himself, horrifying everyone into realizing that his child was just 

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Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - The Mariposa Club

The Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez

It’s tough being a Latino and a gay teen, but Maui does the best he can. Danger is around every corner; the local Los Calis gangs are not fans of homosexuals. If he didn’t have his other gay friends Trini, Isaac, and Liberace he might just go insane. The boys realize there’s strength in numbers and decide to form a LGBT alliance at their school. When they unexpectedly lose one of their number, the club fizzles until there’s just one boy 

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Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - The Waking: Dreams of the Dead

The Waking: Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall

A Japanese teenager leaves her boyfriend’s house with a skip in her step… only to be brutally murdered by the mean soccer girls at her school. Why did they kill her? That’s what Kara, an American student who starts at the school attempts to uncover as the school year progresses. She makes friends with Sakura, the dead girl’s sister, and sees something strange at the memorial shrine built in the girl’s honor. When the 

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Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - How to Say Goodbye in Robot

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Bea is moving to a new town. It’s no big deal; she does it all the time, whenever her dad gets tired of his job. When her mother has an emotional breakdown over a dead hamster from down the street, Bea can’t share her grief. Her mother accuses her of having no feelings; of being a robot. It’s hard to keep talking in robot when Bea meets Jonah, a lonely outsider who seems to share her misanthropic ideals. When she realizes Jonah calls into 

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Highlight from Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List - The Monster Variations

The Monster Variations by Daniel Kraus

A dark coming of age tale about three boys each from very different homes. When one of the boys becomes the victim of a hit and run and loses his arm, the boys fear the big silver truck that may or may not be responsible. When a boy is hit and killed a few weeks later, the small town they reside in goes into lockdown; no one is allowed out after dark. The boys go out anyway, seeking answers. As they begin to drift further and further apart, the truck comes back 

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