Saturday, November 3, 2012

Currently Reading..

I am currently reading Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America by Jo B. Paoletti for my personal enjoyment and interests, and I am reading The Truth about Supervision: Coaching, Teamwork, Inteviewing, appraisals, 360 Assessments, Delegation, and Recognition by Anne O'Brien Carelli for my own professional development.

The first book has to do with gender stereotypes, the history of them, changes over time, and what they mean for society. This book primarily looks at children's clothing in regards to gender stereotypes.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Annotated Booklist for Lab B

Ayers, A. M. (2007). Jesus loves me. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
An engaging autobiography detailing Anita’s trials growing up with an abusive father. Historical details are abundant regarding time and place during the early sixties in Indianapolis. This book is an emotional read detailing not only the struggles and graphic abuse that Anita suffered, but also the struggles of her family to stay afloat during their many hardships.
Bellamy, S. S. (2010). Hoosier justice at Nuremberg. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society Press.
This historical true crime narrative tells the story of Indiana residents Frank Richman and Curtis Shake’s prominent roles as civilian judges in tribunals held in Nuremberg. Both men are retired Supreme Court justices, who were called in the late 1940’s to try top German industrialists for crimes against humanity.
Bill, F. (Author). (2011). Crimes in southern Indiana [CD]. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books.
A compilation of engaging, eye-opening short stories about the pitfalls of America where the daily struggles of survival push people to the brinks of desperation and despair. A dark, shocking, and literary writing, Crimes in Southern Indiana also has a strong sense of place and well-developed characters.
Brock, P. (1999). Indiana gothic: A story of adultery and murder in American family. New York, NY: Nan A. Talese/.
For true crime fans, Brock effectively combines fact and fiction in re-telling his family’s secretive dark past in this atmospheric and riveting read. Brock successfully re-creates the early 1900’s in Davies County, Indiana with great detail and provides a time-travel type experience for readers. This book details the murder of Brock’s great-grandfather Ham Dillon at the hands of his own brother-in-law, following his affair with his wife, in which they had an illegitimate child together.
Carr, C. (2006). Our town: A heartland lynching, a haunted town, and the hidden history of white America. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.
Journalist Cynthia Carr combines mystery and true crime elements in her examination of past and current race relations through her investigation of the brutal lynching of two African American men in Marion, Indiana in 1930. This book presents historical facts in conjunction with well-developed narratives, including the author’s deeply personal narrative of her own familial connection to the Klan.
Cavinder, F. D. (2010). Historic Indianapolis crimes: Murder & mystery in the Circle City. Charleston, SC: The History Press.
Local historian Fred Cavinder recounts the gruesome tales of past murders and other crimes that have taken place in Indianapolis.  This book is heavily fact-based with short narratives and photographs throughout the individual stories.
Crowel, T. R. (2008). The passerby: A novel. Highland, IN: Success Press.
Crowell’s well-researched and detailed account of a real crime is filled with mystery and suspense. In this fictional story, he sets out to find out who killed eleven-year-old Trudie Brice twenty years earlier in Penn County, Indiana. Young Trudie was found strangled to death in her home two weeks before Christmas. Crowell sets out on a two-year investigation to find the killer, and attempts to obtain a confession from a man he considers a suspect in this cold case murder investigation.
Dean, J. (1966). The Indiana torture slaying. New York, NY: Bee-Line Books.
Reporter John Dean presents a glaring and riveting fact-based narrative of the horrific torture and murder of sixteen year-old Sylvia Likens in 1965. This book begins with the discovery of her lifeless body, the events leading up to her death, and the preceding court cases for each of the accused.
Dean, J. (2008). House of evil: The Indiana torture slaying. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
In this dark and gripping fast paced true crime story, reporter John Dean provides chilling details of the horrific torture and murder of Sylvia Likens proceeded by in-depth details of the resulting court case. This book contains more narrative than Dean’s other book on the same crime.
Faulconer, T. (2002). In the eyes of the law: The true story of love, betrayal, murder, fame, and justice in 1950’s America. United States: 1st Books Library.
Forrest Teel seemed to have it all with a good job as corporate vice-president and head of the international division at Eli Lilly in 1958. That was until he was found murdered, and his long-time mistress was later arrested for the crime. In this measured paced book, Faulconer combines case facts, history, and narrative for an engaging read.
A history of violence [DVD]. (2006).
Released in 2005, this American crime thriller is action-packed, suspenseful, and full of mystery. In this adaptation of the 1997 graphic novel, Tom Stall played by Viggo Mortensen is thrust into the spotlight and hailed as a hero after stopping a violent attempted robbery at his diner in Millbrook, Indiana. However, his own criminal past comes back to haunt him and spurs more violence, which strains his relationship with his family.
Jones, A. (1994). Cruel sacrifice. New York, NY: Pinnacle Books.
A combination of love, jealousy, child abuse, and lesbianism among a group of teenage girls has fatal consequences. This fast-paced story intertwines fact and narrative to retell the story of the horrific murder of twelve year-old Shanda Sharer, in the small town of Madison, Indiana. This book, unlike Michael Quinlan’s Little Lost Angel, focuses more on the lives of the four young girls convicted of killing Shanda and other background details leading up to the crime.
Lutholtz, M. W. (1991). Grand dragon: D.C.Stephenson and the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.
A biography detailing the career and political power of D.C. Stephenson as Grand Dragon of the Klan in Indiana in the 1920s, and his ultimate conviction for second-degree murder. This book also provides a good sense of place and time, detailing the environment in Indiana in the 1920s. In addition, some history about the Ku Klux Klan is explored.
Millett, K. (1979). The basement: Meditations on a human sacrifice. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Millet’s book provides a detailed and graphic narrative about the mutilation and torture of sixteen-year-old Sylvia Likens by Gertrude Baniszewski in 1965. Sylvia and her sister Jenny were left in the care of Baniszewski and her family while their parents worked at different carnivals across the Midwest. Gertrude and some of her children as well as two neighborhood boys, imprisoned, starved, and tortured Silvia to death.
Murphy, D. T. (2010). Murder in their hearts: The Fall Creek massacre. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society Press.
In this measured paced read, the author presents a historical, detailed, and heavily fact-based account of the murder of nine Indians along a tributary of Fall Creek. This was the first time under American law that a group of white settlers were sentenced to death and executed for the murder of Native Americans.
O’Haver, T. (Director). (2008). An American crime [DVD].
In this fast-paced and engaging movie, Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener, James Franco, and Bradley Whitford act out the real-life torture and murder of sixteen-year-old Sylvia Likens. Released in 2007, this is a dark and disturbing graphic depiction of the events surrounding one of the worst cases of torture and murder in Indianapolis history.
Quinlan, M. (1995). Little lost angel. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
In this engaging and suspenseful true crime narrative about the brutal murder of twelve-year-old Shanda Sharer, Quinlan focuses on the victim and the investigation of the case. Shanda Sharer was killed less than a year after starting a new school. The author also presents the social and psychological aspects of teenage violence, in conjunction with a detailed description of the brutally violent acts carried out by four teenage girls against the victim.
Roegner, A., & Wooldridge, A. (2010). Eight days in darkness: The true story of the abduction, rape, and rescue of Anita Wooldridge. Austin, TX: Synergy Books.
This dark narrative recounts the eight days of abuse, rape, and torture suffered by Anita Wooldridge following her kidnapping by a convicted rapist. Retold by the victim herself with the help of her counselor, this book presents a deeply personal and emotional re-telling of the abuse she suffered and of the capture and conviction of her abductor.
Schechter, H. (2008). True crime: An American anthology. New York, NY: Library of America.
An exploration of the true crime genre, this book offers an overview of authors in this genre and the many ways in which crime has been written about. This includes accounts of some of the most infamous crimes, such as that of serial killer Belle Gunness, who had many victims in Indiana. Additionally, it presents some of the best literary writing from authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Truman Capote, and Ann Rule.
Sissom, C. (2010). Who murdered Chynna?!: The search for Chynna Dickus’ murderer. Indianapolis, IN: Carol’s Adventures.
This book is the first in a series about the violent murder of a twenty-six- year-old woman and her ten- year-old stepson in Franklin, Indiana in July 2006. The case remains unsolved, but author and private-investigator Carol Sissom has set out on a journey to discover what happened leading up to this brutal murder.
Sissom, C. (2011). Who murdered Chynna? II: A journalist tracks clues the killer left behind. Indianapolis, IN: Carol’s Adventures.
This is the second book in a series written about the unsolved case of the brutal stabbing deaths of a twenty-six-year-old woman and her ten-year-old stepson in a quiet subdivision in Franklin, Indiana. In this book, journalist Carol Sissom tracks down clues that may lead to the killer.
Stoner, A. E. (2007). Notorious 92: Indiana’s most heinous murders in all 92 counties. Bloomington, IN: Kevin King, Rooftop Publishing.
Notorious 92 presents brief overviews of the most notorious and horrid murders in all 92 counties in Indiana. One case from each county is presented, and the author relies heavily on the facts surrounding each case in recounting these horrific crimes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lab B: Part II: The Write-Up of My Experiences Creating a Booklist

Johnson County, Indiana is located approximately half an hour south of Indianapolis. According to the Johnson County, Indiana Highlights, in 2011 there were approximately 141, 656 residents. Around 53 percent of the residents were between the ages of 25-64. The Johnson County Public Library (JCPL) system is responsible for serving this vast and growing population. The JCPL system is made up of four library branches, with one each in Trafalgar, Franklin, New Whiteland, and Greenwood. According to L. S. Kilbert (personal communication, April 20, 2012), in 2011 they had 77,648 registered library borrowers with a total (print) book circulation of 599, 855.
Since over 50% of the population is 25 years of age or older, adult reader’s booklists are important. The Johnson County public library system does not have many nonfiction book lists for their adult readers. Therefore, when I asked the Adult Services Librarian at the White River branch what would be a good topic, she named many nonfiction book list ideas. True crime particular to Indiana was top on her list of nonfiction book list suggestions. She stated that there was a need for this particular booklist due to patron requests from patrons browsing the true crime section, and that this would help staff and patrons. They have done a display on the topic before, but do not have any kind of formal list created for it that shows all of the titles available within their four branch library system. Therefore, I decided that creating a nonfiction booklist and writing annotations for nonfiction books would provide me with more of a challenge, and take me out of my comfort zone more.
What is true crime, and how did it come about? According to the Reader’s Advisor Online database, true crime “originally developed during the Victorian era (latter half of the nineteenth century) when crimes were reported upon salaciously in newspapers and contemporary novels.” True crime is a popular sub-genre of nonfiction. As many crimes are often sensationalized in the media and in literature, this genre continues to attract increased readership.
True crime stories often connect to readers emotionally and intellectually. The genre can fulfill a dark human interest about crimes and criminals. It stories often provide an in-depth description of the crime scene as well as of the crime itself. In addition, occasionally true crime authors will give readers insight into the character and inner thought processes of the criminal behind the crime(s). Many titles will also detail police procedures and court proceedings. The details of the trials can fulfill an almost universal desire for justice for the victim(s). True crime books are generally sexually and violently graphic, present a dark or grim tone, and have suspenseful and disturbing plots. Titles in this genre include the preceding appeals, but true crime characters, plots, and subject matter can also be appealing to readers. Many true crime books discuss violent crimes such as murder, rape, child abuse, torture, and kidnapping, and are therefore not for the faint of heart.
Indiana true crime focuses on those stories detailing crimes and criminals specifically in Indiana. Many of these books recount some of the most notorious and horrific crimes that have taken place in Indiana. In addition to some of the general appeals of true crime, Indiana true crime stories can appeal to a reader’s desire for familiar settings, people, and historical periods. One particular title: In the eyes of the law: The true story of love, betrayal, murder, fame, and justice in 1950’s America, provides great detail of what life was like in and around Indianapolis in the 1950’s. This may be appealing both to people who grew up during that time, and to people who are simply interested in learning about that particular time period.
In addition to true crime, I also included some fiction and Audio-visual materials on the topic of Indiana crime. These items have many of the same appeals, but they also often have more narrative elements, suspense, and mystery. Many of the fiction titles however, are based on real crimes and criminals. Therefore, while they may not be completely fact-based, they are still a viable option for readers interested in learning more about a particular crime or criminal.
The next step was creating the list. Originally, I had a difficult time coming up with twenty different titles of Indiana true crime stories. This is part of the reason why I decided to include fiction to help expand the list, and increase the options for patrons interested in this nonfiction genre. I began with some general searches such as “Indiana true crime,” as well as some basic subject searches “Murder –Indiana. The second subject search returned the most results, with sixteen different titles. Some other subject searches included: Crime –Indiana, Criminals –Indiana, Serial Murder Investigation –Indiana, Rape –Indiana, and Abuse –Indiana. I also did some general web searching on Google, and discovered other crimes and criminals around Indiana as well as some other possible titles for my list. This was how I later discovered the book: True crime: An American anthology, which features a piece on Belle Gunness, a serial killer from LaPorte, Indiana. My final list has 22 different titles on it, with seventeen non-fiction true crime titles, two fiction books, one audiobook, and 2 DVD’s. I used the Johnson County public library catalog as well as Good Reads, Amazon and other book-seller websites to obtain summaries and reviews of the titles that I included.
In addition to having difficulty locating Indiana true crime titles, I also ran into some other obstacles while creating my booklist. An issue came up regarding the validity and appropriateness of two of the titles available. There are two books that were self-published by a woman who had just gotten her private investigators license to “investigate” an unsolved murder in Franklin. The story is about a young woman and her ten-year-old stepson who was found murdered in their home in a quiet subdivision in Franklin in 2006. No arrests or information on any legitimate leads has been made public, but this particular author claims to know who the killer is and exactly what happened. These are poorly written books with many parts appearing as the author promoting herself and her private investigator business. After looking these books over, I was ready to remove them from my booklist. However, they are about a very local and well-known crime and the Franklin branch library had duplicate copies of both titles. The librarian later discovered these titles in his search, and told me that I could add them. I voiced my concerns about the books, but he said that they do in fact circulate frequently so he asked me to add them back in. I added these two titles back to my list, but as I was reviewing my brochure, I discovered that one of my titles was no longer in their catalog. I inquired about this title and was told that it was discarded due to damage, and that they likely would not replace this title based on its age. I went ahead and removed this title since it is not likely that they will make this title available to JCPL patrons again.
Creating the booklist did take a lot of work. Due to the limited number of Indiana true crime titles available though, I had to add nearly every title that I found. I got positive feedback regarding my final product (the brochure) that I created. The librarians liked the layout and the graphics that I added to my brochure, which is not something that their other brochures have.  

Indiana Department of Workforce Development. (2011). Johnson County, IN. Highlights. County Highlights.                                                                                                                                            Retrieved from
Libraries Unlimited. (2006). Definition: True Crime. The Reader’s Advisor Online. Retrieved from

Lab B: Reading List--Indiana Crime titles at the Johnson County Public Library system


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Currently Reading...In a Fisherman's Language by James Arruda Henry

I just got on interlibrary loan (yay!) "In a Fisherman's Language: An autobiography" by Captain James Arruda Henry. I read about this book in one of the popular culture magazines. In case you haven't heard about this book though, Captain James Arruda was in his mid-nineties when he learned to read and write. The old saying: "you're never to old to learn" rings true to this story. As told in the story I read about this book, James would maitain his secret about his illiteracy by pretending to read newspapers in restaurants or listening to what others ordered off the menu and ordering the same thing. No one knew, even some of his closest friends and family had no clue until he was much older. He was inspired by another 98 year-old man who had struggled with illiteracy, but successfully taught himself to read and write. He later began working with an English teacher to learn to read and write. He began with the simple task of learning his ABC's followed by learning how to sign his own name. This books is comprised of short stories about Arruda's life growing up and some of what his life is like today. The sentences and paragraphs are somewhat choppy, which may annoy those who are grammar fanatics. However, I think that knowing where he's coming from makes you appreciate his writing no matter what your educational background is.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Annotation #5: YA---The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Written By: Suzanne Collins 
...And the basis for the new hit movie
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Science Fiction
Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy
  •         Action-packed
  •         Bleak, menacing tone
  •    Character-driven
  •    World-building
  •     Strong sense of place
  •    Descriptive language
  •    Fast-paced, suspensful, & engaging
    Time Period:  Futuristic
An alternate or future North America known as Panem

Plot Summary:
A twist on the idea of survival of the fittest "The Hunger Games" is a fight to the death on live TV. There are twelve districts surrounding the capital of Panem, and each of the twelve districts has one boy and one girl that are sent as "tributes" to participate in the "Hunger Games," and represent their districts. Once someone turns 12 years old, their name is entered once in the drawing for the "Hunger Games," and an additional entry is added on each year until they turn 18.  

When Katniss Everdeen's 12 year-old sister Prim is the first name drawn, Katniss decides to protect her sister and volunteer for the games. She faces 23 other "tributes," including her fellow male "tribute" from District 12, Peeta Mellark. The two become known as the "star-crossed lovers" of the games, after Peeta publicly announces his love for Katniss during his pre-game interview. However, eventually they will be  pitted not only against bigger, meaner tributes but also against one another. 

Read-Alike Titles from NoveList:

Variant by Robison E. Wells
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman

Read-Alike Authors from NoveList:

Margaret Peterson Haddix
Jeanne DuPrau
Paolo Bacigalupi

As School library Journal states, "This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'American Gladiator."  This is perhaps why this has become such a huge "must read" for many because of the similarity to many reality TV shows.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Annotation #4: Historical Fiction --Traveler by Ron McLarty


Written by Ron McLarty

McLarty’s first book is Memory of Running

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Mystery
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Time Period: 1960's

  • Relatable characters
  • Mystery Elements 
  • First-Person narrative, descriptive writing style 

Plot Summary: This story is told through the eyes of protagonist Jono Riley, who is now a middle-aged bartender and part-time actor. When Jono receives word that his childhood crush Marie has died, he decides to return to East Providence, Rhode Island for the funeral. McLarty weaves the re-telling of Jono's upbringing in the working-class neighborhoods of East Providence in the 60's with his current life as a struggling actor. Jono performs mostly single character plays in front of dismal, single-digit audiences. Growing up, he had three close friends Bobby, Cubby, and Billy. He reconnects with them upon his return decades later. While he is in Providence, he also reconnects with former school officer Kenny Snowden. Kenny was one of the original officers investigating the shooting of eleven year-old Marie. Jono and others later learn that Marie died from a "traveler." The bullet was never removed, and it began moving in her body, eventually killing her. Jono and his new girlfriend Renee get wrapped up with an investigation that eventually links Marie's shooting with several other mysterious shootings and/or killings around the same time. Read "Traveler" to discover the truth behind these mysterious events. McLarty also weaves in details of life in and around East Providence, Rhode Island in the 1960's.  

Author Read-Alikes from NoveList:

  •          Jonathan Coe
  •         Elizabeth Hay
  •         David Gilbert

Title Read-Alikes from NoveList:

  •        The Crow Road by Iain Banks
  •         For the Love of Money by Omar Tyree
  •        Scooter by Mick Foley 
More About the Author:
   Ron McLarty is an award-winning and well-known actor and playwright. He has appeared in many popular television shows including: The Practice, Law & Order, Spenser: For Hire, and Sex in the City. He is also married to actress Kate Skinner.