The Bookshelf

anno dracula

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman: Imagine if Dracula was not killed at the end of Stoker’s novel but managed to escape to fight another day, marry the Queen of England and start a new trend called vampirism, then you would have this delightful alternate history horror tale. If you like vampires and are a fan of Stoker’s original novel, you will enjoy Newman’s take on familiar characters and new. There may be a silver knife murderer stalking the vampires of London as well. This is the first in a series, of which I have read all of, yet have only this one remaining in my collection. The entire series is good and follows Dracula and his foes throughout history. I believe a new book in the series just came out this month so I will have to check it out at once.

The historian

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: While we are on the subject of vampires…let’s talk about Kostova’s first novel. A young woman finds a journal that details the possible existence of one Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula, long after he would be dead and buried. The woman decides to follow the remaining threads from the journal and trek across old Europe in search of this mythical vampire figure to find the truth for herself. This could be considered a thriller but a slow simmering one with an atmosphere of dread and a cast of vivid characters. Kostovo’s prose is wonderful and often chilling. I highly recommend this novel to those that like to wrap up in a cozy blanket on a dark night and be drawn slowly into a rich tale of darkness and adventure and a vampire.


The Ultimate Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: This is a giant edition that contains all five of Douglas’ Hitchhiker novels in one book. If you have never read a book by Douglas before, you are in for a treat. I read the first three books in Middle School, if my memory is to be trusted, and they made an impression on me for sure. Funny, witty and hilarious are a few ways to describe these books. Arthur Dent is saved, seconds before the earth is demolished, by Ford Perfect, a researcher for the Guide. Comedy ensues. A must read to bolster your geek cred. 42.

High Lonesome

Hondo, To Tame a Land, High Lonesome and Kiowa Trail by Louis L’Amour: These are four novels that I managed to snag in hardback legacy edition a number of years back. If you are a fan of Westerns at all then you have to read L’Amour at some point in your life. I am a casual fan of the Western and have to admit that these are my favorites. The man wrote ninety nine published novels so I will readily admit they can’t all be winners but there are plenty you’ll find to love. His novels capture the West in such a natural yet high-spirited way that you can’t help but be swept up in the adventure. A true American treasure.


It’s Superman by Tom DeHaven: For those of you that like your Superman to be traditional ( I count myself in that lot) I beg you hear me out on this one. This is a novel with a skewed take on the origin of the man of steel we all know and love. It is also a lot of fun. Don’t worry, Superman is treated with respect. DeHaven writes in such a way that pays tribute to the comic book genre and, at the same time, pokes a slight jab at it for good clean sport. An enjoyable read from beginning to end.