Dracula by Bram Stoker: I still remember the first time I read Dracula. The first thing that hit me was that it was written like a journal. I don’t believe that I had read a novel written in such a fashion at that time. This brought an immediacy to the story and drew me in just as Jonathan Harker was caught in Dracula’s web of dread and horror. The cast of fascinating characters sped things along; Mina’s precarious predicament, Lucy’s dreadful fate, Renfield’s mad servitude, Van Helsing’s scientific analysis of vampirism and Dr. Seward’s curiosity. I would have loved to be amidst the first readers when Stoker’s novel was originally published in 1897. It was a shame that Stoker never received his greatest accolades before his death. Be certain to read this one on a dark night when the moon is full and the shadows flicker across the walls from a crackling fire.
Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand: The first of three Roland March novels. March is a hardboiled homicide detective in Houston, Texas that has seen better days. This case is his last chance to save his crumbling career. He has a determination for justice and a heart to be a better man. To bad the darkness refuses to give up quietly. I highly recommend this book to fans of great crime fiction. This book can also be categorized as Christian Fiction but don’t let that fool you. This is fiction a Christian can read without worry of a volley of profanities but no punches are pulled and the struggles are very real. I have this book on the virtual shelf of my e-reader and have yet to read the other two books in the series. I have been waiting to get the series in hardcover but still searching for the source to do so. However you can get your hands on this book, do it. You will not be disappointed.
The Complete Peanuts by Charles Shultz: I have the 1973-1975 volumes of this sprawling series. I have always loved comic strips but Peanuts has always been my favorite. I remember playing with Peanuts Colorforms as a child and watching any of the cartoons I could get my hands on. I know I cannot do justice to what Shultz accomplished with the Peanuts strip but can say it is wonderful, profound, hilarious, charming, imaginative, playful and a joy. I need to add more of this series to my collection soon.
Hagar the Horrible by Dik Browne: I have the 1973-1975 volumes. I love Hagar the Horrible. I love his cluelessness, his tenacity, his loyalty and spirit. He makes me laugh as well. You can’t keep a good viking down, no matter how hard you try (unless fine mead is involved).
Dennis the Menace by Hal Ketchum: A one-strip comic is a difficult beast to tame but Ketchum seemingly does it with ease. I think everyone knows the tenacious kid named Dennis and his grumpy neighbor Mr. Wilson. The economy of line in the strip is mind-boggling. It is no wonder that Ketchum was a former Disney animator. Each large panel brings you back to a simpler day and time and a remembrance of what it was like to see the world through the eyes of a kid. I think every child has a bit of Dennis in him or her.