Category: Books

Vampire Literature 2012

Interim 2012 starts today and once again I’m teaching Vampire Literature. Our reading list: Suzy Charnas, The Vampire Tapestry Kikuchi, Hideyuki, Vampire Hunter D Kohta Hirano, Hellsing, vol 1, 4, 8 Robin McKinley, Sunshine Alan Ryan, ed., The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories Bram Stoker, Dracula Movies: Nosferatu (1922) Dracula (1931) Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) … Read More

A Bloody Book List

I am occasionally asked what my favorite vampire novels are. And although I still have a tall pile of vampire novels to read on the floor of my office (I’m currently reading I am Legend), here, in no particular order, are my current top 10. 1. Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897) The original and still best. … Read More

Penguin Hardcover Dracula

Penguin Hardcover Classics has released a new edition of Dracula. It is gorgeous. I wanted to order it for my Brit Lit survey class but couldn’t justify having students buy a hardcover when there are so many paperback versions. Still, it really is a beautiful book. I love the pattern that the sort of sinister … Read More

Vampire Literature Interim 2011

The almost official booklist: Bram Stoker, Dracula The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian Robin McKinley, Sunshine Suzy McKee, The Vampire Tapestry Movies. Dracula (1931) Nosferatu (1922) Let the Right One In (2008) Let Me In (2010) Perfect Creature (2006)

Feast of Fools

Rachel Caine Signet (June 3, 2008) One thing you realize after reading a lot of vampire fiction, particularly of the young adult kind, is how many common tropes there are. The vampire ball, the magic item of jewelry, the discovery that vampires aren’t bothered by religious items, the sad and sympathetic male vampire(Hello, Byron?), the … Read More

Glass Houses and The Dead Girls’ Dance

Rachel Caine Books One and Two of the Morganville Vampires series NAL Jam; Reissue edition October 3, 2006 and April 3, 2007 Rachel Caine’s vampire series came out in 2006. And here’s the thing: when I started reading it I thought, “Wow! This is so fresh and original!!” Why? Because the vampires are actually the … Read More

Halfway to the Grave (2007)

Jeannie Frost Avon (October 30, 2007) I’m not exactly proud of this one. But after a hard week and an on-coming cold, sometimes you need to slum a little bit. Halfway to the Grave is book one in the Night Huntress series and centers on half-human, half-vampire vampire hunter Cat. This is pretty standard Harlequin-Romance-meets-Vampires … Read More

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2010)

Seth Grahame-Smith Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (March 2, 2010) I finally finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter today. It took me 7 months to do it and that might be review enough in itself. Just last week I told myself I needed to either make a final push and finish the darn thing or just … Read More

Vampirates: Blood Captain

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 1, 2009) So, here’s the deal. Vampirates shouldn’t surf. Actually, vampires shouldn’t really surf—the sequel to Lost Boys taught us that. But vampirates really shouldn’t surf. And, seeing as how our first vampirate starts surfing on just about the second page of volume two of the … Read More

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean

by Justin Somper Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 4, 2006) Forget Twilight or Vampire Diaries or whatever else. What you want to be reading right now is Vampirates. So. Much. Fun. I discovered Justin Somper’s series quite by accident. I was in the juvenile section of the library with my son looking for … Read More

Dracula in Love (2010)

Well, fast on the heels of finishing one of the most satisfying vampire novels I’ve read in some time, I read one of the least satisfying. Karen Essex’s Dracula in Love: a Novel revisits Bram Stoker’s Dracula but claims to tell the story from Mina’s side. I liked the sort of more “realistic” version of … Read More

Sunshine (2003/2010)

Just finished reading Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. Lordy. What a fabulous read! Many thanks to Emily U. for recommending it to me. I think I devoured it in a 24 hour period—I read until 2:00am last night and then polished it off over a few hours this afternoon. Even the great Neil Gaiman loves it. His … Read More

The Vampire Tapestry

by Suzy McKee Charnas 1980 I bought The Vampire Tapestry pretty much on the strength of the blurbs. Stephen King has a glowing quote on the cover and some enthusiastic reviewer gushed that it had surpassed Bram Stoker’s Dracula itself. In read it, I wasn’t quite as moved as the reviewers, but I did find … Read More

Interm 2011

English W44A This course challenges the claim that the current interest in vampires is a “recent” one. In fact, great interest in vampires has bubbled up at several points in history, and it will be the task of the class to determine how these responses have been similar or unique. We will proceed by examining … Read More

Summer Reading List

Commencement was on Saturday and so thus officially begins summer break. Well, I suppose the official summer doesn’t happen until I finish grading, but close enough. What will I be reading this summer? Oh, this and that. Hideyuki Kikuchi, Vampire Hunter D: Pale Fallen Angel — need to finish this still. Donna Tartt, The Secret … Read More

The Strain (2009)

Reading The Strain made me ridiculously depressed that the rumors that Guillermo Del Toro was on the short list to direct the 3rd installment in the Twilight Saga were not true. A) Because the man can spin straw into goal (see my previous post on Blade 2; and B) Because Del Toro can write one … Read More


As if I wasn’t already reading 3 or 4 books simultaneously, I started Yashakiden: the Demon Princess today. It’s by Hideyuki Kikuchi, author of the Vampire Hunter D series. The story is part of the Demon City Shinjuku universe. There is an anime and manga based on Demon City Shinjuku, but I haven’t seen/read them. … Read More

My Manga Summer: Until Death Do Us Part

One reason I got so out of the habit of watching and posting blogs about vampire movies is because I spent most of my free time this summer devouring manga. So, I’m going to try to write little by little about the manga I read over the summer. First up: Until Death Do Us Part … Read More


I’ve been reading a manga called Kuroshitsuji this week. It is a manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. In English, it will be called The Black Butler. It’s a great deal of fun. The story is about Ciel Phantomhive, the 12 year old Earl of the Phantomhive family, and his butler, Sebastian. Ciel is … Read More

On the Use of Religious Tropes

Father Abel with a steampunk-esque bible. The illustrator of Trinity Blood has a real technology fetish. The more ornate the better. Besides those amazing AX priests and nuns, another reason I get such a kick out of Trinity Blood is its obsession with religious references. It’s pretty much inescapable. Among them are: The vampires are … Read More

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