January 25th, 2012

Book #11 Dracula, My Love by Syrie James

Title : Dracula, My Love
Author : Syrie James
My Rating : 4/5

I believe this is one of those books that can alter your perception on its original literary work. I have no regret whatsoever. My perception on Stoker's Dracula is changed forever. And I love it. I guess from now on I will always think that there are two different versions of the book Dracula and that Syrie James had just discovered the other one. Hahaha.. she wrote with ease and her plot weaving was great.Her depiction of Nicolae, the Dracula, was one of the most dashing and charming characters in fiction for me. I will never forget him. James wrote the Secret Journal in such a way, that I even found myself sympathizing with Mina's duality of love and even justifying it. How could one expect not to love such a character as Nicolae? This is something marvelous indeed for me. Considering I very seldom able to accept or forgive any act of parallel-loving in any kind of story. For example : I can never understand Bella's disposition for loving both Edward and Jacob. How can you love two persons at the same time? You only have one heart! Hahahaha... Don't get me wrong though! I love Twilight (Go Team Edward!) It's just my kind of example.
I also love this book because I get to be closer mentally and emotionally with Mina. I admire her courage and personality. So I recommend this book to you who is not afraid to see something from a different angle.


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My reading so far:

Book 1 - Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Book 2 - Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James McPherson
Book 3 - Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams
Book 4 - The Elements of Style by E.B. White
Book 5 - Fine Wines of the Twentieth Century by Michael Dovasz

Book 6 will possibly be Origins of the English Language by Joseph Williams, How to Write a Sentence by Stanley Fish, A World on Fire: Great Britain's Role in the US Civil War, Academically Adrift...or maybe a re-read of Bruce Catton's or Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogies. Or maybe I'll finally read Team of Rivals before the movie comes out! Anyway, I'm on track for reading 50 in 2012!

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Dead Dog Cat


A couple of days back, I read Osprey Campaign #67: Saratoga 1777: Turning Point of a Revolution about the battle that lead to the French choosing to support the Americans in the Revolutionary War. As in all the books of this series, there are a number of maps, descriptions of the commanders, and information about the troops in general. Good read.

Book 6

Title: Sarah's Key
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Themes: Family, Holocaust, History, France

I really liked this book. I won't say I "enjoyed" it because the subject matter was heartbreaking, but I am glad to have read it. I've read several novels about the Holocaust but they all were from the standpoint of citizens of Germany so it was interesting to read something from a different vantage point. This novel was thoughtful, haunting, and surprising, and I'll definitely be suggesting it to others.

Book #4: Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

Genre: Mystery/thriller
Number of pages: 513

I have read and enjoyed Linwood Barclay’s previous novels, but I must admit that I had mixed feelings about this one.

So, the main character, David Harewood, goes to an amusement park with his family, when his wife suddenly disappears; it’s a variation on the opening that I’ve read in two of Barclay’s previous novels.

The book then goes into a flashback for the next few chapters, explaining who David is and how he has been trying to expose a corrupt politician and how his wife has been having suicidal thoughts. It seemed a bit of a strange thing to do, and it might have been so the book with a chapter that really set things in motion fast without the dull preamble putting the readers off.

The one thing I found quite strange was that, although a lot of the book is written in the first person, from David’s point of view, there are several chapters that focus on other characters, written in the third person. The constant switching of perspectives is a bit weird, and I never like seeing it in a book; it would have been better entirely written in third person perspective. The other problem was that the reader ends up finding stuff out long before David does, and a lot of the time I was just waiting for him to find out what I had known for the last hundred pages; it was a bit like if the reader found out the identity of a killer long before Sherlock Holmes.

Anyway – spoilers behind the cut:

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Overall, it made for an entertaining story, but it definitely was not the best Linwood Barclay novel that I have read.

Next book: War Reporting for Cowards by Chris Ayres
book and cup

#8 Treasure Hunt - Molly Keane (1952)

Molly Keane (sometimes known as M J Farrell) first wrote Treasure Hunt as a play, and it is easy to see how the play would have been staged, as the novel retains much of the feel of a play. Characters enter stage left and take up their positions, say their piece and move off, just as on stage.
The story opens following the funeral of Roderick Ryall, brother to Hercules and Consuelo. The three have enjoyed a champagne life style of gambling and carousing in their Irish home of Ballyroden. Following Roddy's death however, dreadful debts incurred by this lifestyle mean things have to change. It is the younger generation, in heir Philip and his cousin Veronica who have to wave the big stick and make the grown up decisions. Like taking in dreaded paying guests from England - while the old guard, Consuelo and Hercules do all they can to thwart them, their escapades smack hilariously of naughty childishness. Aged Aunt Anna Rose, spends most of her time in an eighteenth century sedan chair, fitted with telephone, her "nest" pretending to travel the world. Waited upon by loyal servant William she has long forgotten where she hid her precious rubies - rubies no one is sure ever existed. Into this eccentric household enter Dorothy, Eustace and Yvonne - the PG's - Dorothy wants to leave as soon as she arrives, while Yvonne takes a great interest in young Sir Phillip, Eustace is charmed by Aunt Anna Rose and determines to uncover her story and the rubies.
This is a light charming read, wonderfully eccentric and enormously readable.
amy poehler

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5. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy - You guys! I remembered the other book I read! This one! And I remember why I didn't remember it, because it's unmemorable. I kind of like The Road better which is odd considering The Road is apocalyptic and a total downer, but I guess I don't like cowboys too much? I don't know.