“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what you’ve read the past week and planning to read next.
It’s Monday again, and I’m still snowed under with a project at work, and will be for about another month. So reading time, and writing time, has definitely been limited.
Recently I finished two books: Small Island by Andrea Levy, and Dracula by Bram Stoker.
I was inspired to read Dracula by a few bloggers on Halloween weekend (Her Book Self and Lit Addicted Brit) . I’ve always meant to read Dracula; it’s one of those classics that has inspired so many books and movies. I can’t say I love vampire fiction, yet I’ve read a lot of it, from Salem’s Lot to The Historian to The Passage.
Sometimes the problem with going back to a classic like this one is that you’ve heard it all before.
Dracula itself is based on folklore, so Bram Stoker didn’t invent most of what he wrote about. Still, he’s created indelible characters in Mina, Van Helsing, and particularly Renfield. Dracula is also a work very set in its time. He explores not only vampire folklore but ideas about science, psychology, gender, and sexuality. The book was written in an unusual style, which is a series of letters, journal entries, and articles, from many different narrators.
Honestly, the book had me “enthralled” for a while, but I tired of it near the end, and that’s when it should have been most suspenseful. Too many long speeches and planning sessions, too little action. Less of the fantastic gothic mood set earlier in the novel. I enjoyed most the earlier parts when Jonathan Harker is trying desperately to escape, and when poor Lucy’s just wasting away and no one can figure out why.
Right now I’m trying out a new mystery series, Still Life by Louise Penny. It’s set in a small town near Montreal — I stumbled across the book on Amazon and the reader reviews make the series sound amazing. It’s too early for me to say. The “quirky small town” bit can be hit or miss for me. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s just way too cutesy.
I’ll be keeping my reading pretty “fluffy” for the near future. I have Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot waiting on my Kindle but I just don’t have the attention for it right now.
So, have a good Monday — I’m off to a very challenging (but hopefully successful) week at work. Happy reading!