Feeling creeping! Are you in a castle in Transylvania? If not check out these 5 memorable portrayals of Dracula! Which one is your favorite?
Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!
5. The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman
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The Good Immigrant is an anthology of stories reflecting on the current state of immigrants and their relationship to America. The United States is consumed by hostile rhetoric over who is welcome across its borders and it seems that everyone’s rights are under attack. In this anthology, numerous writers offer stories about their cultural heritage and their complicated stories in the midst of this crisis. From analyzing cultural appropriation, to a detailing one author’s journey from Nigeria to America, and another author reconnecting with their Korean roots, these stories are emotional, tear jerking, but mandatory for anyone to read in this age.
4. The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’meara
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The Lady From the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara examines the forgotten history of one of Hollywood’s best talents, a woman who was discriminated against and lost to history despite creating one of the most iconic monsters of all time. This is the story of Milicent Patrick, who was one of Disney’s first female animators and created The Creature From the Black Lagoon, a monster that became a staple of Universal’s library of nasties next to Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. O’Meara sheds light on the history of Milicent Patrick, uncovering her early beginnings to her career in Hollywood, giving the woman the legacy she’s deserved for years.
3. The Sakura obsession by Naoko Abe
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The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe tells the true story of how an English eccentric saved Japan’s cherry blossoms from extinction. Collingwood Ingram visited Japan numerous times in the early 1900s, but by 1926 he was horrified to find the flowers were in sharp decline. Determined not to lose them, Ingram’s story chronicles how he used specimens he had taken to England and ferried them back to Japan, reintroducing them to the land and allowing them to flourish. A history of both cherry blossoms and a crazy English man with one hell of an obsession, this work is for any flower or history lover out there.
2. Surviving the Forest by Adiva Geffen
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Surviving the Forest tells the true tale of a Jewish holocaust survivor from WWII, known as Shurka, who lived a quiet, lovely existence in Poland. But then, World War II broke out and the Germans invaded Shurka’s hometown. She was taken to a Jewish ghetto, where the Nazis were taking Jews to concentration camps, never to be seen again. Managing to escape the camp with her family, Shurka ends up in the dark forest wilderness of Poland. This is her story of survival, avoiding not only German patrols but the world around her, from wild animals, to natural hazards, to starvation. This is a remarkable work that isn’t easy to read but showcases one woman’s tenacity for survival in the darkest of circumstances.
1. Furious Hours by Casey Cep
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Furious Hours by Casey Cep uncovers the mystery surrounding beloved writer Harper Lee and the events that led to her beginning to write a true crime book in the vein of her childhood friend Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. A reverend named Willie Maxwell was acquitted for the murder of a family of five before being shot dead himself. Harper Lee in later years was trying to write another book and chose the reverend as the central character of a nonfiction book about the murders. The case is told in three sections, the first part about Maxwell, the second about his lawyer that helped him avoid justice, and the third about Harper Lee herself trying to write about his case. This book not only offers research into a murder mystery but paints an evocative portrait of Lee herself, chronicling her life, her success, and her slow decline as she struggled with fame. This is a wonderfully researched work, full of brilliant detail that doesn’t leave a stone unturned.
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Vampires are a classic staple of literature. They can represent endless possibilities, from tragic figures of gothic romance to rampaging beasts of the night. These varied roles have contributed to vampires as enduring fixtures of literature. In addition to a thousand vampire books out there, it can be hard to judge those that have true ‘bite’ from the shambling ghouls. But below are five excellent vampires novel of which any bloodsucking fans will be enraptured by. Just be careful… don’t read them after dark!
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5. ‘Anno Dracula’ by Kim Newman
Anno Dracula is functions as both a sequel to Dracula and a new twist on the mythology of the classical Dracula lore. Dracula claims victory at the end of the original book instead of dying and marries Queen Victoria, establishing an order of vampires that rule London from the shadows. But Jack the Ripper stalks the streets, threatening Dracula’s regime as his murders grow out of hand, forcing a human detective named Charles Beauregard is dispatched to hunt down the killer. But instead, he finds himself drawn into a web of intrigue with a plot to overthrow Dracula’s rule. The story is full of politics, murder, and cameos from dozens of literary characters, Anno Dracula is an intriguing, deliciously dark read.
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4. ‘Vampire Academy’ by Richelle Mead
Imagine if you will a hybrid between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. If you liked the sound of that, you’ll love Vampire Academy. The book tells the story of Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir who is the bodyguard to a vampire princess. Both of them end up at the titular academy, where they must blend into both the social scene, ritualistic classes, and fight off the dangerous vampires hunting them both down. Rose, an exciting and stylish protagonist, is a fun character to get to know for young readers.
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3. ‘The Strain’ by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro
The Strain reimagines vampires much like zombies, the apex for a horrendous vampiric plague that will cover the world. On a darkened runway, a mysterious plane lands, refusing to respond to communicating channels, the shades on its windows drawn. What is found inside unleashes the vampire plague upon New York City and begins an apocalypse. The Strain is a ‘realistic’ take on the vampire genre that feels horrifically terrifying while not sacrificing its monster for realism sake. The intro alone will grab you in a heartbeat. Check this one out; its a heart stopper.
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2. ‘Fevre Dream’ by George R.R. Martin
Fevre Dream is a 1982 novel by George R.R. Martin, who needs no introduction. Set in Mississippi during 1888, the story follows riverboat captain Abner Marsh, as one Joshua York approaches him an offer that drags him to the very heart of darkness. The novel works as both an adventure and horror story, filled with memorable characters, dazzling atmosphere, and exciting action. The vampire society is examined in high detail in this novel, making great characters alongside the human protagonist. The cherry on top is the high detail in the setting, with George R.R. Martin’s keen eye providing a lush world that feels very lived. Check it out!
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1. ‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King
Salem’s Lot is scary. No less should be expected by the master horror writer, Stephen King, but this novel stands as one of his truly most terrifying—all the more impressive by this book only being his second published. The story focuses on writer Ben Mears, who comes to the sleepy New England town of Jerusalem’s Lot. But disappearances begin to happen, along with strange events, Mears suspects something sinister is arriving in the town. The plot functions as more of a mystery, with the vampires not revealing their presence until over halfway through of the book, but the chilling atmosphere and memorable characters eagerly hold reader’s attention. And when the vampires begin to siege in force, the book grabs the reader by the shoulder and doesn’t let go until the last line in the final chapter. Scary, well written, and paced perfectly, and Jerusalem’s Lot is the cream of the crop in the vampire genre.
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Rejoice, fellow nerds of the Doctor Who and Sherlock fandoms, the writing team of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are at it again! Their new project? A television series based around the 1897 novel by Bram Stoker, Dracula. The two men are known for their tight lips when it comes to their creative endeavors. Little by little, though, they’ve been revealing more information about this adaptation.
The exciting news is that the two men have finally put their heads together, and announced yesterday that they will begin their writing process will begin sometime “next month.” They have also revealed that within these next few weeks, they plan on fully committing to “getting stuck” into their writing process. Though Moffat has since left as showrunner and head writer for Doctor Who, this news is a bit upsetting to us Sherlock fans who might not see a new season crop up for quite some time.
It has also been announced that Mark Gatiss would love nothing more than to play the unfortunate inmate at a “lunatic asylum,” R M Renfield. Renfield’s character is notorious for eating live creatures in an effort to adopt their life force. Dracula soon takes him under his wing as a loyal servant, though we can only imagine this arrangement ending in disaster. No news on who the two have their eyes on for the title character yet, however.
As a fan of this creative team in general, I know I’m bloody well excited to see what new heights these two will take the most iconic vampire in history!
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The Icelandic version of Bram Stoker’s famed novel Dracula was published only a couple of years after the original English version, however it was not until 2014 that it was discovered that it was not, in fact, the same book.
Makt Myrkranna, directly translating to Powers of Darkness, was translated very soon after the original English version was published in 1897. However, over 100 years later, it was discovered that Valdimar Ásmundsson’s ‘translation’ was rather different from Stoker’s.
Dutch author and historian Hans Corneel de Roos, who himself translated the text back into English, wrote for Lithub that “literary researcher Richard Dalby reported on the 1901 Icelandic edition and on its preface, apparently written specifically for it by Stoker himself.” This sparked interest in Powers of Darkness. While Dracula scholars had known about the Icelandic version since 1986, no one had translated it back into English, and, though Dalby’s report sparked interest, it was still assumed the text was merely an abridged version of Stoker’s original.
Smithsonian reports that:
As de Roos worked on the translation, patterns emerged: many of the characters had different names, the text was shorter and had a different structure, and it was markedly sexier than the English version, he writes.
De Roos notes that actually, Powers of Darkness is better than the original.
Although Dracula received positive reviews in most newspapers of the day…the original novel can be tedious and meandering….Powers of Darkness, by contrast, is written in a concise, punchy style; each scene adds to the progress of the plot.
It seems insane that these drastic changes lay undiscovered in the Icelandic version until so recently, but upon publication of the English translation of Makt Myrkranna, a Swedish scholar revealed that there was actually an 1899 Swedish version of Makt Myrkranna, which had been serialized in the Swedish newspapers Dagen and Aftonbladet. However, as with the Icelandic version, no English speaking Dracula scholars had paid any attention to it, and therefore their extreme similarities were overlooked. Scholar Rickard Berghorn realized that this older Swedish version had an identical title Mörkrets Makter, and on further inspection, it was discovered that the Swedish text contained scenes that weren’t in Dracula or Makt Myrkranna. This is a lot for a Tuesday and is making my brain hurt.
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