Here at the Haunted Book Shop, we go hard on Halloween. This year, our theme is Vamp It Up–we’ve made a display of every vampire-centric work we could lay our hands on. Even the wonderfully befanged Mr. Bingley is getting in on it.
Here’s a selection of some them:
Dracula–Bram Stoker’s classic work of horror that put vampires firmly in the public imagination. We have several editions–paperback, graphic novels, hardback, and a limited number of an unabridged illustrated edition.
Interview With A Vampire–The first in the awesome series by Anne Rice, you can’t go wrong with reading Louis and Lestat’s story.
Twilight— Stephenie Meyer’s breakout hit, and for many people the first series they read and reread. The story of Bella Swan, the woman that makes forever worth living for Edward Cullen, whose century-plus as a vampire hasn’t made him relish the eternity before him.
Anno Dracula–Kim Newman’s alternative history and sequel to Dracula, start from the premise “What if Dracula won in Bram Stoker’s novel?” The answer: Dracula was never run out of Britain, hypnotized his way into marrying Queen Victoria, and vampirism has become open and legal. This book presents a look at the often-gruesome social changes that have to happen if the vampires came out of the night to trouble to warm.
Giracula–Vampires aren’t always scary! Giracula, by Caroline Watkins, is an adorably silly kids’ book about a vampire giraffe–a vampire just couldn’t stay away from that much neck, you see.
Bunnicula–Deborah and James Howe’s adorable kids’ classic about a vampire bunny rabbit (he doesn’t drink blood, he sucks the juice out of vegetables until they turn white), told from the point of view of the family dog, Harold.
The Vampire Files–P.N. Elrod’s fun mysteries set in Depression-era Chicago. Narrated by Jack Fleming, a decent guy who got turned into a vampire on his first day in town, these horror-mysteries are great fun.
Crave — If you’re missing Twilight, this is your next YA vampire read. I thoroughly enjoyed the magic school setting and the addition of the witch and dragon characters. Grace has lost both of her parents in a car wreck and moved to a remote Alaskan academy run by her uncle. She’s warned away by the brooding male protagonist and comes to realize all is not what (or who) it seems. One of the main differences between Crave and the Twilight series is that Grace isn’t pining away, trying to run from the trauma of her life like Bella was. She has agency and is actively trying to build a life and unravel the mysteries surrounding her. As the story progresses, the plot thread that most captured me is what or who Grace actually is. It became an un-put-downable book because I just had to know.
Preacher–Garth Ennis’ graphic novel masterpiece features a Texas preacher on a journey to, quite literally, find God. He’s accompanied on the way by, among others, a hundred-year-old hard-partying Irish vampire who takes the view that being a vampire who burns in sunlight isn’t a good enough reason to not have fun.
American Vampire–a graphic novel collaboration between Scott Snyder and Stephen King, this story features a world where vampires are feared–even by other vampires. New vampire bloodlines have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and learning what it takes to put them in the ground costs lives–even for vampires. In comes a woman named Pearl and a man named Skinner, the first of a new vampire bloodline which scares the old guard back into their coffins.
Carpe Jugulum — Terry Pratchett’s salute to vampires and horror films of old, set in Discworld. Verence, King of Lancre, wants to be a fair and reasonable monarch who is on good terms with his neighbors, so he invites some vampire nobility from across the border to his country–not knowing that vampires really only can go where they’re invited, and this family of bloodsuckers are liking the idea of an increased territory.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires–Hendrix describes his book as an ode to the underestimated: housewives as people, the 90s as a decade, and vampires as monsters. But be warned—the Southern charm and heart of this book will lure you in so when the horror hits, it really knocks you for a loop. There were a couple times I had to put the book down to catch my breath, but I just had to know what this group of true crime-loving book club ladies would do next. Especially when their whole world—their husbands, the family livelihoods, their social standing (all huge stakes in Southern society)—was against them. What saves the day in the end is such an important message to the monsters we fight against today in our own lives too.
Bloodsucking Fiends — if humor is more your thing, buckle up for Christopher Moore!
Black Dagger Brotherhood series — This paranormal romance series by J.R. Ward is seriously addictive. Featuring sexy alpha vampires, this series has a strong voice and flipped the trope in its day by having the vampires be the good guys and the religious zealots hunting them the baddies.
Dead Until Dark — the first book in the series by Charlaine Harris that was made famous in its HBO adaptation True Blood. These are also addictive with a dash of mystery set in Louisiana. The books diverge significantly from the show.
Also, be sure to check out our Vamp it Up window display designed by Coco! The theme is Vampyre Attack on the Bayou, Mobile 1776 and it’s chock full of fun details, like cicadas in the lady’s hair and more!
Do you have any fave vamp books?