I've always been an avid, if slow, reader. To my great surprise, I ended up studying literature (along with CS) for my undergrad degree, which enriched my world in ways that are impossible to quantify and I'd read a lot more now if it wasn't for other responsibilities. I'm using this page to simply track what I'm reading and any thoughts about the books. I try to update it every once in a while...

In Progress - Vampire

    Nothing at the moment!

Completed Reads - Vampire

The Witcher Book 3 (Baptism of Fire)
Andrzej Sapkowski

Everything I've read thus far (short stories and novels) in the Witcher series is great fun! As I've alluded to previously, Sapkowski's story-telling is refreshing in a genre overpopulated with mediocre fare and I won't cover things I talked about in my previous review here.

In my opinion, one of Sapkowski's great talents is presenting the challenges of racism, hate, and other prescient culture issues in a way that is a lynchpin to the story and is baked in to the world he creates and he does it in a way that presents these issues in a very real way, where there isn't a clear right and wrong, where the history of the different sides informs the current tensions, and where individuals are torn between their own opposing values, desires, and fears. He does this all in a way that isn't overtly blunt melodramatic, whereas in much writing today I find writers adding such themes to a story as clearly extraneous material, ultimately irrelevant to the story, plot, and even to the characters.

I found that Baptism of Fire was a little simpler to follow than the previous books in the trilogy. We're on an adventure with our main characters while the world is in the throes of a massive war. There are riots, benevolent dwarves wrestling with their own fallibility, a megalomaniacal village priest, a vegetarian vampire, raging battles, love and loss, compassion and redemption.

Ultimately, this is a great series of books for anyone who loves the fantasy genre, is a Tolkien fan, or just likes a good, fun story.

The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova

My brother recommended The Historian to me. It's basically a modern Dracula story and it's really well done. Kostova tells a complex story, narrated through multiple timelines and points of view (much of the story in the mode of letters read by the narrator) and she does a very enjoyable job tying everything together. It's a fun, modern detective story weaving through the world of Dracula (this is NOT a vampire story, but rather a Dracula story). It was a great, fun read, great writing, not too deep, but a complex story. It got a little slow at parts, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

This is a great book for someone who enjoys complex stories and realistic monster stories.