What is in a name?

Hello Scribblers!  J Monkeys coming atcha from inside a snow globe.  Or at least that’s how it looks from my office window.  A fresh batch of snow fell last night and everything in view is covered – trees, roofs, even the sky is white, matching the gently falling flakes.  Quite a contrast from the book I’ve been reading this morning.

How do you select a book at the store?  Usually, it’s one of two things that prompts me to pick something up – either a cover that attracts my attention, or the author’s name.  When it comes to authors, naturally, it’s repeat business for me – I’m buying books by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed.  Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux.  Sometimes it’s a new book written by a friend or acquaintance – especially when they are written in a genre that isn’t typically my cup of tea, but where I know from experience that I’ll enjoy the ride – Kristan Higgins’ contemporary romances, Katy Lee’s inspirational romances or Casey Wyatt’s urban fantasies, for example. 

This morning, I’m reading a book that I chose based on the author, but it isn’t an author whose work is familiar to me.  In fact, the book I’m reading is his debut novel.  Nor was the book/author recommended to me by a friend.  I’m reading Dracula the Un-Dead written by Dacre Stoker – great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.

dracula-the-un-deadI’m almost exactly to the half-way point in the book and it’s a delight!  It’s not scary, which is a good thing for me because I do NOT like scary stories.  Mr. King’s The Shinning still haunts me 25 years after I read it!  While I loved The Stand, there were parts that I found creepy – I remember reading it while sitting in a corner, hidden from any ghouls lurking in the ether.   But Dracula the Un-Dead seems more like a drama than horror as I think of it today.  It’s written as a sequel to the original book.  In truth it’s co-authored by Dacre Stoke and Ian Holt apparently written (according to Wikipedia) “Because of the Stokers’ frustrating history with Dracula’s copyright, Dacre with encouragement from screenwriter Ian Holt, decided to write “a sequel that bore the Stoker name” to “reestablish creative control over” the original novel.”  What an interesting idea.  I don’t know the extent to which it would reestablish copyright – but hey.

But if you’ve enjoyed the rise in vampire stories in the last decade or so, you might want to take a look at this homage to the original.  It’s well done (at least the first half!) and worth a few of your hard earned dollars.  And, again according to Wikipedia, they wrote it based on Bram’s original notes and stuff pulled out of the original novel.  Again, a cool idea. 

Today’s secret: Dracula is Un-Dead and available at the bookstore once again.  :)  Oh and by the way, they have begun filming season 6 of True Blood, speaking of popular vampires.  The delightful Mr. Skarsgard has revealed a spoiler-ish something from filming.  Click here to find out what.

Today’s question: how do you decide to buy a book?  What changes you from a browser to a buyer?

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6 thoughts on “What is in a name?”

  1. Books grab me by cover, first and foremost. Then I read the back cover and the first paragraph or so of the book. If i already don’t want to put it down, it’s a sale. Of course, I’ll buy books from authors I love and I’ll wait years for the next installment from my faves, but these days, my reading time is so limited, I reserve it for the best of the best and won’t be bothered to finish stories that don’t grab me by the throat and hold me to the end. Another Dracula story probably won’t do it for me these days. Thanks for the review of the book.

    1. I hear you about limited reading time – I find that I’m actually more willing to start a book but less willing to commit to it. I’ve been dropping stuff if it doesn’t grab my by the first 1/3 of the book.

  2. A new generation of Stoker novelists: facinating. I think that’s one for my list :-) I, like PJ, do think covers and titles are important. She’s also right about first paragraphs. Damn, why does she always have to be right? :-) Really good post, J. Monkeys!

    1. Thanks! I’m looking forward to putting the kiddies to bed and getting back to reading it! :) I rarely open the book in the store – like to read the first paragraph but maybe I should try. I do fill my TBR shelf every year at our local library fund raiser – I jam anything that catches my eye into my fill-it-for-$5 bag and then return them for resale as I’m done reading them. When the books only cost a dime a piece, I’m pretty willing to take a chance. :)

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