Bout of Books: Top Ten Recommendations Challenge

Top Ten Recommendations Challenge
Hosted by Trees of Reverie

I am absolutely loving these challenges. They are really making me think about different books. Huge thanks to those hosting them. 

The Challenge: You've just started to work at a bookstore (or library) - what are your top ten go-to book recommendations?

You're going to see a little theme here... just go with it. Please note - Some of these books have adult themes. 

1. Dracula by Bram Stoker - If you're interested in reading books about vampires this HAS to be your starting point. It's a classic, and sometimes a bit of a difficult read. I found it pretty slow in parts when I read it as a teen. But it is a very important piece and essential for any vampire fan. 

2. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice (Adult themes I think... it's been too long)- Not the movie, even if it was amazing. You need to read the book, and possibly the whole series which I never actually got around to doing. This is another essential book which begins to show how vampires can evolve and change depending on the author. 

3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (YA)- Don't snort like that. Trust me here a little. If we are looking at the evolution of vampires in fiction this is a really good choice. Meyer made a huge decision to completely change how a vampire looks. She flipped the whole genre and legend on it's head to make her story completely unique and fresh. That, in my opinion, is a brave thing to do and means that the book deserves at least one quick read before you shun it forever.

4. Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan (Adult Themes)- This brings us to another welcome evolution in the vampire novel. Queen of Shadows, the first book in my all time favourite series 'Shadow world', was the book that drew me back in after years of not bothering with adult vampire fiction. I love stories that show vampires with their humanity in tact. This series shows them as not being monsters, but still being a thing of nightmares. The characters are all seriously bad-ass, but not senseless predators. 

5. Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine (YA)- This book is completely different to the Shadow World books, but still has a similar evolution. The vampires run the town in this series. There are monsters, but there are also very 'human' vampires. There are rules and there are punishments for vampires that break them. I enjoy reading things like that. 

6. Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson (Adult Themes) - I personally loved this book, and quite a few after it in the 'Undead' series. Unfortunately it got a little flat and dull after around the 8th book. This one does take the whole 'Human Vamp' theme a little too far, but it covers it with comedy. Funny vampires are definitely a way forward for vampire books. 

7. I'm the Vampire, That's Why (Broken hearts series) by Michele Bardsley (Adult themes)- I have only read this first book in the series but I did love it. Again it keeps the human vamp trend, but takes it to Human Vamp parent with Human not vamp kids. A vampire at a P.T.A. meeting? That's always going to be fun. 

8. Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith (YA) - This whole series is amazing. I love the TV show but the books are even better. Perfect for those yearnings for brooding, emo, teen vamps. Don't forget the spin off books too including Stefan's Diaries and the upcoming Originals books by Julie Plec (book one released January 27th 2015). 

9. Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith (YA) - In fact, the whole Nightworld series really proves that L.J. really knows how to write vampires and keep them fresh. This book is so far removed from the broody Vampire Diaries vampires and takes it right back to the legends without losing the evolution into humanity. 

10. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (YA)- Vampires have come full circle. This book takes all of the humanity and feels that vampires appear to have developed over the years and squishes it into a blood flavoured smoothie. 

Extra Prompts: 

Why did you choose these books?
I am a massive vampire fan and love any fiction that has them in it.

What would you say about each of these books when recommending them to a customer or library patron? 
Just what I have said above. It is a good selection when it comes to finding the type of vampire fiction that appeals to you. Some people enjoy the original monster legend where vampires are predators out to kill. Other people prefer vampires to have more feelings and be capable of romance. I love the comedy books. I also enjoy watching authors change and evolve the legend into something fresh for their stories.

What would be close favourites for book recommendations that didn’t make it onto your list? Definitely the Southern Vampire series (True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris. The series was one of my favourite TV shows ever and the books were pretty great too. They didn't make the list because I think I found the differences between the series and the books slightly unsettling. I was both reading and watching at the same time and my mind couldn't keep track.

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention about the books you’ve chosen to include on this list?
These are obviously not the only vampire books out there. I am sure that I haven't read even a small portion of the options and I know for sure there are some really amazing ones that I have missed. Know one? Throw it in the comments and I'll give it a try!

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