Nerd in a Bar with a Book

I designated March as vampire month. No particular reason. Nothing about March that suggests vampires. Random.

Reluctant Immortals by Gwedolyn Kiste should, first of all, win awards for such a cool cover. But once you are done admiring the cover, read this! Gothic / literary heroines (Lucy Westenra and Bee Mason) and villains (Dracula and Mr. Rochester), prepare for a final showdown in the 1967 Haight-Ashbury flower-child-strewn Summer of Love. You will love these characters. This feminist take on underappreciated female characters is smart, tough, tense, and sophisticated.

I was at Vixen Hill Winery in Palmyra, Illinois, enjoying a rich red wine (of course), Soloman Hill Red.

Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling is a re-read for me. My first read was in 2014. It’s a strange, beautiful book. The vampiric protagonist looks much younger than she is, which makes for some unsettling images. Though the story is told from the young vampire’s point of view, I think this story has some of the best, most troubling and thought-provoking presentations of vampire victims I’ve ever read. As always with Butler, she challenges the reader to consider broader issues, including racism, genetics and consent.

I was at Huckleberry’s Pub with a good ol’ Samuel Adams Winter Lager.

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women, edited by Stephen Jones, is a grand collection. I’m half way through, and no two stories have had anything more in common than a vampire in the story. Stories by authors I am familiar with and many I am not – but will be.

I was on the covered patio at Feather Hills Winery, on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, not far from our home. My beloved, Tim Crosby, is playing his original Americana / black dirt music. And I was drinking a red blend, Amalgam.  

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