I have always loved the idea of vampires, they are the one fictional character I still harbour a secret desire to meet in real life, and no not the vegetarian sparkly kind although I am a Twilight fan, but the proper vampires; I’m not stupid, I’d  be protected with my crucifix and garlic cloves of course. My preferred vampires are darkly dangerous, inhuman and truly horrifying vampires who don’t want you to love them, just entertain and feed them. With that in mind here are The Top Five Vampire Novels in the World according to me.

1, Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

I think this was the first ever vampire fiction I ever read and I don’t mind admitting I thought it was pant wettingly scary, and I’m still unnerved by it today. Stephen King at his finest brings you the stuff of nightmares and will have you garlanding your windows with garlic and holy water.
The Marston House in Jerusalem’s Lot has long been the subject of speculation and gossip, Ben Mears has returned in the hope of laying a few of his own demons to rest. Of course, this being King, you know it’s not going to be an easy ride.

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2, Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice

I only read this a short time ago at the urging of many of you who follow us on our Facebook page. Why did I wait so long? Anne has managed to make vampires both horrifyingly frightening and desperately pitiful all at once and the introduction of Claudia, an ancient and worldly wise vampire trapped forever inside the body of a child is a real touch of genius. Not only that but this is the first in a series of (soon to be) 14 books, what more could you want?

 

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3,  Dracula  – Bram Stoker

No list of vampire literature would be complete without including the original novel. I read this over and over when I first had it, to the point of my copy falling apart and I never bored of it, I still haven’t. I loved the language, I loved the terrifying build up as Harker  voyaged to Transylvania and I loved the naughtiness. So many fictional creatures are improved upon as time passes but for me, Stoker’s Dracula will always be the best.

 

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4, I am Legend – Richard Matheson

Have you seen the film with Will Smith? You have? Forget it, the book absolutely wipes the floor with it and then kicks dirt in its face. I read this because I’d watched the film and quite enjoyed it. I read the book and was smitten!  Robert Neville is the (probable) sole survivor of a plague that has  left the rest  of the world rabid vampire like creatures of the night with an insatiable hunger and dwindling prey. Seriously if you loved the film, read this book, if you liked the film, read this book, Hell if you hated this film, read the book. You won’t be disappointed.

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5, Blood Brothers – Brian Lumley

The sixth Necromancer novel but the first in the Vampire World trilogy, this book will take you to alternate universe of Starside/Sunside and the eternal battle between the Wamphyri and the Szgany. Here we are lead to believe the vampires are defeated, all dead but as we all know, vampires have a tendency to not stay dead forever.  A really refreshing and truly horrifying take on the vampire genre.

 

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Those are the five that are my personal favourites but when it comes to vampire fiction I am always on the hunt for new material so if you have any that you think are missing from my list, please let us know in the comments.

Letters Between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Reveals They Didn’t Care Much for Walt Disney

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They say great minds think alike, and this is certainly true when it comes to J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The two fantasy writers were close friends and often discussed everything from fantasy to faith with one another. However, it seems neither of the two were particularly impressed by another great mind, Walt Disney.

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The Legacy of Comic Book Legend Leo Baxendale

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For many children a comic book is one of the first pieces of literature they buy for themselves, and one of the starting blocks to encouraging a love of reading for pleasure. For British children, Leo Baxendale was the man who made much of this possible with his creations of The Beano, Minnie the Minx, Willy the Kid, and The Bash Street Kids (formerly “When The Bell Rings).

Sadly Leo passed away in April 2017, aged 86, but has left behind him a legacy of legendary characters still in comic book circulation today. I, personally, owe him a debt of gratitude for my first heroine of literature I looked up to: Minnie the Minx, a violent, rebel girl who hated snobby parents and boring kids.

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10 Inspiring Quotes From Robert M. Pirsig

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Robert Maynard Pirsig was an American novelist and philosopher, most famous for his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.  He was born on the 6th of September, 1928 and, after a period of failing health, died April 24th 2017. Robert was survived by his wife Wendy, and 2 of his children Theodore and Nell.

Robert’s life was far from simple, or easy, and this is reflected in his wise and intelligent musings within his work. It is difficult to condense such a fine body of work into a small blog but we hope we have done some justice to the great writer by choosing our favourite 10 quotes from Zen

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The Blank Page

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It’s a lovely evening. The sun is about to set. There is a beautiful breeze flowing. You have a cup of your favourite coffee beside you. Your laptop is in your hand (or a pen if you prefer). You are all set to let your creativity flow. You touch your pen to paper and…..

Stare at it! For a long time… Read More

A Brief Look at Muriel Spark

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Dame Muriel Spark (nee Camberg) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1918 to parents Bernard and Sarah Camberg. She was educated in an all-girls school then went on to ‘study commercial correspondence and précis writing’ at Heriot-Watt College; her education took her into teaching English for a short while, and secretarial work.

During WWII Muriel worked as a propagandist for the Political Intelligence Department for the British Foreign Office, but once the war was over she concentrated on her writing, in particular poetry and literary criticism.

Muriel considered her joining the Roman Catholic Church to be important in her development as a novelist as it apparently gave her an insight into the meaning of human existence. Her first novel was published in 1957, named The Comforters, and centred on a young woman who discovers she is a character in a novel (I have yet to read it but it sounds fascinating!).

Her most popular novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was published in 1961, which was adapted for stage and film in the 1960s, and for television in the 70s.

Muriel passed away on April 13th 2006, survived by her estranged son.

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8 Brilliant Witticisms from Samuel Beckett

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Samuel Beckett (13 April, 1906 – 22nd December, 1989) was an Irish author, novelist, playwright, and poet. Beckett lived in Paris for much of his life and was bi-lingual, writing in both English and French. He is considered to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.

Beckett’s work often looked at the bleaker aspects of human existence and his use of black comedy and gallows humour can be seen throughout his work. Considered to be one of the last modernist writers, Beckett was one of the key figures in the Theatre of the Absurd, a post WWII designation for plays of absurdist fiction written during the late 1950s. Read More

5 Social Media Stars Who Became Bestsellers

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Social media can be described as a platform on which people can come together to communicate, share ideas, entertain, and be entertained. Before the internet explosion of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, it could be said that the telephone, radio, and television were our first forms of social media, however the internet has provided a far more interesting and varied platform on which to market ourselves.

Internet celebrities swiftly became a normal part of this cyber world; once only singers, actors, and other artists rose to the heady heights of stardom, but now it seems a reachable goal for many, many more people (and animals) than before. Even TIME Magazine is categorising this newer celebrity culture, with their own list of ‘Most Influential Internet Stars…’

This new type of celebrity has created a new genre of book, which is great news for us Reading Addicts! We can now enjoy the likes of Esther the Wonder Pig, or British YouTube stars Amazing Phil and Dan Is Not On Fire in book form.

Here are a few of the best social media stars’ books around today. Enjoy!

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