The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova has to be one of the most compelling books I’ve read in a long time. As a librarian who loves history, I am always drawn to stories that involve historical research, and this one combines that with another topic that has interested me since childhood — Dracula. I read this while on vacation in July and, though I found it very long and somewhat slow in parts, I was enthralled. This is what Barnes & Noble has to say about the book:
“For centuries, the story of Dracula has captured the imagination of readers and storytellers alike. Kostova’s breathtaking first novel, ten years in the writing, is an accomplished retelling of this ancient tale. “The story that follows is one I never intended to commit to paper…. As an historian, I have learned that, in fact, not everyone who reaches back into history can survive it.” With these words, a nameless narrator unfolds a story that began 30 years earlier.Late one night in 1972, as a 16-year-old girl, she discovers a mysterious book and a sheaf of letters in her father’s library — a discovery that will have dreadful and far-reaching consequences, and will send her on a journey of mind-boggling danger. While seeking clues to the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s puzzling disappearance, she follows a trail from London to Istanbul to Budapest and beyond, and learns that the letters in her possession provide a link to one of the world’s darkest and most intoxicating figures. Generation after generation, the legend of Dracula has enticed and eluded both historians and opportunists alike. Now a young girl undertakes the same search that ended in the death and defilement of so many others — in an attempt to save her father from an unspeakable fate.” There are very few books I buy and keep. This is one of them.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling…
What can I say? I laughed. I cried. I want the next book…NOW! For those of you who haven’t read it, stop now because there are spoilers to follow.
The Internet abounds with speculation on what will happen in Book 7. Here are my thoughts.
- Dumbledore is not dead.
- Snape is not evil.
- Harry is the Gryffindor horcrux.
- Neville will be the one to kill Voldemort.
But what do I know? I’m only a librarian….