Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Let me say upfront that Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite novels of all time. I am a huge Austen fan. I am, however, not a hardcore Austen purist. I thoroughly enjoyed Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I think Jane would have too. Mr Darcy, Vampyre is a really enjoyable read (I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day). If you are an Austen purist though, this is probably not for you. I’m sure many purists are even offended by the title alone. This is not to be read expecting Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy to be the exact characters from Pride and Prejudice (for one, Darcy is a vampire which changes things), nor should you be expecting Austen-esque literature. This is a fun read following two much beloved characters, but in an entirely new view. Elizabeth and Darcy are married and we follow them on their “wedding tour” in Europe with Darcy hiding his secret (which we know from the title), and Elizabeth adapting to a married life she was not expecting.
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
A good read, particularly for any business folks not quite sure what social media is all about or how to use it to progress their business. Gary is obviously a very passionate and invigorated man. He’s also a great success. His advice is very good, and I agree with him on most points, but sometimes his own ideas don’t quite meld with mine. This may have something to do with our polar opposite personalities: he’s loud and rambunctious, I’m quiet and reserved. Different strokes for different folks though, right? So, I’d recommend reading this book for anyone in business, but taking Gary’s own advice and being authentic to who you are. Some approaches he suggests may work for you and your business. Some may not. No doubt many are worth a try. If nothing else, Gary is sure to give you the kick in the butt you need to hustle, hustle, hustle!
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The entire post-apocalyptic world that McCarthy has created is almost unbearably bleak. And yet, the story itself is a love story – the love of a father for his son. It’s heart-wrenching and beautiful. I picked up this book after reading a little about the upcoming movie starring Viggo Mortensen. I was intrigued and always like to read a book before seeing the movie version. I’m glad I did. I have no doubt that Viggo will be able to take this challenging role and really bring him to life on the big screen without losing his essence from the book. I can’t even imagine any other actor in the role. I’d recommend reading the book first, but either way, be prepared for some gut-wrenching scenes. McCarthy obviously adores his own son and The Road truly speaks to anyone who has a deep love for another person, for anyone who has a love for the (often hard to find) goodness in humanity, and for anyone who strives to keep that goodness alive in the world.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman has a real talent for creating truly interesting and unique stories. The Graveyard Book is no exception. A really enjoyable read about a little boy who grows up in a graveyard and all it’s supernatural residents. He’s a typical young boy – curious and adventurous – and these characteristics get him into a few mishaps. It’s a lovely story about life and death and finding ones own way in the world.
Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver.
A great ending to a really wonderful series, Chronicles of Darkness. There were some predictable outcomes, but truth be told, if Paver had tried to surprise me with anything else, I would have been disappointed. There were a few moments where I worried about the direction Paver was taking (because it wasn’t the way I wanted the story to go) but she ended the series in the way it needed to end. It’s been a pleasure following Torak’s adventures with Renn and Wolf and I’d highly recommend this series for any young adult, or adult who isn’t ashamed to read young adult fiction (hopefully you aren’t really out there because you would be missing out on some really great stories!).