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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, #1)
Ursula K. Le Guin
Whisper Network
Chandler Baker
Progress: 54 %
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Progress: 28 %
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Carolyn Keene
100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories
Gary Raisor, Richard Chizmar, Al Sarrantonio, Avram Davidson
Progress: 70/512 pages
Leading Change
John P. Kotter
Peanuts Classics
Charles M. Schulz
Progress: 66 %
The Bungalow Mystery
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Bungalow Mystery #3
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Russell H. Tandy, Mildred Benson, Carolyn Keene

Dracula ★★★★☆

Dracula - Bram Stoker, Susan Duerden, Tim Curry, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley, John      Lee, Alan Cumming, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren

Of all the ways vampires are depicted in books and movies, this classic Dracula is how I prefer them. Awful, evil, coldly predatory, both compelling and repelling their victims. The story itself is wonderfully moody and atmospheric and the characters – even the minor characters – are truly a lot of fun. But the pacing had me a little impatient at times, where long intervals of inaction dragged interminably between events that actually moved the story along.


I especially enjoyed Mina’s character. She was no passive victim or cardboard damsel in distress. She was as well developed as any of the male characters, smart, determined, compassionate, and an active part of the hunt for Dracula.


Audiobook original from Audible, with a full cast of voice actors reading each character’s letters/diary entries. The performances and production were fantastic, although I was puzzled by how some of the non-Van Helsing characters voiced his dialogue. While I’m not entirely sure what a Dutch accent should sound like, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be a vaguely Eastern European accent as for the Transylvanian characters. Although maybe that’s what the English sound like when they’re imitating a Dutch person speaking English? I don’t know, it was just a minor thing that pulled me out of the story a little bit.



I read this book for the Booklikes Halloween Bingo 2019, for the square Darkest London: Any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London. Although this has several settings, significant events do occur in London.


Other squares that would fit:

Relics & Curiosities (Garlic, crucifixes, holy wafers, etc)

Dead Lands (obviously)

Cryptozoologist (obviously)

Fear the Drowning Deep (maybe? Because part of the story takes place with an ocean journey?)

Classic horror (can’t get any more classic)

Gothic (every single gothic element is present)

Creepy Crawlies (floods of rats, plus Renfield and his flies & spiders)

Film at 11 (so many movies)

Paint it Black (at least my version’s cover)

Vampires (obviously)


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