My former book castle had been a university library in Miami and unfortunately, as I graduated early in August, I was temporarily without a literary home base between then and the first week of September.
That week, I tagged along with Anton to the Orlando Public Library and, goodness, the lonely books were calling out to me. After a tour of the place, he told me I could sign up for a library card downstairs and I’d have it in my hands before we left [enter extreme book-nerd joy squeal here].
My New Fortress of Literary Fun
Thus, I acquired my very own library card. It’s for the Orange County Library System, technically, but the Orlando Public Library is the largest branch and so I’ve decided to make the it my new Book Castle.
Victorian Era Literature
The writing style from the Victorian era has always been my all-time favorite; I’m always hunting for new old titles from that time period. During a recent visit to the Castle, the shelves revealed to me a prize indeed, and that prize was…
You read that correctly. Victorian VAMPIRES. I found an anthology. Dracula’s Quest: A Connoisseurs Collection of Victorian Vampire Tales (2010) edited by Michael Sims and HOLY CRAP it’s amazing. When the woeful day comes that I must finally return it, I will hunt down another copy and buy it.
I’ll paraphrase one of the vampires stories for you. This one is entitled “What Was It?” by Fitz-James O’Brien. Here we go:
There once was a massive house that no one wanted to rent because it’s rumored to be haunted. One day, an adventurous landlady relocates to that house with her equally adventurous tenants, all of them hoping to see evidence of the paranormal. Everyone is quickly disappointed. One night, the main character (a tenant) is in bed attempting to fall asleep on his back when something drops from the ceiling onto his chest—clawed hands grab his neck, snapping jaws of pointy teeth try to rip this throat, and a wild wrestling match ensues in the dark. The creature, which the man catches, turns out to be invisible and not quite human; not to mention well-muscled, boy-sized, and unreasonable.
Authors That Anton Grabbed Off The Shelf
Banana Yoshimoto (Japanese author who appreciates themes of love and loss) & Guy De Maupassant (of whom I know nothing except that he was a French cynic who journeyed to Egypt and might’ve rode camels and eventually loved it there).
One More From Murakami
Even more recently, Anton surprised me with a copy of Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library. Plot from the back of the book: “A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library…”
I really liked it.