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Staked Vampire Skeletons Found!

Team Jacob; fall back.  Here comes a whole lotta vampire awesomeness…

Archaeologists in the Black Sea town of Sozopol recently exhumed two 700 year old skeletons, each bearing an iron stake driven completely through its chest and into the ground.  According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, director of the Bulgarian National Museum of History,  this pinning of corpses was a common practice of superstitious villages throughout the region, occurring even as recently as the early 20th century.  Upon death, people outside of the common village lifestyle (loners and drifters, as well as questionable characters like alcoholics and criminals) were largely subject to the collective suspicion of their peers.  If deemed threatening, the heart would be staked to the ground to prevent the deceased from rising from the grave and feasting on the blood of the living.  Sometimes, heavy stones were also used to impede the suspected vampire’s presumed, nocturnal return.

Photograph: National History Museum of Bulgaria

From Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth Báthory to the nearly 100 discovered vampire burial sites in Bulgaria alone, it’s safe to say that undead bloodsuckers play a prominent role in the regional history and folklore of Eastern Europe.

So, are the bones above those of actual vampires?  Who’s to say?  Are there actual vampires?  Are you one of them?  So many questions, so few answers…

A few super cool vampire books (just because):

                

Jon : CLP Carrick

Series and Sequels for 2012

How about starting the new year by picking up a series you may have never read before? The following are series with new installments (or are sequels to a title) coming out in 2012. Start from the beginning now and you won’t have long to wait!

The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate



Creepy old school, teen pining, angels….and demons.

First Book: Fallen   Coming out in 2012: Rapture

The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

A future America where the part of the brain that feels love is surgically removed to ensure civil obedience.

First Book: Delirium    Coming out in 2012: Pandemonium

The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld

The First World War given a steampunk/sci-fi makeover.  It’s biology versus technology. The last book in the trilogy, Goliath, just came out at the end of last year. A companion book called The Manual of Aeronautics is coming out in 2012.

First Book: Leviathan

The Evernight Series by Claudia Gray

The new girl at a private school hooks up with the popular crowd, who likes to go out for a ‘bite’ every now and then.

First Book: Evernight   Coming out in 2012: Balthazar

The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan

More mythological mayhem from the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The demi-gods of camp Half-blood discover there’s another camp like theirs. Are they friends or foes?

First Book: The Lost Hero   Coming out in 2012: The Mark of Athena

The Kane Chronicles Series by Rick Riordan

A brother and sister find out that they are part of an ancient Egyptian clan of magicians. Another outstanding mythological, magical adventure from Rick Riordan.

First Book: The Red Pyramid  Coming out in 2012: The Serpent’s Shadow

Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

A future world dealing with the consequences of melted ice caps, risen sea levels, no fossil fuels, and malicious science.  The Drowned Citiescoming out in 2012,  is the sequel to the 2011 Printz Award Winner Ship Breaker.

As you can see, there’s something for everyone’s taste, so try one, or try them all. Enjoy!

Steve – CLP Lawrenceville

Summer Means Graphic Novels

Okay, so I read graphic novels all year.  But I think they’re perfect for those hot, lazy days when a plain wall of text would put me to sleep.  Since half (or more) of the story is in the illustrations, I can usually follow along even when my brain is melting.  I can read most of them in one sitting if I want to, but they’re also easy to pick up and put down.  And they count for Teen Summer Reading, which means that you’re eligible for fabulous prizes for reading them.

Here are some things I’ve read recently, and one I’m looking forward to –

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon

Dog wants a friend, so he builds Robot.  Things couldn’t be better… until they go to the beach and Robot rusts.  Dog can’t think of a way to help his friend, so he reluctantly leaves.  And before Dog can come rescue Robot, the beach closes for the winter.  What can they do?

A.L.I.E.E.E.N. by Lewis Trondheim

The author claims to have found this book while hiking in the mountains.  There are no words in it — at least, none from Earth.  And yet you can still understand the  aliens’ weird adventures, including going to the doctor, hunting each other, and running from a tidal wave of alien poop.

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer by Van Jensen

I reviewed this on Eleventh Stack last week, but I love it so much I wanted to make sure I told you guys about it too.

“Soon after the original Pinocchio story ended, vampires moved into the area and killed Gepetto.  Of course, nobody believed Pinocchio, so he took vengeance into his own hands, and became a vampire slayer. You see, to drive a stake through their hearts, all he had to do was lie…”

Dragon Puncher by James Kochalka

Dragon Puncher is a cat, and also a knight.  Spoony-E is his baby-faced sidekick.  Together they take on a dangerous dragon.  Not only is this book hilarious by itself, it makes me want to photoshop me and my friends into our own cartoon adventures.

(Dragon Puncher cover photo courtesy of Top Shelf Productions)

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago

This is the one I haven’t read yet, but I’m looking forward to it.  Everyone I know has been talking it up lately, including Corey’s review on this very blog.  And really, what goes better with summer than baseball?

Do you like graphic novels too?  You may be interested in the graphic novel discussion group at the Main Library in Oakland.  It’s called Out of the Gutter, and it’s for adults and teens who want to hang out with fellow graphic novel fans and talk about independent and new releases.

-Denise

Vampires!

If Twilight whetted your appetite for vampire novels, check out these other great vampire books. Click on the book to see which libraries have a copy. To find later volumes in the series… ask a librarian!

Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series: Rose Hathaway (half human/half vampire) and her best friend are on the run after escaping from St. Vladimir’s Academy, a boarding school for vampires.

 

 

 

Glass Houses is book 1 of the Morganville Vampires series and features vampire college students in Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

High school senior Elena must choose between a mysterious vampire and his murderous brother.

 

 

 

 

Boys That Bite is book one in Mari Mancusi’s Blood Coven series.

 

 

 

 

Is Raven ready to kiss a vampire? Find out in the first book of Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy Hellenberg, a student at Pacific Cedar High and a descendant of the Lucy from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, tries to avoid being bitten.

 

 

Sara Dora CLP-Hazelwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talk Fantasy this Summer at Beechview

Our intrepid group of fantasy lovers will meet to discuss:

 Gregor the Overlander on June 30

The Amulet of Samarkand on July 28 and

Da,da, da, da…..TWILIGHT on August 11. We hope anyone who wants to discuss Edward versus Jacob with like-minded fans will come.

Discussions are on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. We usually have chips, drinks and insightful conversations.

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