Sometimes, when I'm in the middle of reading a book, I'm already deciding who I might lend it to when I finish. That's been the case with "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova, (Back Bay Books, $15.99).
I had heard a lot about this book when it was published last year, but I didn't start reading it until recently. I'm not sure why I waited so long, because I've always been interested in vampire stories, from "Dracula" to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
"The Historian," which comes out in paperback Tuesday, is about a 16-year-old girl discovering information about Vlad the Impaler, an eastern European leader known for his cruelty. His story inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula," but as the central character in "The Historian" discovers, that novel may not have been entirely fictional. Like Stoker's book, this novel is told with a mix of letters and narrative.
Though the book begins a little slowly, it caught my attention almost immediately. I've only finished about 100 pages, but I have to start reading faster. My sister is coming to visit next week and I want to lend "The Historian" to her. I think my mom would also enjoy reading it, though, so she may get it first.
Another book that's been making the rounds is Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down" (Riverhead, $14). After I finished it, I lent it to my coworker. She and her husband both read it. He's a big fan of Nick Hornby and liked the book almost as much as I did.
After they returned "A Long Way Down," I let a friend borrow it. He didn't share my enthusiasm for the novel, however, and ended up returning it without reading it. That worked out for the best, though, because another coworker had already asked to borrow it. She has the book now. When she's done, I wouldn't be surprised if someone else wanted to read it.
Most likely, I'd be happy to lend it to them, as long as there was a pretty good chance I'd eventually see it again. While I love to share books, I really hate not them getting back.
If there's a book you think I really ought to read, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.