1. PaperBack Swap
Have y'all heard about PaperBack Swap? Just heard about it a few weeks ago and it has changed.my.life. Here's how it works: Upload books you want to get rid of, get a notification that someone wants your book, mail it to that person, and recieve a credit to request a book from someone else!
So far I have sent out about six books that I didn't want anymore, and am waiting on my first book to come to me. It is absolutely free (though you do pay the shipping for any books you send out). Best part: you can get rid of books that are taking up space in your house.
2. Anne Rice
First off, let me say that I really haven't bought into the whole Twilight/Vampire/Edward vs. whats-his-name thing. I read the first book and didn't see what the fuss was about, and I consider Anne Rice to be the real champion of this genre.
I read Interview with a Vampire about ten years ago, and was immediately swept up in her writing. I have no idea why I didn't continue on in the series, but plan on remedy-ing that now. My first PaperBack Swap request was actually a book that includes the first three books in the Vampire Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and Queen of the Damned). Can't wait!!! (And since I don't remember much of IwtT, I'll reread it too.)
3. Barbara Vine (errr Ruth Rendell)
Barbara Vine is amazing. As is Ruth Rendell. They are the same person - Barbara Vine is a pseudonym that Ruth Rendell uses, and she is a British mystery writer.
I don't like horror and I don't like gore. But I loooovvveee a good mystery. BV (RR) surely delivers. Here is the thing that sets her apart. Throughout the entire novel, you know who the murderer is, but you don't know who the victim is or how they were killed.
The first time you read a book like this it kind of rocks your world. The first book I read by her (and still my favorite of hers) is A Fatal Inversion. I might read it again myself.
I just finished House of Stairs by Barbara Vine. I really liked it, but still prefer A Fatal Inversion.
One note: I am never pulled immediately into her novels - unable to put the book down. Rather, it is like a whirlpool, where in the beginning you are far on the outside, barely unaware that you are spinning, and as you continue reading you spin faster and faster until you are unable to put the book down. That always happens when I read her books, when I begin to know her characters, so if you
aren't pulled in within the first 20 pages don't despair.