Community Read | Sep 19–Nov 8, 2023
Booktoberfest is Lawrence Public Library's biggest event of the year for adult readers. Brought together by a shared love of reading, we read a book together and explore its themes through a variety of thought-provoking, conversation-starting events.
Sink your teeth into Dracula
This fall, enter into the macabre world of one of literature's most iconic villains for this year's Community Read.
Bram Stoker's gothic horror novel Dracula was published in 1897 and revolves around Count Dracula, a centuries-old vampire from Transylvania who seeks to spread his undead curse to Victorian England. Making his way to London, Dracula preys upon innocent victims until vampire hunter, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, leads a group of characters in a battle between good and evil to stop Dracula's reign of terror and save his victims' souls.
Dark delights and moonlit nights await!
The LPL Book Squad invites you to quench your thirst for Gothic intrigue at these free, Dracula-related events.
Browse books by authors speaking at Booktoberfest '23
Many thanks to our community partners for sharing their spaces, expertise, and financial support for Booktoberfest:
Native Kansan, Alex Grecian, is the New York Times bestselling author of The Yard and its sequels The Black Country, The Devil’s Workshop, The Harvest Man, and Lost and Gone Forever, as well as the contemporary thriller The Saint of Wolves and Butchers, and the ebook The Blue Girl. He has also written multiple award-winning graphic novels, including Proof and Rasputin. He’s coming to Lawrence to celebrate the release of his new novel, Red Rabbit.
In 2020, Matt Kirkland — a local Lawrencian — started a wee blog called The Dracula Daily, in which bite-sized (get it?) chunks of Bram Stoker's Dracula were delivered to your inbox to digest over the course of six months. Today it's an internet sensation, with a few hundred thousand followers, spawning memes galore. Come hear Matt discuss the project as he kicks off Booktoberfest and our deep dive into Dracula!
Executive Director of the Gunn Center for Science Fiction and Professor at KU's Center for Latin American and Carribbean Studies, Giselle Anatol—who also happens to be an expert on vampire lore—will join our librarians in the fabulous Lawrence Arts Center Microcinema for a viewing and discussion of this cult classic. Anatol's primary fields of interest are Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Literature, especially 20th- and 21st-century women's writing, African American Literature, and Children's and Young Adult Literature, particularly representations of race, ethnicity, and gender in narratives for young people.
Jonathan Lethem is the bestselling author of twelve novels, including The Arrest, The Feral Detective, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn, and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. He will be celebrating the release of his latest book, Brooklyn Crime Novel, in conversation with author Whitney Terrell.
Nathan Hill’s best-selling debut novel, The Nix, was named the #1 book of the year by Entertainment Weekly and Audible, and one of the year’s best books by NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and many others. We were fortunate to host him for the release of The Nix and are thrilled to have him back for the release of his second novel, Wellness.
KATIE CONRAD, GISELLE ANATOL, and ANN ROWLAND
The brilliant KU faculty is coming to “unpack Drac” for us. Did you avoid reading it when it was assigned but were inspired by the Community Read to take a fresh look at an old book? We were, too! And Professors Giselle Anatol, Katie Conrad, and Ann Rowland will discuss aspects of the book you may have never considered — science and pseudoscience, race and foreignness, and look more closely at the role of women, the experience of horror, and generally take a look at what influenced Stoker and how Dracula has since become influential, in turn.
Why read a book together?
The power of story to transform and transcend has never been more important, and the power to unite us through story is why Lawrence Public Library has been bringing our adult reading community together — once a year since 2005! — to read the same book and explore its major themes through discussions and interactive programs. It's also just a really fun and social way to get the most out of a book and meet fellow readers!
"When we read the same story together, we can focus on the similarities of our human experience," said Brad Allen, LPL Executive Director. "It endears us to each other, builds empathy, and ultimately a stronger community."
For more information about Booktoberfest, contact:
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Readers' Services Supervisor