1-4. The Twilight Saga
by Stephenie Meyer
The four books — Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn — have sold millions around the world. I confess I enjoyed them all. Not everyone likes these "sparkling vampires," but they definitely fit into my reluctant-vampire thesis. The Cullen family is lovely, including the doctor, his wife, the handsome Edward, two other kids and my personal favorite, Edward's sister Alice Cullen. Then there are the werewolves: In this saga, the werewolves and the vampires are kind of like the Capulets and the Montagues. By the way, the vampire baseball scene in the first film may not rival the Quidditch matches in Harry Potter, but it's still fun.
5-13.The Sookie Stackhouse Novels
by Charlaine Harris
There are nine of these so far, starting with Dead Until Dark and ending with Dead and Gone, and more are coming. They take place in northern Louisiana; much of the action plays out in two bars, Merlotte's and Fangtasia. The books are the basis for the HBO series True Blood. In this alternate world of today, the Japanese have developed a synthetic form of blood, and vampires can "come out of the coffin" and live among humans. Sookie Stackhouse is a mind-reading waitress who falls in love with Bill Compton, a vampire who was turned after the Civil War.
14-15. A Touch Of Dead
by Charlaine Harris
A Touch of Dead contains the complete Stackhouse short stories; a short-story volume, Many Bloody Returns, also has a Stackhouse story.
16-18. The Hunger, The Last Vampire, Lilith's Dream
by Whitley Strieber
Whitley Strieber's three vampire novels; the most famous is The Hunger. Strieber's idea was to imagine vampires as not supernatural, but simply as a different, stronger, nearly immortal species. Much more the standard horror view of vampires. Miriam Blaylock — played by Catherine Deneuve in the 1983 film — is truly rapacious.
19. Let The Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
A novel from Sweden with a young voracious vampire. Very much a horror story, but also a morality tale of what happens to the bullied child. The movie is exquisite, if terrifying.
20. Sucks To Be Me
by Kimberly Pauley
Some of the best recent vampire novels are for teens, including my favorite, Sucks To Be Me. Pauley turns the genre on its head, imagining some pretty dreary, all too normal, nerdy vampires making their way in the regular day-to-day world. The heroine finds out her parents are vampires, and she has to make a choice. It's not easy as it seems, and the book is laugh-out-loud funny. In the soon-to-be-published sequel, Still Sucks To Be Me, she becomes a vampire but has to fake her death, leave her friends, live in a yucky town and still obey her parents.
21. Suck It Up
by Brian Meehl
Another great teen vampire novel, this one starring a pimply, unattractive, geeky vampire, who still gets to be the first officially "outed" vampire in the world.
22-25. The Vampire Diaries
by L.J. Smith
There are plenty of novels for teens published after the breakout of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer that involve high-school students. The original Vampire Diaries series includes four short novels — The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, Dark Reunion. There is a current TV show based on the books, with a lovely protagonist, Elena, and two incredibly handsome vampire brothers, one evil and one good.
26-29. Blue Bloods
by Melissa de la Cruz
Imagine Gossip Girl, plus vampires. The series is based on an outrageous idea — so completely over the top that it almost works. The families that came over on the Mayflower, the 400 "top families" in American society, are really vampires, reincarnating over and over. So, many of the people going to elite private schools on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and wearing Prada bags are really vampires. (Perhaps that's why they don't eat and look like social X-rays!) But besides being the reincarnation of people like Miles Standish, the author also presupposes that they go back so far that they are the reincarnation of the original archangels. East Side socialites as vampires? Totally believable. Archangels? No way! There are four books so far in this series: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations and The Van Allen Legacy.
22-25. House Of Night
by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Hogwarts for vampires? Yes, Harry Potter had his wizard school, but there are at least two series that give vampire teens their own school. First up: The House of Night series, six books written by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, a mother-and-daughter team from Tulsa, Okla. Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted and Tempted. Vampires are chosen almost randomly, and they have to enter special academies, where they go through a program and slowly change — or die. This series is quite well-done, and has a lot of goddess theology and ritual in it.
36-39. The Vampire Academy
by Richelle Mead
Four books so far: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise. The academy here is very Russian, and the main heroine is not a vampire but a particular type of human-vampire mix who becomes a bodyguard for one strand of royal vampires. These are the good vamps. There are also your basic evil vamps, the strigoi, who kill.
40. Undead And Unwed
by MaryJanice Davidson
The first of a long series of books with "undead" in the title — Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unpopular are others. Frothy, light, too much fashion. I didn't want to go further after the first one.
41-50. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
by Laurell K. Hamilton
There are some 18 or 19 of these novels, some of them as long as 700 pages. Many of them almost reach the level of porn — a kind of R-rated Buffy. Anita Blake is a gun-toting, knife-wielding vampire executioner, whose day job is as an "animator" raising zombies from the dead, so people can question their ancestors: "What did you really mean by that in your will?" In the first book, Guilty Pleasures, Anita is a fairly prudish and religious young woman who has only had sex once, with her college fiance, who then left her. She would never get close to a vampire. By Book 10, Narcissus in Chains, Blake is having relationships with two vampires, including the amazing Jean-Claude, as well as the Ulfric, or king of the local werewolf pack, plus several were-leopards, and she is becoming more powerful and less human. Totally over the top, with sex and violence, including S&M, even torture, more so with each book. But Hamilton has fascinating characters and unusual relationships. It's kind of like a car wreck: You can't turn your eyes away.
51-55. Blood Ties
by Tanya Huff
This is a great series that creates a love triangle of amazing power and tension. Blood Trail, Blood Price, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt. Victoria Nelson is a former cop forced to leave the force because of vision loss. She becomes a private eye in Toronto who often works with an active-duty cop, Celluci, who is clearly romantically interested in her. But she also teams up with Henry Fitzroy, the gorgeous bastard son of Henry VIII — and a 400-year-old vampire. (He works as a romance writer in the books, and as a graphic novelist in the TV series.) The three of them solve crimes, almost always with a supernatural twist. But the best part in both the books and the TV show is the unresolved tension between the three protagonists.
56-58. The Smoke Trilogy
by Tanya Huff
Same author, but not as successful. A series of three books, Smoke and Shadows, Smoke and Mirrors, Smoke and Ashes. The series takes place in Vancouver with Henry Fitzroy and his sometime-lover. More occult crime. Didn't do much for me.
59. Interview With The Vampire
by Anne Rice
Clearly one of the first reluctant vamps. I personally do not like the gothic trappings of the Anne Rice world, but this is clearly a book that influenced the genre. There are many other Rice novels, The Vampire Lestat, etc.
by Bram Stoker
It's quite a gothic slog, but much of the current view we have of vampires comes from this 1897 novel. It wasn't the first or even the second in the English language, but it has staying power. The 1931 film with Bela Lugosi should be seen.
61-62. Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story; Suck: A Love Story
by Christopher Moore
These light, funny novels take place in San Francisco, and these vampires definitely try to do the right thing. The best thing about the novels is that Moore resurrects the character of Emperor Norton, based on the 19th century historical person who claimed to be emperor, and San Francisco humored him by accepting his money and posting his proclamations.
63-64. The Society Of S; The Year Of Disappearances
by Susan Hubbard
These are very literary works by a professor of English — serious novels involving a family of vampires and the coming of age of a young adolescent. Elusive, complex, poetic and sophisticated.
65. Hotel Transylvania
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
This is the first book of a huge series that goes through all kinds of historical periods, following the vampire Comte de Saint-Germain. Haven't read the others, but this one is excellent.
66. The Vampire Tapestry
by Suzy McKee Charnas
Five related stories featuring the mysterious vampire Dr. Edward Weyland. Quite beautifully done.
67. The Delicate Dependency, A Novel Of The Vampire Life
by Michael Talbot
There are some who believe this is the best vampire novel ever written. Here, vampires are truly another species, and both responsible for most of human culture and dedicated to preserving it, though they don't much care about the present human population. A very odd, mysterious and mesmerizing read. Out of print, but available in used book marts.
68.Those Who Hunt The Night
by Barbara Hambly
A Sherlock Holmesian mystery plus vampires. Takes place in 1907.
69-71. Red Moon Rising, Malachi's Moon; Craven Moon
by Billie Sue Mosiman
I liked these books. There are three different kinds (nations) of vampires in these stories, and they are chosen in the dream world, depending on their spirit: predators, naturals (who live as humans) and cravens. The first book is about the coming of age of Dell, a natural, and the last two are about her son, Malachi, a dhampir — half-human and half-vampire.
72. Eternally Yours
by Stephen Juers
I am guessing this is self-published. It is a journal of a man who was made vampire at the time of the American Revolution and charts his life until the present. Good idea, but flawed.
by Octavia Butler
The late Octavia Butler was a very talented African-American science fiction writer, and this book is an exploration of difference, prejudice and race, with a half-human, half-vampire protagonist who's a genetic experiment and can operate in the daytime.
74. The Dead Travel Fast
by Eric Nuzum
A lighthearted nonfiction jaunt through vampires in fiction, history and the present.
75. The Vampire Archives
by Otto Penzler, Neil Gaiman, and Kim Newman
It calls itself the most complete volume of vampire tales ever published. Almost a hundred selections — and most valuable, a bibliography that includes about 5,000 novels, short stories and other works. Seventy-five is clearly just the tip of the iceberg.
On My Bedside Table Now
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, and I am Legend by Richard Matheson. And everyone is telling me I forgot The Vampire Files — some 12 novels by P.N. Elrod. Urban fantasy set in 1930s Chicago, featuring a hardboiled P.I. named Jack Fleming.