Read: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Drinking: Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee, Einstein's
Dead Until Dark is the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series - better known as the inspiration for the TV show True Blood. It's a fun, lighthearted alternate history urban fantasy that frequently reminds me of the Anita Blake series. Harris' take on vampirism and its effects on society when vampires "come out of the casket" turns the series into an interesting social commentary on discrimination in American society.
Sookie is a friendly waitress at the local bar in her small Louisiana town. She is also telepathic. Her "gift" makes it difficult for her to form personal relationships, until one night a man comes in that she cannot "hear" at all - a vampire, specifically. What follows this meeting is a murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the killer is finally revealed.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dead Until Dark, and I've already consumed two of it's sequels. Sookie is a charming narrator who seems to constantly find herself in trouble - especially after she becomes involved with vampires. The books are quick, light reads with deeper messages of discrimination against not only vampires but also people with perceived disabilities. The heavy dose of romance Harris adds helps keep them from getting too heavy, however. I recommend the series for beach and bubble bath reading.