A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was one of my favorite reads of 2011, and I'm not the only one: The novel was voted #6 in our Readers’ Choice: Top 30 Books of 2011. It's also this month's Top Pick for Book Clubs.

For those who haven't (yet) become obsessed with this novel, here's some background: Diana is a historian (and a witch) who discovers a magical manuscript called Ashmole 782 at Oxford University's Bodleian Library. There, she also meets Matthew Clairmont, another researcher (and a vampire). The two form an alliance to prevent the manuscript from falling into the wrong hands—and fall for each other along the way.

Confession: Novels about witches and/or vampires are usually at the bottom of my must-read list, but for some reason I picked this one up. I loved it and read the brick-sized book in a matter of days. It's a smart, sexy, funny (vampires doing yoga!) page-turner. What more can you ask?

A Discovery of Witches was book #1 in the All Souls Trilogy, and it ended on a cliffhanger. This week, I learned that book #2, Shadow of Night, is coming out on July 10. Here's the scoop, from the Viking catalog:

Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

I can't wait! What about you?

For more on the All Souls Trilogy, read this Q&A with Deborah Harkness. You'll learn about her favorite fictional vampires; how she balances her busy life (she's also a professor and a wine blogger); and her philosophy on writing sex scenes.

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