Dracula has gotten a lot better since those first 50 pages or so (good call, Scott). I like that it's written as a collection of letters, journal entries, and newspaper clippings. Not only is it unique, but it adds a certain mystique to the story: Dracula experienced through the eyes of a handful of characters rather than a straight-up narrative that would risk manipulation. A good example is the sharing of excerpts from a ship captain's log as he recounts the crew being spooked by a presence on board that ultimately consumes all of them. It conveys fear and hopelessness in a way that a basic third-person story couldn't.
I've also been reading Stories of Emergence for my book study group. Edited by the late Mike Yaconelli, this is a collection of essays written by different people about their emergence out of one mindset toward another. So far I've read the first section, which are all about crises that people faced in their philosophies of ministry. Tony Jones contributed an essay to this section, during which he realizes as a youth pastor for a large church that he'd become a program coordinator rather than someone who actually ministers to people. Over all, the book is okay. I feel like I've read it before, even though I haven't. Does that make sense?
We watched the MTV Movie Awards last Sunday. It had a lot of amusing moments, such as Tom Cruise doing a dance routine as his Tropic Thunder character Les Grossman. There were also plenty of moments that made me realize how little I relate to or care about youth culture any more. There were a ton of nods to Twilight...wow, another "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" joke. That's original. And they had the cast of Jersey Shore do a bunch of pointless crap backstage, which caused me to wonder again why people enjoy a half hour of that every week. So some of it was mindless fun, and some of it was depressing because it was so mindless.
Here's a collection of clips from Phineas and Ferb, featuring Norm the Giant Robot Man. He's probably my favorite character just due to how he delivers his lines. You may recognize the voice, as John Viener also provides his voice for Family Guy: