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Category: Books

Every Day – Inspiration

Find inspiration every day.

  • Read a chapter – Right now I’m reading “A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano” by Katie Hafner.
  • Quietly sit – Go to a park and absorb some nature. Go to a coffee shop and absorb some commotion. Feed your senses.
  • Listen to a “brand new music” playlist – All of the streaming music services have a collection of cutting edge releases. Check them out!

Light a spark. Set your creativity ablaze! 

-Josh 

“Blood Rites” by Jim Butcher

Recently, I have been enjoying Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series for a lot of my light reading. In the stories, we follow the exploits of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard (he’s in the Yellow Pages) and full-time smart-ass. He never fails to find new ways of pissing off the citizens of this world as well as many denizens of the spooky Nevernever – a kind of parallel dimension where all the demonic nasties hang out. He is also often forced to walk a tightrope between his contacts with Chi-town’s mortal underworld and those with the Chicago PD (neither of whom like him very much).

“Blood Rites” is the sixth book of the series, and in it Butcher develops his world of vampires a bit more, exploring the White Court of vamps – a breed who feed on sexual desire, as opposed to the more traditional blood-suckers of the Red and Black courts. We meet some new characters, including a sultry White Court vixen and a bad-ass mercenary (who’s mostly human-ish), and we get to peek a little further into Harry’s bizarre family history. It is all set against the backdrop of a string of mysterious deaths (murders?) surrounding the production of a classy(?) porno film being shot in Chicago’s suburban industrial parks. However, those looking for steamy scenes should look elsewhere. Everyone remains clothed (mostly), and the metaphors remain quite tame and amusingly lame (can anyone say wizard’s staff? Ha!).

These Dresden Files books are fun, fast reads, and I hear they keep getting better (there are 15 of them so far). I imagine that I’ll be turning to Harry Dresden again soon for some solid in-between reading.

-Josh

P.S. – There was a short-lived Dresden Files TV series attempted starring Paul Blackthorne, and we’ve watched a couple episodes – it’s pretty good. We keep meaning to finish the show, but never remember to – perhaps some upcoming lazy winter’s Sunday.

“Once Upon a Time in the North” by Philip Pullman

If you’ve read the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy (“The Golden Compass” is the first of these) then I imagine you’ll enjoy this book. Pullman has been expanding his oeuvre in this universe, and “Once Upon a Time in the North” is a very short (a couple hours) prequel to the original trilogy. We get another look at the adventuring Texas aeronaut, Lee Scoresby, and we learn how he met the impressive and imposing Iorek Byrnison. It’s a quick storyline which takes place entirely in one rough arctic town – perfect for a winter weeknight read! Local politics plays a central role as the harbor town readies itself for a mayoral election, and many of the xenophobic themes from the original trilogy begin rearing their ugly heads.

Pour yourself a hot toddy and enjoy.

-Josh

A quick BTW for Pullman fans – if you weren’t already aware,  the BBC is producing a TV series based on the His Dark Materials trilogy! BBC press release