Wednesday, October 10, 2007

From the Shelves 6

As this is October and thus the month of the creepy, kooky and altogether spooky holiday Halloween I have chosen a book that fits that genre. Or rather, a series of books. I am talking about the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. So far I have read the first three in the series and it is a fun, new take on the whole vampire mythology. In this world, vampires are real and have gone public, seeking rights etc. like normal people. They are able to do this in part because of the invention of synthetic blood. However, vamps aren't the only supernatural beings that exist.

The books revolve around Sookie Stackhouse, a blond barmaid with telepathy who happens to fall in love with a dead man (read: vampire)named Bill. Chaos and mayhem ensue as Sookie is thrust into the dangerous supernatural world, doing favors for big shot vampires, fighting off fundamentalist groups that wish to kill all vampires and their supporters, cavorting with shape shifters and catching murderers of the human variety.

The first book is Dead Until Dark, the second is Living Dead in Dallas and the third is Club Dead. The supernatural elements are well done, building on the ground work about vampires that we know so well, but adding creative touches here and there. The books are filled with humor, literary and mythological references, complex and interesting characters (human and otherwise) and a number of really good sex scenes. Sookie really comes into her own in the third book and I am tempted to go out and buy books four and five this weekend. (I really shouldn't since I need to re-read the book for my real life book club).

This series is pure fun but not altogether fluff. Sink your teeth into them. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the opportunity).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Puzzle pieces

It is always disconcerting to come to the realization that you do not "belong" at all in the place where you have chosen to live. This isn't really shocking, in fact, I've known I don't exactly fit in here for quite some time, and generally speaking I'm okay with that fact. However, this past Saturday I attended something that demonstrated to me that not only do I not fit in here but I never will. I don't find it depressing exactly since I am secretly relieved that I am not the type of person who would enjoy a tractor pull (nor, for that matter, know exactly what took place at one), but it did get me thinking. And what is disconcerting is that I also felt this way in college and to a lesser extent, in high school.
Ordinarily feeling different isn't such a bad thing, provided you can find a few other people who feel the same as you do, or who can at least relate. Fortunately I do have some friends who fit that bill. But spending your life feeling like you don't ever fully belong anywhere is not comforting. If I was radically different, with no common ground to speak of, maybe it would be easier to deal with because then it could just be chalked up to being in the wrong place. Rather like a puzzle piece from one box that had found it's way into another puzzle altogether. You'd know that the correct puzzle existed somewhere. Unfortunately, I am like a puzzle piece that looks like it should fit in a spot and it does, almost. Maybe one of the arms is too thick, or the angle of the spoke isn't steep enough. Minor things. So it gets tried this way and that, and occasionally pounded, in an effort to make it fit. And stubbornly the piece will not go. Thus it is left on the edge of the table while all the other pieces fit together forming their picture. At least I don't have to worry about being knocked off the table and eaten by the dog.