What am I up to?

I saw on someone else’s blog recently that they make a regular post on what they are particularly enjoying at the moment. This seemed like a really good idea and something that I thought I would institute on here.

Reading!

I have always read a lot, as far back as I can remember I have had books around and have devoured pretty much any reading material that I can get my hands on. I started with The Hobbit at the age of about nine and moved on to The Lord of the Rings a few years later. That pretty much cemented me into loving fantasy. I added sci-fi in my early teens with lots of Arthur C Clarke, Orson Scott Card and Harry Harrison. More recently I have come to love the setting and flavour of “urban fantasy”. My first introduction was the Anita Blake series by Laurel K Hamilton which is great, but gets a bit samey after five or so novels. Much better examples are the Women of the Otherworld novels by Kelley Armstrong; she builds a completely believable world of the supernatural around us and alongside us. It’s one long story too, with characters dipping in and out and a very strong internal narrative.

Best of them all, and what I am currently completely addicted to is Harry Dresden. The Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher are, at least to me, the finest example of urban fantasy around. Obviously I haven’t read every single series and book in the genre, but they will have to go some to beat the Dresden Files! The books are each a self contained story with Harry at the centre, but there area also a number of continuing story arcs that carry through a number of books. All manner of supernatural creatures appear both as allies and enemies. We get vampires, werewolves and all manner of Fae from the Nevernever. I won’t go into any more detail since the stories are essentially mysteries and I don’t want to spoil anything, but do give them a go!

I am currently reading Turn Coat, which is the 11th in the series and if anything they are getting more page-turney rather than less.

Music!

Another of my great loves throught my life is music. I have touched a little in previous posts about how particular musical tastes intersect with what I now know about my sexuality, but that aside I cannot imagine my life without music. It’s probably the thing I would miss most on that theoretical shipwreck isle (other than obvious things like family…). There are some bands/artists that I have been listening to since the early eighties like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Madonna, Billy Joel, Slayer, Venom, Falco and many others. I did say I have varied tastes right?

Recently I have been on a bit of a voyage of musical discovery. I have always like David Bowie for his looks (See top of the page…) but I have never really explored his music beyond the huge hits that most people will have at least a passing familiarity with. I decided that I was going to listen to some complete albums and see what I thought. I put “Best Bowie albums” into google and found this list which seemed as good a place to start as any.

I started with Low, which is the first of the Berlin trilogy of albums released in the late seventies. It’s an unusual album with quite a heavy electronic flavour to it. It’s also quite dark, having been written at the height of Bowie’s cocaine habit.

After that I moved on to Hunky Dory, a much earlier album from 1971 that has “Changes” on it, one of Bowie’s most recognisable tracks. This album has a completely different feel, as if it is from 20 years apart from Low rather than just six. Station to Station, Aladdin Sane and (The Rise and Fall of ) Ziggy Stardust (and the Spiders from Mars) have been on constant rotation on my Spotify account for the last couple of weeks. David is one hell of a talent, to be able to be so damn good at so many different styles is almost inhuman.

OK so that was a bit longer than expected, and in my trademark rambling style to boot 🙂

What are you up to?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “What am I up to?

  1. I’m very fond of the Dresden Files. It’s the wit and sarcasm, I love it. I read the first seven or eight a few years ago then stopped and now I’ve started reading then again. I’m so far behind. It doesn’t help that I’m reading loads of ARC’s for my blog either. I’m trying to make time for reading books for pleasure as well as work, again. My fantasy collection probably dwarfs all the other genres of books I have, especially since I tend to pick up second hand copies of anything by Tolkien even if I already have it. I like the different editions.
    I’ve got to agree with you about the Anita Blake books. I enjoyed the early ones, when there was some originality in the storylines but by seven or eight I got bored. The series picked up again about number thirteen, but I don’t think they’re as good as the first few.

    Like

    1. Studying English almost killed my love of reading in my late teens…I respect anyone who can read for study and/or work and also get pleasure from just sitting and reading. I found myself analysing everything I read and unable to just READ! I got over it eventually thankfully.

      Harry is a great character isn’t he. Sardonic, dark, sarcastic and pessimistic but a real knight in (not so) shining armour.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s