BOOK & BLOG
|April 21, 2007
Book of the Week: Jim Butchers WHITE NIGHT
One of the books that I read this week was Jim Butchers WHITE NIGHT. Jims Harry Dresden series is one that never disappoints. Harrys character, while growing and changing, remains consistently gallant in a low-key kind of way. You really just have to love Harry, while acknowledging that he would not be the easiest guy in the world to hang around with. Theres that whole electricity doesnt work around this guy thing, which would make cooking and drying your hair a real adventure, and then the big leather coat would stand out in almost any climate, in the summer. Ill bet Mister and Mouse shed all over the place, and Ill bet Harry doesnt clean his own digs that often or that effectively.
Ive got to admit that one of Harrys big attractions is his I wont do it if its not right attitude to women. His last true love (a really obnoxious reporter who certainly did her best to incur the disaster that befell her) is off in South America, the totally suitable Murphy is right in front of him, and the tempting teenage Goth apprentice Molly should be giving him sleepless nights. But Murphy is his pal, and Molly is the daughter of a friend, and Harry is not going to have a one-night stand with anyone. Harrys first love, Elaine, returns in WHITE NIGHT, but it looks like shes leaving to right wrongs back in California. Sigh. Poor Harry! We hope he gets some soon, but only if its Right with a capital R.
The big applause for Jim Butcher comes with the wonderful way hes kept the series fresh. There are always choices to be made, enemies to be fought, and allies to enjoy. Sometimes the lines between the enemies and the allies cross, creating an entirely new dynamic. Sometimes we wish those lines wouldnt uncross. After all, who couldnt admire something in Marcone the gangster, or Lara the manipulative vampire? But Harry makes the harder choice to remember they are enemies. Thats what we all want to imagine we would do, make the harder moral choice even if it means disaster and pain will befall us. We can rely on Harry to do that: and though hes really, really, human, Harry represents our better self.
Besides, the books are damn good fun.
By the time youre reading this, Ill be on my way to Houston for Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, to give it its whole title. RT is dramatically different from science fiction conventions and mystery conventions, while it draws in some readership from both genres. Its a world until itself. After RT, Ill be touring. And what do I enjoy most about that? Well, its not the airports or the crowded seats or praying my suitcase makes it along with me.
Its the company of readers.
Everyone I see will be a reader, and that makes the whole trip worthwhile. I love people who love books. I love people who understand how important reading is. I love people who can miss a subway stop, or run over a lunch hour, or miss a little sleep because theyre reading something that excites, interests, stimulates them. Im one of those people. Hi, Im Charlaine, and Im a reader. I would rather read than cook, or clean, or cross stitch. I would rather read than watch television. I would rather read than arrange flowers or scrapbook. I would rather read than do anything.
It never ceases to amaze me that some people dont even consider reading when theyre looking for entertainment. And I know there are plenty of alternative pastimes, with the advent of computers. But give me a book any time.
And the whole tour, everywhere I go, there will be women and men who enjoy the same thing. Its enough to make me not mind going through airport security.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris