Since school ended in April I've almost finished the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. They're a guilty pleasure and I just finished the eight book last night. It's the series that spawned HBO's True Blood, and it's dark, sexy and fun. In Harris's world, Vampires have "come out of the coffin", so to speak, and are trying to integrate into human society. She mixes romance, fantasy and mystery really well, though it took me a while to get used to the point of view of a ditsy Southern barmaid with telepathy. Harris was clever in creating a telepathic main character, because it is a good device for combining the first-person, and omniscient points of view. The story is told from Sookie's point of view, but because she knows what people are thinking, the reader has access to everyone else's thoughts too.
I'm almost halfway through Leonard Cohen's experimental novel Beautiful Losers which is very dirty and scattered. At the core it's about a love triangle between the main character, his wife, and his best friend. My introduction to Cohen was through his latest book of poetry, The Book of Longing, which was very good but created this image in my head of Leonard Cohen as a dirty old man. Reading Beautiful Losers I've discovered that Cohen was already a dirty old man in the 60s!
I'm also listening to a lot of music right now, and the album I'm currently working hardest on is Owen Pallett's, whom I declare the Queen of Canadian Indie Music (haha). I want to love his latest album Heartland as much as I loved his last two offerings, but I'm having a hard time of it. Maybe I just need to sit down with the lyrics in front of me so I can focus on what he's singing.
The Broken Social Scene's new album, on the other hand, is very accessible. Sometimes I have trouble with them because, although I like lots of their members' work seperat separately, together they tend to sound more like an orchestra than a band. If Owen Pallett is the Queen, then the Broken Social Scene is the whole rest of the court. That said, I'm finding their new album, Forgiveness Rock Record, far easier to get into. Maybe that's because it's more lyrical, and I'm definitely a lyrics guy. My favourite track so far is "All to All", but why isn't Leslie Feist or Emily Haines all over that one? Seriously...