Harry Potter Can Kiss My Azkaban

This year my summer reading has revolved around a series of books about a wizard named Harry. No, it’s not Harry Potter. It’s a much cooler set of books by Jim Butcher about a wizard named Harry Dresden. Mr. Dresden is a wisecracking, chivalric, magic using, private investigator, working in Chicago, struggling to make a buck, stay one step ahead of the goons trying to kill him and fighting off bloodcurdling creatures from the never-never.

The Dresden books feel like they were written by the love child of…

J.K. Rowling and Ross Macdonald. They’re a masterful blend of fantasy and hardboiled detective fiction. Plus they have all the cool stuff that seemed to be missing from the first two Potter books that I read, sex, graphic violence and a serious body count. (All the things that keep America entertained.) Butcher also adds in just enough cheesiness to make the Dresden Files a great summer treat without getting sick of the flavor.

So far I have devoured the first five books in the series. I find them hard to put down, with the exception of the third book, “Grave Peril“, which I thought started a little slow. If you’re looking for some fast, fun, fantasy reading this summer you should try the Dresden Files.

Currently there are eight books in the series with more on the way, as well as a TV show set to air next January on the Sci Fi Channel. If the TV series is half as good as the books I’ll need to get cable.

Here’s what a few of the other Portland Metrobloggers have been reading:

Aaron: is neck deep into the “Oracle PL SQL manual”.

Benkay: is working on several books: “Don’t Think Of An Elephant”, “The 48 Laws of Power”, (Which makes him feel dirty.), “Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas”, “The Alphabet of Manliness”, and “JPod”.

jonashpdx: is slowly reading “Charlie Wilson’s War” by George Crile and lots and lots of comics. Most recently the second volume
of “Crying Freeman” which he calls “ridiculously awesome!”

So Portland, what have you been reading this summer?

8 Comments so far

  1. jonashpdx (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

    gotta say, though, that the potter books get better as they go along… but if the butcher books are half as good as you make them sound, i’ll have to give ’em a glance

  2. dieselboi (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

    I’ve been working my way through Neil Gaimen’s American Gods. It’s tougher than I thought. Along the way, I too have read my share of graphic novels, including Blankets and Black Hole.

  3. Betsy (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

    I’m reading beach reads. Otherwise known as mind candy.

    The kind of books that you disguise inside other, more scholarly and/or popular and/or accepted tomes.

    I’m sure my boss wants his copy of Freakanomics (which works reallly well as a decoy) back soon, in fact. Maybe I’d better think about actually reading *it* instead…

  4. PAgent (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

    I’ve been reading graphic novels lately, as well. I just finished “The Forty-Niners”, a prequel to Alan Moore’s shockingly good series “Top 10”. I’ve also been able to read “Fables Homelands”, the most recent entry in the award-winning “Fables” series by Bill Willingham.

    And I’ve got a Terry Pratchett novel around here somewhere I need to get to….

  5. DIVEBARWIFE (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 10:16 am

    I try to alternate Fiction and Non – so I just finished “Lies My Teacher Told Me” am in the middle of my complete trash novel love – the latest Anita Blake Vampire Hunter (the first 3 or 4 were great, but the last few have left me short – but I keep hoping…) and have “Rip it Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984” on tap after that.
    Then there is this to recycle your used books and get new – http://bookmooch.com/ – seems pretty slick….

  6. Jonpaul (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

    That bookmooch looks pretty cool.
    My mom is into http://www.bookcrossing.com/
    Another great way to share books.

  7. Banana Lee Fishbones (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

    This summer, from what I remember, I have read:

    – American Gods (dieselboi, it is not an easy read.)
    – Stardust, also by Neil Gaiman
    – Shampoo Planet, by Douglas Coupland (again)
    – The Chronic(what?)cles of Narnia (again)
    – A Stephen King short story collection but I can’t remember which one (again)
    – Meg, by Steve Alten
    – Two of the three Dark Nest Trilogy (Star Wars) books, by Troy Denning
    – I’m on book three of the Thrawn Trilogy, Star Wars books by Timothy Zahn (again).
    – I’m about to start Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett as my ‘bus book’ (again)
    -I know there were more but I don’t remember what they were, I can’t remember back to the start of June what I was reading, but I know the Lord Of The Rings series and the Eragon books were in there along with another Stephen King book or two and another Star Wars book or two, and jPod which Benkay is reading now.

    I was about to start the Harry Potter series again, but I think I might check out these other books instead. Thanks for the tip!

  8. dieselboi (unregistered) on August 15th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    i love bookmooch!

    question though, what are the user’s thoughts on shipping out of the USA? it then makes it kinda expensive. i’m waffling

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