Routing for Loki

Joanne Harris has written another amazing trilogy. I actually should not rave about books I have not read yet. Well, I actually have listened to most of the first instalment – “Runemarks” with my kids on a drive from Calgary to Vancouver. But we didn’t finish it. However, I have thought about it often.

I am drawn to stories by Joanne Harris. I feel them. They are exotic and familiar. I relate to them in a way that I can’t really explain. There is always a bit of magic hiding in there and I like that.

I think we all need to have a little more faith and a little less skepticism. I don’t mean this in a religious sense. For that, we wade into waters too deep and complex. I just mean faith. In ourselves, in each other, in nature, in love.

After a little faith, full-blown magic is not so difficult to accept. At least in the context of ancient stories of gods and goddesses. In “Runemarks”, there are many references to the “Runes”. And this I find amazing to consider. Imagine a time where words spoken foretold a future not yet experienced. Those phrases seemed to foretell the future. In a way, we do the same thing everyday, everywhere in the world. Yet, we blabber on with little regard to our listeners. So the words have far less meaning than they would have back in the times of Norse mythology.

One of the gods featured prominently throughout the period and in the Harris stories is Loki. A trickster. A shape shifter. I like to think of Loki as being quite a character, and so does Joanne Harris.

Through the power of the internet, I even found a band who has written a song being inspired by the last book in the series, “The Gospel of Loki”. I think it is an amazing song and I can’t stop listening to it. Check it out – Routing for Loki by TheBookShopBand.

Third instalment

My husband does not like books that are part of a series. He has very little time to read one book, let alone get trapped up in an ongoing plot line. Particularly if the next books have not been written yet. But I don’t mind.

Some books are so good that the next instalment is like welcoming an old friend home for a visit. The known parts mixing together with the spicy new bits, creating an intoxicating brew. I have a few friends like that. No matter how hard you try to guess, they surprise you with exciting new adventures they have taken. But their essence is unchanged, those qualities that attracted you in the first place.

Kind of like Vianne Rocher. For Joanne Harris fans, I don’t need to say anymore, you know what I mean. The promise of more adventures with the lady that blows with the North wind and makes wonderful chocolates.

This third instalment, seems to be the last in the series. A little less distressing than the second. Drawing you back to the little French town of Lansquenet. Just when you think, nothing ever changes in a place like that, you will be surprised.

But, I have become a little like my husband these days. My stack of started and unfinished books at my bedside is a foot tall. And that does not include the digital copies on my iPad. So, when I saw, “Peaches for Father Francis”, by Joanne Harris on MP3, I knew it was meant to be. I have no time to read, but I have plenty of time to kill, trapped in my car.

Kind of interesting that for this trilogy, I saw the movie for #1 “Chocolate”, read the book for #2 “The Lollipop Shoes”, and now the audio version for #3 “Peaches for Father Francis”. A different form of entertainment for each. Luckily, Johnny Depp is fully fixed as Roux and Juliette Binoche as Vianne.

As always with Joanne Harris, I come away a little bit changed. She has the power to make you think deeply about relationships and your outlook on life. Very few authors can do that.

Serendipity

Definition from merriam-webster: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. Or from Wikipedia: is when someone finds something that they weren’t expecting to find.

I’m not sure if this is what I am experiencing. But it sure has been a nice string of circumstances.

As I was getting ready for summer vacation, I was book shopping. I’m not sure why I do this. I have so many un-read books on my shelf already. I even have 2 or 3 on the go standing on my bedside table calling out to me. I was strolling through the aisles and I came across, “The Art Of Possibility”, by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. I had no knowledge of the title or the authors. The cover is very plain. But something in the look of it and a quick flip through made me buy it. I put everything else aside and read this book through, taking notes the whole time. A fantastic book, which I plan to read again many more times.

Tonight I was scanning through my news reader and came across coverage of a speaking presentation by Benjamin Zander. I would not have known enough to read the article had I not read this book. And the analysis was so consistent with what I had thought of him from the book, it was, I don’t know – serendipity?

My husband sent me a YouTube video a couple of years ago by Simon Sinek. It talked about what motivates people to do great things. Then, I started using the TED talks app on my iPad and realized that is where the video came from. Turns out that this author can deliver daily inspiration right into your email inbox which is a brilliant way to start the day. This one was almost serendipity in reverse.

What started me on the quest to write this blog was reading “The Happiness Project”, by Gretchen Rubin. I stumbled across this title in a small book aisle of our local discount department store. I carried it around for a while. I started reading it (and fell in love with it) while waiting for my Chinese Visa in the Consulate Office. For some reason they would not allow any kind of technology in their waiting room – nothing. (And they were enforcing it). So I had to go back in time and pull out a bundle of paper containing millions of words and flip through the pages with my fingers. Since then, I seem to stumble across mentions of Gretchen all the time. And to think she was MY muse – a little serendipitous?

Those are just a few examples. It is almost as if the information or experience I need becomes available to me just at the right time. I suppose too early or too late, it would completely pass by without my notice.