Thursday, December 24, 2009
Shortly after I finally decided to read this book I learned that the author had had a fatal heart attack a couple of years ago. I was immediately disappointed, I had already read enough to know that I loved these characters and this style.
The main character, the girl with the dragon tattoo, is a tragic, stoic, antisocial creature or her upbringing. I believe I've heard terms such as asperger's syndrome and autistic used to describe her. Since some of this is written first person, it's easy to avoid those terms, being in her mind vs. judging her from outside. I have some sympathy for the character you can see.
The other main character is a womanizing, loyal, political journalist. A man true to his word but just a little mixed up personally. A likable character, I think.
With many layered twists and turns the bulk of the story lies in solving a thirty - forty year old family mystery. This mystery wasn't nearly as straightforward as I expected, which I always admire in a mystery. If I figure them out too quickly they are a bit disappointing no matter how well written & interesting the rest of the story is.
I found this story so intriguing that I immediately reserved the second book in this series and read it just as quickly.
I would strongly recommend this to any fan of mysteries and will probably bring it up as my next book club choice.
I am excited for the release in the U.S. of the third book and hear that there is a fourth book on Stieg Larsson's laptop, but his estate may hold that one up for a while.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
There were unforseen twists and unexpected surprises, I always love this.
This, my first read by Lisa See has opened up a new world and a new curiousity for me. It led me to research bound feet and created pictures in my mind that I won't forget for a long time.
Reading this was like sitting in front of and reviewing a beautiful Chinese painting for a few hours. Your eye following the story on the painting around and around because you can't seem to take it all in and you keep finding little gems for your eye to follow.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This read took me back to the earlier Mary Russell novels, when I was first introduced to her & was instantly drawn into her world. If you love a good mystery, start with The Beekeeper's Apprentice just in case you want to read them all like I did.
I love the explanations of why some people work in this business, especially when they are well educated, there does seem to be a smear on the idea that there's something temporary about working in this business. I felt it after I graduated with my BA & still worked at the restaurant I had been in for 5 years. A certain amount of shame at still working there, waiting tables, for tips, not for a "real" salary like others my age. When I did leave and got a "real job" I took a $10,000 pay cut & worked more hours. Think about that for a minute.
I also really liked what Mr. Dublanica wrote about how people let their guard down when they eat, how you can really get to know someone's true self just by watching them in a restaurant. This is very true. I learned so much about human nature when I worked in the business. Much of my job required that I watch my tables at all times so I could be there when the diners needed me. With this watching I couldn't help but see things that I normally woudl miss. Like the little nuances between partners, how they really treat each other & how they treat strangers, or help (like me).
One of the most important lessons that I learned was that you can't please everyone all the time. This may be the most important lesson learned, this has helped me in my current life and career & helped me with my own trouble with perfectionism. Some people may never learn this lesson which could cause them unending duress in their lives. Work in a restaurant for six months, you will learn to let go & relax a little more, life is just too damn short!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I strongly recommend this book to edgy new mothers. It's so funny and heartwarming that it's easy to forget the harder things Heather suffered through. It makes me feel sooo much better about myself and life as a new mother.
I will read Heather's other book, Things I Learned about my Dad in Therapy: Humorous and Heartfelt Essays, at some point when I get through my stack. Hmmm, maybe I chould create a reading wish list on this blog to keep me on track & my "followers"in the know. ;) T
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I picked this book up mostly because of the cover & because I like coffee. Not my most thoughtful choice but it was lunch & I had to pick something fast so I could eat.
I love the descriptives in this book. Reading all of the flavors that can be found in coffee makes me want to explore being a connoisseur but then I am reminded that I hardly have time to shower, where will I get time to drink coffee all day and what will that do to the baby when I nurse him? Yikes!
Honestly I found this story a little frustrating & a little slow. I often wondered where it was going & it wasn't until the very end that I got it. I like how the ending tied it all together a lot. It added an additional layer that helped me understand. There was a sub story in the plot that I found frustrating & unbelieveable. The narrator is seduced by a slave & her master & the way it was played out was hard to believe. The concept of a virgin slave disobeying her master from the first moment she meets this gentleman is so hard to believe I was never far from wondering where it was going & not at all surprised when it turns out to be a plan between she & her master to rob the narrator.
I guess if I had to rate this out of 10 I'd give it a 6, because I really did enjoy the discriptives of coffee etc.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The first is The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Cappella. I picked this up one day at lunch time because I needed something to read. The cover looked nice & I love coffee so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm on page 133 & it's a little slow going so we'll see how far I get.
The next is It Sucked and then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong. This author has a great blog (thanks T) & I thought I'd try one of her books since I enjoy the blog so much. The book has to do with Heather's first pregnancy & birth. I'm a new Momma so I'm thinking I can relate & even if I can't, this chick is funny!
The last is The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies. This was chosen as the next book at my AWESOME bookclub. I have no idea what it's all about but I bet it's great, I've only disliked one of the books chosen. We all take turns so we get some interesting books presented. I really enjoy this bookclub, it's nice to get a fresh look at the world of books, I can get really caught up in what to read sometimes.
I'll be in touch when I get somewhere with all this!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The most recent book completed was Pooh Goes Visiting and Pooh and Piglet Nearly Catch a Woozle by A. A. Milne.
First let me tell you that I had forgotten that Pooh's given name was Edward Bear.
I read this aloud to The Man & I would recommend reading aloud to your listeners. I'm not sure how much he paid attention but that should change in the future.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Something that gets me about so many of the narratives for this era is the rape of the slave women. I know it happened & this always makes me wonder what kind of man wants to have sex with someone that lays for him, barely responding. These actions are so degrading to himself and to his chosen victim it just doesn't seem enjoyabe or worth it to me
I have a book called American Pictures by Jacob Holdt, which documents the South from 1971 - 1976. The author traveled and slept where he was offered a room. Sometimes he slept at the homes of poor blacks, sometimes rich whites. He wrote something along the lines of seeing lasting affects of the master/slave mentality. The whites that had financially successful lives often had serious family & alcohol problems. The blacks were often times poor, living in squander, seeming unable to care for themselves or rise above any poverty that they lived in. I think of this often when faced with narrow thinkers. Sometimes those of us "with" have really no idea what it is like to be without.