The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) I saw this reviewed on several people’s blogs. Then I held it in my hands several times at the library. Then I decided to bring it home. I took me almost 4 weeks to read it. Not because it wasn’t great, but because I had to read a bunch of other stuff first, and then because I’ve suddenly lost my ability to read more than a page every 5 minutes.

ANYWAY… It was a great book. Mikael Blomkvist is finishing up his trial for libel. He’s a financial journalist who printed an article he couldn’t back up and got sued. He leaves the magazine he’s working for and goes to the boonies to work for the former CEO of the Vanger Corp. Henrik Vanger wants him to write a history of the Vanger family and try to find out who murdered his great-niece almost 40 years before. Before the Henrik Vanger hires him, he has a personal investigation done on him to make sure they can trust him. The person who does the investigation is a 24 year old ward of the state who is thought to be mentally deficient, but is actually brilliant with a computer. She is the eponymous Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Lisbeth Salander (of the dragon tattoo) is my favorite character. She’s independent and feisty and vulnerable and wonderful.

The waiting game

I ordered this the other day.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

Now, I find out that I have to wait til next Thursday to get it! The suspense is killing me!

I got to read the first chapter a month ago and I am waiting and waiting and waiting to get the book. The first line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie with brains must be in want of more brains.”

There are ninjas too!

A meme to make me look bad.

Otherwise known as the Diversity in Reading meme.

Before we begin, let me start by saying, unless the author’s name is indicative of his or her nationality or race, I often have no idea. Sometimes the author’s picture is a clue, but sometimes not so much.

Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.
I’m currently reading Pemberley Manor by Kathryn L. Nelson. Before that, it was The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.
Well, Slash is half black and I read his autobiography in September. Wait! Does J.M. Coetzee count? He’s South African. He’s white, but he’s from Africa. I read Diary of a Bad Year last month.

Name one from a Latino/a author.
Most recently Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude. I read it in February.

How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?
In November, I read Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo

What about a GLBT writer?
I read David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice in December. This is another one where I have no idea about the sexual orientation of the author unless it comes up in the book. I saw someone else post that they read Jeanette Winterson. Didn’t know she fit this category, but hey, I’ve read her, too.

Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?
Does Salman Rushdie count? I read The Enchantress of Florence last July. Before that, it would have been Orhan Pamuk’s Snow in January of ’08.

Any other “marginalized” authors you’ve read lately? Well, I read Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robinson. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. And I read The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. Are Hippie’s considered marginalized?

Psh!

My darling daughter has pneumonia. So, I’ve spent the last 4 days off work trying to get her well. You’d think with all this sudden free time, I’d have lots of time to read, right? Again I say, Psh! I have gotten the dog to the vet (before I knew it was pneumonia). Had the house sprayed for bugs. And had the leaky pipe under the sink fixed. I’ve done laundry. I’ve taken everything out of my daughter’s room and only put back the important parts (namely, hundreds of books). I’ve worked on some cross-stitch. I’ve Twittered. I’ve joined a group on Goodreads. But not so much reading.

Well, unless you count picture books. I’ve also played innumerable games of Old Maid, Go Fish, and Uno. Hannah Montana Uno.

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking I forgot about you. You’re thinking I just don’t care anymore. Well, I say to you, “It’s not true!” (Here comes the excuse part) I swear I have been reading! I don’t know what happened, but suddenly, it had been 2 whole weeks since I had finished a book!

Then, I finished a book, and before I could blog about it, I had to spend a night in the ER with a sick kid. And you know how long THAT takes to recover from! So in the mean time, I finished another book. So, I have 2 books to blog about today!

The History of Love: A Novel This was a book club book. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I think I know what happened. But then, I went to book club and discussed it with the girls. Someone would say, “What was that about when he did such and such?” And I’d be like, “What? When did that happen?” So, maybe I don’t. It’s that kind of book.

Leo Gursky is an old man living alone in New York City. He immigrated from Poland in 1941 to escape the Nazis. The love of his life had moved there before him, but when he found her, she was married to somebody else. Because she was pregnant when she left Poland. And she married the guy who asked because she thought Leo was dead. Leo had written a book before he left Poland. It was called The History of Love. He left a copy of it with his friend Zvi. Zvi escaped Poland with the book and moved to Brazil. It gets very complicated after this. But the writing is amazing. You never get the characters mixed up because each one has his/her own voice.

Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah\'s Book Club) I also finished Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedes. The first quarter to a half of the book is about the main character’s grandparents and parents. His grandparents were siblings. When they fled Greece/Turkey, they decided to get married. She was sure something would happen to her children, but they seemed normal. Then, her son married her cousin’s daughter. And their younger child was born seemingly a girl, but as a teenager, it was found she was actually a he. This is the story of that girl/man and how it all went down.

I was both drawn in and repulsed by this book. Parts of it were so disturbing. But it was written so beautifully, you have to keep going.

Well-Read #3

The Reader (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage International) Yea! I’m another book well-read!

I really enjoyed reading this book. It only took a couple of days because it’s very short. You could definitely tell it was a book in translation. Translated books just seem to have a whole different feel. Well, that probably depends on the language it’s translated from. I’ll say, European books have a particular feel that is different from, say, Latin American books or Japanese books.

Anyway, I know this was an Oprah book, and everybody eschews Oprah as being “unliterary”, but sometimes she nails it. This was definitely literary.

As a 15 year old, Michael Berg becomes violently ill on the doorstep of a building on his way home from school. A woman rescues him and escorts him home where he is diagnosed with Hepatitis (!) and spends the next 6 months in bed. When he gets well, he goes to say thank you and quickly finds himself in an intimate relationship with Hannah, a 36 year old woman.

After their relationship ends, he finds himself at her trial for crimes committed when she was a guard for the SS during World War II. The Hannah he sees portrayed by the prosecution is not the person he remembers and he can’t understand why she doesn’t defend herself. Then he figures out her secret. If you don’t know what it is, I won’t be telling you here.

I gotta say, I didn’t particularly care for Hannah, but that’s okay because it wasn’t told like I was supposed to love her. Take it or leave it, that’s how it was.

I think I understand why this is on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. All things Nazi are understandably emotional, but this one is told from enough distance to be clear-headed and to tell a different side of things, perhaps. Not a better one, just different.