Apparently everybody and their Mama (well Boots and Savannah) have been putting “books I read this summer” posts and I figured that I am a good little Leming. Here are my books. I have to admit I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in April but since the third one came out at the beginning of the summer, I will address all of them in one big Lump. Yes, it’s a mystery/thriller which means there is a lot of gory crime. I have to confess that my experience with the criminal justice system has left me a little warped regarding crime. i.e. I’m a lot more unfazed by it than a lot of people. But yes Virginia, there are some gory, creepy violence against women scenes in this book. It starts with a reporter (Mikael Blomkvist) going to jail for libel and an autistic petite computer hacker goth girl (Lisabeth Salander). Somehow they get together to solve this mystery about girl who came up missing. It’s Swedish. There’s lots of real life places and things in it. It’s riveting. ******
The Second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage), takes up where the second book ends. This one goes into Salander’s background and we find out how she ended up where she was at the beginning of the first book. We find out who and where her mother and father are. We find out why she is in foster care in the first place. We also find out that she has siblings. It’s all kinds of crazy and riveting.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest shows where the issues regarding Salander are resolved in an over the top mystery thriller fashion but resolved just the same.
Yes, the books violent. All of the books are violent and people are raping, torturing, and killing other people in all three books. While certain characters have feminist aspects to them, I’m not sure I would call the books themselves feminist. Blomkvist seems to respect women and isn’t threatened by their success or intelligence. At the same time, he sleeps with most of them in the book. While Salander is smart in a typical male field (computer hacking), she also feels insecure about her body and gets breasts implants. While they’re not War and Peace, they’re not nearly as daft as the Twilight series either. I thought there were fascinating and loved them. But I love books like this anyway.
I ended up this summer reading the first three books in the Sookie Stackhouse series: Dead Until Dark , Living Dead in Dallas, and Club Dead . These are the books of which the HBO TV show “TRUE BLOOD” are based. Frankly, I can’t believe someone based a television series off of these books. I can’t believe the author has managed to write ten books based on these characters. The books are merely okay and the first one is pretty gosh darn bad. If I hadn’t heard from multiple sources that they get better, I would have stopped after the first one. I think the author uses the vampire, werewolf, and other mystical creatures as a crutch to avoid character development. Or something. Oh and the descriptions of the clothes bother me. Make the girl fugly why don’t you? ugh. They are mindless and they are entertaining enough that I finished them.
Click: The Magic of Instant Connections is a nonfiction. This book caught my eye because I met a person and it was the stereotypical, “It was like I had known Bucky Chucky my whole life.” It freaked my shit out, actually. I remembered some of the phenomena listed in my social psychology classes from college. The book itself, however, is written in a much less academic style— similar to Blink by Gladwell.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within I like writing and someone recommended this book to me. It was actually recommended by a journaler but the author herself is a poet. It has a lot of writing exercises designed to loosen up and let your writing flow. Some people even call it their “writing practice.” It was a very touchy feely new age type of aesthetic so unless you are into that sort of thing, you might not like it.
Grave Secret This was written by the same author that wrote the Sookie Stackhouse books but I liked it a lot better. I liked the characters better. I liked the plot better. It’s about a twenty something woman whose parents were drug addicts. She got hit by lightning as a teenager and now she can “read the bones of the dead.” This means when she walks across a grave, she will know who the person buried below is and how they died and a myriad of other facts related to the person. Of course, there is a plot of a mysterious death that causes an uproar and shenanigans including two attempts at shooting the “dead reader” herself. Oh and she’s in love and has a relationship with her stepbrother. KINKY MS. HARRIS. KINKY!
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (P.S.) I found this in the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble and took it for a spin. This is the memoir of a woman from the age of 10 to her 30s. Over the years, she becomes bulimic and then her behavior over time slides over into anorexia. Then she relapses on the bulimia. LAther, Rinse, repeat. She talks about her parent’s crazy relationship growing up and all sorts of other possible causes for her condition but it’s more of a stark, no excuses, reminiscing of her sordid past. It was so sordid and scarring that in the afterword, the author mentioned that she relapsed back into anorexia after writing the book. Yeah it’s a downer.
StrengthsFinder 2.0: From the Author of the Bestseller Wellbeing This is mainly a career type book. You buy it to get access to this online personality quiz and then use the book to examine the results. It was helpful but NOT THAT HELPFUL! So there. boo yaa