September 20th, 2010

Reading - La Liseuse

Book 31 of 2010

31. Stieg Larsson, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, translation by Reg Keeland, 590 pages, Mystery, Paperback, 2008.

A disgraced financial investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, is hired by the former CEO of the Vanger Corporation to look into the disappearance of his niece, Harriet Vanger, in the 1960s. Vanger believes his niece was murdered, and has been trying to solve the mystery ever since. Not Blomkvist’s normal job, but it fills time as he tries to gather his forces against Wennerstrom, the source of his disgrace. Nobody expects him to find anything, but what he does find in his investigation, aided by the taciturn researcher/hacker, Lisbeth Salander, is beyond everyone’s expectations.

Originally written in Swedish, this English translation has been recommended by so many. It’s artfully put together; every time I thought I knew what would happen, the story would take another twist and just as I’ve abandoned my theory, it would be brought back as a possible. The complexity of the financial intrigue mixed with family drama and corporate survival sounds too much for one book, but it really flowed well. Besides those themes, the sections are title with economics terms followed by a statistic on violence towards women. In bringing that in, there are some scenes that are truly horrific but do advance the overall story. This is the first book in a trilogy and I look forward to the other books.
alyzon_whitestarr

(no subject)

Book 41: Captain's Fury - Jim Butcher
Genre: Fantasy
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My thoughts: I felt like I was frequently being hit over the head with the plot stick. I frequently knew what was going to happen before it did. I still enjoyed Butcher's writing but this really annoyed me.
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Book 42: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen & Steve Hockensmith
Genre: Classic/Horror?
Plot: Pride & Prejudice + Zombies
My thoughts: I'd been eyeing this one off in the bookstore for quite some time (and heard good things about it). Then I was given this for a present. I must say, that if P&P hadn't been one of my favourite books of all time, I might have liked this better. However, it was pretty enjoyable and I zoomed through it, especially given that a lot of the original dialogue is kept in this.
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Book 43: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters - Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters
Genre: Classic/Horror?
Plot: Sense and Sensibility + Sea Monsters
My thoughts: This book was pretty funny. More of the plot and dialogue have been changed so the monsters seem more "in" with the plot and less of a silly insert. And...it amused me that Colonel Brandon had tentacles.
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Book 44: Dawn of the Dreadfuls - Steve Hockensmith
Genre: No idea. Possibly horror???
Plot: Set just prior to P&P&Zombies, this is about the return of the zombie troubles in Meryton. Enter a Master in martial arts, a Dr. who is sure he can solve the zombie problems by studying zombies and a lecherous nobleman living in Netherfield.
My thoughts: I really really enjoyed this book. The Mr & Mrs Bennet moments were hilarious and I was amused by the "Fulcrum of Doom". And Bertram....poor Bertram.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Book 45: Princep's Fury - Jim Butcher
Genre: Fantasy
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My thoughts: Again, I really enjoyed the book but it only gets 3.5 stars due to the "been there, read that" feeling I had. The icemen had so much potential...
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

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Book 46: Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal
Plot: Sookie Stackhouse is just your average waitress working at the local bar - Merlotte's - or is she? Although she's pretty she doesn't date. She has a disability. She can read minds. Then, she meets Bill and she can't hear what he's thinking...
My thoughts: This is almost exactly like the first series of the HBO television series. Enjoyable light reading.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Book 47: Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal
Plot: Having agreed to do some work for the vampires, Sookie and Bill find themselves in Dallas looking for Godric - an unbelieveably old vampire who might have gotten himself into trouble.
My thoughts: This is soo different from the second series of the tv show. The whole Lafayette thing for instance...or the whole Maenad situation.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Book 48: First Lord's Fury - Jim Butcher
Genre: Fantasy
Plot: Collapse )
My thoughts: I enjoyed this book but it was rather like the last Harry Potter book. I hate "and after the action finished, this happened" eiplogues.
Rating: 3 stars(out of 5)



48 / 50 books. 96% done!

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did you know you could fly?

(no subject)

Book #47 -- Kelley Armstrong, Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, Book 11), 320 pages.

I can't believe Savannah is 21! Some times it's easy to overlook time passing in a series. It was great to see a book from her point of view though. Didn't see the cliffhanger ending coming up though. That's going to make waiting for the next one really hard.

Progress toward goals: 261/365 = 71.5%

Books: 47/100 = 47.0%

Pages: 13646/25000 = 54.6%

2010 Book List

cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven
pacificparlour

NO CONSPIRACY REQUIRED.

I've banned Regnery books from the 50 Book Challenge because they're polemical mental floss. If Bill Press's Toxic Talk: How the Radical Right has Poisoned America's Airwaves is representative of Thomas Dunne Books, Book Review No. 21 will be that publisher's only appearance in the Challenge.

There is much that a serious commentator could do to take on conservative talk radio. On occasion, Mr. Press, occasional Democrat strategist and peripatetic radio and television commentator, attempts something serious. For the most part, however, it's tu quoque and ad hominem and accusations that the opposition is inconsistent. But when the author finds Mike Malloy's epithets for President Bush 43 entertaining, and Mark Levin's epithets slurs, it drives even a backslid Protestant to Matthew 7.

There is substance to Mr. Press's claims. I'll focus on three points: first, that media concentration favors the syndication of conservative talk, this reinforced by the propensity of the producers to give the programming away; second, that conservative talk radio has powerful financial angels behind it; third, that many of the talkers are angry people reaching out to other angry and alienated people. In his world, these points interact to create and maintain a social pathology.

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The business model is a straightforward bundle. Local radio stations do not have to pay syndication fees. A station gets the content, Mr Press says, "for free" and it must devote some of its commercial time to advertisements the talk show has sold. These are the famous EIB Profit Center breaks. The local station also obtains a few time slots each hour for local sponsors. The success of the national program makes those advertising slots more valuable, ceteris paribus.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

flower

Book 37

Title: Love in the Time of Cholera
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Themes: Love, Destiny, Relationships

I had a lot of hesitation going in to this book because I previously read 100 Years of Solitude and found it to be very dense and difficult. I am glad that I gave Love in the Time of Cholera a chance because I really enjoyed it, for the most part. Interestingly enough, they were similar in that 100 Years follows a town from start to finish and Love follows a relationship from start to finish.

Marquez is a gifted storyteller and it is easy to get lost in the vivid world that he creates. Even so, I found it difficult at parts to just focus on the flow and depth of the story because I was distracted by the Lolita subplot: I couldn't root for him to win his love after he ruined a young girl's life. I get it, love and relationships are complicated, but there are some things that are just unforgivable.

In addition, I'm not sure if I liked the ending. I need to think about it more: I like that the author didn't wrap everything up too neatly but it was a bit abrupt.

Overall, an interesting and complex tale of the complexity of love, destiny, and relationships.