A Book Review — The Millennium Series

I’ve been totally MIA for far too long — I’m sorry. I’d like to say it’s not going to happen again, but I know better than that and it will. Life gets crazy and the blog gets put on hold… but now back to my ramblings on life.

I recently finished reading the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson on my nook. I read all three back to back, as if they were one book. After seeing person after person reading these books, on the train, in the park, at the library, at work, pretty much everywhere, I decided that maybe it was time for me to give in and read them. I got hooked on Harry Potter and theTwilight series and had hoped that I would get hooked on this one too. The three books were overall good, but now I see why I saw so many people reading them — they are generally easy to read. Coming from someone who likes to read Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero, Lunar Park and many others, I found Larsson’s style of writing easier than I expected.

Not only was the style of writing and simplistic vocabulary a bit of a drawback, but it took me a good 100 pages to get into The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. When I started reading the trilogy, I was bored, it was almost painful for me to find the motivation to continue reading. When I mentioned that to a coworker who had also begun reading the books, she told me that she had been forewarned that the beginning was dry. Since I had purchased all three books from the get-go, I decided to push on and keep reading. By page 150, I was hooked and kept reading. When I finished the book, I picked up The Girl Who Played With Fire the very next morning. I assumed that this would pick up right where the last left off, and I would be just as hooked as I was by the end of book 1. Unfortunately, Larsson’s beginning was a bit dry for my taste, but again I kept reading. Fortunately it didn’t take me 100 pages to get hooked on book 2.

By the time I finished and was ready to pick up The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, I was worried I would be let down with the beginning again. Fortunately, this one picked up exactly where it’s predecessor left off. I was hooked and it was painful to tear my nook out of my hands in the morning when I got to work — I needed to know what happened next.

Overall, I’d give the trilogy a thumbs up, but it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea. Larsson’s style may not have been up my alley, but his books were able to entertain me and at least at the end he left me wanting more.

books, books and more books

When I was younger, I always read a lot, especially during the summer. My public library had (and I believe still has) a program that rewarded you for how many books you read during the summer. We got a poster, gift certificates for a slice of pizza and free ice cream, but best of all, once you read 30 books, you got your picture on the wall when you read 30 books in a summer. Summer after summer my sister and I had our pictures on the wall and it was a competition between the two of us to see who could get there first. While looking back on it, you’d think the free pizza or ice cream would be the biggest prize, but no, you really weren’t anyone unless your picture was on the wall. Even after I was too old to participate in the program, I used to bike to the library and volunteer as on of the big kids you got to tell all about your book(s) you read.

Obviously, as with many others, by the time I was in high school, I didn’t want much to do with reading. When Harry Potter came out, I got hooked. I am not embarrassed to say that I own every book (having bought the later books at midnight on the day they were released) and I’m even proud of the fact that I have re-read the entire series more times than I can imagine — the entire series is reread every time a book or movie is released. As much as I was hooked on HP, I didn’t read much else other than my books for English class while I was in high school. Even when college started I wasn’t much of a reader. I began to read more during the summers between years in college as it was a good hobby to kill down time while lifeguarding all summer long. Even though I would realize my love for reading was still within me by the end of every summer, the fall semester would always begin and along with the spare time in the summer, my passion for reading went straight out the window.

By the end of college, my passion for reading was back. It came back when a friend of mine from college was given a book from someone at home, being told to read it and pass it along to someone else to read. It was kind of like chain mail, but a book (and only one). But the whole point was to read a good book, pass it to someone else to read it, have them pass it and so on, so eventually people reading the book had no idea who the person who bought the book was. (I forget what book it was, I’m working on figuring that out…). I don’t know how, but somehow I found the time to read a book for pleasure during the semester and I really enjoyed it and ever since then I have started reading more again.

Ever since I graduated college, it is common for me to be like Rory Gilmore and carry a book in my purse — though, I only carry it with me when heading to/from work, I don’t intentionally bring one with me to parties. The summer after college I was a lifeguard again and found more than enough time to read on breaks and rainy days, along with when I was home. Even now as a member of the “real world”, I have learned to find time to read on my commute or when I’m home in the evenings.

With all the reading I’m doing lately, I am tempted to ask for an e-reader for my birthday this fall as I feel it would save me money instead of buying books all the time. But then, do I really want to spend, or ask someone to spend that much money so I can save money? I mean, then I should just go to the library — it is right on Main Street and not out of the way when I’m home. But there’s something to be said for reading a real book. Having the book in your hands, the first time you crack open a brand new spine, and then there’s always one of my ambitions from when I was little — to have a library in my house (when I’m older and own one) with floor to ceiling bookshelves covered with books that I have read. Right now I have a small bookshelf that is overflowing with books, in addition to many books boxed up in my attic and a few piles of books strewn throughout my room.

So do I get an e-reader or not? It could save me room in my purse (especially when I’m reading HP and those hardcover books are huge…) but I would no longer have the books at my own disposal whenever I want. OK, yes, I would, but I couldn’t pass the books along to others, and sharing is out of the question. Which is what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. I’m currently reading a book which was loaned to me and I will be reading the next two books in the series by borrowing them from my friend. And I just read 7 other borrowed books and have another sitting on my desk waiting for me to read. While I don’t own these books, and won’t be able to add them to my collection unless I go out and buy them, I still get to experience all that I love about reading an actual book. And what’s even better about reading from a book you’ve borrowed, is the broken in spine and wrinkled pages. I don’t know, and maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s still something to be said for reading a well loved book.

The Edge

So I just came from my sociology class, it’s called Sociology of the Edge. We had to write a paper for today’s class with our reactions and thoughts after reading The Perfect Storm. A lot was going through my head when I wrote my paper and even more was going through my head today when we used the talking stick. We ust this stick so that everyone can speak freely without fear of interruption. People talked about how they didn’t know how the people on land we able to go on and how they were able to go on with no closure when someone died at sea. Some talked about what its like to live on the edge. And some people just talked about nothing in particular.

We then talked about the next book we are about to read, Tuesdays with Morrie. I know that this is supposed to be a good book and all that stuff and everyone i know who’s read it loves it. But honestly, I don’t want to read this book. I don’t want to think about the fact that my grandfather is dying. I don’t want to relive what it’s like to burry your loved ones. I just don’t want to touch this topic. Hell, I even avoided this topic in my paper for today as best I could. I just don’t like death and I don’t want to deal with it. Some people may think that this is just me going through depression or whatever, but no, I’ve moved on. I’ve accepted that my loved ones who have passed are dead and they have moved on to something better. I get that. I just don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want to think about when the next time will be. I’m not denying my grandfather is ill and basically on his death bed, I just don’t need a constant reminder of it.

But the one thing I am interested in reading is how this guy lives his life at the end. I have been told that he tells you to live your life and don’t be afraid of death. Honestly, I’m not. I’m not afraid to die today if that’s God’s plan for me. I mean, yes I would like to live a good, long life, but I can only do the best with what I’m dealt. I think I was 11 when I learned that life is too short and made a decision to never regret anything that I do. Some people think this is the stupidest way to live, but why not? I have fun, I enjoy life and I don’t dwell in the past wishing to change things I did. I am who I am today because of every decision I have made in life and even though I may have some rough times, I love the person I am, I love the person I am becoming and I wouldn’t do anything to change where I’m at.

I got an e-mail from my dad today titled “Fwd: WoW this hits home”, and it did. It had 21-life lessons that everyone should know and it really did hit home. Some of my favorites are…

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully…SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight…EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dream. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much…THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’…FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk…SIXTEEN. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson…TWENTYONE. Spend some time alone.”