Thursday, September 2, 2010

If Not Knitting, Then Reading

Here's a few of the books I've read lately. I'd recommend every one of them.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. OMG what a wonderful, and wonderfully written, book. In one of the reviews on Amazon, the reviewer pointed out that you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. Her name is Lisbeth Salander and she is a computer genius. She can find out anything about anybody.

Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist who is about to go to jail for a few months, is hired by Henrik Vanger to find out what happened to his great-niece Harriet four decades earlier. She just disappeared and no body was ever found. Mikael takes the job, reluctantly, because the powerful person he "libeled" is threatening to close down his news magazine if he does not quit the organization. Mikael hires Lisbeth to help him. They have to delve into Vanger family history, which makes a few people quite nervous. Mikael and Lisbeth uncover all kinds of things about the Vanger family; some are sad and some are shocking.

Lisbeth is a strange person. Labeled as mentally handicapped when she was a child, she has been under the supervision of a guardian all her life. When her old and benevolent guardian retires, she gets assigned to a new, and unscrupulous, one. This man violates her in several ways. Lisbeth is absolutely not mentally handicapped and sees the world quite clearly. She decides to teach her guardian a lesson he will never forget and she manages to scare the ever-loving shit out of him, thus neutralizing him. That scene alone is worth the price of the book.

Stieg Larsson, who died in 2004, was a talented storyteller, to put it mildly. He wrote mysteries at night to relax. I have yet to read the other two books in the series, but they are definitely on my reading list.


Changing Habits, by Debbie Macomber. This was an interesting novel to read, but it is not one of my favorite Macomber books.

Three young women enter a Minneapolis convent: Angelina, who believed she was called by God; Kathleen, whose devout Irish Catholic family always assumed that she would become a nun; and Joanna, who is trying to escape the heartbreak of having her fiance come home from Vietnam with a pregnant bride. These three women spend years in the convent, all as teachers in the convent school. They each face a crisis and finally decide to return to the secular world. Most of the book is taken up with their lives as nuns, then the action jumps to a reunion that marks the closing of the convent, long after they have settled back into society. The ending was satisfying but you see it coming.


Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie. This was a rollicking good mystery slash love story. Nell Dysart, recently divorced, gets hired at a run down detective agency, owned by Gabe McKenna and his cousin Riley. Nell and Gabe each think that the other will be easy to handle, but boy are they both wrong! Nell wants to spruce the place up, but Gabe wants everything left the way it is, as his father left it. There is a butting of heads but also some sparks flying. In her efforts to clean the office, Nell finds some interesting stuff, which brings up all kinds of questions. Bodies start hitting the floor, adding to the other questions.

I enjoyed this book, and I will read more of Crusie's novels. It was funny, well-written, had a good love story, and the mystery part was excellent. Go read it.


The Goddess of Fried Okra, by Jean Brashear.

(I confess. I lifted this review straight out of Amazon.com.)

Grief. Hope. Love. Sword fights. And the crisp glory of fried okra. Ex-cocktail waitress and "convenience store professional" Eudora "Pea" O'Brien is filled with grief and regret, low on cash and all alone. Headed down the hot, dusty back roads of central Texas, Pea is convinced she'll find a sign leading her to the reincarnated soul of the sister who raised her. A sign that she's found her place in the world of the living again. At least that's what the psychic promised. In an unforgettably funny and poignant journey, Pea collects an unlikely family of strays--a starving kitten, a pregnant teenager, a sexy con man trying to go straight, and a ferocious gun dealer named Glory, who introduces Pea to the amazing, sword-wielding warrior goddesses of Texas author Robert E. Howard--creator of the Conan the Barbarian novels-and celebrated in festival every year. Six foot tall, red-headed Pea looks good with a sword in her hand. Glory, the goddesses, and a grandmotherly café owner become Pea's unlikely gurus as she struggles to learn swordplay and the art of perfect fried okra. She'll have to master both if she's going to find what matters most--her own lost soul. "Jean Brashear writes with warmth and emotion truth. The depth of her understanding of human nature marks her as a writer to watch, a writer to read and a writer to enjoy." Cathy Maxwell.

This book was one of those serendipitous finds on Amazon. I was browsing and this one came up as a FREE Kindle edition. I read the reviews and decided I might like it. And it was FREE. (I don't know why it was free, but it's not now.) Anyway, I downloaded it and enjoyed it very much. Brashear really draws you into the story.

OK, that's enough for today. I'll have some more later. Y'all take care!

1 comment:

Theresa said...

I may have to read that book about the dragon tattoo yet. No kindle for John yet. bleh.