Some of My Favorite Books

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oxygen by Carol Cassella

I finished reading Oxygen (but continue breathing it as I type) by Carol Cassella last night. This was a very good book on all counts:  it was well written, had a good plot, and had one of the most satisfying endings I can remember. And it was a such a nice change of pace from the Millenium trilogy. Those books were good, but I'm glad there were only three.

Throughout the book, there were hints (the major one that I picked up on immediately and kept waiting for it to be revealed) that kept you wondering what the whole story was of doctor Dr. Marie Heaton.

The author, Carol Cassella, is a medical doctor, an anesthesiologist to boot, and a fine writer. Makes me sick.

But more power to her. I do admire people who are talented in EVERYTHING they do. Dang.

Have you read Oxygen? What did you think?

Book Read:  Oxygen
Author:  Carol Cassella
ISBN:  978-1-4165-5610-7

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

I finished reading the last book of Stieg Larsson's, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, yesterday. I feel like I've been in another world reading these three books back to back. And although they were good, really intense and involved, I'm glad I'm done with them. Maybe I should have read something else in between, but the stories continued and it was a nice way to keep it all straight in my head.

I was able to do one of my favorite things yesterday. After I read the last 50 pages or so of the book, I then watched the movie. If you've seen the movies made of this book trilogy, you probably know there were two options, on the DVD any way:  watch it in Swedish with English subtitles or watch the English dubbed version. Here's what I did:

  • I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Swedish and read the subtitles.
  • I watched The Girl Who Played with Fire with English dubbed in.
  • I watched The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in Swedish and read the subtitles.

For me, reading subtitles is usually very annoying, but in this case, I found that listening to the fake dubbed voices took away from the movie. They didn't match up the voices well, to me, so I opted for the subtitles for the third.

Have you read these books? Seen the movies? Swedish with subtitles or dubbed English? Share your tales of this amazing girl.

Book Read:  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author:  Stieg Larsson
ISBN:  978-0-307-26999-7

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

As usual, when I get to the end of a book that grabs my attention, I read it more so I can find out what happens. I usually just read in bed at night for an hour or two, but lately have been reading the 500-page The Girl Who Played With Fire during the day too for a half hour here, a half hour there. I finished this book last night. It was sort of a letdown. The premise of this book was not as compelling to me as the first book and less believable. But it was entertaining, nonetheless.

After I finished reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I watched the movie. Here are my random thoughts:

-  The Swedish language/English subtitles was annoying. I'm a reverse snob; I prefer to hear it in English. Subtitles hold no glamor to me.
-  Some of the more interesting plot points from the book were omitted in the movie. But the movie was more than 2 hours long so I guess it was necessary.
-  Lisbeth was portrayed very well by Noomi Rapace. I enjoyed the interview with her describing what it was like "being Lisbeth" for a year and a half.

I have the DVD of The Girl Who Played With Fire and plan to watch it tonight. Love that!

I'm curious what others do. I seldom enjoy the book as much if I see the movie first. Do you like to read the book then watch the movie? Do you ever watch the movie then read the book?

Book Read:  The Girl Who Played with Fire
Author:  Stieg Larsson
ISBN:  978-0-307-26998-0

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Better Late Than Never -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson

Sometimes I live in my head and in my own little world so much that I miss when really good books hit the shelves. That happened with the Millenium series:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. The first, TGWTDT, was published in the U.S. in 2008, but I didn't hear about it till last year. I have been seeing the movies at the library but debated whether to read the books first, so never picked them up. I'm so glad I waited! All I'd heard was "they're really good but violent." Yes, on both accounts but I guess I read enough true crime and mysteries that the violence didn't bother me (that much). It is fiction after all.

I'm sure the movie will be good, but this first book in the series is excellent! I stayed up last night reading it till 1:30 then finished it this morning. The heat is back here; in fact, the temp got to 101 yesterday in Phoenix, but the mornings are cool. So, I took my coffee and book out by the pool and finished this book this morning. The Girl Who Played with Fire is waiting for me at the library. I will have to go get it so I can start reading it tonight.

In a tiny nutshell (a pistachio shell), Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander pull off the impossible in Sweden in a plot of corporate corruption and family scandal that keeps you turning the pages. The books were written by the late Stieg Larsson in Swedish and translated to English, which was smooth. No problems there other than the consonant-laden proper nouns that I pretty much glossed over. The only thing that tripped me up were the "weird" spellings, like gaol, skilfull, realised, stuff like that. No biggie, but I noticed.

Oh, and aquavit. I had to look that up since the characters drank it all through the book. According to that authoritative source Wikipedia, "It's a traditional flavoured spirit that is principally produced in Scandanavia, where it was already being produced in the 15th century. Akvavit gets its distinctive flavor from spices and herbs, most often caraway. It typically contains 40% alcohol by volume." Whoa jack! That's some powerful juice.

Have you read these books? Have you seen the movies? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Do tell.

Book Read:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author:  Stieg Larsson
ISBN:  978-0-307-45454-6

Friday, May 6, 2011

Living the Low Carb Life: From Atkins to The Zone by Jonny Bowden, a summary

Okey dokey, it's time to confess that I pick up nonfiction books and skim them. I don't read all of them cover to cover, but glean what I want from the highlights of chapters and move on. I don't usually include them in this book blog because I'm a stickler that way:  If I haven't READ it, it doesn't belong.

This time I'm making an exception because I wrote a Squidoo lens on Living the Low Carb Life and I did in fact read the guts of the book where Bowden reviewed each of the 14 low carb diets. Here's a link to my Living the Low Carb Life article, if anyone wants to take a gander. Pull up a chunk of bread (high carb) or a chunk of meat (low carb) and sit a spell.

By the way, I'm reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and it's long. It'll be a few more days till I finish it (and hope the library scrounges up a copy of The Girl Who Played with Fire for me so I can jump into that one), so this post breaks a lull in posting.


Related Posts with Thumbnails