The upside to waking up for work at 4:30am is that it means I’m done with my shift at noon and have the majority of the day still ahead of me. My goal for months has been to read more – a goal I’ve had for about six years now but only finally have the time to accomplish!
I finally finished these!
I first started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when one of our regulars, Roland, brought it in to me after overhearing me say I wanted to read more. Roland is originally from Germany but has lived in a whole bunch of different countries throughout his fifty or so years of being a gourmet chef, including three years in Stockholm. He speaks fluent Swedish and lent me his copy of this book with a guide he wrote for me translating the handful of Swedish words, names, and places, that were left in their original form in the book. It was a really cool recommendation and a great incentive to read these books!
Overall, I LOVED the Millennium series, but it took me FOR-EV-ER to get through. The obvious research and fact-checking behind these books is seriously impressive; the details and intricacies in the plots that revolve around politics, journalism, mass media, crime, and history make it clear that the author did his homework. Consequently, the first 60-70 pages of each book, and a good chapter or so every time a new character or storyline is introduced, are a lot of background information, confusing Swedish names, and esoteric explanations. That’s probably why it literally took me a month to read the first fifty pages of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However, I blew through the last five hundred pages in about six days, because after you get through the set-up portion, these are insanely interesting books. They’re mysterious, intriguing, and suspenseful, and I think the fact this this is accomplished without any supernatural or fantasy elements makes it even cooler – the characters, events, and twists are driven by realistic (if very impressive) skill, conspiracy, and pure psychology.
Although I really liked all the books, I think I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo best. Looking back after having read all three, the comparative simplicity of the first book’s plot is sort of appealing in the way that it was just as compelling as the second and third while I was reading it, but without the added complications.
Another thing I really liked about the series was that I found the ending of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest to be pretty satisfactory. I knew that the author died before these books were published and had intended there to be ten of them, so I was worried that the third book was going to end on a cliffhanger that he’d been planning to wrap up in a later installment. However, I think he planned the series out pretty well in that the ending of each book (except the second) left you satisfied with the way things turned out, but still open to the possibility that more could be written.
These books were so good, and I found the main characters so compelling, that I was sad when I finished the last one. That feeling of actual sadness that I’m not wrapped up in the midst of the story anymore, that feels like I actually left a physical place, doesn’t happen with too many books for me, and is the sign of a really great read. The Harry Potter series and Ahab’s Wife are really the only others that I can think of where I felt like that.
Finally, how great is the cover art? That is some seriously cool graphic design. I’m jealous of whoever came up with that.
Okay sorry, I’m not really sure how this blog post turned into a book review. I think I’ve been out of school too long.
Anyway, now I can start these:
I know, I know, I’m about a year late to this party. Everybody has been talking about these books for months. They’re already popping up as 30 Rock references – and that is how you KNOW something has reached pop culture status. Although I’ve heard that The Hunger Games books are amazing and must-reads from multiple people, I have to admit I’m a little skeptical about getting in to “the next big series.” Last time I did that, I was a sophomore in college and decided to jump on “the next big series” bandwagon because people were constantly talking about someone named Edward and saying that things were dazzling and I wanted to know what was going on. And that was four books of my life that I will never get back.
I know, RPattz. I know.
Has anyone else read The Hunger Games yet? Find your opinions… and tell them to me (but no spoilers, please!). I have to get through them soon because the movie comes out in March and I’m a huge stickler for reading the book before you see the film.
Finally, since I guess we’re on the topic of books… is this really a thing?!
I mean, obviously it is, but I still find it amusing. The Dead Celebrity Cookbook… wow. I’m sort of intrigued by Michael Jackson’s sweet potato pie and Liberace’s sticky buns. This book could make for a very irreverent dinner party. My favorite kind.
P.S. I’m not intentionally only reading three-book series lately, it’s just happening. Penny told me at work today that we’re both looking like trilogy nerds and should make sure we don’t wear our Lord of the Rings t-shirts on the same day (it was a joke, we don’t actually have shirts… not that I wouldn’t gladly accept one). The point was that we’re dorks. Whatever. I wear that hat proudly.