What I’m Reading/What I’ve Read

I’m a little behind in my book reviews!

I finished The Book Thief in a matter of days. It looks imposing (560 pages) but it’s technically a young adult book so it goes very quickly. Overall, I liked it. I guess I should really start giving star ratings to these books / restaurants / shows / movies / other things I judge. I did find the book to be a little gimmicky. It’s narrated by Death and I thought that was sort of unnecessary and distracting, but it was really interesting to read a “Holocaust book” that followed non-Jewish people. I guess I never really considered how much the Germans who were not Nazi-supporters also suffered under Hitler.

Oh, and I hated the ending.

Image: Barnes and Noble

So for The Book Thief … 3.5 out of 5

Oh geez, this is why I don’t rate things. I’m already feeling guilty. Should I have given it a 4? No. I need to be firm.

Moving on. The Girl Who Played with Fire. Again, liked it a lot, didn’t LOVE it. I found it a bit stressful (I’m also the person who used to turn off Saved by the Bell and Full House before the main characters got in trouble because I felt like I was getting in trouble), but I couldn’t put it down.

The book is very exciting and I’ve been recommending the series to a lot of people. An issue I had with this second book had to do with the narration. Much of the book follows a female character, Lisbeth, and it became OVERWHELMINGLY obvious that it was a male author writing from the female perspective. It kind of seemed like the author just wrote out all his female and lesbian fantasies and tried to pass it off as how women really think and behave. For that reason, I would say I enjoyed the first in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, more.

Image: Barnes and Noble

So again, 3.5 out of 5

I reread Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants this week and I’ll write that up later. For now, if you’re not in the middle of a summer read, get your butt out there!

What I’m Reading

The first 40 pages of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were “eh.” Then I couldn’t put it down. 400 pages later I’m done and very excited to read the second part of the trilogy, Girl who Played with Fire. For some reason I was under the impression that the books in this series were geared toward teens but I was wrong with a capital W. There is some sick stuff in there and some very naughty $ex. (The dollar sign is so I don’t get bombarded with spam …because I would).

The story takes place in Sweden and the names of people and places are a little tough to deal with at first. I had no idea that so many consonants could be arranged together but apparently in Sweden they can. Hammarbyhamnen. Allhelgonagatan. Sodermanannagatan. Those are actual cities and streets. A Swedish movie was made and an English film is supposedly in the works. The title character is a real badass and very fun to read about.

For now though, I need a break from the characters so I’m about to start The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

From the publisher:

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I’ve heard very mixed reviews of this one so I’m looking forward to getting started. Have you read it?