Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Reading 2011

Every summer I look forward to the time off, the traveling and the warm(er) weather like anyone else. As a teacher I am especially thankful for the time to read some literature or new fiction and not think about my subject for a few weeks. Last summer I got into Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and this year I was looking for a real page-turner. After hearing several good reviews from co-workers and watching the first film with English subtitles, I decided to give the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series (a.k.a Millenium Trilogy) a go.

The Millenium Trilogy

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist that wrote this series in his free time. He died suddenly in 2004 (age 50) from a heart attack before seeing the books hit the shelves. The first in the series, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a suspense-filled crime novel about a journalist, Mikael Blomqvist, that is hired by the CEO of a large corporation to investigate the disappearance of his niece. He digs into the twisted history of the CEO's family with the help of a computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander that consequently has a dragon tattoo, and uncovers way more than expected. I found it very entertaining and it made for a good movie, even in Swedish.

While the first novel stands alone and sets up the characters, the last two in the series, "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" respectively, went together like one long novel. Not to give much away, the second novel is mostly an uncovering of Lisbeth Salanders past with a lot of government conspiracy theory going on. The last novel is more of a scramble of research for a major court case related to the second book.

I highly recommend this series if you like page-turning suspense books. They're all great escape novels that would (and have) made really good movies. While there won't be any more of his work being published, unfortunately, his long-term girlfriend has copies of his unfinished manuscripts for a couple more installments to the series and may try to finish them out for publication. Only time will tell.....

--Justin
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