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Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is sentenced to jail for libelous statements against a powerful businessman when contacted by Henrik Vanger, the elderly head of a very famous family.

Vanger offers Blomkvist information about the powerful businessman as well as a hefty payday if Blomkvist solves a family mystery–what happened to Harriet Vanger, the magnate’s young niece who disappeared decades before?

Mikael, assisted by the mysterious Lisbeth Salander, delves deeply into the family history, uncovers a deadly family secret–but is THAT secret the answer to the greater mystery of Harriet Vanger’s disappearance/murder?

I was initially reluctant to read this novel, because I had a promblem getting through the first 40 pages as well as the fact that I didn’t like the amount of hype it was getting. I am skeptical of the hyped books on occasion, just from a book lover’s standpoint.

But that reluctance was unfounded as I soon became addicted to the Milennium Trilogy’s first book. And then I did some research of my own into Larsson’s life. I purchased this book and decided to bookcross it. It’s a wonderful book and I cannot wait to read more of the series.

4.5/5

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
600 pages Vintage Crime
Trade paperback: June 2009 Retail: $14.00

Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter. And he’s been enlisted to find a group of unregistered, high-tech androids in futuristic (21st century) San Francisco. In this future, Androids are used in the martian colonies, but many try to escape to a better life on Earth.

His home life is bleak, he spends his days flipping through Sidney’s Animal and Fowl Catalogue–hoping for the day when he has enough money to replace his mechanical sheep for something living.

Philip K. Dick does a wonderful job creating an environment rich with imagery. It’s not hard to see why this 1968 novel was turned into Blade Runner in 1982. I’d always put off reading this novel, but the style of it was so good, that I really don’t know why I put it off.

I received this novel via Bookcrossing and intend to release it somewhere appropriate.

4.5/5

Zombies are big lately, and the outpouring of zombie literature can be somwhat frustrating–it’s hard to tell if it’s a good piece of original fiction or something we’ve already heard.

Enter Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament. No, it’s not based on a classic novel. No, it’s not a novelization of an upcoming movie–it’s a sort of newish story about a sort of newish zombie named Andy.

Andy is an adult man living in his parent’s basement. Like many of his contemporaries, he likes wine and attends group support sessions with some like-minded people (of course, the sessions are with other zombies).

Things change once Andy falls in love with Rita, another zombie from his group. Andy begins to question the established rules and laws governing zombies. He starts to protest, organizing his decomposing brethren…and begins to live more and more like a living and breathing…well, breather.

I liked this book, even though I felt like it could have been better. It’s definitely a new take on the zombie culture–I had no idea what to expect from a zombie’s point of view, as a love story, none the less.

I received this book from bookcrossing and went ahead and passed it on!

3/5

I first encountered Hillary Carlip in A La Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers, I reviewed it and Hillary herself contacted me to let me know she liked my video. The premise of that book was that she would find shopping lists and then have a photo shoot as that person–I recommend that book if you’re looking for a fun time.

The West Coast’s answer to Amy Sedaris, Hillary Carlip has done it wall–from dancing in the Olivia Newton John spectacular Xanadu to winning The Gong Show (and a kiss from host Chuck Barris). Carlip has protested and persevered–and with The Queen of the Oddballs and other TRUE stories from a life unaccording to plan, she’s dishing all the details.

Carlip’s conversational style, along with the memorabilia she has reproduced at the end of each chapter (or essay) that gives additional support to her wild and crazy stories–offering the ‘proof’ that the unsure reader is craving.

At the beginning of each chapter, Carlip outlines major events taking place in that particular year–a frame of reference, as it relates to major world events and events closer to Carlip’s heart.

If this is a life unaccording to plan, planning your life is overrated. Carlip makes the best out of things–giving an unsure reader trying to find themselves the confidence to live their life the way they feel it best–and making the best (and most) out of the natural course of things, just as long as they’ve given their all.

Published April 2006, by Harper Publishing. 288 pages. Available in ebook format and hardcover at Barnes and Noble.

Rating: 9/10:: Once I picked up this book from my Mt. TBR, it was really hard for me to put it down. I received this copy from Bookcrossing.

It’s a PAIN that these books are so short.

I joke about the title because Scumble River is a great escape, and every trip there is bittersweet because the book has to end.

In her eleventh full-length novel, Denise Swanson once again breathes life into our favorite school psychologist (and sleuth) Skye Dennison.
When murder hits a prominent afterschool and prom committee member, Skye tries to get to the bottom of the mystery. However, the road isn’t easy for the Scumble River girl as beau (and Sherrif) Wally leaves the town for a family crisis, her brother and best friend are having some relationship problems and the new school social worker who is everyone’s dream, turns into Skye’s nightmare.
Then there’s the threats, the warnings and the clues, which cause Skye to question whether or not she was the intended target of the murderer.
Reading Denise Swanson is like going home. Scumble River is any(small)town, USA (think of it as the everyman for small towns) and Swanson continues to write her ensemble cast of characters in a consistant and believeable way.
When is the next one coming out?

Pearlie lives live much like any other housewife in Northern California in the early 1950s. She dutifully works to keep the house clean, keeps her polio striken son as healthy and vibrant as possible and her husband happy and calm (so as not to aggrevate his heart condition. All seems well, or at least liveable (like her husband’s affair) until a knock at the door turns Pearlie’s world upside down.

A white man’s startling revelation about his relationship with Pearlie’s husband during their wartime stay in the hospital should tear her world apart; instead the revelation opens doors she never knew existed.

Pearlie and the man strike up an unlikely friendship and, ultimately, he delivers stunning plans for her husband, plans that will have huge ramifications for Pearlie and her son. Now Pearlie must scramble to put a price on love, a figure high enough to secure a happy future for herself and her son.

Greer’s language turns what might be an interesting story into a compelling, must-read book. Hailed by authors and critics alike, The Story of a Marriage, will stick with the reader for a long time.

Faith Duckle tries to reinvent herself at high school by losing weight at an institution after a failed suicide attempt. Despite the weight loss, Faith doesn’t make any waves until a single, violent act forces her to flee her home and meet up with a friend whose disappeared into a circus.

Faith, fearing capture, renames herself Annabelle and goes on a multi-state journey before finding the circus–only to find that her friend is long gone, his whereabouts unknown. She begins working at the circus as Annabelle, doing various grunt and dirty work until she becomes part of the show, thanks to her involvement with the elephants.

Throughout her physical journey, the Fat Girl she once was offers commentary and criticism. Most of the time, Faith/Annabelle fights with the fat girl, but when her newfound life at the circus is threatened, the fat girl teaches Faith/Annabelle a few important things and proves a well of strength.
I really liked this journey of self discovery, it is unfortunate that author Amanda Davis died so soon after it’s completion. The afterword by Michael Chabon memorializes this bright light of American literature that was extinguished too soon.

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