Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Girl Who Played With Fire written by: Stieg Larsson

Where do I begin? This book to put it quite simply was...gripping. Lisabeth Salander is quite honestly an amazing woman. As far as main characters go she is just all around dynamic and kick butt, a real modern day kick ass take names kinda gal. After having read the first book in the series "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." I did not know where this story was going to go, after all Mr. Larsson had written a true masterpiece with his first book with Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. I am glad it did not end with that book though. This time though, the book had even more puzzles and layers to go through. All of the characters in this book lent something to the tale. The beginning was such a nice delight and very foreshadowing in its brightness and delight and then becomes darker until soon all hell breaks loose. We the readers learn more and more as he story goes and have insights to all the scenarios going on. However, that does not mean we will know the answers any faster. No, we're left scratching our heads and gripping the book flipping pages rapidly trying to figure out what the hell is going to happen. This book also shows a pattern, and made me so angry, infuriated actually at how the authorities who are supposed to serve and protect botch everything so royally. What is on paper is not always true as we've learned throughout history. I dare not give any of this book away, but the investigation and how the general public takes this news. The people who grace Salander's world whom are as close to friends are so fantastic themselves I enjoyed reading their stories and their venomous and quirky responses to the accusations brought against their friend. This book I would easily have stayed up all night reading. Every free moment I had, my hands found this book and I read as much as possible. I was delighted also to see Blomkvist in this tale, though not as central as a character this time, he played a very important role. I am very torn now as the book ends in such a way that I wish I could go to a book store now and begin reading the next book, but I shall refrain from doing so, best to enjoy this story before I delve further into this perverse world of Salander where those who should help screw you over and those who are expected to lie down and take their licks stand up in the most odd and at times very illegal ways sometimes with a gun, taser, keys, etc, or simply with a mac book, good reporting, and just plain old guts. Again a very gripping and fantastic story that will just have your head spinning and wishing you had a fraction of the main characters brains so you understood what the hell was going on. Cheers to Stieg Larsson

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Written by Stieg Larsson

Let met tell you all, I was very skeptical about this book before I began reading it, and only became more so as I was reading the beginning chapters. I had no clue where this story was going to go, and even more confused as two very distinct and seemingly unrelated tales were being brought before me. Since this story takes place in Sweden it was also quite foreign to me seeing as a lot of words and settings were not familiar to me. Then I kept reading, and like the main male character Mikael Blomkvist I was drawn further and further into the story and the layers upon layers of facts and mysteries that kept cropping up. The other characters too were confusing and everyone at some point seemed suspect in the over arching plot. The other main character Lisbeth Salander it also a big mystery that we learn a little bit about throughout the story. The characters themselves are pretty unique and special in their own ways and quite extraordinary together. They are totally different in both generation and social class, but their curious natures and convictions really bring them together. Mikael was a breath of fresh air and though a bit of a Tom cat he was a new age gentlemen with a boyish charm and a real mission. Salander has a mission of her own with her own codes and means to get her results. Though a bit crass and scary she thinks before she acts, and seeing how the world looks at her it is no wonder. The writing was very interesting too, it was so precise and very detailed, but flowed effortlessly. The pace of the book just kept me captivated and fully invested in the story. This story was by no means happy if anything the small plot points are quite dark and upsetting. The end leaves you wondering if anyone actually wins.  I highly enjoyed this book, and have the second one in my possession and wonder where this author is going with this dark technical world he has created.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Enchanted Again, More Erotic Bedtime Stories for Women. Written by Nancy Madore

The first glance, the meeting, romance, and eventually love, and a wonderful partnership, marriage if you will between two people. (or more if it works) A glorious tale for each couple as each gives something of themselves to the other and in doing so create something wholly unique for themselves. The outside world may not see this, or if they do they can not completely understand it, but each person recognizes what it is, some form of love. The first book by Nancy Madore called "Enchanted." was breathtaking for me. From beginning to the end the book itself created wonderful even delicious tales of passion and then partnerships that still were infused with the first embers of passion to create an everlasting fire.

This book however, Enchanted again did not do that for me. Where the first was romantic and sweet, this was passionate and bitter. The stories though erotic at times felt more like a traditional fairy tale in it was telling a bittersweet or often times just bitter story. The women in these tales did not strike me as fair or trying to empower themselves and to create a wonderful relationship, but rather they were out to find something perfect and would not work for perfection over time but wanted instant gratification or really to just enjoy the hunt for love. These tales left me sad and pitying the women in these tales and the men. The relationship really did not have trust. One story did and I cherished the tale, and found myself wanting to pluck it out of the book and rescue it from its companion stories. If anything the book was more of a warning to women and perhaps men when it comes to relationships. This book felt so jaded, perhaps I am not cynical enough to appreciate the stories, but even if I was I did not find myself enchanted in fact I found myself thrown into ice cold water and forced to sit outside at night with no blanket wishing some warmth existed in the world. I wonder what the author was trying to say in this book, but for an erotic book it was just not my cup of tea. Rather it was bitter and cold mostly. Perhaps some people would enjoy this tale, but for me to not have trust or willing to build something with your partner honestly just does not seem to be love. I do not think I will read this book again anything erotic and sexy was washed out with the bitter messages, and it was just too harsh.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Practical Magic Written by: Alice Hoffman

For more than two hundred years the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in Town. That seems like a long time to fear a family especially one that helped so many of the towns people. Well, this is rare I read a book which I saw the movie based off of the book first. Usually it is the other way around, I will first read the book then see the movie. I was surprised, I actually enjoyed the book. The book was very different than the movie more a second or third cousin rather than the Practical Magic I saw as a young girl and recently as a young woman. This story was told very uniquely. It was similar in its writing as American Pastoral telling the future as it told the present story, but it did it in a few paragraphs rather than pages. The Owens women were delightful they were beautiful, sassy, mysterious, and all together unique and typical of the female sex. Each women had her own good and bad qualities and had both very selfish personalities, but also very compassionate personalities all in one. Forgive me for being so contradicting, but people are in themselves quite contradicting. It was very interesting how love came into play in this story for the youngest of the Owens women to the oldest, and how it affected them each in turn. The movie showed these women as actual witches with quite impressive powers. The Owens women in this book still have unusual abilities and an odd way about them especially their luck and some very odd garden growth, but they appear more as kitchen witches and women who know very well what to do with herbs and believe in old charms. As its title says "Practical Magic". The book was enjoyable it had its moments where I wished more was said, but a good story none the less, if you love the movie put it out of your mind while reading this book as many things were changed. But, give the book a chance you may like it more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Myths of The Norsemen Written by: Helen A. Guerber

Odin, Frigga, Thor, Tyr, Bragi, Idun, Niord, Frey, Freya, Uller, Forsei, Heimdall, Hermod, Vidar, Vali, The Norns, The Valkyrs, Hel, Aegir, Balder, Hoder, Loki, these are the Aesier or the Gods. The myths of the Norsemen was such an awesome book! I could not get enough of Odin and his companions. I learned so much about these God beings. Even the Giants, Dwarfs, Elves, and the sagas involving the mortals. It was so fascinating to learn about how the Norsemen defined themselves, and their beginnings.Also, to learn about the different worlds Midgard being the mortal world.  I kept making notes and really enjoyed what culture I discovered reading this book. Unlike the Celtic culture I was delighted to see that the Norsemen cared for their wives and that there were Gods who would bless happily married couples and want there to be love in a marriage. There was great honor and worship in the mortals who followed there Gods, but there was also the weak and evil. Even with the Gods they too like the Greek Gods did all they could to get out of unsavory deals they may have been forced to make. It was also interesting to learn that the Gods were not all immortal and relied upon another Immortal god to keep them young and strong. The book really went into detail to help you figure out how the Gods worked in the Scandinavian world especially with the days and seasons. I really found it fascinating how the old cultural ways of these people influenced so many saying and practices of today. This was a great book to learn a decent amount of the Norse Mythos. I hope to read more on the Norse culture and their heroes and Gods/Goddesses. Something that really was amazing is that these people had such faith in their culture and ways that the wooden posts on their homes would have generations of knowledge carved upon them as well as the stories of their Gods and heroes. When Christian and other world powers were forcing them from their native lands they took their wooden posts with them and sailed the seas. When they reached a port and body of water they would cast the wood into the sea and wherever it landed finally would be where they would make their new home regardless of the conditions. Quite remarkable that most of the tales and stories from these people are taken from these surviving posts.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Enchanted, Erotic Bedtime Stories for Women Written by: Nancy Madore

Erotic bedtime stories for Women. Well, this book was given to me, and needless to say I laughed at first. After all I had only ever read one other Exotic book before and it too was based off of a classic tale. The forward in the beginning also gave me pause and made me wonder what exactly it was I was going to be reading. This book however, was not based on just one tale, but many. There are 13 stories in all, and each one I really rather enjoyed. They are twists on classic stories that really do tell the story from a women's point of view, and how the story should have went in some cases were a woman able to control her own fairy tale. The book itself sends a message to empower women and to embrace themselves and their own sexual desires. And, while doing so to not be shameful of embracing either. I love how Nancy Madore kept telling women in her tales to not shy away from their desires. The stories were clever and rather witty. I found myself laughing and falling in love a few times. I do not know if I'll ever be able to tell these tales to children without a new outlook or smirk on my face when I do, but really the tales were so... enjoyable, arousing and yes quite tantalizing in its telling. I urge some of you to go out pick up this book hunker down for the evening and prepare yourself for some blush inducing bedtime tales.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, Written by:Daniel Wallace

Star Wars, well, I must admit I am not a die hard fan of Star Wars, I find a lot of events, and even the technology contradicts itself, but it does add authenticity to the Star Wars universe since our own is just as contradicting. That being said, I do enjoy the movies the original and somewhat of the new. I did enjoy some Sith books, and even a few books on tape, mostly due to my husband, and inlaws. Well, the Jedi from what I have seen have not overly been explained in a lot of these movies and books. The Jedi Path though it was not by any means detailed was insightful. I felt like it was a guide to help you figure out what you wanted to know and gave you those terms to look up in other books. So it was a good reference book. I also enjoyed the little comments made by the "Jedi" The illistrations were pretty cool too. I do enjoy how it made mention of the other species and force users as well. I did not realize so many other creatures/planets used the Force. The book was an easy read, and for those of you who know the Star Wars Universe you may find yourself smirking and even laughing over what you know. After all this book is supposedly given to a youngling and studied/referenced until Knighthood. So It begins first in Yoda's hands and ends in Luke's. I am not giving away plot the book says so even before the first page. It was an enjoyable read, and I found myself asking my more Star Wars knowledgeable husband questions concerning the book and what it was making reference to. A good read if you want to further know the mysterious Jedi Order.
Ps. Happy Birthday to Stormy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Proven Guilty Book 8 Written by: Jim Butcher

Happy B-lated Halloween to all of you! I could not wait to log onto a computer and tell you about the latest book I have had the pleasure of listening to! I am so happy that these books are unabridged. That way I get every juicy little detail right down to the smart ass jokes Bob the Skull tells to the whitty Relgious banter between Harry and Michael. Book 8 in the Harry Dresden series titled Proven Guilty, written by Jim Butcher, and read by James Marsters. Was just fabulous! I had started listening to this book a few weeks ago on a road trip, but it being such a long book had to wait to finish it on this latest trip to VT, now the splitting of the trips proved even better. The first half of this book takes place in a more populated area Chicago of course, but also in a setting that is dear in my heart. I will not tell you what venue exactly, but for those of you who appreciate badges, long lines, and small glimpses of a nerd hero you will totaly appreciate this. The plot was very technical as always and I found myself wishing I had a hat to grab onto and chew just to contain my excitement. My husband who was driving I also caught having shocked faces and sudden gasps at what was occuring. Harry did not dissapoint, neither did some other very loved characters. This book was not exactly fast pace but rather gathered more intensity as it went along. Of course there were a dozen or so things coming for Harry at every angle.

Of course you will probably be frustrated at how human and thick skulled everyone is, but that makes it all the more real in a very non-fiction book. The second part of the book was listened to, and this could not have been more perfect! On the way to VT during a snow storm! I was shocked October and that much snow, but it only added to the perfect setting that Mr. Butcher was already describing, the characters find themselves in a not so very good place. Want a hint? Bob the skull is promised by Harry he will not take him with him, but rather bring him home before they set off on their quest. The story is amazing and so many questions are becoming clearer, but not the answers. A new big question has been asked, and another one answered. Friends stay true and yet something is very off.

I simply want to know more about Mouse, and what is going on with this oh so special Dog and of course Mr. the cat. I also found myself sitting on the side of the road the book having concluded going... what next? This book really picked up some new trials for Harry to face, and I really want to know again, what next? So, I cannot wait until the holidays are here, yes more driving, but more Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden too.