Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Novel Glimpses (6)--The Book Thief, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ordeal By Innocence


Novel Glimpses is my feature for mini-reviews...really just a fancy name for them! The only difference than with my traditional mini-reviews is that I will include my Goodreads rating, something I do not do with my regular reviews. Feel free to participate...just credit me and link back if you do. (want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon).

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list


The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak
My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  I loved this book! As with any book that gets a lot of thumbs up and hype, I am always a bit skeptical that it is really as good as everyone says.  Well, in this case, the hype was totally right.  Not a typical novel surrounding Nazi Germany, the story is both inspiring and heartbreaking.  Experiencing the joy of a young girl's discovery of the written word is especially poignant.  It becomes her anchor in a world that is uncertain every day.  Zusak uses a clever narrator...Death.  An appropriate choice considering the amount of lives lost during World War II.  As usual, the Nazis' treatment of the Jewish people is shocking and sickening.  I could go a million years without having to visualize those acts in my mind.  As usual, when a book effects me in such a way that it makes me cry, it is an automatic five star book.  But do not let the sadness dissuade you from reading this book.  It is also a story of hope and, ultimately, personal triumph.

Reading Challenges
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Historical Fiction Challenge
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge
Historical Tour De Genre
Outdo Yourself

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?  I actually saw the Swedish film first and absolutely loved it.  I adore the character of Lisbeth Salander.  She is the anti-hero that everyone loves to cheer for.  I was worried that I wouldn't like her as much in the book, but I should have known.  The book is always better and it's obvious that the screenplay writer for the film and the actress who played her stayed true to the book.  I found myself scratching my head at points in the book, thinking that I really do not normally like this type of book.  The world of high finance and journalistic intrigue might normally be boring, but not in this book.  Larsson's skill as a writer makes everything come across as exciting.  The incorporation of a murder mystery...the Agatha Christie style 'locked room'...brings the story full circle and everything interconnects beautifully.  I have seen the sequels on film too, but I can't wait to finish reading the books in the series.  It really is a shame that Larsson passed away.  I can imagine that his future offerings would have been just as spectacular.

Reading Challenges
Alphabet Challenge--COMPLETED!
What an Animal Reading Challenge IV
Monthly Mix-up Mania
A - Z Mystery Author Challenge
Outdo Yourself

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  First of all, I have to admit that this is only the second AC book I’ve read. Shocking, I know! I’ve been meaning to read more of her and I do own several of her books, but the ever looming TBR pile is so demanding. It’s so hard to choose what to read next!

I liked this book immediately. I knew I did because it seemed like I was getting through it so fast. Granted it took me all day to read it (approx. 12 hours or so), but actually that’s pretty fast for me! It immediately grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go.  I’m not familiar with AC’s other books, so I’m not up on her usual structure, but I have to say, I liked this structure. It made me feel like I was part of solving the crime, but I was the clueless person on the CSI team who has no idea who to suspect.  The only other AC book I have read was Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence). I felt this book had a much higher level of suspense than the stories in that book, especially toward the end. It kept getting more and more suspenseful–more and more people seemed to be figuring it out and/or knew more than they were telling. I loved it!

I have to say that Agatha is the master! I am usually really good at figuring out the identity of the killer, but in this one, I was stumped almost to the very end. Only when Tina was stabbed and gave her cryptic clues after regaining consciousness did I finally know who was the murderer.  AC was excellent in what she did with her mysteries and I also really liked in this book that she raised questions of a psychological nature, such as nature vs. nurture and the art of parenting and the connection between a mother and her biological children. I do have to say that the very end (the exchange between Hester and Calgary) was a little corny, but I won’t fault Agatha for that little bit of lightness in this relatively dark mystery.

Reading Challenges
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Outdo Yourself
Agatha Christie Reading Challenge


3 comments:

I apologize for word verification, but I turned it off and had close to 50 spam comments within 12 hours (nobody has time for that) so I had to turn it back on. Sorry!

This blog is Award Free. I appreciate your thinking of me for an award, but please know that your comments are my award. Thank you!

  1. I loved The Book Thief, too. It's one of my faves. I've linked to your post on War Through the Generations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you liked Ordeal by Innocens, now I just need to get you reading more of her books.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Anna! It was such a wonderful book.

    Ryan--I LOVED that book! If all her novels are like it, I can't see me not liking them all. I am going to try to read her more often.

    ReplyDelete
- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf