The Girl With the Millennium Trilogy Sequel?

Apparently, the longtime companion of the late Stieg Larsson (he’s the author of the wildly selling “Millennium Trilogy” – in case you’ve been living under a bookshelf) wants to finish off a fourth volume he had planned (and allegedly written about 200 pages of). There is an article at the NY Times about this, but not much more detail is provided. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. So much money is potentially at stake that I wouldn’t be surprised if we haven’t seen the last of Lisbeth and Mikael…

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/a-word-from-stieg-larssons-partner-and-would-be-collaborator/?ref=review

Are you one of the millions and millions of people who have read these books? Why do YOU think they’re so popular?

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Reading Update

So, lately I’ve done a lot of reading, but not too much blogging.  I’ll try to do better next month.  I have finished a few books that I’d like to report, however:

Early last week I finished Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  This was a very long fantasy/historical novel/romance novel blend which was recommended to me by one of my nephew’s former teachers.  It’s the first in a whole series of books with the same characters.  I don’t know if I’ll continue on with them or not, as this is outside my normal reading zone.  I hope to write in more detail about this book later.  It is set in Scotland, which is a plus for me as that country is my new ‘obsession’ it seems.

On Thursday, I finished Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox.  This was my book club’s reading selection for May.  Our meeting was well attended (almost 100%!) and everyone seemed to like it.  More on my thoughts later as well.

Saturday, I finished the second of the “Millenium” series of books by Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Liked this one a lot too.  Glad I read this just as the third book (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) was coming out, as things are a tangle of loose ends (is that possible? A ‘tangle’ of loose ends?  Who cares, I’m leaving it in here.) at the second book’s conclusion.  Yes, I already downloaded the third book and am about 20% into it already as well.

Also, I’m “almost finished” with the non-fiction book, The House Divides, a historical work about the years leading up to the Civil War.  Learning a lot, but it’s a bit slow going.  Became reacquainted with the life and deeds of Andrew Jackson as well while reading this. In fact, I almost picked up the biographical, American Lion while at Borders today, but held back.  “Old Hickory” was a total badass…

One funny thing I noted was that in the biographies – on the shelves in alphabetical order by subject – here was this single (though great) book about Andrew Jackson, followed by maybe ten books about Michael Jackson.  What does this say about the readers in America…?

“The Afterlife of Stieg Larsson”

Yet Another Article about Stieg Larsson’s books

New York Times writer-at-large Charles McGrath has a lengthy article this week on the author of “The Millenium Series” of books, Stieg Larsson.  The article can be found here.

This article also compares the title character to Pippi Longstocking, “the strong-willed character in Astrid Lindgren’s children’s books” and is not the first I’ve seen to do so.  I’ve never read any Pippi Longstocking, but now I’m intrigued…

Also, there is a lot of speculation (here we go again) about whether or not Larsson is the true author of the books, as apparently they represent a great leap forward in his writing skill.

His early demise at 50 years old has led to some ‘conspiracy theories’ that maybe there was something more to his death than the official story, but McGrath dismisses this with “But the evidence is close to overwhelming that Larsson died of a massive heart attack. Everyone agrees that he took terrible care of himself. He didn’t exercise, he smoked a lot and if he ever ate a green vegetable, no one has reported it.”

Lots of biographical info about Larsson and very interesting reading.

Newsweek Article about Stieg Larsson

More “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” stuff…

With the release of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest eminent (maybe it’s already available? – I think I saw it when shopping on my nook (R) reader), there was an article about the author in Newsweek.  It points out some of his ‘shortcomings’ as an author, but also acknowledges how he rises above them.  I too found some of the points the article makes (e.g. convenient coincidences and product “name-checks” to name a couple) mildly annoying during reading, but not enough so to not recommend the book.

My favorite quote from the article is “All three novels trudge along until she appears, and then an almost magical transformation occurs,” which I’d have to agree with wholeheartedly.

Also tantalizing is the mention that “Larsson was at work on a fourth when he died and had outlined two more”…

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I’d heard of this book via some other book blogs, and was tantalized by its ability to generate such a passionate following among its readers.  In spite of knowing almost nothing about the story, I went ahead and downloaded it to my nook®.  About the same time, a fellow-reader in my office went to see the movie (Swedish, with sub-titles).  I was about a hundred pages into the book and she – and another co-worker who read the book, but didn’t go see the movie – had kept ‘checking on me’ to see what I thought of it.  Up until that point, nothing too shocking had happened.  But then… things got interesting.  Graphically, violently and disturbingly interesting.  I then understood what my co-workers were waiting for me to get to…

However, looking past the violence, I found this book to be quite the page-turner and the character of Lisbeth Salander one of the most intriguing I’ve encountered in my 2010 reading.  Just as the USA Today review says (linked below), I begin to care and worry about ‘poor little’ Lisbeth as if she were real.  (I think this is similar to the attraction Mikael Blomkvist has in the novel).  I was rooting for her.  When she settled scores – for herself and others – I was right there with her virtually cheering her on.

It just so happens that the one theater in town that is showing this movie is about a mile from my workplace, so I also popped over after work last Wednesday to watch it.  Although it captured the overall feeling of the story, it did so while leaving  out a lot of the details.  Somehow it worked anyway, probably due in a large part to Noomi Rapace’s performance in the title role.

Noomi Rapace as “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

This may be the shortest interval I’ve ever had between finishing a book and seeing a movie version.  With it fresh in my mind (& knowing the story going in) I didn’t even mind the subtitles.

Thumbs up to both the written and film versions.  I have already downloaded the 2nd book in the “Millenium Trilogy”  (The Girl Who Played with Fire) and am about 1/3 of the way through with it already.  Stay tuned.

I found an interesting short review on the second book of the series here.  I believe it does a good job of describing the appeal of the Salander character, although I object to the writer’s labelling of Salander as a ‘computer nerd.’  She is so much more.

More new Book purchases!

Friday after work I stopped by “Jerry Musich’s Rare & Collectible Books” at 86th & Ditch on the north side of Indianapolis.  I was primarily searching for any Sir Walter Scott that he might have, but “all” he had was a complete set, which was (A) more than I wanted to spend and (B) too nice for me to read (I’ve mentioned before that I’m an inveterate highlighter/underliner and note-taker) since they were more ‘collectible.’  I ‘saved’ the trip by picking up a couple other books, though.

For my Project: Civil War, I bought a biography of Stonewall Jackson, Stonewall Jackson, Portrait of a Soldier by John Bowers.  Also, as a follow up to my January reading of Rex Stout’s Some Buried Caesar, I bought another Stout mystery, The Second Confession, which I look forward to reading. This latter book is older, and more of a collectible as it is the 1946 edition.  Pretty neat.

The other book was one I downloaded to my nook® and a title that will likely not be unfamiliar to you.  It’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  I’m already about 15% into this one just from reading this morning.  It comes highly recommended on several of the blogs I follow, and I confess I find Lisbeth Salander quite an intriguing character.  I’ll write about this book when I’m done…

Here is a link to a quick summary of the bookstore.