Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Reviews

On the left hand column, I am going to keep track of the books that I read this year. I am linking all of the books to Amazon for those interested in learning more of these books. I am also going to put them in order of how much I liked the books, so you can keep track of what have been my favorite books through the year. Every month or two, I will give quick reviews of the latest books. Here is my first round of books, in order of what I like the best, for the year 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Most of you have probably heard a bit about this book. The author wrote several books at once and finally got this published and it has been a huge hit. He died this past summer but he still has those final couple of books that have been published and about to be published.

The book is about a large family corporation, the Vangar Corporation, in Sweden. The story centers around the disappearance of the niece of the CEO of the company. She disappeared over 30 years ago and he hires a guy to find out who murdered her as well as to write a family history of the Vangers. The person that is hired is a somewhat disgraced financial reporter who looks at it as a way to make some good money and possible unravel a mystery. His assistant is the quiet, dark researcher (the girl with the dragon tattoo) to help him figure it all out.

It is interesting for the first half of the book but some may feel it moves a bit slow. It picks up in 'excitement' as the book moves along. There are also some difficult spots in the book dealing with rape. Though not necessarily graphic in detail, it is not just briefly mentioned either, so be warned. Overall, it was a great tale though and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I really enjoyed this. For those that have not yet read Hunger Games, get on it. Then pick up this sequel to it. The basic premise is a society of 12 towns/cities under the rule of the main capital city. The capital city holds its Hunger Games once a year where 2 participants from each city are randomly selected to be a part of the games. They are then thrown into the 'game' where the winner is the last one who is alive. The rest are killed in these 'games.' Dark and thoroughly entertaining and Collins does a nice job with this sequel. I don't like the open-ended-ness of this book, but the 3rd book comes out this summer so I look forward to it.

The Pyramid by Henning Mankell
The writer of this book is an international bestselling author and he has written a bunch of stories about a policeman in Southern Sweden named Kurt Wallander. I was a missionary in Sweden so it has been pretty cool to read about the towns, etc. there as well. This is a collection of Wallander cases from when he just began as a cop, then to cases over the next 20 years. It fills a lot of gaps for this detective and it also gives some interesting cases. These books are not big time thriller books. Wallander is a pretty methodical cop who investigates and thinks. There are some action scenes but it is more of seeing how a good cop slowly figures out why a crime happened and who committed the crime. These books have been translated into English and I think that The Pyramid is a good place to start with these books. If you like it, continue on with the other 7-8 of them...if not, move on.

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
An older couple is brutally murdered in a quiet farming community during the middle of the night. The lead policeman, Wallander, is left scratching his head as he can see no connection to why this violent crime happened. The story takes some twists and turns and it follows the regular Wallander stories as he tries to figure out why someone would kill the old couple so viciously and how the murder was going to affect the community.

Rat Run by Gerald Seymour
This is written by a famous European author. The premise is good. A guy was a military officer and he was disgraced (accused of running away from a fire fight). He goes home to England and becomes depressed and lives in tract housing. He develops a friendship with an older woman but he never ventures outside of his apartment. One day, his friend is beaten nearly to death because he did not meet her at the station to pick her up late at night. He goes on the offensive, going after all of the drug dealers and drug warlords in the city. The story gets bogged down as it also deals with international terrorism, the English government and other governments. It is an intricate weaving of a story that often left me a bit confused.


The "K" in JKD said...

I always love a good book suggestion!

nielsons*love*family said...

just finished THE PYRAMID.
liked it~:O)

Anonymous said...

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samandbrodi said...

Kristine--I am only here to help! :)

Dorien--glad to hear...I have another book that I will bring by either today or tomorrow.

Anon--Rock and roll.