Weezie’s Reading Roundup: February 2011

I know, I know – I’m not exactly on the ball with the ol’ Month End Roundup, am I? But, you know how it is: Vacation leads to Lazy → Lazy has to go back to Work → Work results in Mental Blockage. Or something to that effect.

February certainly got out of here in a hurry. So, too, did my plans to read a variety of different books this month. Instead, I fell prey to a book sale that dovetailed into my penchant for sexy vampire TV shows. Yes. I am about 14 at heart. But I did jump on another book bandwagon that I’m happy to say, bears no shame.

So, without further ado:

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson
(Penguin Canada)

Now I get it. I get why, almost every day on my transit commute to work, I see someone reading one of the books from this riveting trilogy. I get why there’s a legal battle over the publishing of Larsson’s unfinished manuscript. I get why the movie adaptations all hit the market so quickly (and why – sadly – Hollywood has felt the need to produce Americanized versions of said films.) This crime thriller is a page-turner of epic proportions. We’re talking serial murder, financial fraud, corporate cover-ups, journalistic integrity (wait, what?) and a generational cover-up within a billionaire industrialist-helmed Swedish family. Oh, and a main character who kicks SO much fictional ass that I want to friend her on Facebook (were she real; which I know she’s not, but still…) So, if you’re even slower than I am when it comes to latching onto literary pop culture, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this gem. You won’t be sorry you did so.

Dead Until Dark • Living Dead in Dallas • Club Dead • Dead to the World
By Charlaine Harris
(Penguin Group US)

Sigh. I’m not proud. But Kobo had this marked down from $64 to $39. You throw in a daily promo of 20% off PLUS a balance remaining from a Christmas giftcard (not to mention an extreme appreciation for the HBO adaptation: True Blood) and, really, I had no choice.

Courtesy amazon.ca: Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life – and one of her coworkers checks out…”

There are, in fact, 8 books in this set and I’ve gone through the first four. Can I be honest? I’m not really a fan.  There. I said it. If it weren’t for the TV show (which, I’ve stated previously, I watch religiously), it’s a safe assumption that this series would barely have registered on my radar.  It was interesting to see how the various story arcs differ when compared to the small screen adaptations. If I may be so bold: True Blood has better writers. The show is sexier, raunchier, funnier, more suspenseful and has better dialogue. In fairness, yes, they were handed the source material with which to work. But the source material, in this case, serves as little more than character sketches and roughed out story ideas. The biggest issue I have with these novels is that they’re all written in a first-person narrative. Now, that in and of itself shouldn’t be a problem, but the thing of it is, this style can be tricky as it can very easily come off as poorly-written Mary Sue Fan Fiction. And, to me, this series fell prey. I mean – our protagonist’s main flaw is that she reads minds. She also happens to be leggy, blonde, gorgeous and terribly popular with all of the leading men in this series.  Life is hard.  That said – it’s likely that I will, at some point, read the remaining four novels (you can breeze through them in an evening or two) just to see how much further the storylines will veer from what we see on TV each Sunday. But I’ll totally be picturing Alexander Saarsgard when I do.