Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books #1 and #2 of 2011

I've set a (probably crazy) goal of reading 100 books this year. Not sure if I can do it, but I'm going to try. So far I've read 2 books this year. Here's what I thought of them.

The first book I read this year was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It's the story of Arnold Spirit, the geekiest kid on the Spokane Indian Reservation. When Arnold decides he want to attend a high school off the reservation in order to get a better chance at the future, the other Indians on the reservation treat him as a traitor. But this is one of those books that's about so much more than the plot. We see Arnold growing and learning things about himself throughout the novel. It is both heart-breaking and funny, and for me it brought to light the struggles of a people group that are often pushed aside and forgotten. I listened to the audio book version of this book, read by the author. It was still a great book, but I was sad to miss out on the illustrations -- Arthur is an artist, expressing himself through his cartoons. For this reason, I would suggest to others to pick up the book version instead. I highly recommend this book! 5 stars

Secondly, I read the final installment of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Like the other 2 books in the trilogy, this one is very long and started very slowly. This was the last book Larsson wrote before his death, and I had read that it suffered from a lack of editing because perhaps he wasn't entirely finished with it at the time of his death. I would wholeheartedly agree with this assessment -- there was a lot, especially in the first 200 pages or so, that could have been edited out. And thank goodness for the notes on Swedish history in the back or a couple of times I would have been really lost! But once the story got going, I started to enjoy it more. By the end I was was really into it and I thought it was a satisfying conclusion to the 3 books. Like its sequels, this book is not for everyone. It is full of violence and at times hard to read. There are some lose ends left that didn't get tied up and one thing in particular I hoped would be included in the plot that wasn't, but overall I enjoyed the book after following these characters over the course of 3 books. 4 stars

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