The Joy of a Good Summer Read
REFLECTIONS: On Official Stupidity

Favorite Vacations

I've known since last week that this one would be busier than usual: meetings with several potential reverse mortgage lenders, a lot of reverse mortgage homework, some plumbing work here to oversee and several other obligations – in addition to the usual chores and errands and TGB work.

Even while recognizing it could cut into the time I needed for other things, on Sunday I began reading a novel that from reviews and recommendations, I could pretty well guess would be unputdownable (if you'll forgive the nonce word). And I wasn't wrong.

Mage of Postcards: Sorry, no review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo except to say if you like well-plotted mysteries or police precedurals with a couple of fairly compelling protagonists and writing that in some places is good enough to make you jealous, go for it. It's much better than most summer reads.

Pat Temiz: I'm glad I haven't bought the other two books in the series. If so, I'd have to give up the blog for the next week or two. I'll get the second one only when I know I have a couple of free days.

It's been so long since I've read a novel that I had forgotten how much fun it is to lose yourself (“drown” as Ashleigh Burrows of The Burrow aptly puts it) in a long, compelling story. I read a lot of non-fiction – aging-related, politics, history – and I enjoy them, but putting them down isn't difficult like a page-turner of a novel.

While having a great, good time reading and simultaneously feeling guilty about ignoring TGB over the past two days, I could almost hear my mother saying, as she so often did when I was kid, “Ronni, put down that book and go outside. Go ride your bike.”

In those days, I'd sneak the book with me and as soon as I was out of sight of home, I'd sit under a tree and continue reading. Maybe that's why I have never disliked rainy days – they are good excuses to stay in and read.

It hasn't changed; I've always been that way. When I'd grown up and couldn't wait to find out what happens next in a book, I do the minimum I could get away with at work without screwing up anything, then shut my office door and read. (This is, of course, before some jackass invented cubicles.)

At least once, I stayed up all night to finish a good book and then called in sick to work so I could sleep during the day. Most of the time, after an all-night reading binge, I dragged myself into the office, but for all that got done, I might as well have stayed home.

Always, my happiest kind of vacation has been to take a stack of books to wherever I was going. Let others wear themselves out traipsing through every ancient castle in the vicinity or studying every painting in the city's museums. That goes only so far with me, then I want to lie back in a comfortable chair, put up my feet and lose myself in a book. Now THAT'S a holiday.

I think I'll assign a week not too far in the future as my vacation, shut down the computer for the duration and read the rest of the Stieg Larsson trilogy.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Jerry Rasmussen: T-Shirt Testimony

Comments

Being in the middle of a good book is like having a good friend waiting for me, one I don't have to feed or entertain.

When I was in college, the local librarians always laughed when I'd show up during summer break to go off with a whole pile of books. Even now when on any trip, I take a lot as who knows what I'll want to read. Your description of that book sounded so good that I added it to my Amazon list. The only complaint I have about such books is when they come to an end!

And when you've read all three you can join the rest of us wondering why Larrsson had to die when he planned to write ten!

I agree with Pat; why did such a talented author have to die? His style is unique and compelling. I couldn't put the book down either and am waiting to start on the second one until my out-of-town company arrives (or not). I know I will resent the time taken away from Stieg once I begin his second book. It beckons me on my night stand every night, but I am standing firm until I finish the book I started while waiting for Amazon to ship the next two.

I saw the publishers on Charlie Rose talking about the book and the movie. Then I read about Stieg's companion of thirty two years who was cheated out of an inheritance due to Swedish laws. She didn't even get the apartment that they had owned and shared all that time. She is suing his father and brother who ended up with the many millions these books are making. What a bummer. It was said that Stieg was estranged from his father. His companion helped him edit his books and certainly is entitled to the rewards. The law is an ass.

You all got me excited to get the book. I went to my library's website catalog only to find that there are 64 people ahead of me! Guess I'll have to break down and buy it. I love crime/mysteries and am anxious to find a new author. Thanks for the lead.

I read this book a few months ago & while I enjoyed it & couldn't put it down, I finally had to admit that great literature it is not.......but that's not to say it is entertaining as heck! And I intend to read the other two in the trilogy. :)enjoy. Dee

I found the first book really engrossing but was less engaged by the next two. I think they need some heavy editing. I was eager to follow the plot line but found myself skimming big sections of text. I'll be curious to hear your response to the next two volumes, Ronni.

The summer I was 16 I started reading Gone With the Wind in the morning & finished it (over 1,000 pages)late at night of the same day. My claim to fame. Gone With the Wind is a book for 16 year old girls, I think.

Annie - you finished GWTW in one day?

Godd grief and Miz Ellie's portiers!

(Confession - I have GWTW at least a dozen times, and plan to reread again in the not too distant future. The O'Hara clan is now like my second family...and I have to visit now and again.)

I read, and I read a lot. I love the feeling that you described as you read this book: reading so fast to gobble up the story, but all the time worrying that you are getting too close to the end, when it will be done and gone. I will have to read these books. I did not hear good reviews of the movie-actually a television version. Movies are never as good as the book.

I'm just like you, never read novels, but decided to give "Tattoo" a try on the recommendation of a friend. I was totally hooked. I've just begun book 3. You ain't seen nothin' yet. Salander is made for trouble.....

And I agree that the premature death of Larsson is a huge loss. At least we got this much. No, great literature it ain't, but good storytelling is in a class by itself.

Wish I'd seen that Charlie Rose show.

What's a reverse mortgage? Does the bank pay you?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
(as if that'd ever happen).

I never got the Harry Potter buzz, so being an avid Stieg Larsson fan has been great fun. I have to admit to reading the three books, listening to the three audio books, and seeing the three movies (all have been out earlier in Europe than in the States). I even watched Charlie Rose interview Larsson's US publisher and his Swedish editor.

Can't say what has gripped me with the stories, except the complexity of plot mixed with diversity of characters really ignited my imagination. (I do have to admit though that there have been parts of violence I can not read or watch.)

"Put down that book and go outside." Said by my mother to me, many times. But, that's how you learn to write--you read and read and read.

I had thought I would skip the Stieg Larsson novels. I had assumed they would appeal more to the young set--you know, the kids with all those tatoos. Guess I will have to give them a try.

I had to laugh, Ronni. I've just got back from N. Spain visiting a sick friend and had a hard time tearing myself away from this book when there. So when I read your entry yesterday, I wondered if you'd been reading Stieg's first book. Hey presto, I found out today. "Drowning in it" is a perfect description, and like another comment, I find I'm delaying reading the second one until I can have a good, uninterrupted run at it. Meanwhile, am raving about it to OH.

"Funny little thing with nose stuck in a book" was my family's description of me....nothing's changed in 65 years.

My mother always used to say I would 'read a taffy paper'!

Taffy = toffee

I've got my Kindle loaded with 110 books with me while I explore the Outer Banks of North Carolina in my truck camper. Since leaving Austin in early May I covered about 2500 miles of the highways & byways of America and I would say that "The kids are OK"
No book reports- saving that when I get off the road after Labor Day or when there's a cold day in Hell (I mean Austin)
Caught 2 Bluefish on one cast the other day while fishing on Okracoke Island, NC

I'm with you on this one Ronni. I finished the trilogy a fews ago and it was like eating potato chips, only better. I downloaded the third to my Kindle at about 11pm one night after finishing the 2nd because I couldn't wait to continue. So tragic that his death at such a young age has stopped the flow, although I understand that his life partner has his notes for another book and says she knows where he wanted to take it.

On the subject of vacation....our Philadelphia Inquirer this Sunday in the Travel Section featured a wonderful destination....Portland, Oregon...."It's a clean, green and progessive city...." Just one of the quotes. It was a great article and made me want to visit sometime.

I got hooked on audio books when I was doing a lot of pretty boring research.
Simon Vance, who reads the trilogy has a remarkable voice.
My mother used to read to us, ergo when I load an audio CD, I say, "Tell me a story".
I too, saw the Charlie Rose segment on TV. He took much of his material from a well written piece from the New York Times.

I wouldn't go anywhere without my Kindle - especially vacation. Thanks for the post!

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