I updated my To Read List and also wanted to throw out a few books I’ve read in the past 6 months that I really recommend. The first is The Hunger Games and the rest of the trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The third book, Mockingjay, comes out August 24th. Though I know of a certain online media guru that got ahold of an advanced copy! No fair! (See fansite Mockingjay.net for enthusiastic updates). This is very interesting teen sci-fi series. It has emotion and character development unlike a lot of other teen series out there and you simply cannot put it down once you begin the first chapter. Every person I’ve let borrow my copies have sent me angry texts at 2AM asking why I let them borrow because they have to work at 6AM and can’t stop reading. That’s always a good sign. :)
The other series I read was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The writing wasn’t actually that fantastic (though it is a translation), and the beginning was kind of slow, but once Larsson develops the characters a bit you will be intrigued to see when he takes them. The second and third books, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest get increasingly better with every chapter. I feel the first book was more of a prequel to the next two: it sits completely apart from the rest of the trilogy and serves more to introduce the characters and their relationships. I was sweating as I read the last third of the last book because I knew how it would end but couldn’t see how Larsson was going to tie up all the loose ends! I’m very sad he isn’t alive to write more Swedish wonders, but I hear there are actual incomplete drafts of a fourth and fifth book. Due to a bunch of legal issues they probably won’t be published for a while, if ever.
The Swedish movie adapted from the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was also excellent. I am curious to see how the American version will do in comparison. They haven’t casted who will play heroine Lisbeth Salander yet, but there is so much expectation surrounding that role that it could blow the whole production if it’s not a good fit.