What happened to Monday???

I guess I was hanging out with the Littles!  Forgot about the Monday meanderings or musings.  So.  Here we are.

I finished “Firefly Lane,” with tears, and haven’t started another book yet.  My box of books arrived from B&N but I finished my June Oprah magazine and even started July’s!  It’s all about summer book reading, so I’m sure I’ll get plenty of book ideas from there!

But I am going to start Jane Green’s “The Beach House” tonight.  I’ve read many of J Green’s books and enjoyed them all mightily.  I am sure I won’t be disappointed!  I’m waiting patiently for everyone to finish ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” so that we can meet and discuss it fully.  I can’t wait.

Then what’s next?  “Best Friends Forever”?  “Belong to Me”?  Although I read that it is the second book about the same characters so I probably want to look for the first book before I read “Belong to Me.” “The Stormchasers”?  So many choices… Hopefully it’ll be easy to choose!

Well, off to read!  Happy Tuesday!

Book ramblings…

Well  I ran out and saw the movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” last Tuesday, and it was good – well-made – but terribly simplified from the book.  The book is complicated, as I might have said before, and this movie focuses in on parts of it.  I’m glad that I read the book and I can’t wait to read the second.  I heard that there is another movie in the works already – maybe coming out this summer?  I talked with two people today who saw the movie last night and hadn’t read the book.  I’m not sure if they will read it after seeing the movie, and I wonder if it would enhance it either way?  The book is a lot less graphic than the movie was – a lot more “matter of fact” about what was happening.  I saw the preview of the movie and didn’t know if I’d even like to read the book – and there was a point in the book when I wanted to put it down and stop reading because I thought it was going to get too scary, but it didn’t.  It just kept going and kept me in there, wanting to know what was going to happen.

So, that’s that.  Can’t wait for more people to finish the book to have the discussion! **Hint Hint**

In the meantime I’ve been reading ‘Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah.  I’ve read a book or two by her and they are nice easy reads with unique stories.  This one is ok but I am a little frustrated with the characters.  Hmmm.

I found the Rochester Public Library Book store Blog and they are having online contests each month for “bluestockings.”  Evidently, Bluestockings are intelligent, educated women – so it’s the name they’re giving to women in book clubs.  July’s contest is to take a picture depicting beach books. I’m not sure I really get it, but I’ll keep following it and see if it’s something we can do.

I also emailed Jenna Blum last week about her book signing at Borders in Ridgeview or wherever.  I wasn’t able to go, even though it’s been on my calendar for months.  😦  I asked if she was going to come to Rochester and she asked that I contact B&N and recommend that they contact her publicist, so I did!  I hope they do!  She said she’d be around MN the month of August so hopefully we can get something to work out.  I ordered her new book, “The Stormchasers” and look forward to reading it.  She’s such a hoot.

Well, I’m going to finish “Firefly Lane” tonight or in the morning so that I’m ready when my package from B&N arrives!
Off to read!

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson *** SPOILER ALERT

Reader’s Guide

1. Who do you consider the novel’s protagonist, Lisbeth or Mikael? Why?

2. What point was Larsson trying to make with the themes running through this novel? How do issues such as man’s brutality to women, journalistic integrity, and more general notions of trust tie in with each other throughout the book?

3. What function do the sex-crime statistics on each section’s title page serve?

4. Re-read the passage from Mikael’s book on page 84. What is its significance, in terms of the plot?

5. On page 126, Henrik tells Mikael, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back.” Over the course of the novel, who puts this advice to the best use? How, and why?

6. How does the involvement of several Vanger brothers with Swedish fascist groups cloud Mikael’s investigation into Harriet’s disappearance? What role does Harald play?

7. Why does Henrik become an investor in Millennium? Does his plan succeed?

8. Discuss the character of Lisbeth. Some think she is a “perfect victim” (page 324), others find her intimidating, and Mikael wonders if she has Asperger’s, but the reader is allowed to see exactly how her mind works. How do you see her? How do you think she sees herself?

9. What do you think about the way Lisbeth turns the tables on Bjurman? Is it admirable, or a sign that she’s unstable?

10. On page 202, Lisbeth says her new tattoo is “a reminder.” Of what?

11. Several times in the novel, Mikae’’s journalistic ethics are challenged. Do you consider him to be ethical? In your opinion, is anyone in the novel truly honorable? Who, and why?

12. After reserving judgment for most of his investigation, on page 238 Mikael determines that Harriet was, in fact, murdered and that he’s hunting for a killer. What prompts this decision? How does this affect the rest of his investigation?

13. Discuss the role of parents in the novel. Who is a good parent, and why? How might Harriet’s story have changed if her mother had behaved differently? What about Lisbeth’s? Is Mikael a good father?

14. Blackmail is used several times in the novel, for different ends. Who uses it most effectively, and why?

15. On page 400, Mikael tells Lisbeth that to him, friendship requires mutual respect and trust. By those standards, who in this novel is a good friend? Is Mikael? What about Anita?

16. Discuss Henrik’s request that Mikael never publish the Vanger story. Is it a reasonable request? Does Mikael’s acquiescence change your opinion of him? Do Lisbeth’s demands mitigate his ethical breach?

17. What ultimately drives Lisbeth to take action against Wennerström on her own? Does she go too far?

18. Re-read Mikael’s statement about the media’s responsibility at the top of page 454. Can you think of a situation in the American media that is analogous to the Wennerström affair?

19. Discuss the ending. Was it satisfying to you? Why or why not?