This is a beautiful memoir about the power of reading and the determination to keep a tradition alive. 3,218 consecutive nights of her father reading...moreThis is a beautiful memoir about the power of reading and the determination to keep a tradition alive. 3,218 consecutive nights of her father reading aloud to her.
This memoir includes snippets from Kristen "Alice Ozma" Brozina's life, some of which you will literally laugh out loud after reading, and some of which will make you tear up because you can relate to her. This is about what life lessons she learned with her father, many of which revolved around their reading time together.
But most importantly, The Reading Promise is a promise to keep reading, no matter what. A promise to share your love of reading with others, no matter what. A promise to read to your children, and with your children, no matter what. A promise to support the love of reading in your community, no matter what.
This books is a compilation of 14 celebrities and their contributions/opinions about libraries and reading, and how their love of reading has influenc...moreThis books is a compilation of 14 celebrities and their contributions/opinions about libraries and reading, and how their love of reading has influenced their careers. Hoping to be a librarian myself someday, I found this book to be very encouraging, knowing that their are celebrities that are in great support of libraries and encouraging a love of reading to a generation that is hooked on electronics. I found it very enjoyable.(less)
This book describes some of the "interesting" cases that Forensic Anthropologist Mary Manhein has helped solve. This "Bone Lady" also tells her reader...moreThis book describes some of the "interesting" cases that Forensic Anthropologist Mary Manhein has helped solve. This "Bone Lady" also tells her readers why she chose this profession as well as describes the processes of determining information about the skeletons she finds. However, her writing style made this book not very interesting. Watch Bones on Fox instead. That's way more interesting.(less)
An easy-read if you are looking for/needing to read a biography. But more importantly, like The Millennium Trilogy stresses over and over again, this...moreAn easy-read if you are looking for/needing to read a biography. But more importantly, like The Millennium Trilogy stresses over and over again, this biography gives you the truth about Stieg Larsson's life, about his death, and about what happened after his death, all told by the person that knew him best. What a heart-wrenching and interesting read that answers a lot of questions surrounding both the novels and his purpose for writing them. Fans of the novels shoudl definitely read it! You will not be disappointed!
"To understand Stieg's work, I said, one had to know who he really was."--pg. 185
I picked up this book yearning to learn more about the author who died before his novel legacy was even published. That fact in itself intrigued me; I just really wanted to learn more about Stieg Larsson's life without having to deal with all of the legal mumbo jumbo that seems to be following him, even into his death. With this relatively short biography, you get the straight facts--no beating around the bush, just the candid and honest facts--from the one constant presence in his life: Eva Gabrielsson.
For thirty-two years, Eva Gabrielsson was Stieg's life partner--no, they never married, though not for lack of trying. Job circumstances, politics, and then Stieg's untimely death prevented them from ever making their relationship formal and legal. Because they were not married, legally, Eva was left with nothing--she can only own half of her apartment, has no access to the bank accounts they shared, and could not legally take any part in or have control over the publication of Stieg's novels. But most of all, she just misses Stieg, her "soul mate".
A general overview of Stieg's interesting life: He was raised by his grandparents in a little cabin in Northern Sweden. He got involved in political activism at a young age, and consequently met Eva at a support meeting of the Front National de Liberation in Vietnam. Stieg had so many idea, and Eva encouraged him to start writing about them and sending in his pieces to local newspapers. Thus, his journalism career exploded. He was involved in many controversial political arguments through the articles he wrote for many different newspapers and magazines all across Europe. Together with a few others, he and Eva founded the magazine Expo, which wrote unbiased articles about the different political dilemmas they saw, as well as their own ideas. And because of his involvement in journalism and political activism, his life (and, consequently, Eva's too) was threatened on multiple occasions by multiple groups and gangs, compromising his physical safety. And yet:
"Without Stieg's battles and crusades, The Millennium Trilogy would never have seen the light of day. His struggle is the heart, brain, and brawn of that saga."--pg. 64
What I found absolutely fascinating is that almost every detail found in The Millennium Trilogy is autobiographical in some form or fashion, whether it be similar situations and problems Stieg dealt with in real life, or creating his settings based upon his favorite spots around town, or paying homage to important people in his life by literally naming a character after them. In many ways, Mikael Blomkvist is very similar to Stieg Larsson, from the way he dresses to his passion for investigative journalism to his obsessive love of coffee. And the addresses where all of the characters lived in his novels? They came from the many walks that he and Eva took through the parts of town where her architectural projects were taking place, or from the plans sitting in her office, or from her most current work. The Millennium Trilogy was born from the people and places in Stieg's life, and this book series (intended to be 10 novels) was the impetus in Stieg taking life slower and remembering how much he cherished Eva.
Yet, inspite of all of those fascinating details, the center of this biography/memoir to me is the emotional journey that Eva is forced into (and still faces everyday) when Stieg suddenly passed away in November of 2004. Her unconditional love and affection for her "soul mate" is so incredibly evident as she recalls his death, the preparations, the funeral, and the mythological cursing ceremony she holds for all of those individuals (work-related and political) that pushed Stieg into such a premature death. Her grief is such a prominent part of this entire biography, and you can feel her love for Stieg from striaght off the page. She includes snippets from her diary in 2005, where she kept ephiphanies as well as accounts of the mundane daily life, saying that "the diary was a way of proving to myself that I was alive" (pg. 159).
A majority of what is published in this diary chapter deals with the legal aftermath of Stieg's death, and of his father and brother's hostile takeover of all of Stieg Larsson's estate, including The Millennium Trilogy. This part of the biography also describes the deep emotional turmoil Eva was left in after Stieg's death and how she learns to survive and to keep on living. All that she continually fights for is extremely inspiring to those who knew and loved Stieg, but also to those who got to know him through reading his works. Eva's struggles have gone global, and many people have joined up in her fight not only to gain control of Stieg's intellectual estate (books, articles, etc), but also to change the law so that other couples in their situation do not have to suffer through what she had--and still has--to go through.
"The Millennium Trilogy is not just a good story made up by a good author of good crime novels. These books talk about the need to fight to defend one's ideals, and the refusal to give up, to sell oneself, or to grovel before someone powerful."--pg. 195.
This is what Stieg Larsson did until the day of his death, and this is what Eva Gabrielsson continues to do to this day--to fight for what they believe in, and to refuse to give up. (less)
If you want a compact (well, 900+ page book) list of the books that many people consider to be "classic literature," then sure! Check this book out. I...moreIf you want a compact (well, 900+ page book) list of the books that many people consider to be "classic literature," then sure! Check this book out. It gives a general synopsis of 1001 "classic literature novels" that "you MUST read before you die". For that, it is useful. But it is not even close to being complete.
Surprisingly, the editor has organized the books by century, which I found encouraging, because at least I know they appreciate older literature for its value and influence over the formation of literature as we know it. I have flipped through every single one of those 1001 books (no, I did not count them, so for all I know there could be 1002 listed) and have counted 35 out of the 1001 that I have read in entirety. Add another 25 for the books I have at least attempted to read for school or the like, and that makes my total around 60. 60 out of 1001 (or about 6%).
This raises the question of what constitutes a book as being worthy of being on this list? Because I have read a lot more than just 60 books in my life, so where are those? I recognize that this book was published in 2006, so any books written in the last 5 years would not be included. But there are a lot of books that are on my "What I would recommend to anyone who reads" list that are not included in this book. Does this make them not worthy?
Now don't get me wrong, I assume that all of the books listed are worthy for one reason or another, but I wonder why you have to include all 6 novels by Jane Austen. Is it just because she is Jane Austen? Where are the books I fell in love with in high school? Where are the children's novels that introduce children to the wonderful world of the story? Why isn't children's literature worthy of being included in a list of books you MUST read before you die?
Personally, I think this list is different for everyone. Yes, I believe that there are some staple novels that have been written since the beginning of the novel that I think everyone should read if they want to call themselves well-read. But to have a list of 1001 books, a list that includes all of the works by the great authors of literature rather than a collection of different types of books, by different authors, seems counter-productive. I mean, you read one Jane Austen, you read them all, right? (I deeply apologize to the Jane Austen fans out there, but you have to agree, they are very similarly structured in style, theme, and character development). So why not instead include stories like Beowulf, or Utopia by Sir Thomas More, or The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, or The Kite Runner by Khaled Houssini, or Life of Pie by Yann Martel, or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, or Democracy by Joan Didion, or a Walker Percy novel. The list goes on and on.
I am not complaining about books that make lists such as "1001 books you must read before you die" because I, for one, love making lists. But just be wary of the lack of complete comprehensiveness that one might expect in a huge book filled with over one thousand great books. Take it with a grain of salt, and keep reading what you love. Because it is not so important to read the best books according to the opinion of one editor and over 100 reviewers, but to just keep reading.(less)
A fantastically useful book if you are wanting to learn how to coupon well. This book teaches you the couponing lingo, how to save the most with your...moreA fantastically useful book if you are wanting to learn how to coupon well. This book teaches you the couponing lingo, how to save the most with your coupons, how to get more coupons, how to create a stockpile, and so much more! Definitely worth the read for aspiring Krazy Couponers. =)(less)
I appreciate the fact that this book is a go-to place for [most]all things Greek mythology, but I feel like the writing is dry and the print is small...moreI appreciate the fact that this book is a go-to place for [most]all things Greek mythology, but I feel like the writing is dry and the print is small so it's not too enjoyable of a read straight through. Definitely would be worth it to read parts at a time.(less)
Jim Gaffigan. He talks about being a parent. AND he's JIM GAFFIGAN, which makes this book HILARIOUS!!!! ANNNNNND HE READS THE AUDIO! Which makes this...moreJim Gaffigan. He talks about being a parent. AND he's JIM GAFFIGAN, which makes this book HILARIOUS!!!! ANNNNNND HE READS THE AUDIO! Which makes this book a 5 hour comedy show!!
Very interesting arguments. This is a very thought-provoking book. When I have a little more time I will type the thoughts I wrote down while reading...moreVery interesting arguments. This is a very thought-provoking book. When I have a little more time I will type the thoughts I wrote down while reading it.
This book looks at the life of Jesus from a historical and scholarly perspective through the context of the Roman Empire in which Jesus lived.