25 April 2010


'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' by Stieg Larsson
April 19 - 21, 533 pages

I had been meaning to read this for a while, but had always been put off by how big it is and all the hype surrounding it. It took a few chapters, but once I got into it, I was really into it. I just had to know what happened! And it did not disappoint. A good, engaging read. I also enjoyed it for where the novel is set. Scandanavia fascinates me and I would love to go there. Not sure I could handle -37°C though. I will definitely be reading the next two books in the Millennium Trilogy.

'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde
April 22 - 25, 248 pages

Wilde really writes with brilliant style. The book is tense, haunting and macabre. I'm glad I read it; it is a fantasy to which anyone can relate. 

My favourite line in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' was, 'She is a peacock in everything but beauty.' I also liked the character Lord Henry, his many theories, and the way he has one for each topic that comes up in conversation.

18 April 2010


'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak
April 12 - 16, 554 pages

I read 'The Messenger',  also by Zusak, a few years ago and really enjoyed it so I was excited to see this book in the bookstore. This novel is quite different to 'The Messenger' but is still very good. I really enjoyed the little facts and information scattered through the book. Very clever. I think in that way - with brief interludes to explain and reflect.

I also loved the section of the book which is hand-drawn and written. The illustrations are delightful. I read that part as I was walking down the street and I was beaming at the page. Embarrassing, but I could not help it.

A lovely, sad, clever read. The story is very well told. 'Max and Liesel were held together by the quiet gathering of words.'

Yes. I liked it. Quite beautiful.

10 April 2010


'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov
April 5 - 6, 352 pages

Wow. I absolutely loved this book. It is so well written. I just did not want to put it down. Well, I did sometimes, when the subject matter got a bit much. Somehow Nabokov made this story beautiful. Straight from the opening line (which I love but unfortunately don't have the space for here), this novel is lyrical even while it is distressing. 'Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita, Lolita. Repeat until page is full, printer.'

'Julius Caesar' by William Shakespeare.
April 7 - 9, 114 pages
I have always liked Shakespeare (fitting that he is my first repeat author) but partway through reading this I 'found' him. I am addicted. I want to read all of his plays. So good. 'How many ages hence / Shall this our lofty scene be acted over, / In states unborn and accents yet unknown!'

What an amazing week's reading. Both of these were brilliantly written. I couldn't get enough.

The first lines of 'Lolita' are: 
'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
'She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing at four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she ws always Lolita.' Perfect.

Shakespeare really is incredible. Unfortunately I can't rewrite the whole play, so here are just a few more quotes that I enjoyed from 'Julius Caesar':

'And since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.'

'it was Greek to me'

'not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.'

'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.'

'O setting sun,
As in thy red rays thou dost sink tonight,
So in his red blood Cassius' day is set.'

04 April 2010


'A Farewell to Arms' by Ernest Hemingway
March 30 - April 3, 293 pages

First of all, let's take a moment to appreciate how brilliant the name 'Ernest Hemingway' is. Good.

This was the first Hemingway I have read and it was quite different to what I expected. That's not to say it wasn't great. I really enjoyed reading it. The passages when Henry is drunk are just perfect and the conversation about luge and toboggans is particularly amazing. 'You see he has never even heard of luge-ing!' Hilarious. Also a commentary on WWI and war itself - 'War is not won by victory' - and a beautiful love story - 'I want you so much I want to be you too' -, this novel is an experience. I really enjoyed it. It was like a perfect scoop of those ice cream flavours that you never want to choose between. Did that make sense? Probably not.

I will most definitely be reading more by Hemingway.

Here are some other quotes that I enjoyed:

'We never get anything. We are born with all we have and we never learn. We never get anything new. We all start complete.' I like this because it is an interesting idea. I never even considered entertaining such a thought. I can't decide whether I agree with it. I must ponder it some more.

'Let's go to sleep at exactly the same moment.'

'I've always wanted to have a tail like that. Wouldn't it be fun if we had brushes like a fox?'
'It might be very difficult dressing.'

Yeah, the conversation in this novel is brilliant. Especially between Henry and Catherine. I just love it. I wish I hadn't read some of it just so that I could discover it for the first time again.