Monday, August 29, 2011

The Borrower: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai

As a future librarian, this book was cute cute cute! I gobbled it up in three days (including one plane ride to Minnesota). It is about a Missouri librarian named Lucy and her kidnapping/being kidnapped by a ten-year-old boy named Ian. His overbearing mother limits what books he can check out to the point that he acts out in frustration. This leads Lucy to help him smuggle some contraband books home (while checking them out to him on her account). One Sunday, she goes to work and finds that Ian had spent the night there and hopes to run away. Their adventure begins with Ian directing Lucy to drive him home, but as his directions progress, Lucy realizes that they are not going to his house. Instead, they keep driving and run into many situations along the way, including Lucy finding out the truth about her father's past and Ian panhandling for money. The book turned into a great way to pass the time and a way to live out a librarian "fantasy"...although not all librarians have it. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Mercy Room by Gilles Rozier

The Mercy Room is about an unnamed and ungendered character during World War II in France. The main character's name is never said or revealed in any way, nor is their gender (but there are enough clues to make the character a woman, as they marry a man named Jude). What is the "mercy room" is initially a small room in a cellar meant for the character's storing of books. They go there to read and enjoy the quiet. While at work, the character meets and ends up smuggling in a Jew named Herman. The reader knows of the character's infatuation with Herman and is a main motivating reason why the character protects him. Herman stays in the mercy room, and the two together make him a mattress from repurposed materials. During this time of the character protecting, feeding, and educating (and learning from) Herman, he falls in love with her. After two years of hiding in the cellar, Herman becomes quite restless (also because of the body they must bury in the mercy room) so the character must help him escape out of the mercy room without being suspected of being a Jew. I'm not a big fan of history, particularly anything militaryish, but it was an interesting read to find out where the love story would end.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Oh. My. Gosh. This book was initially so slow...I almost quit after the first chapter because I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on! And then I read the second chapter and absolutely loved the character of Lisbeth. The book is a little rough going (speaking as an American) because the author is Swedish and it's set in Sweden, so is full of Swedish names and places. Characters are not referred to by the same name through the whole book--one character even had three different names! That slowed me down a little bit, but the book definitely sucked me in. It's very carefully crafted.

It's about Mikael, a journalist who works for Millennium magazine (thus why it's called the Millennium trilogy), and his story on Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. It ends up that all of the information he had gotten for the story was fake and he ends up being framed and sentenced to a three month term in jail. In the meantime, Henrik Varner has Lisbeth Salander research Mikael because he is wanting the forty year old mystery of Harriet Varner's (his niece) death solved. He ends up hiring Mikael and he stumbles into old family secrets while trying to discover Harriet's murderer. Eventually, he and Lisbeth team up together and solve it, and it is an incredible read.

Right now I am waiting for The Girl Who Played with Fire to be returned at the library so I can continue the series!