by sam on 07/19/2010

Since I got my nook, I’ve read quite a few books (for me at least). I found a widget for the blog that lets me keep what I’m reading updated in the sidebar, and also maintains a library of everything I’ve catalogued. Note that the list is ONLY books that I’ve read since I got the nook. And also doesn’t count the mountain of periodicals I read.

(also note – you can borrow ebooks for free from the New York Public Library, but only if you’ve got a nook or a Sony reader device – amazon is so locked down that the kindle doesn’t read the format that library books are available in. This has turned out to be the best feature, by far, of owning the nook. I’ve saved a ridiculous amount of money).

But I was thinking that I should really go back to posting about them as well, since…well…I need something to post about.

So here are the books I’ve read to date:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Everyone’s favorite biker-punk feminist pixie gets her start here. I did get engrossed by this first book (enjoyed would be an inappropriate word to use given the subject matter), but a lot of the threads didn’t make sense until the second and third books arrived. And Larssen’s obsession with technical detail was a bit annoying – Yes she’s a hacker. No, the audience doesn’t care how much RAM her ibook contains.

The Book of the Dead: I became a bit engrossed with Patricia Cornwell’s books when I was living in Italy, and they were available in abundance in the english language section of the bookstores I visited. This, and the next few, just continue the series.

Scarpetta: See above.

The Lost Symbol: This was the first book I successfully figured out how to borrow from the library. So it was a triumph in that sense. Otherwise, it was as enjoyable as his other works. Take of that what you will.

The Girl Who Played With Fire: This time we learn about Lisbeth. And it’s not pretty, but it is entirely engrossing. Again.

Dead Until Dark: I love the TV series, so I thought I’d give the books a try. At least the first one, which was available from the NYPL. But having seen the TV show, it actually got a bit confusing because the show diverges quite a bit from the books. Not bad, basically candy for your brain.

The Hour I First Believed: I’ve loved everything that Wally Lamb has written, and this was no exception. I heartily agree with my friend who, when I asked her how she liked it, said something along the lines of “I cried when it ended because I wasn’t going to get to spend any more time with these characters.” A really, really, beautiful book.

When Will There Be Good News?: The third in the Jackson Brodie mystery novels that read more like character studies. Can’t wait for the fourth.

The Help: I enjoyed it, but not as much as I think other people did. I was a little disturbed by the “young white woman on a mission to save the poor black women” narrative, even though well-intentioned.

Game Change: A fantastic breakdown of the 2008 election, and every wrong (and right) move that the major candidates made. There was a very brief section of the book that actually made me feel bad for Sarah Palin (I got over that right quick), but the rise of Obama, and how everyone else underestimated him, is utterly fascinating.

Going in Circles: This book had me googling local roller derby clubs by the end of it. Then I regained my sanity.

The Scarpetta Factor: The most recent of the Scarpetta books. Same formula, but interesting every time.

The Bridge: I was a little burnt out on election reading after Game Change, but the parts of the book dealing with Obama’s parents and his childhood were really great.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: A bit predictable in certain places, and, as a lawyer, a bit confusing in the courtroom, given the vast differences between Swedish courtroom tactics and American ones, but still a really nice ending to the trilogy.

A Reliable Wife: Not sure what to make of this one. One part romance novel, one part grifter, one part mystery. eh.

The Passage: (from my review page) Excellent read, even if a bit derivative of other works. I couldn’t help thinking, through large parts of the book, about the recent film adaptation of ‘I Am Legend’ – that this was the story (at least for a good chunk of the book) of the people we encounter in the walled city at the end of that movie. But it was still incredibly engrossing. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will say that I was genuinely shocked. Definitely worth the read, and worthy of its place as one of the recommended summer reads of 2010.

Storm Front: (from my review page) Enjoyable read for the genre. I’ll probably pick up the next one in the series when I’m bored.

The Tourist: A somewhat conventional spy drama…former spy gets pulled back in, framed for murder, etc., but written well with good characters filling out the story.

The Death of American Virtue: I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get through this, but it was pretty engrossing, and pretty evenhanded to all parties. Including interviews with ALL of the major players in the drama, it’s a pretty good exploration of how even those with (allegedly) the best of intentions can get wrapped up in a witch hunt and experience extreme tunnel vision.