Tag Archive: TGWTDT

The Redeemer – Jo Nesbo


Title: The Redeemer

Author: Jo Nesbo

Date Finished: 6/1/14

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 4/5 – rather good

This is the 4th book by Jo Nesbo in the Harry Hole series, and correspondingly it is the 4th book by him that I’ve read.  I realised as I was starting to write this post that I’d never actually blogged about a Nesbo thriller before, despite having read three; I concluded it had been much too long a gap (I read the third book in November 2011 and books one and two in summer 2011).  I don’t know why I’d waited so long to get round to this one, as I really enjoy this series.

The story focuses on Inspector Harry Hole in Oslo, Norway attempting to solve another bloody, brutal and haunting murder case.  This time, a Salvation Army Officer has been shot but everything spirals out of control for both the murderer and the police as the hit-man realises he has shot the wrong person.  Obviously in thrillers like this, the plot is really the most important part of the book, and Nesbo always seems to manage to balance drama and unpredictable twists with just an ounce of reality which makes the whole thing a lot more readable and believable.  The plot in this book was really gripping, and unlike usual, I really didn’t make any guesses about what was really going on until it was actually revealed; this made it a great read and I struggled to put it down!

The characters are also really vivid and I didn’t struggle with remembering who people were.  I think this is definitely a benefit of writing a series – I already knew Harry, Halvorsen, Beate, Rakel etc and all their traits so Nesbo could focus on introducing other important characters and could spend more time on describing them.  I have to say Beate is just a great person and – don’t worry I won’t spoil it – the death of someone quite main in this book really upset me!

The setting in Norway is also a reason I really like these books – something really appeals to me about Scandinavia even though (from this series) it seems to be absolutely freezing and dark all the time..oh and full of murderers and rapists!  Nesbo also uses good language and a very engaging style (commendations to the translator, Don Barlett, of course) which really helps when reading a fast-paced book.

I really enjoyed this book and I will be reading The Snowman (the next book in the series) when it gets to the top of my TBR pile!  I really recommend this series to anyone who likes crime/thriller novels and definitely to those who loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series though.  If you are not a fan of rather bloody/graphic/dark crime novels then this probably isn’t for you!

Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest

Author: Stieg Larsson

Date Finished: 30/10/12

Re-Read? : Second time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

What a brilliant re-read!  I last read this book in July 2010 and thought it was amazing.  I had read the whole trilogy in quick succession and decided I would re-read them 18 months ish later.  I did read book 1, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in December 2011 but I decided to space out the other two – I read The Girl Who Played With Fire in May 2012 and then this one in October.  I am already thinking about when I will next re-read them all…probably not till at least 18 months from now.

I will be quite surprised if you have not read at least the first book of this trilogy or maybe seen the film, as they have been so popular over the past few years.  This is for a good reason – they really are amazing.  The plot is stunning and kept me hooked despite it being a re-read.  Larsson really knows how to tell a gripping story and can think up so many twists and turns that you just never expect.  This book focuses on Lisbeth’s time in hospital and her trial and so isn’t as action packed as the first and second books.  However, this isn’t a problem as Larsson manages to achieve lots of action through other characters anyway.

The characterisation is completely unique.  Lisbeth Salander has to be one of the most unforgettable and interesting characters ever created, indeed on the cover of my copy, Boyd Tonkin writes ‘the most original heroine to have emerged in crime fiction for many years‘.  I totally agree.  Blomkvist can be a bit annoying and seems quite unrealistic, but all the other characters are brilliant.  Larsson takes time to give context and a backstory to every single character and it definitely works, as I remembered even minor characters from my first reading.

The Swedish setting is another plus for me – I love reading all the Swedish names and roads/districts etc.  It’s really interesting for me, as I have never been to Scandinavia but I do fancy the idea of living there in the future.  Larsson (or Reg Keeland, the translator) has amazing prose, especially for a crime novel – this genre sometimes lacks a good overall writing style and focuses on plot.  It is easy to read but still sophisticated.  Powering through the majority 746 page book in 2 weeks shows it must be easy to read.

Overall I cannot recommend this trilogy enough.  I know many of you have read it anyway, but if not just get a copy of the first book and give it a go!  Happy Reading  🙂

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books on your Summer TBR list‘ and even though I’m very busy (3 exams tomorrow), seeing as I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I would have a go at this topic.

I LOVE summer reading!  It is (for me) the best time of year to read lots of books – I usually get through a fair amount when I go on holiday, but also when I’m off school at home in the summer too.

Here are (some) of the books I am really looking forward to reading this summer (not in order):

    1. The Timetraveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger:  I haven’t read this kind of book in a while, so it will be nice to have some easier reading (compared with the classics) and my sister really enjoyed the film (I refused to watch until after the book) and said it was a great story, so that’s encouraging.
    2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee:  Yes, I know it is on practically every TTT post I write, but it is (probably) my favourite book ever, so why should I not be really excited about re-reading it?  Again!
    3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest – Stieg Larsson:  I am re-reading the Millennium Trilogy this year (I have already read TGWTDT and TGWPWF) and hugely enjoyed both of them again, so I can’t wait for the epic final instalment to this unique series.
    4. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons:  I talked about this on my TTT for The Classics Club post as well, and as I said then, it is meant to be very funny and light-hearted so will be very nice to settle down with in the garden in the sun (well maybe the sun).
    5. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown:  Even though Brown’s books are ridiculously unrealistic, they do make your heart pound.  I read Angels and Demons last August so it seems right to read The Da Vinci Code this summer.
    6. Middlemarch – George Eliot:  Another Classics Club read and a scary one.  I am looking forward to the challenge, because so many people sing Eliot’s praises, I really want to give her a try, even if Middlemarch is scarily long!
    7. Fantastique Maitre Renard – Roald Dahl:  Well, even though I am currently in the middle of German and Latin exams (I finished my French exams a few weeks ago) I am still looking forward to reading my next French children’s book!
    8. Mockingjay – Suzzane Collins:  The Hunger Games Trilogy has had me completely hooked; you can read my thoughs on book 1 here and book 2 here.  I just know that I will power through this volume too and to be quite honest, I cannot wait!
    9. Villette – Charlotte Brontë:  we are getting a long way down my TBR shelf now, but you never know – I might have a very voracious summer!  I loved Jane Eyre and am seriously craving some more Brontë right now!
    10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams: I ADORE this series and the radio episodes are perfection (I have all 5 series on CD – thanks Dad!) and I thought it is only fair if I read the books soon as well.

Are any of these books on your summer TBR lists too?

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With’, meaning your top ten books you would skip school or work for.  There are many days when I think I’d rather stay at home and read my book than go to school, but I’ve picked 10 for the moment.

1. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling.  The Harry Potter books are those ones which you can just sit down and read for hours without noticing how the time flies, perfect for a devouring a book in a day.

2. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë.  The reason I picked Jane Eyre is simply because I can just imagine curling up with this book on a cold Wintry day and reading for hours.

3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams.  If you are feeling down or stressed or upset, then there is nothing better than diving into the hilarious and witty HHGTTG, which is one of the most feel-good series I have ever come across.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson.  This series is enthralling and the first book is the most gripping of the three.  I couldn’t put it down both times I read it, so it’s a good one for a couple of hours on non-stop reading on a day off.

5. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins.  I haven’t read these books yet (I am starting tonight actually, as Wuthering Heights is a bit heavy and my sister is nagging me non-stop) but from what I hear, many people find them ‘unputdownable, which suggests they would be good for a day off too.

6. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens.  The reason I picked David Copperfield, is because it is one of those classics that you really have to get into, and what better way to get into a more laborious book, than when you’ve got hours to spare during the day?

7. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare.  I am talking about all of Shakespeare’s plays here (I only picked Romeo and Juliet as I am reading that one next) when I say that they are quite short which means they are great for playing hooky with because you would probably be able to finish one in a day, which is always really rewarding.

8. The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith.  Another feel-good series that can pick you up and transport you to somewhere completely different (Botswana in this case) and make you forget about the pressures and stresses in your daily life.

9. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.  As many of you know, this is one of my all time favourite books (so maybe I am biased) but I do think it has severe readability and is one of those books that is a real pleasure to read.

10. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens.  I remember reading this Dickens last Christmas and really enjoying it, but I think that was because I could spend a couple of hours every day reading it, so I highly recommend playing hooky with this one.

Yes, I am starting The Hunger Games tonight, as I am nearly halfway through Wuthering Heights and finding it quite hard going and I fancy a bit of easier reading.  I will let you know what I think of both books in due course.

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Favourite Covers’, with the advice to be ‘as specific or general as you want‘. Therefore I have decided to post my top ten covers of books that I currently own (not in any order – that would be too difficult!)  The covers here are the versions that I actually own.

1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (Vintage Classics).  The Vintage Classics series is known for stunning covers – ‘jacket design is integral to our vintage classics’ and each book in the series has a pertinent and beautiful cover.  I love the way they hint at something in the book’s plot, like the key signifying the locked up secret in Jane Eyre.

2. Saraswati Park – Anjali Joseph (Fourth Estate).  Unfortunately, the best part of this book was actually the cover as the story was rather disappointing! However, the cover is very well designed and a pleasure to look at – one of those books you are very careful with, as you don’t want to damage or spoil it!

3. The Man In The High Castle – Philip K. Dick (Penguin Modern Classics).  Again, a book that I didn’t particularly enjoy (although it is very unique) but a cover that I will never forget.  The reason it made this list is because of how shocking the cover is – it immediately perplexes you and really gets your mind thinking.  I did have to be a bit careful as to where I was reading it though!

4. 1984 – George Orwell (Penguin).  This is such an iconic book and the cover is striking and memorable too – both in the book and on the cover you can’t get away from the idea that ‘big brother is watching you‘!

5. The Number 1. Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith (Abacus).  This series are possibly THE books I most enjoy reading, on account of their being so funny, interesting and cheerful.  Lovely happy, bright covers which perfectly match the books they are surrounding.

6. Matilda – Roald Dahl (Puffin Modern Classics).  I have always loved Roald Dahl’s books, especially Matilda and The Witches and I have chosen the cover of Matilda for this list.  My version is very pink, but has a large illustration of Matilda by Quentin Blake on the front.  I think Roald Dahl’s words and Quentin Blake’s illustrations and both just as important for these childhood books so that is why this cover is so important to me.

7. The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo – Stieg Larsson (Quercus).  This book is one of my favourites and the whole series keeps me reading through the night.  I especially like this cover of the first book because it shows Noomi Rapace (who plays Lisbeth in the Swedish films) who I think portrays Lisbeth perfectly.

8. Northern Lights – Philip Pullman (Point).  I love the original (back in my day blah blah…) covers of the His Dark Materials Trilogy and I think Northern Lights is my favourite of the three, probably because my favourite colour is blue and that is the main background of this one!!

9. One Day – David Nicholls (Hodder).  There is so much to love about the cover of this book: its design is unique, the orange is amazing, the actual feel of the book is great … I could go on.  A great book with a really novel idea and a really novel cover to match.

10. Emma – Jane Austen (Vintage Classics).  I started this list with a Vintage Classic and I’m ending it with one too; rather appropriately, I think, because in my opinion this series of classics has the best covers that I have come across and they are always the ones that catch my eye when I’m browsing in bookshops.