Tattoo Addiction

I thought I had enough of suspense thriller but I was wrong.

After having book and clothing shopping abstinence for two months, I decided to pay a visit in National Book Store. I had a book in mind but I made a split-second decision by picking The Girl with the  Dragon Tattoo. The book cover spoke to me it was a “sexy thriller. ” And without having second thoughts, I took my cash out and consoled myself it was cheaper than the protein shake I had in Manila Peninsula.

At first, I did not plan to read the book because I was intimidated by its length. Plus, it had too many names, and some said it was just “fairly good”. I was expecting to finish reading the book within a month but lo, and behold, I finished the book within nine days. It was definitely a page-turner that I could not put the book down. I was rapidly flipping the pages as if I were a bank robber in a hurry to steal and escape.

Just a short preview: The story revolves around the two characters. Mikael Blomkvist, is a financial journalist who is facing libel charges. Lisbeth Salander is a highly skillful researcher who is considered mentally incompetent. They are tasked to solve a murder case dated forty years ago. The event of discovering the truth behind the murder leads them to discover more secrets.

Reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is like reading a tabloid. It tackles on violence, murder, rape, incest, corruption, corporate crime, ethics, and some moral issues. I bought the idea “it was a sexy thriller”. I find out that there is no sexiness in it but it has a lot of disturbing scenes. If you are reading the book, you will be glad that you are seeing these scenes only though your imagination. If you are watching the movie, you will be glad that it is only happening on screen. If you are asking for romance, categorically speaking, there is none. But within my paradigm, there is. It is something you wish to happen even after you read the book.

 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stands out among other crime stories probably because of the plot’s complexity. It’s like there are two stories to follow, two crimes to understand. Its plot is cleverly done and satisfying as well.

In terms of writing style, I like how Steig Larsson for that. (Though you have to note that it was originally written in Swedish then was translated by Reg Keeland in English) You can tell Steig Larsson is a journalist by the way he wrote the novel. The sentence structures are simple. The descriptions are not very intricate but vivid enough to haunt you. The language is very accessible that a fifth grader can read the novel, given that the kid can grasp adult concepts. I like the way he chops the scenes in the book. Each section leaves you a conclusion which you later find out it is just a mere suspicion.

I read a review in Good Reads that the lead characters are not “likable.” Indeed, they are not likable but they have traits that you will want to have. Michael Blookmvist is very detail-oriented, very systematic. Salander is mentally incapacitated but her memory and analytical skills are above the average. Well, we always like intelligent characters.

What I also like about the book is that it deals with ethical and moral dilemmas. For instance, will you do what is proper with the risk of doing greater harm to a person who is in good faith? When I was reading the book, I was reminded by the Impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona though it was entirely a different thing. I remember that one of prosecution lawyers said something like this “ if an evidence is obtained illegally, it doesn’t mean it cannot be used and that it is invalid. Thus, can it be said that the end justifies the means?  Blomkvist is a man of principle but as what one of the characters said, “You had to choose between your  role as a journalist and your role as a human being.”

While I took a pause from reading, I found a scratch in my elbow. I got it from Sweden while I was tracking a criminal with Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. After I read, I browsed the pages of Financial Times. I realized I took my free subscription for granted. I watched the movie. Now, I’m excited to read The Girl who Played with Fire.

Too bad the author died before his novels became phenomenal.

P.S. If by any chance, read the book before watching the movie. The movie is faithful to the book but the reading experience is much better.

Four- Book Habit

To make sure I always I feed my brain, I develop a habit of reading four books in a month. I just finished four books but I cheated. It took me one month and a half to finish them all.  Here are my four random books (1 nonfiction, 1 love story, two Chic Lit) Note: My rating is not objective. It is solely based on how I feel towards the book. With regards on how long it takes me to finish the book, there are some intervening variables that get in the way such as my free time availability. In short, read the following books so that you can create your own reading experience.

Eat Pray Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was quite handy as I was facing my twenties crisis (if there’s such thing as that). I was facing my make-believe problems when I finally read this book. Even though her depression and her recovery from divorce were alien to me, I was able to pick some useful thoughts applicable in  my life.

Synopsis: Elizabeth Gilbert is a modern American woman. After she got a divorce, she was commissioned to write a book in her long trips to Italy, India and Indonesia. In Italy, she found pleasure in food and in learning Italian language. In India, she spent her time in meditation. In Indonesia, her last stop, she spent most of her time with a medicine man, and fell in love with a Brazilian man.

My reading experience: It’s not a page-turner. Inspiring is not the exact word to describe. It’s more on insights. I’m glad it does not sound like a travelogue as I assumed it would be. However when she inserts extra facts like history, it makes me bored. She writes about the people she meets, her experiences and the lessons she come up with . If you ask me, which one is better, the movie or the book, I’d say the book. Simply, because the book has more thoughts. The depression she had from her divorce and her desire to move on were more emphasized in the book.

Tip: Best read in a quiet place while having pasta on the side (you’ll find yourself craving for pasta in the first part of the book)

How much time did I spend reading the book:  Three weeks
Will I read another book of the author? As of now, no….
Rating:  2/5

The Best of me
by Nicholas Sparks

This is one of the most treasured books I own because it was personally signed by Nicholas Sparks. At present, it is the topselling fiction book in National Book Store.

Synopsis: The story revolves around former high school lovers who came back to attend a funeral.

My reading experience: I read others’ review saying that it’s cliché and predictable, but still, it broke my heart. For that, I am recommending this book . In my own perception, only 20% of the book really contains the “love” in a love story. You know what I mean?The part that makes your heartbeat fast or makes you giggle. And that makes it more tragic, really. Prepare a tissue.

Tip:  Usually, in Sparks’ books, the action starts in the middle of the book or somewhere towards the end. When you reach that part, I suggest you should be at home  reading it so that you can savor every word and cling to every emotion it stirs.

How much time did I spend reading the book: Five days
Will I read another book of the author? Definitely
Rating: 5/5

If  You Could See Me Now
By Cecelia Ahern

This Chic Lit book is recommended by my friend. And after reading, I realize why she recommended this  because it reminded me of her.

Synopsis:  An interior designer in Ireland fell in love with her nephew’s imaginary friend

My reading experience: Reading this book is such a breeze. It’s chewable and fun . But if you want romance, this is not really for you. It is wholesome ( Kids can read this too).

Tip: This a good past-time reading especially if you are waiting for your appointment with your doctor or when you are waiting for your delayed flight (The way I did)

How much time did I spend reading this book? One week
Will I read another book of this author? Yes
Rating: 4/5

Amazing Grace
Tara FT Sering

Because I was way beyond my one-month deadline, I looked for a thin book. Tadah! I found another Chic Lit book written by a Filipino writer. It only has 187 pages. Ironically, I choose two Chick Lit books to read because I want instant happiness. I want a happy-ever-after-ending. But the two books I read change my first impression in Chic Lit. They made me sad though they ended up with satisfying resolutions. After having an imaginary boyfriend in If you could see me now, it would be so pathetic to follow your fiance and caught hin cheating in the novel Amazing Grace.

Synopsis: Grace chased her fiance in Sinagapore to save him from falling in love with his best friend

What I think: I enjoy reading this book. It’s like an exciting fun ride. At some point, I thought it was going to be like the movie No Other Woman where there’s a line: Ang mundo ay isang malaking Quiapo, maraming snatcher. Lumaban ka, Maagawan ka (I wish I can translate this line in English and keep its meaning and impact).  It has a relateable humor given that it’s written by a Filipino. After reading this, I was somehow “affected.”

Tip: Share it with gal friends.

How much time did I  spend reading this book? One day or one sitting
Will you read another book of this author? Yes

Rating: 5/5