This is the 4th book in the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. The first three were written by Stieg Larsson (who passed away) and is now being continued by David Lagercrantz. This one was good, but not to the level of the original three. As the books go on, there seems to be nothing that Lisbeth Salander can't do (except ask for help, of course) which weakens the book. I won't bother typing much more about the 4th book in a series – if you've read the first three you shouldn't really need my help deciding if you want to read the next one – but I will remind everyone that these are excellent action filled books which, in my opinion, are not for everyone; they have some language, some sex, plenty of violence and specifically terrible violence against women.
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
So what do you say about the 5th book in a series then? Book 5 was better than book 4 and I powered through it in about 3 or 4 days. This book created less suspense about what was going on than the rest of the series, so the intrigue was more about just seeing how the heroes would get to the end. It seems very clear that there are more books still to come.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
At it's start, New York 2140 is an interesting book set, shockingly, a New York City in the year 2140 where sea levels have risen 50 feet, placing half of Manhattan underwater. Of course, with the marvel of modern (post-modern?) technology, the city is transformed into a new Venice – the old sky scrapers are still inhabited and everyone gets around in boats. There isn't really a single main character, but there are two computer programming friends, two orphan boys, a building super, a police inspector, a hedge fund manager, a Youtube wildlife videographer who lives in a blimp, and a few others. As the plot develops it isn't shy about turning the book into a discussion of financial capital and risk, and public policy. How many science fiction books have you ever read where the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is one of the characters. Between the ice caps melting and the fiscal policy, this is very much a left leaning book. I'd argue that anyone ought to be able to accept the sea level rise premise of the book in the same way they accept warp drive, the Force, sand worms or giant monoliths orbiting Saturn. But if Atlas Shrugged in on your top ten list, this may not be the book for you.
The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is most well known for writing The Alchemist and this book is quite similar. I picked it up at the library solely because of the author, and it turns out he is still a great writer. The story is of a small village where everyone knows everyone in a time and place that don't really matter. A stranger comes in to town (the devil) and offers a hefty sum of money to the town if only they will commit a terrible crime. This is an introspective book where the characters (including the strangers) must debate between good and evil, and the natural state of man. At 240 pages it was an interesting read and I think Coelho understands the merits of quality over quantity in his writing.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
What kind of name is Fforde? (Welsh, actually.) Anyway, the real point is, that the authors last name is the least weird thing about this book. It takes place in an alternate 1985 reality
where Biff has taken over Hill Valley and where the Crimean War is in its 131st year, blimps are used for travel because airplanes don't really seem to have been invented (what is it with me and blimp books all of the sudden), and where the English people are very, very serious about their literature. The protagonist, Thursday Next, is essentially a literature cop, part of a whole branch of English law enforcement tasked with tracking down people forging original manuscripts of famous works and whatnot. A super-villain steals an original Dickens manuscript, and that gets the whole story going, which of course takes a few detours with her father, a time-traveler on the lam, a vampire hunter and her crazy inventor uncle who has invented a way for people to enter books. Which, of course, gets us to Jane Eyre, because of course if you're looking for someone to kidnap, Jane Eyre is an obvious choice.
This book was a Christmas present from Shannon, mostly because of the title. I've long had a dislike for Jane Eyre, and it was one of the first things we ever talked about, long before we ever started dating. (I was ever so happy to give away my copy of the book, and I maintain that marrying back in to that exact same copy remains, to this day, the most disappointing thing about my marriage.) All told, this book is much, much, much better than Jane Eyre. (But then again, what isn't? Amen; even so come, Lord Jesus!)