I know it's easy to think all I do around here is drink coffee, answer questions, state random facts about myself and accept an award or two.

But that's not entirely true.
Sometimes I get to read a book.   A whole book. Without any pictures.  And no one crawling onto my lap and spilling my coffee.

I thought I would take a few moments and share some of my latest reads.

The Millenium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornett's Nest

I devoured this series in under a week.  Seriously.  Well, first, thanks to all the required reading for my BA, I am super freakish fast reader.   And I also remember almost everything.   So it's no wonder I found a certain kinship with the primary character Lisbeth Salander (although not a photographic memory like hers).    I loved this character - like, seriously loved her enough to toy with the idea of my own dragon tattoo.  I don't know if literature has ever seen such a female character as Lisbeth.   And it's a good thing she is so like able because the majority of the time I wanted to kick the principle male character, Mikael Blomkvist,  either in the balls - or the mouth.   His saving grace is that although he is unapologetic male, he is the only one who truly stands by Lisbeth in the end.

The novels are very descriptive, which results in them being a tad long winded and slow in places.   Overall though, you will be glad you settled in and decided to enjoy the journey.

The Blue Notebook, James A. Levine

I feel I must start with a warning:  this is not a fun book to read.   Not by any stretch of the imagination.   It is not an easy read.  You probably won't even enjoy it.   You may even have to put it down several times, and come back to it later; such as I did.   If you can last until the end, it will most certainly haunt you.  If you dislike scary, sad things about children -- you should probably not read it.   So why did I?

Some of you may be aware that I sponsor a girl in El Salvador through Plan Canada's Because I am A Girl campaign.   I do this because a) it is good and right - especially for my children to witness, and b) I know that many girls in her situation will end up sold into slavery; most often, human trafficking for the purposes of the sex trade.   I cannot believe we live in a world where this occurs far too often, and yet we are not outraged every.single.day.   I wanted to be some small part of prevention.

Thus, this book about the life of a Indian child sex slave on the streets of Mumbai intrigued me.   The notebook is her journal of life on the Street of Cages - and it is graphic.  Very graphic.  Heart wrenching.  Soul crushing.  Some may feel the author is too carefree and even gratuitous with many of the details, but I feel since it is her Truth; I should get over myself.    Like the author, I too was captivated by the idea of this child sitting outside her cage, in the midst of hell on earth, and quietly writing.   I wanted to hear her tale.   As painful as it was for me to read it, it was far more painful for her to write it.   Never mind that she lived it.    Child prostitution is a devastating global issue -- this book will definitely humanize it for you in demonstrating the incredible power of words; and how they can make a difference.
(Dr. Levine is donating all his U.S. proceeds from this book to help exploited children.)

Private Scars/Public Lies, Brenda Youngerman 

I am not going to do a review per say of these novels.   Most of you probably know that Brenda is a frequent (and much loved!) visitor to Time Out  - and I have not been contracted or compensated in any way to do a book review.   I simply wanted to read Brenda's work because I felt the idea of "Fiction with a Purpose" was such a brilliant idea. , so I bought the books.    Although she was very lovely to autograph them for me!   Okay...a little "sssqquueee" - since I do believe it is my very first autographed anything!   

That is not to say that I will not encourage you to read them -- I do!   These first two go together and tell the tale of Nancy Cooper.    I read them in 3 days.   Yes, because they were that good, but also, I was desperate to know what happened to Nancy.   She was so real....I felt everything that happened to her.  I felt it in my heart and soul.  And it was like standing by and watching it happen to my most loved friend.   I had to know how it would end, and now that I am finished the books:  I kinda miss her.   Which I believe fits very nicely with the following quote on Brenda's webpage:

 I believe that a novel is more than a story. It should take a reader on a ride into real life that does NOT end when the book does. When you close a Youngerman Novel, I want you to think about it for a few days

Domestic Abuse is certainly another global issue, but Brenda has a marvelous way of demonstrating that it can hit a lot closer to home than you can ever imagine.   It's a powerful, powerful story to us -- but somewhere, right now:  some one is also living it.

My current book is The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown.   Since I am very much a Shakespeare fan, I'm very intrigued about this book that names the sisters after 3 Shakespearean heroines.  

What's on your book shelf?
Or, since I now have an Ereader, what's a great download? (Kobo)

warm wishes sign