February 2009

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The German version (“Verdammnis”) published by Heyne in 2007, 752 pages, translated by Wibke Kuhn

Of course I received the second book for my birthday, and of course I could not wait very long until I started reading it and of course I finished it on one weekend. And I loved it! It was thrilling and absorbing and made me want to read the first one again, just for the pleasure of it. And I am longing for the third one.

The first three sentences in German:

Er hatte sie mit Lederriemen auf einer schmalen, stählernen Pritsche gefesselt. Ein straff gespannter Riemen verlief über ihren Brustkorb. Sie lag auf dem Rücken.”


finally, and it will take some weeks until my students will hand in their papers. so i can focus on my thesis again. which today started in befriending: who are you? what do you look like? oh, you have not changed since i last saw you. but to be honest – i do not recognize you. and you bore me.

I am blessed with my family and friends.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The German version (“Verblendung”) published by Heyne in 2007, 688 pages, translated by Wibke Kuhn

My parents gave me this book for Christmas. I had wanted it for a long time-especially after I read an article about the author in the German magazine EMMA-, but out of no particular reason not bought it so far. My parents did not know that, so it was a really nice surprise.

I read in on one weekend (back in January, I am so behind in posting…)- on a sidenote I wish I could read scientific literature just like this-and I loved it (yes, there was one minor thing that did bother me for a second: the list of technical gadget name dropping.). In general I like it a lot when I do not know the plot and the murderer by the middle of the book, and while continuing to read the plot sounds not too constructed. And that was the case in this book.

As I read it in German, I can post the first three sentences only in German:


Friday, November 1st

Es wiederholte sich alljährlich. Der Empfänger der Blume feierte seinen zweiundachtzigsten Geburtstag. Sowie die Blume bei ihm angekommen war, öffnete er das Paket und entfernte das Geschenkpapier.”

I told my parents that I should not receive the second book before any progress of my thesis. Otherwise I would just spend two days on the couch reading it instead of writing.

When I filled out the year-in-review-questionnaire, I was shocked how little I remembered the books I had read for pleasure. Now that the post is online, I remember more books. But taking into account that I hold at least a book a day in my hands, that list does not reflect at all what I have read in 2008.

So I will post the read-for-pleasure books this year. This is by no means supposed to be a book review, as I should be busy with writing my thesis (what, February already???).

Ok, first book – and I am slightly cheating as I had started it in 2008:

A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hossieni

Published in 2007 by Bloomsbury, 432 pages

It took me two days to finish it, and I really enjoyed because it touched me a lot, making me sad and angry about the repression of women and men in Afghanistan. It is about the lives of two women in Afghanistan, whose fate become woven together when the second, younger one  marries the husband of the first one. While telling their live stories, Hossieni discloses (pieces of) Afghanistan history of the last decades. It made me want to deepen my knowledge about it.

And, as some of the blogs I read, quote either the beginning, some middle part, or the ending, here are the first three sentences:

“Mariam was five years old the first time she heared the word harami.
It happened on a Thursday. It must have, because Mariam remembered that she had been restless and preocupied that day, the way she was only on Thursdays, the day when Jalil visited her at the kolba.”