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sentina has commented on (39) products.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

sentina, August 20, 2012

Stunning, complex, dramatic, stays with you-

After reading the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I was eager to read the second and third. When I got this one, I didn't know it was the third, but I didn't notice. It just felt like it took up from where the first one ended.

The complexity of the worlds of politics, crime, sexual abuse, psychology, medicine, police, institutions, economics, and all sorts of evil goings-on was difficult to keep up with, but I couldn't put the book down.

I got a lot more information about Lisbeth Salander that was missing from the first book, and I liked the main characters just as much, plus some new ones who were great.

The so-called passionate relationship between the main male reporter/writer and an almost masculine female athletic former cop turned security guard was unbelievable to me, and
I liked Blomkvist's long-time married lover much more.

The book contains descriptions of female warriors, whom Larssen seems to admire. He is actually the ultimate feminist, with good male characters, too.

Mr. Larssen was an expert in dramatically tense scenes of potential violence; women with strong brains, bodies, and minds; and resolving situations in satisfying ways. This story has one of the best courtroom scenes I've ever read, and when the evildoers get caught in their lies, it goes just the way you want it to ... this would make a seriously good movie.

My only objection is the choppy writing style, kind of like, "See Jane walk. But see John hop. Because he can. And she can. And they like it," instead of, "See Jane walk and John hop, because they can and they like it." In other words, too many chopped up sentences without the smooth transitions provided by commas. However, it was not troublesome enough for me to stop reading.

Overall, this seems like an excellent translation from Swedish. The only thing I would add is a pronunciation guide for all the Swedish names, which I mostly had to just pass over in my mind, not knowing how to say them.
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Acres and Pains by S. J. Perelman
Acres and Pains

sentina, August 18, 2012

I had heard S.J. Perelman's name so often that I was interested to see how he wrote. Unfortunately, this book was so boring that I couldn't even read it, and it wasn't because of the topic, but because of the writing style, the contrived descriptions, and weak attempts at humor.

I have seen other reviewers on Amazon say that they loved it and laughed out loud, and this is a reminder that everyone's experience with humor and writing is subjective.

I didn't like it at all; you'll have to judge for yourself.
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The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace by Laura Doyle
The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace

sentina, August 10, 2012

The title sounds like it is an anti-modern woman book, but it is actually more interesting than I expected. Even if you don't agree that a wife should turn over complete control of the money to her husband, which Laura Doyle, who is actually a feminist, claims will make the marriage happy, you will appreciate hearing again some often-heard advice, such as:

You can let problems be minor inconveniences or major traumas that fire up marital conflict; it is up to you.

Say what you want calmly, with the belief that you deserve it, and without whining or demanding. Allow your husband to have his needs met, too.

Don't ask permission of your husband to do what you need to do for yourself; self-care is essential, and if you neglect it, you will not be able to give as much to your marriage.

If you find yourself impatient, angry, and bored with your husband, check to see if you have been ignoring your own needs and if you are judging him too harshly.

Respect your husband and expect the best from him; don't put him down and doubt him. Let him make some mistakes without judging, and remember that you make mistakes too. Such attitudes bring peace, joy, relief, and passion.

Don't try to control everything in the relationship and in the house; relax, let go, and trust.

Vulnerabilty replaces nagging;
Trust replaces control;
Respect replaces disrespect;
Gratitude replaces complaining;
Faith replaces doubt;
Passion and love replace distance and coldness.

I have seen a lot of the punishing, demeaning, demanding, insulting, whining, angry fights between couples who started out saying they loved each other, and I can see that the author has, too.

It really seems to me that many of her ideas are worth trying; it is certainly better than saying you can't do anything and continuing to suffer and either divorce or live on in marital misery.

You might say, well, the man should change too, but we can change only ourselves; in doing so, we open space for others to change into more of their better selves, too.

This book also contains guidelines for surrendered women discussion/growth groups, which I think could be valuable.

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Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun (Lab) by Carla Sonheim
Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun (Lab)

sentina, August 7, 2012

This book is exactly what I have been wanting -- I have taken some drawing classes and am quite good at it, but I don't draw much at home, and I have been wanting to get back to it. The variety of fun and interesting exercises is wonderful, it is easy to focus on and do them, and I'm so happy to be doing art again. Thank you, Carla Sonheim!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold) by Sandra Dallas
Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold)

sentina, August 5, 2012

With strong females and some good men, as well as evil ones; this moving reality tale, "Prayers for Sale," is a sometimes gut-wrenching book about the reality of life in the freezing mountains of Colorado, in 1936 during the Great Depression, where gold mining of three kinds destroy the environment and pollute the water, and men sometimes die at work.

It sounds so cold there, it is hard to believe anyone would want to stay, but Hennie Comfort, the 86-year-old woman who relates the stories of the town, has lived there most of her life and doesn't want to leave.

She befriends a young newcomer, whom the author calls "the girl" over and over, when she should have used her name, Nit or Mrs. Spindle, or young woman, or female pronouns, although she uses Hennie's name frequently. Nit is a married teenager who has already had a stillborn baby and is pregnant -- hardly a "girl."

However, some of the tales were delightful, and they were all informative about the family, work, and town lives of the people who are there because it is the only work they can get. Overall, this story made me glad I live somewhere much warmer and less polluted --

the only thing I long for is the bonding of quilting among the women that brings them together, even when there are some who don't get along well otherwise.

Hennie has a refreshingly open-minded view of "hookers," understanding that they only do it because they would starve and/or be homeless otherwise, and she doesn't judge them the way most people do.

The old woman says that when she prays, the answers she get are often the opposite of what they would be if she and god traded places. She tells of the prohibition era, where "... you could get liquor legal for medicinal purposes... Middle Swan... being the sickest incorporated town in Colorado."

The women know how to use herbs for healing and Nit does not trust doctors, for they don't know much, which was probably even more true then than it is now.

One of the outcomes of the story was predictable, but it would have been disappointing if it had ended differently; another outcome was unpredictable, and it got a little annoying to have it referred to and have to wait so long to see how it turned out, although it was believeable when it finally came.

At the back of the book, there is a section from Dallas's book, "Whiter Than Snow," about the same community.
I found it better written and more intriguing than this one, and look forward to reading it.
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