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sentina has commented on (39) products.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The Millennium Trilogy #1) by Stieg Larsson
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The Millennium Trilogy #1)

sentina, August 4, 2012

This is a stunning feminist novel, even though I have not seen or heard that word once in any reviews or discussions. I was actually resistant to reading the book, because it annoys me when people refer to men as men and women as girls, and the "girl" in this story, Lisbeth Salander, is actually a 24-year-old woman who only looks much younger.

So I was surprised that Stieg Larsson was actually extremely pro-woman, and realistically so... that is, he doesn't idealize women, and his women have their flaws, and some are downright cranky and hateful... but the statistics about the abuse of women by men that begin each section of the book are the hint to the deeply felt message underlying this story. Larsson supports the respect for and protection of women without ever moralizing or lecturing.

There is one of the most satisfying revenge scenes I have ever heard of, and
I liked how Blomkvist and Salander both used thoughts of lessons they had learned, he in the military and she with a guardian, to help them deal successfully with intense situations, not panic, make the right choices, and survive.

I enjoyed the pulse-pounding drama of some of the crime-story parts, and was amazed at the extensive knowledge of the corporate, rich family, sociological, psychological, vast computer systems, guilty secrets, and less rigid sexual satisfaction and relationship worlds.

Lisbeth Salander is in many ways no more important to the story than her temporary partner in research, reporter/writer Mikael Blomkvist, and her dragon tattoo is pretty much irrelevant, but Larsson's insight into her mind, behavior, and intelligence is wonderful.

I did find the ending something of a let-down, not in what happens, but in the writing style, but was still left wanting to know more about Lisbeth, what she does next, and how exciting the next story will be -- although Mikael fills up the story as much or even more than she does, she is the far more interesting character, so much so, that the book is titled for her.
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The Sea by John Banville
The Sea

sentina, July 22, 2012

I don't know if it is because the book is not in American English, or if it is because the author is from a different educational class, but there were at least 175 words in this book that I did not know, such as ziggurat, revenant, velutinous, and ichor. This detracted from the reading for me. It just seemed like he was trying too hard to be poetic or profound, but failed because of this.

The lack of commas where they should be, creating run on sentences, occur often enough to be annoying to me.

The most interesting part to me was the way sudden memories would intrude into the narrator's mind in the middle of another train of thought, the way that remembered images do, and the detail with which they are described.

Not much to this book; not very moving emotionally. Very self-absorbed, and a lot of alcoholism.
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The Sea by John Banville
The Sea

sentina, July 22, 2012

I don't know if it is because the book is not in American English, or if it is because the author is from a different educational class, but there were at least 175 words in this book that I did not know, such as ziggurat, revenant, velutinous, and ichor. This detracted from the reading for me. It just seemed like he was trying too hard to be poetic or profound, but failed because of this.

The lack of commas where they should be, creating run on sentences, occur often enough to be annoying to me.

The most interesting part to me was the way sudden memories would intrude into the narrator's mind in the middle of another train of thought, the way that remembered images do, and the detail with which they are described.

Not much to this book; not very moving emotionally. Very self-absorbed, and a lot of alcoholism.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

sentina, July 17, 2012

One of the best dog stories, with one of the memorable and moving endings, that I've ever read. Combining scientific knowledge with an animal-lover's insight, the author takes us inside both his own mind and that of the dog, Merle's. You will know without a doubt that your feeling that dogs and humans communicate deeply and instinctively with each other, with the natural ability to feel similar emotions, is absolutely correct.

I particularly like that the male author expresses such depth of emotion about his dog, because I come from a family in which it is considered unmanly and sneer-worthy to love dogs (and other animals). I think of many of the significant parts of this book, and it strengthens me against their scorn.

Mr. Kerasote said he was looking for a wife, who turned out to be a friend instead. I imagined shouting, "I'll marry you!" I would love to be close to men like this.

This is one of the very few books that I have bought new in many years; it is so worth it.
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sentina, July 17, 2012

Unless you already know how to play Sudoku, this so-called kids' book is useless. As an adult, I got it with the hope of learning how to solve the puzzles, but there are no instructions, and even with answers in the back, I could not ever figure it out, except for the ones that are only 16 boxes (most are 36 to 81). Plus, many of the problems had symbols instead of numbers or letters, and these were much harder.
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