Saturday, 29 August 2009

Lost in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Bluenose Ghosts

I was going to post about Carl's RIPIV challenge, but I am having problems narrowing down my list! I have 3 books at the library waiting to be picked up, and 15 books I pulled off my shelves!!! so tomorrow I will choose a list of what I'd like to read...I have begun reading one book, Bluenose Ghosts by Dr Helen Creighton.

This is a way cooler cover than the one I have. I have the first paperback edition from 1976 with a blue cover, and this edition was just released this year. If I'd seen this version, *sigh* I love the cover, suddenly I am afficted with booklust again even though I own a copy!!!

Helen Creighton was a Canadian folklorist, and collected Maritime (which means the east coast, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland for us) folktales for over 50 years. This is organized into chapter headings such as : Forerunners, Phantom Ships and Sea Mysteries, Ghosts Helpful, Harmful and Headless, Haunted Houses and Poltergeists, and Ghosts as Animals and Lights. These kinds of stories, related by the living, about what they've experienced of the paranormal or unexplained, always give me delicious chills and half-frighten me just reading them. Lovely! One idea for the challenge that I have from this book, is to give a quote from it - hopefully every day through September and October, at the very least every time I post. So here is today's excerpt:

Through the tutelage of the Hartlan men I understood for the first time the meaning of a strange event in my own life that had occurred not too long before.
This had happened just prior to the death of my eldest brother's wife. It had been a long illness, one that was very hard on both the patient and her family. We turned to anything that would distract the children, and one evening three of us sat in the drawing room playing cards. Suddenly we were interrupted by a loud knocking. We all heard it and stopped playing. I made the obvious remark, "There's someone at the door." "There can't be," Kathleen said. "There isn't any door on this side of the house." That was quite true, for the house was built on a hill, and that side, although on the first floor, was high above the ground. Nevertheless to satisfy me Barbara went to the nearest door. "There's no one there," she said in a tone which inferred this was no more than she expected. We were mystified but I forgot about it until the Hartlans took on my education. Then I realized that what we heard were the three death knocks. These are heard in certain houses or by certain people and they come as warning of approaching death. Whether my sister-in-law died on the day following the knocks or a few days later, none of us could recall. Kathleen remembers the incident, but Babara was too young. Certainly at the time we all heard it - three slow deliberate knocks that insisted on our attention.

I think I will copy a tale every time I post, throughout Carl's challenge! See if I can give you chills, dear Gentle Reader.

And, this gives me another book for the Canada 3 Book Challenge!

I am lost in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I am on page 209, after starting the book yesterday morning on the bus. If I hadn't been so tired last night I would have read more, but I sadly fell asleep as soon as the children did! Such is my exciting life with young children. I am amazed at how good the translation is - it reads almost as if it were written in English first. Mikael Blomquist is a quiet intelligent hero, and Lisbeth Salander is an extraordinary character - she literally jumps off the page, alive, exciting, and dangerous. Blomquist has just begun his enquiry into the Vanger family. I love the island he is staying on, and that it's three hours north of Stockholm, so we get to visit some of the Swedish countryside/seaside again. It's also set in the depths of winter, so I will remember this when we reach 0 degrees Fahrenheit, that we aren't the only country that gets that cold! The storytelling is really good - I simply do not want to put this book down. We have heavy rain today, perfect reading whether - unfortunately, I am booked on a date with my daughter: we are going to see Walking With Dinosaurs late this morning, at the Palladium! It's playing for 4 days only, and our youngest child is a little too young - the dinosaurs are very large in this production, and loud, and didn't want to go - but Holly-Anne is so excited she leaps whenever she things about it!

How can you tell when you love books? when everything seems to take you away from reading one!! I love dinosaurs, I know I will thoroughly enjoy this show and day out with my daughter, but I resent that I can't just read my lovely book all day!


Molly said...

I, too, am afflicted the bookcover lust :) I am easily influenced to purchase a book based on the cover alone.

I am giving some thought to joining the RIP challenge. I would have to start as the lowest level, as I am so far behind on life in general, but I am not sure that I can resist.

I look forward to reading snippets of the Bluenose Ghosts in the weeks ahead.

Cath said...

Oh, that exert from your book was creepy, creepy, creepy! Love RL stories like this. I have a book of railway short stories I plan to read from and each section in that begins with a RL story too. I planned to include one or two of those with my reviews - I have a feeling that this year's RIP challenge might be the best yet.

So many people have recommended The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to me that I'm going to have to give in and get it.

Book pusher said...

Hi Susan, I too can be tempted by covers, and have been known to end up with two copies of the same book, usually give one away though.
The dinosaurs look great, very envious.
I have recently had a couple of awards passed on, so I have nominated you, drop by the blog, if your interested.
I was going to reccomend Ms Textual to you but I have noticed you have discovered her, it's a great blog and she has written some interesting things on Swedish crime fiction.

Susan said...

Molly: I hope you join the challenge! You can do only one book, if you choose. It is fun! I'm glad you are enjoying the's fun picking them out too! lol

And book covers - oh yes. It is a weakness, isn't it?

Cath: thank you! Hurrah, I was hoping it would creep someone out like it did me! today's is just as good :-D Your railway book sounds good, too!

Do read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - I'll review it tomorrow, but for now, make sure you have a day or two to read it, it's so hard to put down, and very readable - you'll know what I mean, good storytelling.

Book pusher: I will come see the nomination, thank you so much!

I end up giving the extras away too if I end up with two copies, keeping the best cover of course! lol I think some of us share this habit!

Yes, Ms Textual commented so I was able to find her. Great blog, good insights and now I have the Swedish Crime Writer's blog link too. I'm very happy with that! Though it means more Swedish writers to try to find over here!!