August's book club pick was not only my favorite book club selection so far, but also one of the most exhilarating books I've read in years: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (our March book club pick). This book was so good, it doesn't even need a synopsis, but I'll include one just for the sake of tradition:
Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.
But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played With Fire.
The Girl Who Played With Fire is the kind of book that makes you feel jealous of people who get to read it for the first time. I tore through it in a matter of days, my heart racing as I sped through each chapter. Unlike Dragon Tattoo, this sequel doesn't waste any time with unnecessary details or confusing Swedish family lineage. It quickly gets to the heart of Lisbeth Salander's existence and grabs you by the throat the rest of the way through.
I intended to hold out on reading the third book in this series - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - until it was released in paperback, but my willpower was not strong enough. I just finished Hornet's Nest a few days ago in Hawaii, and I am slightly depressed to have finished the trilogy. If you haven't already read these books - and pretty much everyone already has or is in the process of doing so (it's actually kind of freaky - everyone on the beach on Lana'i and Kauai, in the airports and in our group is reading Dragon Tattoo), you're seriously missing out. The Girl Who Played With Fire is so good you should've stopped reading this blog post after the first sentence and started reading these books.
Karen hosted our August meeting and decided to take on a book club first: a themed meeting! To go along with the book selection, Karen chose a fire roasted theme; although this was quite an ambitious endeavor, she mastered it with ease. We dined on gazpacho, caprese salad, roasted asparagus and lots of other delicious dishes and debated Karen's many home renovation projects. All in all, a wonderful meeting.