People often ask me what I am reading. Lately I've been doing a lot of non-fiction reading for a book I'm working on (and am not able to talk about yet) but I also mentioned in a previous post the new biography of Agatha Christie (fairly interesting) ---and I should tell everyone who doesn't already know, about Stieg Larsson. He has, sadly, died (heart attack, age 50) so we are not going to see many more books by him---but oh my, his first one, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is soooo good; and recently I stopped into Bridgton Books and there was the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Justin Ward, who owns BB and reads everything, told me it was better than the first---hard to believe---but it is true. There will be a third coming, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. But right now I am in the middle of the second and savoring every page. These books are translated from the Swedish, and set in Sweden, but very different from the Henning Mankell books, the Kurt Wallender series, which I have also enjoyed.
After his death, Larsson left the manuscripts of three completed but unpublished novels in a series. He wrote them for his own pleasure after returning home from his job in the evening, making no attempt to get them published until shortly before his death. The first of these novels was published in Sweden in 2005 as Män som hatar kvinnor, published in English as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was awarded the prestigious Glass Key award as the best Nordic crime novel in 2005. His second novel, Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire), received the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2006. At his death, as well as the third completed novel, he left the unfinished manuscript of part of the fourth novel as well as synopses of the fifth and sixth in the series which was intended to contain an eventual total of ten books.
A television series based on the three completed books is in production by Yellow Bird Films of Ystad. Each book will be covered in two episodes (making a total of six 90-minute episodes). The first two episodes were released as a motion picture in February 2009, while the subsequent episodes will be released directly on DVD in December 2009. The series will be broadcast on Swedish television in 2010.