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Thank you, Santa, for the new Stieg Larsson novel

Hornet So we've all survived the Christmas holiday in one piece, I hope. The highlight of my long weekend - besides eating crab cakes and watching my favorite West Wing episode Celestial Navigation, gorging on cheesy hash browns and champagne-and-Campari cocktails at a holiday brunch and then stuffing down Kahlua-laden sweet potatoes at dinner - was the arrival of Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (yes, that's the punctuation on the book jacket...those damned Europeans...).

A friend traveling in Copenhagen picked it up for me on her trip, and I'm trying to resist the temptation of showing off and waving it in the faces of everybody I know who's dying to read it. Which is pretty much...everybody.

Anyway, no spoilers here, but I'll say I'm 200 pages in (it's 600 pages in this format) and loving every minute of it. I was reading James Thompson's debut thriller, Snow Angels, and abandoned it without a thought. (Snow Angels, by the way, has an intriguing setting - Lapland! - but was repetitively, explicitly gory, and frankly I was happy to drop it.

I also got to check out a friend's Nook briefly; it seems fine initially but until I actually experience trying to read an entire book on the device I can't really offer much of an assessment. Santa chose not to leave one under my tree. But that's OK; I'd rather have the Larsson.

Single In other book related news, I saw A Single Man with Colin Firth, based on Christopher Isherwood's book, which I liked a lot (though listen, it's about grief, so if you need to see something upbeat go see It's Complicated instead). Firth is terrific, as is Julianne Moore (who is an absolute devastating portrait of neediness), and the film looks terrific (it's directed by designer Tom Ford). Action seekers will find it slow going though, so only spend money on the tickets if you're a bonafide adult.


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