Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book candy

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Every so often, I’ll reach out for a book purely for escapist reasons. Much like we would reach out for a bag of smarties I suppose.  Lately I’ve had a thing for Scandinavian police thrillers.  Blame it on Stieg Larsson. After Stieg, I tried Henning Mankell and promptly fell for Inspector Wallander.  My newest inspector of choice comes from the pen of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo.  I first met Harry Hole in The Snowman and he’s not your typical hero. He’s an almost recovering alcoholic, he’s just lost the love of his life, and is neck deep in a grisly investigation. Flaws aside, or maybe precisely because of his flaws, I was hooked on the story. I literally couldn’t put the book down.  After finishing it, I had to have more. But this time, I wanted to know the back story of Harry Hole. Is this a sign of true addiction? Probably. That didn’t stop me from buying The Redbreast, one of the earliest in the series.

Here, we meet Harry before he even becomes an inspector and it is to Nesbo’s credit that he is able to create a character that we can fully sympathize with. Unlike maybe Mankell, Nesbo’s touch with Harry Hole is a bit lighter. He is not as dour as Wallander though they both share a thing for the bottle.  The Redbreast story itself is vividly told and as fast paced as later books in the series.  It also deals with racism and Neo-Nazism, something that Larsson also dealt with in his Millenium trilogy.  Despite the Scandinavian image of pristine whiteness (blame it on all the snow?), I have the impression from reading all these books that there is an underlying darkness in their national psyche. Is it their way of dealing with their history during the WWII?  Hmmm, maybe its not such light reading after all.

What’s your book candy of choice?


  1. pinkprincess, i love this post! my book candy of choice is anything by Frances Mayes. i've read all her travel books including the latest one, Everyday in Tuscany. I like her poetic prose and her sensibilities when it comes to travel and exploring a new locale. reading her books instantly uplifts me. i like her writing so much i even read one book of hers on poetry, "Discovering Poetry! these days, i find that i rarely read anything that i don't really enjoy. if the first 50 pages put me to sleep, i just shelve the book and go to book candy! it's undisciplined and not what i've been used to doing, but it's so much fun!

  2. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux! :-) But I have not found the time to finish the book! Very good read though.

  3. This sounds really interesting! I'm not sure what my book candy is...I really like the classics...Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but I've read them all so much. I need to get my hands on something new!

  4. @Teacup Moments--I too find myself shelving books that bore me to death, even if they're the sort I should be reading! Life's too short right?
    @Full Measure--I've always wanted to read that but haven't gotten to it...
    @Sofi Stellar--I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes too! What did you think of the movie?

  5. My book candy would be something weepy, especially the novels of Anita Shreve (heard of her from Oprah's book club). She makes me sob and choke uncontrollably. So addicting!