I read the first, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and took Husband to see the movie, which I thought was one of the best book-adaptation screenplays ever. Of course the movie was different from the book, else you probably would have had a five-hour film, but the choices made were intelligent ones and in a few cases I thought improvements over the book. Husband like it so much, he read the book. And then he read the next one. Which is sort of amazing since his reading repertoire is usually limited to geeky science and construction magazines. I can list the books he's read in our twelve years of marriage. Here they are:
Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America, Theodora Kroeber. He read this on our honeymoon, perhaps reflecting on his recent state of captivity. Loved it—at the end, he cried sitting on the beach in Maui.
Sacred Hunger, Barry Unsworth. Good for him, I thought. Unsworth is hardly easy reading. He totally dug it but then didn't read another book for years. Seriously.
Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton, Diane Wood Middlebrook. He picked this up following an NPR interview with the author. Billy Tipton was a female jazz musician who lived as a man—very successfully it would seem given that he was married to several woman who somehow did not notice this. It's a beautiful and poignant story of the nature of identity and gender, but alas, Billy dies at the end, once again bringing Husband to tears. To make things worse, every time he tried to get my book group to read this, everyone laughed. And we haven't stopped: We're supposed to nominate three books each time, and if we're ever short a choice, we throw in Suits Me and then vote for one of the other two.
Then a couple of summer ago when we were on an Alaskan cruise with the MIL, he read a book about the cruise ship business. It was just great: He regaled us at dinner each night with endless statistics on what it took to run a large cruise ship: how many freezers, how much lettuce, how many prep cooks. Fascinating.
And then he's read the first two books in the Millenium trilogy. And he wants the third one. Badly. He will not wait until paperback. And neither will I, for that matter. These books are a hoot, sort of like smart mind candy. Problem is they keep you up at night and prevent you from peeling yourself off the couch in the day time. When he was on the first and I on the second, Husband and I spend an entire rainy weekend day doing nothing but reading in front of the fire.We are both in love with Lisbeth Salander, that tattooed computer-hacking motorcyle-riding little minx. Did you know Larsson said once that he envisioned her as modern-day Pippi Longstocking? No wonder I love her so much.
But here's the dilemma. Whereas I am perfectly happy to buy the third book in hardback and even let Husband read it first (I'm in the middle of two other books—see the reading list), I am concerned about the ramifications of turning it over to him. His company, like mine, has mandated furloughs, and he has ganged up some of his to stretch Memorial Day weekend into a five-day frenzy of work on . . . (yes!) our house.
So if I give him the book, the furlough may get pissed away. If I withhold it, I may get a front door I can actually walk through and plastic tarps off the front of my house. Maybe. But I want him to be happy. So how about this: I let him have the book only between the hours of 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. During the rest of the time I'm going to have to either hide it or if that fails put it in the car and drive it away. So I can read it.