To Stieg or Not to Stieg

The Millennium TrilogyIt seems like virtually everyone is reading Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. I saw it tucked under the arms of people at work. Book bloggers were reviewing it. It appeared in ads for Amazon’s Kindle. I began to wonder if I should read the books. Some reviews tend to tell me that perhaps they wouldn’t be my thing, but others rave about the books. Who to trust? Who to believe?

Then this link went out over Twitter, and I forgot who tweeted it, but it’s some pretty harsh criticism of Larsson and his work. What do you think? Have you read them? Does Janet Potter have a point? Or do you disagree with her completely?

In other news, my beloved Kindle is broken. It looks like this:

Kindle WTF

I did some research and discovered it can happen with even moderate pressure, and I fully admit it probably received some moderate pressure. I called Amazon, and they are shipping a replacement to me, which will arrive by Tuesday. They didn’t ask how it got like this, nor did they charge me for the replacement. Even though my Kindle is still under warranty, most companies would try to charge the customer for damage like this. I am to send my broken Kindle back, probably so it can be fixed and sold as a refurbished model. In fact, the one I’m getting in the mail is probably refurbished. The customer service couldn’t have been better. I had to fight back tears when I discovered it was broken last night, but Amazon made it all better again. I know they have taken some PR hits lately, but I’ve been a customer for twelve years, and I’ve never had anything but great service. If we had an indie bookstore around here anymore (Coffee Buy the Book closed a long time ago), I might buy from indies more often. I always get something from the Little Shop of Stories when I am in the vicinity of Decatur. As it is, I don’t really have an indie to support, and Amazon has been great to me.

photo credit: Terry Chay

Battle of Maldon

Statue of Brythnoth, Earl of EssexHave you ever heard of the Battle of Maldon? It happened on this date in 991 when Vikings invaded Essex, inspiring an Old English poem that influenced the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien.

August 12 marks the birthday of the former British poet laureate Robert Southey 1in 1774. I always remember an Introduction to Literature professor I had freshman year of college tried to tell us Southey was the father of Frankenstein novelist Mary Shelley. Nope. William Godwin was. August 12 also marks the anniversary of the deaths of poets William Blake in 1837 and James Russell Lowell in 1891 as well as the death of Thomas Mann in 1955 and Ian Fleming in 1964.

August 13 marks the anniversary of the death of H. G. Wells in 1946.

August 14 is the birthday of American romance novelist Danielle Steele.

August 15 marks the anniversary of the death of Duncan at the hand of Macbeth and Macbeth himself 17 years later at the hands of Malcolm (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada). Shakespeare telescopes these events in his play Macbeth. Sir Walter Scott was also born on that date in 1771 and Stieg Larsson in 1954.

August 16 marks the birthday of T. E. Lawrence in 1888, Georgette Heyer in 1902, and Charles Bukowski in 1920. British poet Andrew Marvell died on August 16 in 17678. August 16 also marks the anniversary of the date in 1949 when Gone With the Wind novelist Margaret Mitchell died after injuries suffered when she was hit by a car on Peachtree Street.