Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Reviews: Chanel, Dragon Tattoo

It's uneasy showing your heart to the world, so I appreciate all the sweet comments on my last post. I don't consider myself a poet by any means, but sometimes it is simply the best way to express feelings that can't be explained.

When I am not busy being depressed, I am quite the bookworm.

I just finished reading two brilliant novels, which I really hope you will check out after reading my reviews.


Sometimes you're better off fantasizing about your idol, rather than actually meeting the person, because you'll be extremely disappointed.

Reading "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinksy" by Chris Greenhalgh reminded me of that sentiment. I want to spend the rest of my life remembering Coco Chanel as the glamorous, intelligent designer who revolutionized the fashion industry, rather than the distasteful, anti-semitic woman presented in this book.

The story follows Chanel and her illicit love affair with Russian composer Igor Stravinksy. Cold, calculated, and annoyingly clingy, Chanel rips Stravinksy away from his loving family with her seductive beauty and manipulative charm. Their selfish actions hurt everyone around them and they don't care.

I'm not going to lie: the first few chapters of this book are kind of boring. Chris Greenhalgh is an excellent writer and the description throughout the book is just gorgeous. It's clear you're reading a worthwhile novel, although it starts out a bit slow. But by the time you reach the middle, you don't want to put it down. The shit hits the fan and like a car accident, you can't help but gawk in wonder.

If you're interested in the personal life of Chanel and enjoy beautifully written literature, this book is definitely for you.

Apparently I live on the moon, because I didn't discover until after reading the novel that it is already a motion picture. The movie, "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinksy" is out in theaters right now, so I plan on going to see it soon. Because I am a nerd, however, I am going to encourage you to read the novel first, if you get the chance.

Everyone and their mom have read this book. So, of course, I had to read it as well. And why not? Word-of-mouth is how I discovered the Harry Potter series and the Da Vinci Code.

Well, apparently everyone and their mom also have this book on hold at the library. I was appalled to discover that I was 568th in line!! Since I wanted to read the book before I hit menopause, I purchased the paperback copy for eight bucks at Borders.

It was worth all eight dollars. Hell, it was worth MORE.

This action-packed mystery had my heart racing and my fingers tired from flipping pages with the speed of lightning. The Swedish novel follows investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist as he researches the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl 40 years ago. He is teamed up with a brilliant 24-year-old heroine, the tattooed, ruthless Lisbeth Salander.

I seriously was so addicted to this novel that I stayed up all night finishing it last week. There was no way I would be able to sleep without knowing what happened. The book is that awesome.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is also a Swedish film that has already been in theaters. I plan on netflixing it when it becomes available on DVD. The American version is planning to be released next year, with Daniel Craig playing the lead role. Right now, Lisbeth has not been cast but rumors have it that several Hollywood starlets are begging for the role. Among them: Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Ellen Page, and Emma Watson.

Again, I highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie!

I hope you enjoyed my reviews and that they didn't bore you too much. Haha!


anhesty said...

i haven't read either but i have seen the movie for the girl with the dragon tattoo. the movie isn't bad but i know the book would be even better so i plan on picking that up to read soon.

drollgirl said...

i am reading the dragon tattoo book now. kind of slow going in the beginning (for me at least), but i'm sticking with it!

and i am busy being depressed all the time! gah! i need to knock that off, but that line of yours cracked me up!

janettaylor said...

I haven't read either too, but I'm curious... :) esp. Chanel!

Karleen said...

The second book in the Stieg Larsson series was my favorite. As soon as I finished it I had to get to the nearest book store to pick up The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. I can't wait to get out of work and read!

Missy M said...

i havent read any books for a while. will have to start!

Blending Style, Beauty and Fashion

Tights Lover said...

I completely hear you on the idol comments. It's so sad how people one can consider amazing can so often end up disappointing!

Glad you were able to read Dragon Tattoo before hitting menopause...hahaha! I can't tell you how many people have recommended this book to me. Sounds like you're on board as well. I'm going to have to check it out!

And yeah, I definitely prefer to read the book before seeing the movie in most circumstances. Although, then I have to remind myself to not be the annoying person who tells everyone in the room what's about the happen...hahaha!

Vintage Vixen said...

I read the whole of the Steig Larsson trilogy through July. Absolutely gripping read, I'm too scared to watch the movie as I have an image of Salander in my head I don't want destroyed.
The Chanel one sounds good, although her past certainly was rather dubious.
Thanks for the great recommendations. Love your writing style.
Take care, Jen! xxx

Anonymous said...

So great!


Hello girl!

Thanks so much for your love! It is a real pleasure :)
About Chanel, I saw 2 Chanel movies, but this one seems to be so great! WE all love Chanel :)))

all kisses,


Kristin said...

I have heard such amazing things about The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo!

Spence. said...

I don't want to ruin the illusion of Coco as my idol either (I adore Coco beofe Chanel!) so I doubt I'll read the first book, but your reviews were really good!


MarchMusings said...

I've heard a lot about 'Girl with a ...' but haven't yet read it. I'm sure the line at the library here will be long too!

jamie-lee said...

I haven't read either, and I am definately meaning too x

Mimi said...

i've been wanting to read the girl with the dragon tattoo! and with this review of yours, i think i'm gonna have to read it sooner than planned. haha. i am also gonna be reading water for elephants. i heard they are making a movie based on it. reese witherspoon and rob pattinson are gonna be in it.

<3, Mimi

ViCreative said...

thanks for your lovely comment.
hope to see you around soon!

(new post: der Reiter & follow me)

Drea said...

Although I've not jumped on the movie or book bandwagon just yet, while passing by a Red Box kiosk I noticed that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is already out on DVD.

Josie said...

I MUST read that Chanel book! I love anything Coco and I think there's a movie version coming out soon?
xo Josie

Tamanna A. Shaikh said...

I'm stuck in such a rut that I've been really bad at commenting at friends' blogs. But hey! Here I am! :)

These two books are something I'd definitely pick! I'm a lover of everything Chanel so I have to read that book. Good to know your review. Now I'll be prepared, Jennifer! :)

Seema said...

Great reviews, I'm quite a bookworm too, you've really convinced me to get into reading the girl with the dragon tatoo

Sydnie said...

I'm so glad I read your review on "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". I want to read it so bad, and that totally just affirmed my decision. Thanks!


Leia said...

I really want to see Coco & Igor!


Oana Alexandra Stroici said...

Thanks for your sweet comment

and I love your post about Chanel.


Oana Alexandra Stroici said...

Thanks for your sweet comment

and I love your post about Chanel.


Oana Alexandra Stroici said...

Thanks for your sweet comment

and I love your post about Chanel.


.:JoaNNa:. said...

i really want to read the dragon tattoo book! i hope emma watson could get the role of the movie ;)
you're really good in writing reviews, keep them coming!


Sammy_B said...

Ahh I really want to read 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'- you've inspired me to buy it! :D:D

ching said...

wow i wanna read those books too!
i've always wanted to have a good read. thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

I really want to read the chanel book, it does seem like it would be distasteful to remember as conniving rather than a great fashion designer, but there are two sides to every person! I must read it!

Miss Neira

Camila F. said...

I'll try to read that first book before I see the movie. The book is always better than the screen version, right?

Rachel said...

I haven't read either of these books, but I keep hearing about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I guess I really need to check it out!

APieceOfCrap said...

Awee, thank you!

best regards from Sweden :)

rebecca said...

i really want to read the chanel book - her life has always fascinated me.

Cheryl: Oh to Be a Muse said...

i haven't read or seen the coco chanel book or movie, but it does suck when you have one perception of someone famous and then you learn more about them and it changes everything. like the fact that bridget bardot hated gay people.

i do want to read the girl with the dragon tattoo though as i've heard great things. and there is a movie for it as well and i hear it's good too.

Couture Carrie said...

Fab reviews, darling!
I need to start reading more!


Fifth Sparrow said...

I've seen both these books in the store and was tempted to buy them, I need a good book! So glad you reviewed them, you can never really tell from the blurbs on the back covers!

Dina's Days said...

I remember you suggesting that book to me on facebook. Now I really have to read it. And I laughed out loud at your menopause comment.

Bionica said...

I totally hear the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a great book and movie
your review is very nice girl


The Owl's Closet said...

thanks for these book reviews, jen! like u, i would like to remember coco chanel as smart and classy:) hehe u know, i've been meaning to check out the second book since everyone's raving about it lol im glad to hear that it lives up to the hype:)

Lindsay With An "A" said...

So glad you reviewed "Girl w/Dragon Tattoo!" I've been wanting to read it as well! Now I will :)

Heather Taylor said...

Looks like I need to pick up a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo now. Everyone I know has been raving about it!