A Few Of My Favorite Things…Ramble

2013 is winding down in a storm of Christmas parties. I made it through, barely, but still have enough brain power to write this post while angry movers toss around someone’s valuables, cursing at their lot. Ah, the joy of the holiday season!

This was …a year.
Song: Bastille’s “Pompeii”

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer – You can go home, but it won’t be the same!

Cover of ‘What Did The Fox Say’, well clearly the Kerry Washington version ‘What Did My Girl Say’ from SNL. Who dat who dat who dat bitch?

While Chanel No. 5 is wonderful, this year I was given Chanel No. 19. It is a musky scent, which can be worn on it’s own or blended with your summer scents, to tone them down through winter. If you are looking for a gift that is a little adventurous this is the one!

Celebrity Moment: After a lifetime of love for fellow Aussie, Kylie Minogue, I finally got to enjoy some champagne with her.

I would be remiss in summing up my year without mentioning a scoundrel named Theo M., who inspired me to write an entire new manuscript. I finished the first draft during NaNoWriMo, in a new genre for me. I’m working on the sequel so cross fingers they sell in 2014. Theo may not know how to be a real hero, like Ryan Gosling’s character in ‘Drive’, but he pushed me creatively, so he has value as a human being. (*if you listened to the song ‘Real Hero’ you’ll know what that sentence means, if not, it is a song that holds special meaning). Sometimes people come into our lives and betray us at a level never thought possible, but focusing on the good aspects, helps the healing process. That might sound cheesy, but living with so much pain and misery is not where I want to dwell.

In 2013 I became a better writer, cook and had my gall bladder sucked out through my stomach (closest I’ll get to an alien experience). I was pushed beyond my boundaries like never before and hope that continues in a mostly positive direction in 2014. I want to thank all the incredible authors I met this year. Thank you for the great advice and support including Helen Fielding, Erica O’Rourke, and Kwana Jackson in addition to the always amazing Shoshi, in a category all of her own.

Merry Christmas!

Why Helen Fielding HAD to Kill Mark Darcy/Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy…Ramble

Fourteen years have gone by since there’s been a new installment of Bridget Jones’. Well, then is it any wonder to gush like crazy over the return of chick lit’s leading lady and her creator? If there wasn’t a Bridget, there might not be a Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and The City) or an Andy Sachs (The Devil Wears Prada) or countless other great books that made us laugh, cry, relate and let us know, we’re not strange creatures from outer space if we are singletons.

Mad About A Boy

Recently spoilers were printed in the UK that quickly made the rounds to the US media. Helen Fielding had killed MARK DARCY! When Helen was asked by Vogue’s Valerie Steiker, culture editor last night at Housingworks Book Store, if she expected the swift reaction via Twitter from fans, she said no. She didn’t expect to be sitting at home in her pj’s like Bridget, watching the telly, and seeing updates about Syria, then the next story saying “HELEN FIELDING KILLED MARK DARCY!” She didn’t expect a man to run out of a restaurant she had just left yelling at her “You murdered Colin Firth!” right after the news broke. When I asked one of my friends to come to the event she said “Bitch killed Mark Darcy, she is dead to me.”

The hard part was having to tell Colin Firth. After all, the BBC version of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”, of which Colin played the most memorable Mr. Darcy, inspired Fielding’s character Mark Darcy. For Ms. Fielding, Colin/Mr. Darcy/Mark Darcy is a hybrid creature and she cannot separate them. She wanted to tell him about the character’s end in person but, their schedules were so conflicting she had to tell him over the phone. She said it was like a death, she asked him if he had someone there with him.

However, Colin/Darcy/Mark Darcy did not disappoint. How very British of this clever man to take it in good stride, and announce that it was a fictional character and no one had actually died. So, as a fan, when I heard the spoiler I was quite upset. However, as a writer, we are constantly told to kill our darlings, throw thunderbolts at our characters to shake them up, to challenge them and create conflict and new goals. For Ms. Fielding, Mark Darcy is a gentleman. He would never leave Bridget and their two children, so he had to die. “It’s far better that he dies and lives on in memory untarnished, like Jesus. He’d never be a fuckwit.” Indeed would you want to read a book about a happy marriage? We love Bridget for her struggles, for her self-doubt, for her bumbling through social situations and love.



Fielding said the way in which dating has changed now with social media, is the amount of things that can be silent and have to be interpreted.

Fielding has often be thought to be Bridget. She created Bridget as a means to write columns so she could keep her own life private. There are, of course, many similarities. She admitted she is overly ambitious in the kitchen and the blue string incident did happen to her. Her friends know she is usually going to overreach in that area and takeout will be ordered. Fielding is now divorced, a mother of two and living in London and in her 50′s. Bridget Jones is a widow, 51, and a mother of two living in London trying to sort out social media and modern dating. I can just say Poor Bridget! Let the comedy ensue.

When the Q&A was opened up to the audience I asked Helen if there was anything she had wished from the book had made it into the films and vice versa (oh self brag moment: Fielding said “That is a very good question” – oh yes, I have professionally interviewed people but a compliment from Helen/Bridget –for now she is a hybrid of those two personas for me–is quite amazing). Ms. Fielding answered yes and sometimes things get confusing. There were things she wanted to put into “Bridget Jones: Mad About A Boy” but had happened in a previous book or film. One thing she would have loved to have in the films was Bridget Jones interviewing Colin Firth the actor. (Note: if you own the 2nd film there is an outtake of exactly that but I didn’t bring that up since she seemed a bit tired from a full day of press). So, in actual real life, Helen met up with Colin Firth in Rome where she was Bridget Jones for the night out with Mark Darcy! And, they’ve also had phone conversations where Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy.

Indeed Helen Fielding is so charming and so humble when it comes to the success of Bridget. Ten minutes into the event, she admitted she was quite relieved and happy with it since she stressed about the VOGUE part of the evening – dressing up for it, accessorizing properly and wearing hard-to-walk-in-heels. I love that she removed those uncomfortable heels and let us all just have them sit there and admire them. Hurrah for Helen/Bridge.

Helen Fielding Sans Heels

Helen Fielding Sans Heels

Helen spoke about how men and woman just communicate differently. Bridget’s motto is KOB = keep buggering on & of course, she does. Women will go out, have some drinks and have a laugh about their problems. Whereas, (Fielding kept saying she is not a sociologist), a male friend went out with another man who was getting a divorce after twenty years. She asked him afterwards why the couple is getting divorced and her friend responded he didn’t know, they talked football all night.

When asked what she would be if not a writer, she replied a doctor. She said if anyone wasn’t feeling well she would be quite happy to assist them. Oddly enough, five minutes later the last “question” was really more a drawn out statement, when a woman three chairs down from me began moaning. If you were on the subway, you just move away from that kind of insane moaning, we’re New Yorkers, we used to it. However, this poor elderly woman who had come on her own was slumped over, unconscious in a bookstore! Guests and Fielding sprang into action. The fire department came and took the woman to a hospital. I want to say, as relieved as we all were she regained consciousness, thank you to you Ms. Moaner. You saved us from a seemingly, unending, pointless statement that was taking down the whole event and instead, gave us a chance to see Helen-Bridget as doctor in action.

The best question from Vogue was, if this book becomes a film, will Mark Darcy be present in flashbacks. Fielding said he would be well represented and that she’d like to be part of the casting! Oh ah.

Finally, it was lovely to have a bit of chat with Helen during the book signing afterwards. I was very happy I got to discuss the “Chick Lit” genre which so many in publishing “eschew” , which is the tone and genre I write in and Helen was surprised and told me to keep on going with it. The great thing is I got to inform her that Mad About A Boy is #1 in the Fiction Satire genre on Amazon. She was so happy. I love when you get a few moments with someone you admire, for whatever reason, and they are made happy by something you said to them. Thank you Helen-Bridget. I am glad you wrote another installment and shocked Britain by writing about a woman in her 50′s- gasp, dating!

Having a laugh with Helen

Having a laugh with Helen

Keep Writing & LOVE chick lit! Helen Fielding

Keep Writing & LOVE chick lit! Helen Fielding

Books Vs. Movie Versions…Ramble

It’s easy to replace the original version of a book in your memory, with what happened in the film adaptation. Here are a few changes from popular books made into popular movies, you may not remember:

1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic that has sparked a whole genre of books inspired by the original. In the film version starring Kiera Knightly, the film ends with Mark Darcy being told the nicknames he can call her i.e. “My Pearl” on Sundays. The classic book ends with a summary of the relationships between The Darcys and different characters in the book. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, do, once engaged, then become rather playful in the same vein as the movie, questioning how they could ever have fallen in love and what was the timeline.

2. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, not only based on Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, it sparked a whole genre of ‘chick lit’ itself. The genre is a fun, career women who bumble along when it comes to love. In the film, Mark Darcy and rival Daniel Clever have several scenes in which they are both present which climaxes with a fist fight on Bridget’s birthday. However, in the book, the two never face-off in person. Bridget also has a brother, who doesn’t add much to the book anyway,  which didn’t make it into the film.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, like Helen Fielding, Collins was able to be part of the film adaption, which remained closely faithful to the book. In first book in the much beloved trilogy, Katniss Everdeen saying goodbye to her family, Gale, and the mayor’s daughter who gives her the pin of the Mockingjay for good luck. In the film version, we never meet the mayor’s daughter. The pin is given to her by her costume designer, Cinna.

4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is also the first book in a beloved, albeit, adult, not YA, triology. There is one huge difference the film changed, for the better. At the end of the film, Lizbeth wants to go see Blomkvist, to give him a gift and resume their romantic relationship. In the book, it is a cheesy license plate that says ELVIS on it. The film fortunately made it an expensive leather jacket, a much sexier gift. However, both end up in the trash.

5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The book added this interesting detail- the four white horses our heroes rode off in on the end, were used by Prince Humperdink to go hunting. He would jump from one horse to another, in order to maximize their energy in his hunting pursuits.

Small changes can add big drama or cut out unnecessary details weighing down a book. What are some of your favorite differences between books and their film adaptations?


A Mini-Break with Mr. Darcy at “Austenland”…Ramble

I had the delightful pleasure of going to a screening of Sony Classic Pictures’ new film “Austenland” starring Keri Russell, who really has had a lot of exceptional roles in smaller films. In this film she is a huge Jane Austen who decides to spend her life savings on a “game changer” vacation to “Austenland”. It turns out to be a bit of a degrading experience for her since she could only afford the “crap copper package.”

This hilarious and charming romp had the audience laughing from the start. As a “Jane-ite” I love finding new ways of interpreting her works into the modern world. Let the charm carry you away:

And, lesson learned, I should have stuck to my first instinct to take a selfie because this is a fuzzy hot mess. Still, I finally got my hands on Mr. Darcy!


Crush of the Week: Helen Fielding Creator of Bridget Jones…Ramble

I attended the BookExpoAmerica (BEA) last week at the Jacob Javits Center. It was a whirlwind of activity with arms and elbows flying as readers grabbed for free books. Well, before that frenzy which left me seeking the santity of the Harlequin booth, I had the enormous pleasure of attending the Author Breakfest hosted by Chris Matthews where I got to hear Helen Fielding speak about her third Bridget Jones’ book “Mad About A Boy.” 

I’m going to give you the gist from my notes of what she said. Imagine a fabulous dry British accent that sounds like champagne and you’ll enjoy it even more. Disclaimer: I said gist and yes some is verbatim, but don’t (literally) quote me or Helen on that!

I want to thank everyone for coming here today. It’s nice to see all of you. The first time I had a public speaking engagement like this only two people showed up. One of them I had dated. Afterwards we went to lunch where he told me he was gay. — grrlgenius: transported to Bridget heaven!) I never thought I’d write another one (Bridget Jones novel) after the first two because I lost my voice. But last year, some things started to strike me as funny again and I started writing without telling anyone so that took the pressure off and reclaimed my privacy which allowed me creative freedom.

When the first Bridget Jones book came out there wasn’t any of the online things around that are around today like Twitter. I signed up for Twitter to do some research as Bridget Jones. Twitter is like a popularity contest. I kept checking the account for followers: naught. Again: naught. Then I got suspended from Twitter for checking 150 times in an hour how many followers I had. (grrlgenius: crowd was roaring laughing). Women come up to me all the time to tell me how much they relate to Bridget. I feel like I’m the Pope, confess child confess. One woman told me she went on an Internet Date and they had kissed a bit. A few days later she’d received a mass email from the fellow announcing his wife had just given birth to a girl. 

No matter where I go though women tell me they relate to Bridget even in Japan where they are so fabulous and tiny and eat small amounts of fish! I think she is so appealing because she represents the gap between how you feel you should be and how you are inside. When I was a kid I thought middle-aged woman were sagging and not very attractive with gray hair and you know today’s middle-aged women are very glam. This book sort of rebrands the older woman of today. Now there’s young children and you have so many priorities the to-do list might have find cheese, finish novel on it. Look at David Cameron, the PM of Britain. He was in the car on the phone and his kids were acting up. He finally had to say to them “shut up I’m on the phone with the Prime Minister of Israel.” So, see all of us are juggling a lot of things today and we try to act like we’re glamourous when we are a mess on the other end. I’ve been wearing sweatpants and didn’t brush my hair looking quite feral while I wrote this book. So now I’m going to go on a huge diet (grrlgenius: she is so tiny!) and have massive amounts of plastic surgery before the book comes out. 

Love & Hate: People Have Strong Feelings for Gwyneth Paltrow…Ramble

As a Gwyneth fan I am glad that one of my most read posts to date has been “In Defense of Gwyneth…”. I was really excited when her new, healthy cook book It’s All Good came out April 9th and even more so, when I went to the book signing at William-Sonoma. There were no haters with bitchforks waiting to throw quinoa pies at the golden goddess, in fact it was the best dressed crowd I have ever seen at a book signing and there was so much love and appreciation for the Oscar winning actress I felt I had found my people.

It is kind of amusing just how polarizing the media is in their portrayal of Gwyneth. Last week she was named by Us Magazine the number one most hated celebrity – now this is  a list with Kim Kardashian at number ten and Chris Brown at number twenty. Should GP choose to assault someone with a large ass she will apparently slide off that list. Note: this was also two weeks after her new book made the NY Times Best Seller list.

Today People Magazine named Gwyneth “The Most Beautiful Woman In the World”. So is it because she is so beautiful that she is so hated? Wow even the ‘Mean Girls’ were less transparent! When Gwyneth visited Dr. Oz he asked her if it bothered her journalists had taken sentences out of her book to twist and call her a bad mother, the good natured health fanantic had to laugh and say no, because those people obviously don’t know her personally. That’s a pretty healthy outlook.

I view GOOP as GP’s outlet for sharing tidbits and giving insight and access to her contacts. I thanked her for sharing her recipes and yep, believe it or not folks there are items in the newsletter you can make yourself for under five dollars like a sugar scrub. Last week’s newsletter had tips from the butler at the Four Seasons who uses such dollar store products like ammonia and the Mr. Clean erasers to keep things shiny. You could say the elitist part is getting cleaning tips from him, but the solutions are quite cost effective.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletters filled with tips on clean eating and juiciing and recipes have helped me take a whole new outlook to food and the way I consume it. As a result I’ve lost thirty pounds. So thank you Gwyneth for your guidance. I needed someone to point me in the right direction.


Book Suggestions for Gifts This Holiday Season…Ramble

As Christmas and the holiday season is upon us, the gifting has commenced! If you shopped like millions of Americans on Black Friday yesterday, then got home, realized you hitting the book store was the last thing you wanted to do and half the stuff you bought is of no use to anyone, well it’s time to buy, buy again. Here are some great books for your holiday gifting:

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub is about the life of a small town Midwest girl who gets into the Hollywood Machine in her early 20′s driven by the loss of her sister. Taking place in the 1940′s-60′s it is an interesting tale which will draw the reader in whether you are 15 or 55. I really had to stop myself from finishing the last fifty or sixty pages because I didn’t want my time with Ms. Lamont to be finished. 

I picked up this gem when Emma had a co-book signing event with the ever amazing, Molly Ringwald, who is just as cool as you thought she’d be and then some. Molly’s book When It Happens To You is also a great read especially for fans who are literary lovers. Her intelligent insights to human behaviour facing everyday challenges of life and betrayal are so vivid I wondered if she knew all these people in real life. 

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway was one of my favorite suprise reads of the year. Her main character, Gal Garner is so different than most  women’s fiction works. Gal isn’t on a man hunt, oh no, she wants something bigger- to breed a new and original type of rose. I learned so much in the most fascinating way about rose breeding through Gal’s voice. A wonderful story that is far from typical fare. 

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin is now in paperback. Snap this one up for the Downton Abbey fan you know immediately. I read online there is a potential movie for Downton which will depict the evolution of Robert & Cora Crawley (aka the parents!). I say, why wait? Scoop up The American Heiress now which cannot be too far off since it is about that exact subject- a rich American who is married off for a title to pump some much needed money back into an English estate. 

For Your Best Friend:
50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. What? I know how much I’ve complained about my struggle to get through this book. In fact I’ve 7 books while trying to get through 50 Shades, however, my friend who insisted I read it says you can’t read ‘high brow’ all the time. And yesterday I was discussing it with another friend, also a working mother, who has read the series 9 times.

Caveat: I’m still trying to get through the first book which I want to read with a Sharpie to vehemently cross out the words “inner goddess” which would never come out of a 21 year old’s subconscious on a regular basis. Another friend found the sex closer to forced than on the consensual side of on the border.

Teens: So, you’re teen likes series? If they haven’t already tried the Switched novels  by Amanda Hocking, it’s time to be the cool relative and call this one…. a wrap. Bwahaha. 

Happy Holidays!!!!!

Great Cause: Anti-Bullying

I think most of us has been through some kind of bullying- mild or otherwise in this life. It happens to kids but it also happens at work– and don’t try to deny it. Standing up for one’s self can come at great cost so here’s a way to support an anti-bullying cause at very little cost and you get a great book out of it to enjoy. See the details below:

This is a lovely book and perfect for Fall or Holiday gift giving for the book lover on your list. Today only, we’re donating money to “I Choose” Anti-bullying organization for those who buy The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby. This book was inspired by 17 young women who were bullied enough to take their own lives. It’s a tragedy that this happens. I hope you’ll take a moment and support this campaign – buy the book, read it, give it as a gift, it’s a beautiful and magical novel about the love between mothers and daughters, sisters, and how we can survive and be resilient amidst adversity. I hope you’ll support us today and stand up against bullying! If you are able to buy and send your receipt to contests@sparkpointstudio.com (or simply email me and let me know!), we’re donating a portion of the sales to I Choose!  Thank you!!

Girl Crush: Author Liza Palmer…Ramble

Liza is one of those people who’s writing creates new friends. Friends that fulfill the Girl Scout song “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.” I’ve been able to connect online with Liza and interview her for some outlets, including this blog. She just pretty much kicks ass. Funny, honest and bubbling over with talent, she even has a French bulldog named Poet. Could she be any cooler? 

My favorite book of Liza’s is Seeing Me Naked. It’s a powerful and intrigueing facing the hard stuff in life with your family and finally creating a life for yourself regardless of what everyone expects you to do. Her last book A Field Guide To Burying Your Parents completely book my heart. It was so powerfully emotional and really hit a raw part of my experience in life. Let’s not forget her first book Conversations With The Fat Girl which was both hilarious and amazing.

Palmer fans already excited for her latest book More Like Her out on April 17th, which I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of to read. I’ve been discussing this issue of lifestyle over career ambitions and how that changes with age with a lot of my friends in the last couple of years. It’s like Liza was part of those conversations or at least her characters in “More Like Her” were. There are times when it’s hard for us to understand the end of a relationship, romanticize it and grieve for it while admiring someone else who seems to have “more” than us in one or several ways. 

“More Like Her” captures the feeling of being in your 30′s wondering why life still hasn’t resolved those career and relationship issues, but really addresses the need to actual realize you deserve someone who appreciates you as you are and the first person to fall in love with you should be you. This book is a little bit of a lighter emotional tugging than Liza’s first three books, but have no fear she will still take you over that edge and in that way I wish I was ….more like her. :) 

Face-off: The Girl With The Dragon Tat vs. The Hunger Games Trilogy War…Ramble

Hype can completely come attached to any media. People hear and see things and they want it, especially on repeated exposure. It’s how marketing works, it’s how careers rise and we consume media. Mass transit in the publishing capital of America allows for extra ‘impressions’ every time you see a person reading a book with a colorful cover it leaves another impression, the feeling that ‘oh I keep seeing people with that book, it must be good’ creating a sense of urgency the way teens catch on to what their peers are into and adopt it.

Here, we face off two triologys- one that has been hyped to adults and one aimed at teens. Both have sold millions of copies and are being translated onto the cinematic screen. Now, their heroines must FACE-OFF!

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Lisbeth Salander vs. The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen

Lisbeth is a twin but estranged from her sister. Her father is a powerful government figure who savagely beat her mother so hard it caused brain damage. Lisbeth tried to protect her mother by setting her father on fire, although it did not kill him.

Katniss is the oldest of two girls. Her father died in a coal mining explosion, sending her mother also off into a land of delusion and a fog descended upon the house. Katniss was left to fend for the food as they live in the poorest District (12 of 13).

Winner: ick, both have Father/Mother/Sister issues. If you want to go in terms of more severe suffering, Lisbeth is the ‘winner’.

Lisbeth is a genius hacker. The book’s author Stieg Larsson spends a ridiculous amount of time discussing the computer equipment (now of course completely outdated) she uses in the most boring way possible. Lisbeth has had to fend for herself being institutionalized herself and often sexually assaulted. She is stronger than her fragile malnourished appearance, great with a blade, fast and not afraid of hand-to-hand combat. She is also cunning and will use any weapon at her disposal to achieve her goal including sex.

Katniss is a huntress. She learned basic hunting skills from her beloved father before he died. He taught her to find the herb she is named after in the woods ‘you’ll never starve if you can find yourself.’ She is brave as she volunteered to take her young sister Prim’s place in The Hunger Games, where a boy and girl from each District annually face off in a death match. That’s right a death match. Katniss is also street smart and doesn’t full trust anyone even her best friend potential boyfriend Gale who refined her hunting skills and teams up with her to provide both their families with illegal game they find in the woods.

Winner: Each one’s skill set helps them survive and foil killers to the best of their abilities, and not without injury. This one is another hard category to pick. Lisbeth has skills that help her navigate the modern world, while Katniss’ skills are also include putting on a show and being an actress to win the crowd to her side. I’m going to go with Katniss.

Lisbeth dabbles in the lady pond but she also manages to fascinate men. Men who sexually assault her but also the unlikely journalist Mikael Blomkvist *played by Daniel Craig (hello James Bond) in the US Film Version out 12/21/11. Reading the books I found it highly bizarre. Blomkvist is a notorious ladies man and will shag just about anyone. It’s odd because Lisbeth is so private and when they first meet her partner is a woman.

Katniss has undeveloped feelings toward her best friend Gale. They are undefined but no matter how many girls throw themselves at Gale *played by Miley Cyrus’ man Liam Helmsworth, he only has eyes for Katniss. Of course, Katniss has a bit of a love triangle (well let’s face it both Lisbeth & Blomkvist have more than two partners in the first book) of her own due to the baker’s son, Peeta being pretty much in love with her. He is someone who gave her bread after her father died and got a beating for it. In fact, he is also the boy selected at random from District 12 to face off in The Hunger Games.

Winner: Personally I’m into amazing guys vying for my attention and since this is my blog I’m going to go with Katniss. Lisbeth doesn’t have the love of anyone, she can’t trust anyone so how can love blossom for her? It can’t.



Winner: Woah, those are some great trailers but having not liked the Millenium series (yes that’s what they call The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series), seeing the trailer made me intrigued to see the movie. Comparatively I already want to see The Hunger Games so the winner is “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Purists who saw the foreign import version will beg to differ but I’m sticking by my choice.

BOOK REPORT: I’ll admit the 2nd book “The Girl Who Played With Fire” ended in a much more intriguing cliffhanger than “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” yet I still couldn’t be bothered to read “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”. I have a feeling if Mr. Larsson had lived he would have done edits for the US market, a map of Sweden might have been placed in the books for reference and he probably would’ve changed the second book from having multiple characters with names starting with ‘B’ (I stopped counting at 8!) including one of the main characters Blomkvist and his boss/lover.

To compare, I delayed beginning “Mockingjay” the last book in “The Hunger Games” series because I didn’t want it to be finished. I was so engrossed in the triology I will have to read it again. I can’t wait for the movies! I will go see all of them in the theater- something I don’t really do as much given the bed bug freakiness of New York.

WINNER: The Hunger Games

OVERALL VICTOR: While these two characters both struggle to survive one has a target placed on her back and the other one inserts herself into the middle of trouble constantly. My choice is Katniss Everdeen who is far more likeable and you root for her. I find Lisbeth’s story harsh but it’s the similarity she has to the The Assassin character (in the US “Point of No Return”) that makes me want root for something fresh.

UPDATE 12/14:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – music by Trent Reznor and six of those songs are available for free download.

The Hunger Games: soundtrack not announced yet.

The Girl With The Dragon Tat: H&M fashion line is now in-stores this week so you can be, what my former intern, Julian would like ‘a badass’ without having to run from the law, be a victim of the system or rescue James Bond from getting killed.

The Hunger Games: Hard to judge here as the movie doesn’t come out until March and I can’t wait to see the clothing that Cinna, the costume designer played by another badass who will rock leather til the day he dies, Lenny Kravitz fills the screen with.

Winner: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on both accounts. While it’s too early to call on The Hunger Games, I’m guessing I’d rather rock the H&M line then the bodysuits the contestants in The Hunger Games have to sport.

NEW OVERALL WINNER: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on Badass Cool points, but let’s not count out The Hunger Games (again books I clearly prefer) til it comes out in March.