On a recommendation from one of my work colleagues, I read Julian Barnes' Arthur & George, a fictionalised account of crimes committed in Staffordshire around the turn of the last century. I knew nothing about the book going in, other than the recommendation, and I enjoyed it. I though the middle was the most engaging (the beginning took a while to get going; the ending didn't really add anything). I didn't realise it was historical fiction when I started - I was surprised when one of the characters turned out to be someone I recognised!
On Friday night, we rented the movie adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I was a little wary of the movie: I loved the book, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch all of the violence that takes place on film. I was pleasantly surprised, though. The movie follows the book very closely, and Steig Larsson's descriptions were obviously extremely vivid, as everything in the movie was exactly as I had pictured it when reading it. I did have to go and unload our dishwasher when the basement scene started, but I got the general idea. We watched it with English subtitles, with the sound in the original Swedish. I really don't enjoy dubbed movies, so this worked well. Swedish is also a really musical language - I found it a pleasure to listen to. Apparently the second movie is just as good (yay!). Also, John, having not read any of the books, followed along with the movie quite happily (although he guessed the ending in the first 5 minutes).