Mini reviews (July 30 2013)

I really ought to put up some reviews of books I’ve read in July. So here are some mini ones.

The strange files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones #1) – Dianne Day


This was via Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust to Go, as it’s set in 1905 San Francisco. Fremont Jones (Caroline is her actual first name) moves from Boston to San Francisco, offering her typing services to a variety of San Franciscans – a dashing lawyer, an eccentric writer influenced by Edgar Allen Poe. I pretty much assumed this was a mystery/crime series, so I wasn’t expecting the main character to be a typist. Still it was a fun read, although Fremont makes rather irrational decisions. But I liked her strength and independence, and I’m curious to see what else this typist extraordinaire will get herself into.

The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith
First published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, The Price of Salt is apparently a lesbian cult classic. It is the story of stage designer Therese Belivet who works in a department store selling dolls, where she meets suburban housewife Carol Aird and falls for her. Highsmith is in her element here as she winds her way through this dark twisty tale. It is slow-going at the start but it is a great story of love and desperation, plus there is a road trip towards the end! Brilliant!

A natural history of the senses – Diane Ackerman


Goodness, can Diane Ackerman write some beautiful sentences about the senses. But it can get a little too much at times, and is best picked up and put down here and there.

The girl with the dragon tattoo – Stieg Larsson


Wow it took quite a while for this book to get going, but then as I realized it was about investigating a disappearance that took place many years ago, I was intrigued – I really wanted to know how they turned it into a film. I might watch the film on Netflix. But I’m not sure about reading the rest of the trilogy. The first book was kind of too long, and long-winded. Is the rest like this?


  1. I have to say that I’m not jumping to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve read several reviews where people were unimpressed.


  2. I have the Ackerman on my shelves; I’ll remember to give it some time between reading sessions. Thanks for the note.

    Re: Larsson. It started to take off for me about halfway and I wholly enjoyed it. I really liked the Swedish film and liked the American film rather well too (which I was surprised by, because I’d so enjoyed the Swedish version that I thought I’d resent the re-do). I found the second book moved quickly enough, and was desperate to read the third IMMEDIATELY (I asked a friend in Sweden to mail it to me because it wasn’t yet available here), but found it read more slowly with more overt political chat. By then, I was invested in the characters so that I didn’t mind the slower pace in it as much as some readers seemed to mind. I’ll be interested to hear how you find them too, if you choose to follow up!


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