October 2018 archive

Oct 17 2018

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

This book first came to my attention when work was doing coverage of the Edgars the year it was nominated for Best First Novel, but I deliberately chose another book on the slate because the blurb was equal parts attractive and repulsive to me. It sounded very much like rich white people problems, plus every …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/17/luckiest-girl-alive-by-jessica-knoll/

Oct 15 2018

The City & The City by China Miéville

Don’t read the second sentence of this post. Don’t read the sentence that comes before this one. In this world, we do not acknowledge italics. Italics are the only text there is. If you see something written in another way, avert your eyes, unsee and unread before it is too late. We have some leniency …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/15/the-city-the-city-by-china-mieville/

Oct 15 2018

Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin

Here is Ursula K. Le Guin on life in pre-Roe America: My friends at NARAL asked me to tell you what it was like before Roe vs. Wade. They asked me to tell you what it was like to be twenty and pregnant in 1950 and when you tell your boyfriend you’re pregnant, he tells …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/15/words-are-my-matter-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Oct 14 2018

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

You know what would be really scary? A novel written from the point of view of one of the women who believed wholeheartedly in the tenets of the Republic of Gilead, who rejoiced in the work they were doing, who revelled in her role as helpmeet, as implementer of God’s will on an earth that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/14/the-handmaids-tale-by-margaret-atwood/

Oct 14 2018

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It often happens that the very best books are hardest to write about. I discovered TNC’s blog fairly early in his tenure at The Atlantic, and I made sure to keep coming back. Time zones — I lived in the South Caucasus at the time, even further from US schedules — meant that I missed much of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/14/we-were-eight-years-in-power-by-ta-nehisi-coates/

Oct 13 2018

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

The Shepherd’s Crown is the end, and no way around it. The forty-first and last Discworld novel, after “The End” on page 328 there’s nothing more but what readers imagine might still happen on the Disc. Rob Wilkins, Pratchett’s chief assistant writes in an afterword that The Shepherd’s Crown was “not quite as finished as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/13/the-shepherds-crown-by-terry-pratchett/

Oct 13 2018

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

Hunh. So, okay. This book is super rich in ideas and philosophy and science, and posits a logical extrapolation of capitalism to its vilest ends. The question of autonomy vs indentured servitude, and the heartbreaking necessity in this future of individual (en)franchisement, plus the stranglehold of corporate patents on technology, are all discussed and examined …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/13/autonomous-by-annalee-newitz/

Oct 12 2018

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith

Precious and Grace begins with Mma Ramotswe, founder and proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, reflecting on the people in her life: people who are late, others who are still with us; family, particularly her husband Mr J.L.B. Matekoni; friends and colleagues, from the formidable Mma Potokwani who runs the local orphanage to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/12/precious-and-grace-by-alexander-mccall-smith/

Oct 05 2018

Steeplejack (Steeplejack #1) by A.J. Hartley

It took me three tries, but I finally found enough time to get past the first five percent of the book to dive into this excellently rendered fantasy world. Which isn’t to say that the first five percent was bad, just that it’s awfully dense with chimney-climbing stuff, and given my heavy reading load, it …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/05/steeplejack-steeplejack-1-by-a-j-hartley/

Oct 01 2018

From Page To Screen: A Simple Favor

I likened reading Darcey Bell’s A Simple Favor to enjoying a bananas smoothie of noir tropes and modern mom issues, and will extend that simile to say that I wasn’t sure how much I liked the aftertaste, but was pleased to have read it ahead of seeing the movie starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/01/from-page-to-screen-a-simple-favor/