May 2019 archive

May 31 2019

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith

The House of Unexpected Sisters

“That’s the mystery series where no one dies, right?” said Kid One. Yes it is, I said. “Well how can there be danger?” Ah, that’s the genius of this series, isn’t it? And oh, sweet youth, to think that death is the only kind of peril that’s strong enough to drive a story. Heartbreak, humiliation, …

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May 27 2019

Hoisted from comments: Father Boyd

Father Neil's Monkeyshines

Imagine my surprise! “Hi, Doug, I don’t comment on my own books usually. But this is Eastertide. Bless Me, Father (5 books and 3 TV series) was a best-seller in its day, the 1970s. I didn’t expect is to be selling as many copies in 2019. And thousands watch the TV series on Youtube each …

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May 26 2019

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake

I would not have predicted any of this from first starting this series, and I absolutely love that about these novels. All three queens have managed to survive the events of the first book, but Queen Katharine has come back… different. Betrayal will do that to you, of course, but even so, her former-and-perhaps-still beloved, …

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May 22 2019

The Sign Of Nine (Warlock Holmes #4) by G.S. Denning

I wonder if the Warlock Holmes series has a bit of the Star Trek (+Galaxy Quest) movies syndrome, where each other one is really terrific whilst the rest are somewhat average. Which isn’t at all a slur against either series, as both are still entertaining even when not at peak quality. The Sign Of Nine, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/22/the-sign-of-nine-warlock-holmes-4-by-g-s-denning/

May 19 2019

Hitler’s Empire by Mark Mazower

In Hitler’s Empire Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University, describes how Nazi Germany ruled most of the rest of Europe. Briefly, Nazi rule was both incompetent and inhumane. In that sense, Mazower’s book does not break much new ground. Instead, it takes on several other interesting tasks. It situates Nazism “as an …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/19/hitlers-empire-by-mark-mazower/

May 18 2019

Barbarossa by Alan Clark

Barbarossa by Alan Clark

So I asked the friend whose copy of Barbarossa I had acquired what the virtues were of an account published in 1965. He replied that Clark wrote clearly and was particularly good on the politicking among the German generals, and between the German high command and the leaders in the field. Thus encouraged, I picked …

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May 14 2019

An Interview with Tim Major, author of Snakeskins

Q. Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did Snakeskins evolve? A. As far back as 2015 I wrote the idea in my notebook, after learning that during a seven-year period, every cell in the human body is replaced. I loved the idea that instead …

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May 13 2019

Acceptance (Southern Reach #3) by Jeff VanderMeer

Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to do a competent review of this book without spoilers, so you’ve been warned, dear reader, spoilers abound ahead! The third book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy is by far the weirdest. Whereas Annihilation was a love story in a creepy sci-fi expedition setting, and Authority was a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/13/acceptance-southern-reach-3-by-jeff-vandermeer/

May 11 2019

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #1) by Seth Dickinson

Ngl, you’re either going to have to love economics or be okay with reading a lot about economics in order to enjoy this book. It’s essentially the tale of a socially rigid imperialism that sweeps up native peoples and cultures and crushes them under the guise of advancement and, ugh, social hygiene. Baru Cormorant is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/11/the-traitor-baru-cormorant-the-masquerade-1-by-seth-dickinson/

May 08 2019

Snakeskins by Tim Major

One of my favorite things about this book is Caitlin Hext, one of our main characters, whose emotional journey as an insufferable adolescent thrust into dealing with the seemingly impossible causes her to perpetrate reckless acts in order to do good and, eventually, to realize how she used to be and how she’s growing as …

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