Category: Autobiography

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/

Apr 22 2018

How Not to Be a Professional Footballer by Paul Merson

Absolutely cracking depiction of the lifestyle of a professional English footballer in and around the 1990s. Paul Merson is an Arsenal legend whose off-the-field antics were just as noteworthy as his sporting accomplishments, tho perhaps in a far different context. Merse is a larger than life figure who was as well known for his ebullient …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/04/22/how-not-to-be-a-professional-footballer-by-paul-merson/

Oct 10 2017

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

How to review a book by one of the most polarizing politicians of recent memory describing an election campaign and aftermath that still elicit strong feelings from large swathes of the electorate? If you think Hillary Clinton is the devil incarnate, I’d be very surprised that you’d even consider reading this book, and then I’d …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/10/what-happened-by-hillary-rodham-clinton/

Jul 22 2017

A Devil to Play by Jasper Rees

A friend whose son plays the French horn was struck by the quality of Jasper Rees’ writing and sent me a copy of A Devil to Play, thinking that I would enjoy this memoir of renewing acquaintance with a musical instrument abandoned in Rees’ final years of school, and of course she was completely right. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/07/22/a-devil-to-play-by-jasper-rees/

May 24 2017

Traveler of Worlds by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

The important information on this book’s cover is the subtitle, Conversations with Robert Silverberg. Traveler of Worlds is entirely a set of interviews with Silverberg, who recently passed 80 years of age. He’s one of the grand old men of science fiction; he has attended every Hugo award ceremony; he was incredibly prolific back in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/24/traveler-of-worlds-by-alvaro-zinos-amaro/

May 21 2017

The Accidental Terrorist by William Shunn

How does a Mormon missionary wind up facing charges of terrorism and conspiracy? In Canada, of all places? William Shunn’s memoir, The Accidental Terrorist, starts with him at nineteen answering questions for a detective. It’s hard to tell if he’s more disconcerted by the charges he faces or the woman facing him in a short, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/21/the-accidental-terrorist-by-william-shunn/

May 17 2017

Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall

By the time Blair Tindall gets to the skills analysis that tells her she’s terrible at logic and analysis, I was so frustrated with this book that I said aloud, “You got that right.” Other things she gets right in the book: the fly-on-the wall look at the life of a professional classical musician of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/17/mozart-in-the-jungle-sex-drugs-and-classical-music-by-blair-tindall/

May 11 2017

Militärmusik by Wladimir Kaminer

The cover says that Militärmusik is a novel, but I suppose the main point of that designation is to relieve Wladimir Kaminer (why doesn’t he use the usual transliteration in English?) of any obligation even to pretend to be telling a true story. I mean, Militärmusik is told in the first person, the main character …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/11/militar-musik-by-wladimir-kaminer/

Dec 21 2016

Wrapping Up

Both reading and writing have slowed significantly since November 8, and not only because of the election, though that has certainly played a major part in my slowdown. Time for some short takes, to clear the desk for the coming year. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I read this in the summer, and I’ve been searching …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/12/21/wrapping-up/

Sep 09 2016

Fresh Off The Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang

I’m a fan of the charming ABC comedy of the same name, which was how I first heard of this memoir, and was taken aback to discover that Eddie Huang himself had very negative opinions of the show. But then I read this book, and I get it. Mr Huang had an abusive childhood, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/09/09/fresh-off-the-boat-a-memoir-by-eddie-huang/