Category: Doug

Oct 23 2018

Bless Me, Father by Neil Boyd

Bless Me, Father turned out to be just the thing for an autumn weekend afternoon. It’s short, light, breezily written and genuinely funny in places, which I hadn’t entirely expected — despite the recommendation that landed it in my set of books to read — from a book published forty years ago about events twenty years …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/23/bless-me-father-by-neil-boyd/

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 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/

Sep 28 2018

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

I hadn’t read Swordspoint in a long time – certainly not this decade, probably not this century – but it had stayed in my memory as one of three perfect books. At some point, I heard that there were two more novels that shared Swordspoint’s setting, one by Kushner and one she co-wrote with Delia Sherman. …

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Sep 23 2018

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

Late Discworld offers at least one great book before the end: I Shall Wear Midnight, the fourth Tiffany Aching novel. In contrast to all of the Discworld books aimed at adults from Monstrous Regiment onward (with the possible exception of Thud!), the story and conflicts in the Tiffany Aching stories arise from the characters themselves …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/23/i-shall-wear-midnight-by-terry-pratchett/

Sep 23 2018

The Price of Blood and Honor by Elizabeth Willey

Elizabeth Willey got better as a writer with each of her three interrelated novels about Argylle, and I am sorry that there aren’t more of them. The Price of Blood and Honor is the third in publication order, although it is the middle book in terms of the internal chronology. It picks up right after …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/23/the-price-of-blood-and-honor-by-elizabeth-willey/

Sep 12 2018

London: A Life in Maps by Peter Whitfield

London: A Life in Maps began as a volume accompanying an exhibition at the British Library in 2006. (The exhibit lives on in virtual form at the Library’s web site.) The book was first published that year, and when it kept selling for more than a decade, revised for a new edition published in 2017. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/12/london-a-life-in-maps-by-peter-whitfield/