Category: Fabulous Ones

Apr 04 2020

The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key

Forgotten Door

Re-reading The Forgotten Door was a gift to my third-grade self. It’s the first book of any length that I remember reading, and the cover was still lodged in my brain after all of these years, not that I would judge a book that way, no. I remembered the barest bones of the story: a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/04/04/the-forgotten-door-by-alexander-key/

Feb 02 2020

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O’Driscoll

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney

So now I want to read all of Seamus Heaney’s poetry. I want to start with Death of a Naturalist and see what set him apart from other poets getting started. I want to follow him up North to see how he both did and did not address the Troubles of his native Northern Ireland. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/02/stepping-stones-interviews-with-seamus-heaney-by-dennis-odriscoll/

Jan 26 2020

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson has all of the receipts. Setting out to understand the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South and into other regions of the country, she drew on scholarship, she drew on hundreds of interview, she drew on the archives of dozens of organizations, and she arrived with a great work of synthesis, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/01/26/the-warmth-of-other-suns-by-isabel-wilkerson/

Dec 30 2019

Molotov’s Magic Lantern by Rachel Polonsky

Molotov's Magic Lantern

Early on in Molotov’s Magic Lantern Rachel Polonsky quotes Osip Mandelstam as saying “Ask me for my biography, and I will tell you the books I have read.” (p. 6) From that perspective, Polonsky braids three biographies. One is Vyacheslav Molotov, erstwhile foreign minister of the Soviet Union whose former apartment a banker friend of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/30/molotovs-magic-lantern-by-rachel-polonsky/

Dec 20 2019

Nobody Leaves by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Nobody Leaves

Before he became a famous foreign correspondent, Ryszard Kapuściński wrote a series of astonishing dispatches for the weekly newspaper Polityka from Poland’s small towns and backwaters. Poland in 1959 still bore many visible scars of the war that had ravaged it a decade and a half previous. With Stalin’s death in 1953 the worst excesses …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/20/nobody-leaves-by-ryszard-kapuscinski/

Nov 26 2019

More Becoming by Michelle Obama

“Becoming Us,” the second part of Michelle Obama’s memoir tells how two very different people, two nearly polar opposite people in fact, came not only to love and cherish one another but to build a life and a partnership that would work from Chicago to the whole world. One of their first social functions together, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/26/more-becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Sep 28 2019

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

Golden Hill

Entirely too much time has passed since I read Francis Spufford’s wonderful first novel (after five mostly non-fictional books, of which it has so far only been my pleasure to read Red Plenty) Golden Hill for me to be able to do it anything approaching justice. Nevertheless, a few words. The story is set in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/28/golden-hill-by-francis-spufford/

Sep 26 2019

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, pt. 1

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

“Give it what it’s worth, Doug,” said my Cockney editor one afternoon before deadline when I asked how long a newspaper article should be. Richard Rhodes takes one of the most important stories in human history — the story of the discovery of atomic structure and how that structure could be opened up, releasing vast …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/26/the-making-of-the-atomic-bomb-by-richard-rhodes-pt-1/

Aug 17 2019

Barry Hughart, 1934–2019

Bridge of Birds

“I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world “My surname is Lu and my personal name is Yu, but I am not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea. My family is quite undistinguished, and since I am the tenth of my father’s sons …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/17/barry-hughart-1934-2019/

Jul 24 2019

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

The Black God's Drums

“The night in New Orleans always got something going on, ma maman used to say—like this city don’t know how to sleep.” (p. 7) It doesn’t, and neither does P. Djèlí Clark’s splendid, exciting, enchanting novella The Black God’s Drums. Clark’s first-person narrator, a slightly feral young woman named Creeper, makes her own way in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/24/the-black-gods-drums-by-p-djeli-clark/