Category: Fabulous Ones

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/

Jun 23 2019

Off to the Wabe

Dublin 2019

Perhaps to gyre and gimble. Back in mid-July. In the meantime, I have become a supporting member of Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon. I’m gutted that I won’t be able to attend in person, but what can ya do? I had an amazing time at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, and enjoyed being a Hugo voter …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/23/off-to-the-wabe/

Jun 19 2019

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming really is that good. Here’s a lengthy excerpt from the beginning. “There’s a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/19/becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Jun 15 2019

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

“No one sends for a niece they’ve never seen before just to annoy her family and ruin her life. That, at least, is what I thought. This was before I had ever been to the city. I had never been in a duel, or held a sword myself. I had never kissed anyone, or had …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/15/the-privilege-of-the-sword-by-ellen-kushner/