Category: Fabulous Ones

Nov 15 2020

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I read Between the World and Me a lifetime ago, in early summer when it was strange to leave the neighborhood again after so many weeks of stillness. It is a hard book, not because of the difficulty of language or of its concepts, but because of the hardness of its subject: how to live …

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Nov 05 2020

Invisible Planets edited and translated by Ken Liu

Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu

With his smashingly successful translation of Liu Cixin’s The Three–Body Problem, Ken Liu introduced modern Chinese science fiction to a large English-speaking audience. The reception of the rest of Three-Body‘s trilogy, one translated by Joel Martinsen and the other by Ken Liu, showed that it was not a one-book phenomenon, and that English-speaking science fiction …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/05/invisible-planets-edited-and-translated-by-ken-liu/

Oct 31 2020

A(nother) Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

A Night in the Lonesome October

Just in time for the full moon falling on Halloween — the celestial alignment that drives the book’s plot, I re-read A Night in the Lonesome October. Everything I wrote about it last time holds true: it’s a romp, a hoot, a love letter to classics of Halloween and suspense, a master storyteller having fun …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/10/31/another-night-in-the-lonesome-october-by-roger-zelazny/

Sep 19 2020

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn

The magic is still there, in The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. More than half a century after its publication, it’s still lodged partly in a timeless yet post-WWII America and partly in places whose times and locations are much more suspect, nearly pure mythical settings of village and unhappy kingdom and enchanted castle, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/19/the-last-unicorn-by-peter-s-beagle/

Sep 05 2020

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

Ideally, of course, I would take the time to live with Death of a Naturalist for a good long while, absorbing the images, being surprised by new readings, seeing more levels of meaning on re-reading, having some poems shift from mild interest to true favorite, having others fade only to be rediscovered later and seem …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/05/death-of-a-naturalist-by-seamus-heaney/

Aug 15 2020

The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen

The Comanche Empire

Pekka Hämäläinen gets right to the point: “This book is about an American empire that, according to conventional histories, did not exist. It tells the familiar tale of expansion, resistance, conquest, and loss, but with a reversal of the usual historical roles: it is a story in which Indians expand, dictate, and prosper, and European …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/15/the-comanche-empire-by-pekka-hamalainen/

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/