Category Archive: Religion

Oct 06 2017

The Last Man in Russia by Oliver Bullough

Oliver Bullough’s first book, Let Our Fame Be Great, examined the encounters between Russia and the smaller peoples of the Northern Caucasus. They generally ended badly for the smaller nations. In his second book, he looks at how the larger nation has fared. (At the time he wrote the book, he was Caucasus Editor for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/06/the-last-man-in-russia-by-oliver-bullough/

Jul 26 2017

Saints And Misfits by S. K. Ali

I’m still struggling with my reactions to this story. Representation abso-fucking-lutely matters, so it’s really great to have an American hijabi Muslim teenager and her diverse cast of family and friends (and foes) take center stage here. But I kept wondering how much my desire to have these stories told reconciled with how impatient I’d …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/07/26/saints-and-misfits-by-s-k-ali/

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 15 2017

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Reader, I devoured this book on my road trip to visit my in-laws over Mother’s Day weekend. It is, as the author admits, something of a ridiculous novel: a contemporary of Jane Eyre’s contemplates the similarities between their lives even as she herself, the titular Jane Steele, solves problems by means of murder, and finds …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/15/jane-steele-by-lyndsay-faye/

Feb 22 2017

An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle

An Acceptable Time strikes me as unusually autumnal for a young adult novel. Meg, the heroine of A Wrinkle in Time has moved off-stage in this, the fifth novel of the Time quintet. Her daughter Polly shares the spotlight with her parents (Polly’s grandparents), the Alex and Kate Murray, doctors of physics and chemistry, respectively. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/02/22/an-acceptable-time-by-madeleine-lengle/

May 05 2016

The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood

As their dates of publication recede into the past, books of history increasingly become artifacts of what they chronicle. They illuminate two periods: the one about which they are written, and the one in which they are written. With academic or more specialist works, this process is faster and more conscious; monographs are written in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/05/the-thirty-years-war-by-c-v-wedgwood/

Dec 15 2015

The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal by Hubert Wolf

I’ll admit, I picked up the book because “ooh, sexy nuns!” But The Nuns Of Sant’Ambrogio turned out to be so much more: an intelligent examination of the Catholic Church in a turbulent period of the 19th century, with this scandal serving to illuminate the theological and political divides that have shaped the institution (and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/12/15/the-nuns-of-santambrogio-the-true-story-of-a-convent-in-scandal-by-hubert-wolf/

Aug 23 2015

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

It is so very difficult for me to review Marilynne Robinson’s works, because I always feel like my own prose is inadequate to describing hers. I cried a lot reading Lila, because I understand what it feels like to fall in love with someone even when you don’t trust love or people or existence, when …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/08/23/lila-by-marilynne-robinson/

Jul 27 2015

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

I had so many problem with this book! And so many compliments for it, too! First, the good bits: G Willow Wilson’s politics are solid and smart and she clearly knows what she’s talking about regarding the Middle East and class and social distinctions. I also really liked her ventures into metaphysics, theology and, with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/07/27/alif-the-unseen-by-g-willow-wilson/

Jul 24 2015

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology And My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill & Lisa Pulitzer

Having just finished a bunch of Orwell, this was both mind-boggling and horribly sympathetic. She describes growing up in a state of repression more suited to communism or a paranoid dictatorship a la North Korea than to any religion that purports to help people self-actualize. I applaud her for having the intelligence to see that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/07/24/beyond-belief/

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