Category: Art

Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris & Charles Vess

What a sumptuous delight of a novel that greatly satisfied both the craftsman and the girl-in-search-of-the-fantastic living inside me! Joanne M Harris has turned her considerable talents to a mosaic novel crafted as a compendium of fairy tales that are both wildly original yet hearken back to the tales we already know, usually giving the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/01/honeycomb-by-joanne-m-harris-charles-vess/

Still Lives by Maria Hummel

I am a total sucker for mysteries set in the art world, so I was already inclined to love this book even before I was seduced by, first, the unusual-for-the-art-world LA/West Coast setting, then by Maria Hummel’s gorgeous prose. Still Lives follows Maggie Richter, one-time investigative journalist turned PR flack for the prestigious Rocque Museum. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/27/still-lives-by-maria-hummel/

Fearless World Traveler: Adventures Of Marianne North, Botanical Artist by Laurie Lawlor & Becca Stadtlander

I thought I had a fairly good knowledge of obscure Victorian women who became explorers against the odds, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn of yet another one via this beautiful picture book for children (tho I continue to be chagrined by eras and societies that deny people opportunities on the basis of sex …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/10/fearless-world-traveler-adventures-of-marianne-north-botanical-artist-by-laurie-lawlor-becca-stadtlander/

Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know by Samira Ahmed

I am very grouchy about this book, even though I was very excited at first to finally get my hands on this YA novel featuring feminist Muslim heroines. Samira Ahmed’s Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know marries an intriguing high concept with a narrative that prefers to tell instead of show and relentlessly strikes dramatic …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/12/mad-bad-dangerous-to-know-by-samira-ahmed/

Daddy Daughter Day by Isabelle Bridges-Boesch & Jeff Bridges

Times I wish I had a daughter included while reading this sweet children’s book written by Isabelle Bridges-Boesch and illustrated by her father Jeff Bridges (yes, The Dude.) Little Belle wakes up one day and has a great idea that she rushes to share with her beloved dad. She announces that it’s Daddy Daughter Day, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/10/05/daddy-daughter-day-by-isabelle-bridges-boesch-jeff-bridges/

The Paper Boat: A Refugee Story by Thao Lam

This powerful picture book is a wordless recreation via metaphor of the author’s family’s journey from Vietnam to Canada at the end of the Vietnam War. Only two at the time, Thao Lam remembers little of the events themselves, but has taken her mother’s story and crafted it beautifully for this children’s book. Working in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/30/the-paper-boat-a-refugee-story-by-thao-lam/

Soviet Mass Festivals, 1917-1991 by Malte Rolf

Every now and then, I like to read a book that is of interest mainly to specialists. Malte Rolf’s work uses the parades and other mass events in the Soviet Union as a lens for examining how that society developed over the course of its existence. Celebrations reveal a great deal about a society — what …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/21/soviet-mass-festivals-1917-1991-by-malte-rolf/

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: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/12/london-a-life-in-maps-by-peter-whitfield/

Soviet Bus Stops, Volume II by Christopher Herwig

“‘This is bullshit,’ I mumbled, through tears of exhaustion and frustration. The chances of the 4×4 climbing the snowy Goderdzi Pass were as slim as the likelihood that the bus stop at the summit was the prize I so desperately sought. Why was I still doing this after fifteen years, why couldn’t I stop?” (p. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/08/soviet-bus-stops-volume-ii-by-christopher-herwig/

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Since June 1 of this year, and through October 28, the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford have been displaying an extraordinary selection of items from their Tolkien collection. The original map of the Lonely Mountain, complete with pointing hand and runic inscription. Watercolors by Tolkien of Hobbiton, of Bilbo’s conversation with Smaug, of the Eagles, of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/09/04/tolkien-maker-of-middle-earth/