Category: Biography

Magic Ramen: The Story Of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang & Kana Urbanowicz

I was exceedingly tickled when my older twin, 7 year-old Joseph, came rushing home from school to show me the two library books he’d picked out. One (which I’ll hopefully get to review later) is about a trumpet player like his older brother. The other was this terrific picture book about one of our favorite …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/12/magic-ramen-the-story-of-momofuku-ando-by-andrea-wang-kana-urbanowicz/

Poe For Your Problems: Uncommon Advice From History’s Least Likely Self-Help Guru by Catherine Baab-Muguira

I honestly wasn’t sure when I started reading this book where Catherine Baab-Muguira was going with it, and to be completely honest, I’m still not sure how to categorize this work now that I’m done reading it either. I do know that I finished reading this with stars in my eyes and hope in my …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/15/poe-for-your-problems-uncommon-advice-from-historys-least-likely-self-help-guru-by-catherine-baab-muguira/

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 …

Continue reading

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/

Genghis Khan by Leo de Hartog

I’m glad that Leo de Hartog did not title this biography A Life of Genghis Khan because there is astonishingly little life between its covers. I would have thought the biography of someone who rose from a tribal noble to rule the largest land empire this world has ever known would be positively gripping, but …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/14/genghis-khan-by-leo-de-hartog/

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Ben Franklin's Song

On the second page of his biography of Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson offers a thumbnail sketch of his subject: “He was, during his eighty-four-year-long life, America’s best scientist, inventor, dimplomat, writer, and business strategist, and he was also one of its most practical, though not most profound, political thinkers. He proved by flying a kite …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/14/benjamin-franklin-by-walter-isaacson/

The Bridge by David Remnick

Because I am all about timely reading, I have just finished The Bridge, whose subtitle is The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, and which was published in 2010. As Remnick explains in the acknowledgments, his “hope was to write a piece of biographical journalism that, through interviews with his contemporaries and certain historical actors, …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/09/the-bridge-by-david-remnick/

Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Don’t Panic, subtitled Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy began as a labor of friendship in 1987 when Nick Landau of Titan Books, which had Adams’ agreement to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy companion book, called up Neil Gaiman “and asked if I was interested. I wanted to write this …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/10/dont-panic-by-neil-gaiman/

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine — Halftime Report

One of the unexpected pleasures of The House of Government is Yuri Slezkine’s occasional playful way with words. Given the subject matter, and particularly given Slezkine’s argument that Bolshevism can best be understood as a millennarian sect that gained control of the state, a reader would be forgiven for thinking that his prose would range …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/12/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-halftime-report/

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

When it was built, the House of Government — maybe better known in English as the House on the Embankment thanks to the book by Yuri Trefonov — was the largest residential building in Europe. With The House of Government, Yuri Slezkine gives the building, its people and its first era an equally enormous treatment. The main …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/13/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine/