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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 292/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 256/346 pages
Difficulties of a Bridegroom
Ted Hughes
Progress: 139/159 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 47/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 110/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 1188 out of 1344 pages.

The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, John Jowett, Gary Taylor

So the King's only daughter married a commoner instead of doing as her father wished and taking own step brother. The Queen and courtiers support her but all lie to the King about it. Her husband and step-brother have a sword fight before her husband goes to Rome in exile. Also, her two brothers were mysteriously abducted when they were infants and have never been heard of since and...that's enough for one scene!

Reading progress update: I've read 256 out of 346 pages.

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated - Charles Darwin

Blistering Barnacles! He's finished his work on Cirripedia!

Reading progress update: I've read 292 out of 1100 pages.

Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America) - Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin

Hmmm. There's something suspicious about Estrel.

It's Wonder Woman! With a friend in a German turbo-prop, not an invisible jet...
It's Wonder Woman! With a friend in a German turbo-prop, not an invisible jet...
Oh noes! It's Ares, God of War! Can Wonder Woman defeat her nemesis?
Oh noes! It's Ares, God of War! Can Wonder Woman defeat her nemesis?

Biggest "mini-figure" I've ever built. Maybe Wonder Woman should stab Ares in his toes?

Planet of Exile, Ursula Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America) - Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin

Scrolling back in time for a brief review:

 

Probably the most conventional SF adventure tale Le Guin ever wrote and yet it shows glimmers of the concerns that would become trade-mark Le Guin themes; clash of cultures, reconciliation of differences, anthropology. Surprisingly violent.

Reading progress update: I've read 139 out of 159 pages.

Difficulties of a Bridegroom - Ted Hughes

OK, I caved in and skipped over the remaining reprints from Wodwo - I found them fairly tedious and unrewarding last time round. That leaves just the final story, Head, which so far is a story about white hunters disrespecting Slott Indians, their beliefs and forest home.

Reading progress update: I've read 1187 out of 1344 pages.

The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, John Jowett, Gary Taylor

The Folio edition of Lear represents the results of adaptation from the Quarto version, in response to performance, according to the editors, and is printed separately and in full. Overall it is shorter and the cuts had the effect of making Lear's descent into madness less convincing to me.

 

Cymbeline, next. Beginning to feel finishing line fever but there's still three whole plays to go!

Reading progress update: I've read 43 out of 160 pages.

The Earliest English Poems - Michael     Alexander, Various

Widsith: The opening of a muuuuch longer work. Readers of tales set down from oral tradition will recognise: Genealogies, references to now obscure heroes, exhortations to be generous to travelling bards who will spread your fame.

 

Made me want to read a translation of the full work, or to start that crazy project to teach myself Anglo-Saxon.

Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 346 pages.

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated - Charles Darwin

The amusing tale of how, whilst in the grip of beetle collecting mania, Darwin put one example between his teeth so he could grab another, only to have the first squirt acid down his throat...

 

The Voyage of the Beagle has several crazy tales of similar ilk about the life of a natural history student collecting specimens.

Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 176 pages.

Difficulties of a Bridegroom - Ted Hughes

Deadfall: Half childhood memory, half old-fashioned ghost story.

 

O'Kelly's Angel: Youthful, amusing satire on all things religious. (Hughes was simultaneously very superstitious and opposed to Christianity - probably all religion.)

 

Snow: An apparent corpse wandering around for months in a perpetual blizzard, determined to find an escape. WUT???? Probably symbolic of something I don't understand...

Reading progress update: I've read 1180 out of 1344 pages.

The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, John Jowett, Gary Taylor

Oh noes! Cordelia and Lear have been captured!

Reading progress update: I've read 31 out of 160 pages.

Selected Poems: Carol Ann Duffy - Carol Ann Duffy

So far a fairly high density of really worthwhile stuff.

Reading progress update: I've read 246 out of 346 pages.

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated - Charles Darwin

Darwin decries Lamark's views on the origin of species. I wonder what he would have thought about the current view that Lamarkian inheritance actually occurs in rare, limited circumstances? (Noone is claiming it is a dominant mechanism for speciation, mind.)

Reading progress update: I've read 56 out of 176 pages.

Difficulties of a Bridegroom - Ted Hughes

6 out of 9 stories were first published in Wodwo, which I've read. The most memorable of those was Rain Horse.

Reading progress update: I've read 1179 out of 1344 pages.

The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, John Jowett, Gary Taylor

In Act 4 everything gets very complicated, very fast, with betrayals, deaths and changes of heart. We also see a brief return to the kind of sadistic cruelty not seen in a Shakespeare play since Titus Andronicus.

Reading progress update: I've read 14 out of 128 pages.

Emily Dickinson Everyman's Poetry - Emily Dickinson, Helen McNeil

The one I poem came across by Dickinson that prompted me to get this collection was a nature poem - a theme so far entirely absent!