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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Beyond compare: Art from Africa in the Bode Museum
Paola Ivanov, Julien Chapuis, Jonathan Fine
Progress: 71/216 pages
Top 10 Berin 2018
Jürgen Scheunemann
Progress: 157/192 pages
The Sixth Watch
Sergei Lukyanenko
Progress: 40/400 pages
Summer Morning, Summer Night
Ray Bradbury
Progress: 71/176 pages
Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 495/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois, and The Atheist's Tragedy
Cyril Tourneur, Thomas Kyd, Thomas Middleton, George Chapman, Katharine Eisaman Maus
Progress: 135/464 pages
What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches
Erwin Schrödinger, Roger Penrose
Progress: 140/194 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 157 out of 192 pages.

Top 10 Berin 2018 - Jürgen Scheunemann

The modern Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche can be seen here (or at least, part of it):

No, not everybody's (or at least my) favourite white wavy tower, but the facade on the left. But, yeah, that tower:

And some more Kirche/white tower views. The Kirche rather cleverly manages to swap sides!

Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 194 pages.

What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger, Roger Penrose

"Only one conciousness per mind." (NOT brain.) Possibly tautological; "Only one mind per mind." Possibly wrong; IIRC one theory of "voices" in schizophrenia is intrusion of normally subconcious sub-personalities into the main personality i.e. you're actually hearing someone else's thoughts!

 

A frequently quoted book, "Man on his Nature", Sherrington looks more valuable than this essay...because properly scientific.

Reading progress update: I've read 135 out of 464 pages.

Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois, and The Atheist's Tragedy - Cyril Tourneur, Thomas Kyd, Thomas Middleton, George Chapman, Katharine Eisaman Maus

The punning language is reminiscent of Shakespeare even if the poetry is not as good.

 

Junior Brother is in really deep trouble, now, thanks to the unintended consequences of his brothers' manouvres.

Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 400 pages.

The Sixth Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko

Switching between third and first person in the same narrative always feels weird to me.

Reading progress update: I've read 71 out of 216 pages.

Beyond compare: Art from Africa in the Bode Museum - Paola Ivanov, Julien Chapuis, Jonathan Fine

I haven't seen much African art; apart from this book's exhibition, the only other display I remember is in The Met in New York.

Reading progress update: I've read 71 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

These Things Happen: Bradbury seems to have idolised certain authority figures as a child, particularly librarians and teachers.

Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 194 pages.

What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger, Roger Penrose

Why should brains generate conciousness when they are made of the stuff as everything else? No answers - just a description of the problem. A not very clear one...

Reading progress update: I've read 130 out of 464 pages.

Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois, and The Atheist's Tragedy - Cyril Tourneur, Thomas Kyd, Thomas Middleton, George Chapman, Katharine Eisaman Maus

Ambitious' and Superfluous' machinations achieve exactly the opposite of the intended result.

Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 400 pages.

The Sixth Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko

Vampires are trying to attract the attention of our hero in a rather brutal manner.

Reading progress update: I've read 156 out of 192 pages.

Top 10 Berin 2018 - Jürgen Scheunemann

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche was hit by bombs during WWII. There's a very modern new church on the site and the remains of the old one have been made safe and left standing:

 

 

Are you bored of Berlin photos yet? Because I have many more...

Reading progress update: I've read 51 out of 216 pages.

Beyond compare: Art from Africa in the Bode Museum - Paola Ivanov, Julien Chapuis, Jonathan Fine

The quality of the reproductions is excellent.

 

There's a suggestion in this book that tribal designations are often inaccurate and in some cases little more than inventions of Colonial Europeans. Is this meant to imply that the entire tribal concept is wrong? I would have to research to find out; at least check the references.

Reading progress update: I've read 61 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

The Screaming Woman: I don't recall any other Bradbury stories written in the first person.

Reading progress update: I've read 117 out of 194 pages.

What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger, Roger Penrose

Has human evolution ceased? Medical argument that it has; behavioural argument that it hasn't; now thoroughly out-of-date discussion of Lamarkism.

 

The medical argument seems wrong to me; it's only been valid (generously) ~200yrs. We face the complete failure of antibiotics and an impending Malthusian population crash with attendant resource wars in the near future. Hence the timescale is way too short to say evolution of the species has permanently ended. Meanwhile stone-age Amazonian tribes remain oblivious to modern technological survival advantages and exposed to many selection pressures, anyway.

Reading progress update: I've read 125 out of 464 pages.

Four Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy, The Revenger's Tragedy, The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois, and The Atheist's Tragedy - Cyril Tourneur, Thomas Kyd, Thomas Middleton, George Chapman, Katharine Eisaman Maus

Strong theme of sexual immorality; adultery, seduction, prostitution, (sort of) incest. Many now think Middleton wrote this play: He's a much less well known playwright of the period because it wasn't possible to Bowdlerise his work - it relied too heavily on sexual themes, nothing would be left, hence his plays were dropped from the repertory and print entirely, instead. Only relatively recently did this change.

Reading progress update: I've read 495 out of 792 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Hive Monkey

 

Another rip-roaring sci-fi adventure, this time with as much cyborg WWII flying-ace monkey as you could want! It moves along faster than Ack-Ack Macaque's Spitfire can fly, which is almost enough to make you not notice that the new characters and ideas are largely under-developed and unoriginal. It's over in a flash and it's fun but it's pretty flimsy.

Reading progress update: I've read 404 out of 792 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Shoulda seen that coming!