95 Followers
66 Following
arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
V for Vendetta
David Lloyd, Alan Moore
Progress: 82/296 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 204/1102 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: 256/448 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 230 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

Less than 100p of the Tales to go!

Reading progress update: I've read 204 out of 1102 pages.

Complete Poems, 1904-1962 - E.E. Cummings

More progress on this in one day than the preceding month, I think!

Reading progress update: I've read 256 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

Here we go! Mistaken identity about to lead to comedic shenanigans...

Reading progress update: I've read 195 out of 1102 pages.

Complete Poems, 1904-1962 - E.E. Cummings

"Effie's brain is made of gingerbread"

Reading progress update: I've read 248 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

Well, the villain is...villainous.

Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

The depression/anxiety induced hiatus was so long that I had to go back to the beginning of the Tale of Melibee and start over...

Reading progress update: I've read 235 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

Wild Oats, O'Keefe.

Bath: Past and Present, Joyce & Wells

Bath: Past and Present - Noel Joyce, H.Mary Wills, Maria Joyce

So here's a great idea: Take an archive of old photos of Bath then try to replicate them as accurately as possible to illustrate the changes and similarities between then and now. But "now" has become "then" too since we are talking about a project undertaken in '86-87. This actually adds to the charm as it is now a historical record twice over; we need an update - even a big project that takes images from every decade to show the slow evolution of the city.

 

The research about each image and what has changed in the intervening time is excellent and interesting - this is a fab little book.

Asterix and the Picts, Ferri & Conrad

Asterix and the Picts - Jean-Yves Ferri, Didier Conrad

This is the first Asterix album not featuring the work of Goscinny or Underzo and I therefore approached it with trepidation; would it be any good? Would the new artist capture the style and likenesses well? Would the new writer be sympathetic to the history of 34 preceding volumes?

 

Short answer; yes to both.

 

Ferri conforms more closely to the Uderzo formula, with our heroes travelling abroad for an adventure that pokes gentle fun at national stereotypes and cultural touchstones, whilst thwarting a Roman plot and bringing back some of the traditional aspects of our characters, like their very short tempers, which fell by the way somewhat when Uderzo was writing. On the other hand, Uderzo's more outlandish, fantastical ideas are not entirely abandoned, either, with a (predictable) character showing up and turning out to be a tremendous addition to the story.

 

A really good first effort by the new team - I'm now looking forward happily to more from them.

Reading progress update: I've read 225 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

She Stoops to Conquer

 

By far the most famous play in this collection, I'm sure, and with 3 of 4 read, I'm pretty confident it's the best, too. There's much fuss in the Introduction and notes about how Goldsmith rejected the "Sentimental" tone of his contemporary playwrights but it seems much ado about nothing to me: This play is all mischeif, intrigue, misunderstanding, romantic shennanigans and parents who interfere and overbear, winding itself up to total comedic chaos in Act 4 and resolving neatly in Act 5. Hence, just like every other famous play of its era - but up there as one of the best examples. It's obviously situationally funny off the page and no doubt hilarious in performance. Great fun.

Reading progress update: I've read 139 out of 395 pages.

Second Variety (Collected Stories: Vol 2) - Philip K. Dick

The Commuter.

 

An amusing and somewhat unusual take on what meddling with time might mean.

Reading progress update: I've read 174 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

Goldsmith's anti-Sentimental play so far seems very much typical of the era: Who's gonna marry whom? Meddling parents, feckless oldest son...

Reading progress update: I've read 127 out of 395 pages.

Second Variety (Collected Stories: Vol 2) - Philip K. Dick

Hmmm. Fairly mundane by PKD standards...Poor Martians.

Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 395 pages.

Second Variety (Collected Stories: Vol 2) - Philip K. Dick

Martians Come in Clouds.

Reading progress update: I've read 249 out of 792 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Ack-Ack Macaque

 

The cigar chomping No.1 ace Spitfire pilot of WWII and defender against incessant waves of Nazi ninja paratroopers is a monkey - code name Ack-Ack Macaque. If that doesn't on it's own make you want to read this book then I suspect it's not for you. But! There's more! Way more. Nuclear powered airships. Conspiracies. The Prince of Wales. Bad Facelift Man. A weird cult. Possible armageddon. A rocket to Mars. Well, I don't want to mention all the fun stuff - let's leave some surprises.

 

My only complaint is that such an amazing title character really should have more time in his own book. Still, there are two more novels and a couple of shorts in this omnibus.

Reading progress update: I've read 249 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

One chapter is entitled, "Monkey Ex Machina." This is hilarious in context.