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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Nonlinear Time Series Analysis
Thomas Schreiber, Holger Kantz
Progress: 29/320 pages
Neurodiversity in Higher Education: Positive Responses to Specific Learning Differences
David Pollak
Progress: 125/320 pages
NeuroDiversity: The Birth of an Idea
Judy Reene Singer
Progress: 52/82 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
Progress: 440/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 310/346 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: 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

Reading progress update: I've read 218 out of 414 pages.

The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: - Ronald Waldron, Unknown

All Arthur's knights are astonished; is it a phantom or fairy? But Arthur answers the  unexpected guest courteously and with respect. The Green Knight wants a game, but not a traditional joust...

Reading progress update: I've read 310 out of 346 pages.

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

Darwin commences what will become The Origin of Species - a book that will change humanity's view of itself and the entire biosphere of Earth - or at least did for that part of humanity that is both educated and not wilfully stupid.

Reading progress update: I've read 1200 out of 1344 pages.

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

The Roman Empire declares war on Britain and the "excellent" Leonatus tries to have his wife murdered...

Reading progress update: I've read 216 out of 414 pages.

The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: - Ronald Waldron, Unknown

Our giant green knight with the green horse has a holly branch in one hand and a huge axe in the  other - guess what colour the axe is?

Reading progress update: I've read 24 out of 82 pages.

NeuroDiversity: The Birth of an Idea - Judy Reene Singer

Please don't use "autistics" for "autistic people" or "people with autism". Urgggh.

Reading progress update: I've read 301 out of 346 pages.

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

Darwin had an internal conflict regarding precedence in relation to his species theory - he both wanted it and felt it was vain to want it. Hence he wrote to his close friends who  already knew what he was working on about what to do when Wallace sent him an essay that closely resembled his own unpublished "sketch" of 1844. Said sketch had already been seen by some of Darwin's friends.

Reading progress update: I've read 1198 out of 1344 pages.

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

Giacomo is a nasty piece of work!

Reading progress update: I've read 434 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

So...the Foretellers. Given people have psychic powers and the ansible means FTL communication is possible, predicting the future seems entirely plausible.

Reading progress update: I've read 214 out of 414 pages.

The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: - Ronald Waldron, Unknown

An "aghlich mayster" arrives at Arthur's Court. He is "oueral enker grene."

 

YAY! The Green Knight has arrived! His horse and clothes are all green, too - and he's the biggest man alive - half giant!

Reading progress update: I've read 290 out of 346 pages.

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

Darwin is going a bit crazy working on his book...little does he know that by now  Wallace was independently developing a similar theory...

Reading progress update: I've read 41 out of 42 pages.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 2: Mainly Electomagnetism & Matter - Matthew L. Sands, Robert B. Leighton, Richard P. Feynman

Just two lectures to go: Wet Water and General Relativity.

Reading progress update: I've read 58 out of 250 pages.

Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli

I've never seen a derivation of the equations of fluid mechanics from kinetic theory before. The algebra is hard. Don't come near this book without a thorough knowledge of tensor algebra and vector calculus and a willingness to drown in a sea of subscripts and calculus operators.

Reading progress update: I've read 1196 out of 1344 pages.

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

Cloton is an idiot and Giacomo is a devious devil.

Reading progress update: I've read 211 out of 414 pages.

The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: - Ronald Waldron, Unknown

Arthur likes to hear marvellous tales or go jousting before feasting...little does he know that he will *witness* something amazing before the feast is over...

 

Gawain and his brother, both sons of the King of Orkney are sat next to each other. I wonder how far Camelot was from Orkney, considering just about everywhere in Britain claims to be "the seat of Camelot"?

Reading progress update: I've read 280 out of 346 pages.

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

Darwin was acutely aware that nobody had any clue how variations from one generation to the next actually arose, whilst being very disparaging  of Lamarkian Inheritance - a phenomenon that turns out to be very rare and limited in scope.

Reading progress update: I've read 420 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

City of Illusions


I liked this much more first time round, I think because it was the best Le Guin SF novel I had read at the time. Since then, Left Hand of Darkness and The Lathe of Heaven have completely overshadowed all these early works about the League of All Worlds. I'm not sure Le Guin has ever been all that comfortable with the technological trappings of SF or the pew! pew! of simplistic adventure/space opera stories. Her strengths lie in character and culture. The opportunity to imagine completely different societies is what SF&F gave her and when she shifted to play to her strengths her great works began to flow. Nevertheless, our protagonist's struggles when he arrives in the City of Illusions are still psychologically compelling to me and the description of a heavily depopulated North America are fun.