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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future
Peter Moore
Progress: 255/416 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: 415/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 124/1102 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
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 357/638 pages
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Progress: 651/1220 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 51 out of 160 pages.

The Earliest English Poems - Michael     Alexander, Various Extracts from Beowulf.

Reading progress update: I've read 73 out of 144 pages.

Collected Poems For Children - Ted Hughes

Beauty and the Beast
Heehee! An exuberant re-telling of the fairy tale.

Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 416 pages.

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future - Peter Moore

1831: Redfield explains hurricanes as "progressive whirlwinds." Not only does the theory explain the changes in wind direction as the storm passes but also the existence of the eye and the associated changes in barometric pressure. Why isn't this guy more famous?

The Oxford Shakespeare, William Shakespeare (and his collaborators)

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

It was fitting to end with Shakespeare's Epitaph on Himself, right?

 

I feel kinda weird; I started on my 18th Birthday but only made a serious push to get the job done much more recently. It's occupied the last couple of years, roughly, to make a concerted push to finish. And now I'm done. Weird.

Sonnets & Poems, Shakespeare

The Complete Sonnets and Poems - William Shakespeare, Colin Burrow

Excluding the two major narrative poems:

 

Snooze. It's not bad, just boring. These days only two kinds of people genuinely like these; those who can cope with Love and the Moon poetry, which, thematically, has been losing ground on my attention since I became an adult and those who are obsessed with Shakespeare's life, biographical and/or psychological, who were satirised up to the eyeballs by Oscar Wilde. I don't have that obsession.

 

The best part is the epitaphs, which are at least witty.

Reading progress update: I've read 93 out of 416 pages.

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future - Peter Moore

FitzRoy's first expedition to South America is a success. Beaufort, now in charge of the Hydrographic Department of the Royal Navy, expands FitzRoy's plan to return his famous Fuegians to their native land to a second expedition. FitzRoy hires a stripling lad just graduated from Cambridge, by the name of Darwin, to keep him company. Meteorology is also firmly on the agenda, though. FitzRoy goes out armed with the latest instruments and the modified, 0-12, Beaufort Scale we still use today.

Reading progress update: I've read 44 out of 416 pages.

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future - Peter Moore

1802: Howard formulates his Latin cloud classification system. A similar one by Lamark (though not using Latin) doesn't catch on.

 

The book meanders from historical figure to historical figure covering the same time period from different perspectives and shows no sign of cohering into a sensible narrative, or even of revealing its overall aims.

Reading progress update: I've read 1310 out of 1344 pages.

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

I finished all the plays!
I have circa three pages of short lyric poetry to read and then I'm done!
One more review to come: Sonnets, a Lover's Complaint and "Various Poems."

The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare & Fletcher

The Two Noble Kinsmen (Oxford World's Classics) - William Shakespeare, John Fletcher

Shakespeare's final play, a collaboration with Fletcher, is more show than substance and allegedly often stolen by the Jailer's Daughter, who plays a small but crucial role in the main plot but ends up the lead character in a bizarre and controvercial subplot that even on the page is in some ways more interesting than the main action of two knights who fall instantly in love with their enemy's sister and fall to rivalry and rancour despite being cousins and also best pals five seconds earlier... Apparently one such modern day show stealer was Imogen Stubbs, which, given what I've seen/heard her do in other contexts, I find not so much plausible as inevitable.

 

So this is typical of late Shakespeare - an insubstantial Romance, this time based on Chaucer's Knight's Tale, with a silly plot and thin characters that can probably be made into a lively stage spectacle, at least, but far distant from the works that made his name echo down over four hundred years of history.

Reading progress update: I've read 44 out of 416 pages.

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future - Peter Moore

Beaufort wants to use Royal Navy ship logs for meteorological research. Currently researchers have a project to digitise the data from those same logs for climate research.

Reading progress update: I've read 38 out of 416 pages.

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future - Peter Moore

Beaufort invents his scale of wind speed.

Reading progress update: I've read 207 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

The Shipman's Tale


Short, bawdy and full of deceit and trickery, this is a lightweight but typically Chaucerian tale.

Reading progress update: I've read 676 out of 782 pages.

The Sagas of Icelanders - Martin S. Regal, Ruth C. Ellison, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, Andrew Wawn, Anthony Maxwell, Katrina C. Attwood, Robert Kellogg, Bernard Scudder, George Clark, Jane Smiley, Various

Eirik the Red wasn't in his own Saga very much. Interesting to compare the two Vinland Sagas; Eirik's is fantastical, where-as The Greenlanders is entirely believable. The points of correspondance and divergence are pointed out in the Intro.

 

Well, that's all the short Sagas and Tales done; two novel length Sagas remain for another time. The difference between Sagas and Tales? Tales are always short, but Sagas can be short, too. Seems to me that Tales are much more obviously constructed narratives and have lost more or all or their connection to history. History is much more visible in Sagas, even when obviously preposterous fantastical elements intrude.

Reading progress update: I've read 22 out of 416 pages.

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future - Peter Moore

Meanders like a river through a flood plain.

Asterix and the Secret Weapon, Albert Uderzo

Asterix and the Secret Weapon - Albert Uderzo

This has all the Classical (geddit?!) elements of an Asterix story; violence, boar, pirates, Caesar's latest plan to conquer the last outpost of Gaul that still resists the Empire and so forth. It also shows the more whimsical tone and more meandering plotting evident in the other volumes written by Uderzo. Feminism comes to ancient Gaul in the form of a female bard who wears breeches and teaches the women of the village to question accepted gender roles. Unsurprisingly, chaos ensues, and that's before Caesar's Secret Weapon arrives to add to the mayhem!

 

This isn't out there in the stellar regions with Asterix in Britain, Asterix in Corsica or Obelix and Co. but it's still funny and full of surprises.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/obituaries/ursula-k-le-guin-acclaimed-for-her-fantasy-fiction-is-dead-at-88.html

— feeling cry

All my heroes are dead, now.