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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Peter Pan and Other Plays: The Admirable Crichton; Peter Pan; When Wendy Grew Up; What Every Woman Knows; Mary Rose (Oxford World's Classics)
J.M. Barrie, Peter Hollindale
Progress: 74/384 pages
The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 61/259 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 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
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 842/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Palladio
Taschen Publishing
Progress: 78/248 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Progress: 729/1220 pages

Summer Night, Summer Morning, Ray Bradbury

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

This book could do with an editorial introduction. It seems like it collects all the Green Town stories into one place (aside from the novels) whether published in Bradbury's lifetime or not, but then one is clearly set in a coastal town or city. Many of the previously unpublished "vignettes", as they are described on the cover blurb, appear to be isolated scenes that either never developed in to full stories or were cut from a story or novel for some reason. Hence an editorial - to explain the aim of the book and where the previously unpublished material came from.

 

Anyway, this is pure Bradbury in terms of writing style, plot and theme and a delight to read, even if those off-cut scenes appear to just be filler to bulk up what remains a slender volume.

Reading progress update: I've read 699 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

The dramatic irony - it makes me chuckle.

Reading progress update: I've read 695 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

A riddle reveals much! I've never bought in to an Austen novel so quickly as I have this one.

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 248 pages.

Palladio - Taschen Publishing Learning some unfamiliar architectural terms. Never heard of a Risalito before, for instance.

Reading progress update: I've read 686 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

Wowzas - this Emma is an interfering minx. Totally transparent to Knightley, though.

Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

Love Potion - but will it work, or will it have unintended consequences?

Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 248 pages.

Palladio - Taschen Publishing

One can hardly scratch the surface in a study of Bath architecture before coming across the term "Palladian" meaning "after Palladio." Hence I picked this book up when I saw it in order to find out more about the origins of the famous Georgian buildings of the city, such as the Royal Crescent.

Selected Poems, Carol Ann Duffy

Selected Poems: Carol Ann Duffy - Carol Ann Duffy

I quite liked a number of the poems collected here for their sentiments but in terms of poetic expression, Duffy does not compare well with many modern poets. Much of her work could be re-arranged into prose without the loss of anything - not the sign of a great poet. Disappointing for the current Poet Laureate.

Sisley in England and Wales, Christopher Riopelle, Ann Sumner

Sisley in England and Wales - Ann Sumner, Christopher Riopelle

This a catalogue for an exhibition I didn't see - it showed in London and Cardiff but not Bath - but I wish I had! Sisley was born and brought up in France by British parents. He was fluent in French and English and maintained dual nationality throughout his life. He was one of the core group of first-wave Impressionists, frequently painting literally alongside Monet and Renoir. However, he visited Britain a number of times and spent time painting in and near London and on the South Wales coast.

 

The exhibition assembled as many of these scenes as it could and impressive it must have been; even the modestly sized reproductions in this book show that Sisley could hold his own with the other Big Name Impressionists. He even painted a certain seascape repeatly in different weathers and times of day a la Monet serial paintings. These pictures of the Bristol Channel coast are my particular favourites.

 

From this distance, what with Impressionism being allegedly the world's most popular Fine Art movement, it's hard to understand how the artists' contemporaries circa 130-150 years ago, frequently didn't understand Impressionism, forcing the artists to hold their own exhibitions, and leaving Sisley in poverty much of his life, struggling to find buyers for his work. Much of it was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War - surely a great loss to the art world. But Sisley is now recognised for his talent and still inspires artists today - he's a particular favourite of Bath's own Pete "the Street" Brown.

Reading progress update: I've read 676 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

Emma is intent upon marrying off, not herself, but her friends. Trademark Austen sly, deadpan humour. As an Aspie I'm so glad I don't live in a society so obsessed with manners and politeness as the Regency was - it's bad enough here and now!

Reading progress update: I've read 119 out of 137 pages.

Selected Poems: Carol Ann Duffy - Carol Ann Duffy Valentine: A poem about an onion.

Reading progress update: I've read 672 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen I always find it hard to keep straight everybody's relationships to each other at the start of Austen novels. Why is that?

Reading progress update: I've read 667 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen Emma's obsessed with "gentility."

Reading progress update: I've read 92 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

A Walk in Summer: A tiny gem of a story about - a walk in summer...

Drawings and Prints, Kollwitz

Prints and Drawings of K├Ąthe Kollwitz - Carl Zigrosser, Kathe Kollwitz

A compact Intro with a Kollwitz biography/evaluation preceeds the giant reproductions of the prints and drawings. (Her sculpture is not represented in this book.) The scale of the reproductions is really advantageous and, being monochrome prints and drawings, little is lost in photography and re-printing, compared to art forms where colour and texture are crucial.

 

Kollwitz seems to have had two main strands to her work - social justice and personal tragedy. The former was expressed by themes of workers' rights, poverty, ill-health and powerlessness and by pacifism. She didn't subscribe to any particular political movement or party, however and the link between the social justice works and the individual tragedies is simply basic human compassion. Kollwitz evidently had this in abundance. There is also a clear connection between her pacifism and the theme of individuals meeting Death (personified) with diverse reactions.

 

Kollwitz had enormous talent for expressing emotion through depiction of bodily posture and facial expression and this is what gives her work its power. I'm glad to have discovered her museum on my trip to Berlin last year.

Reading progress update: I've read 38 out of 128 pages.

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

A poem about a 'pard.