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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Top 10 Berin 2018
J├╝rgen Scheunemann
Progress: 157/192 pages
Summer Morning, Summer Night
Ray Bradbury
Progress: 84/176 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: 234/464 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet
Elaine Feinstein
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Grayson Perry
Jacky Klein
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 576/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe

Reading progress update: I've read 11 out of 96 pages.

The Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection Berlin - Melanie Franke, Robert McInnes, Silke Krohn, Dieter Scholz

Part of the building in Charlottenburg that the collection is now held in:

 

Reading progress update: I've read 192 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

This is a sequel. I think it would be quite difficult to follow without knowledge of the previous play - provided here by the editor's notes.

The Silversmith's Art, Made in Britain Today, Rosemary Ransome Wallis

The silversmith's Art, Made in Britain Today - Rosemary Ransome Wallis

An excellent book cataloguing an exhibition of contemporary silver work held by the Worshipful Goldsmith's Company, which appears to be a major patron of works of precious metal. It should be noted that this is all silverware, not jewellry. All the artists are resident in Britain, though many are natives of other countries.

 

The photography is top notch, revealling the play of light, shadow and reflection on the surfaces of the objects, an aspect of their beauty that cannot be understated. The objects themselves are also top notch. The average standard seems extremely high and I was delighted by most of it. Very few pieces did I actively dislike. This was something of a revelation in that previously, most of the silverware I'd come across I found to be either boring or gaudy.

 

The range of applicable techniques is enormous and still growing, with some of the artists represented applying modern technology, not just to the design process but to the creation of the finished article. Others rely solely on hand crafting and traditional techniques. The versatility of silver as a material proved remarkable to me and I was delighted by what can be acheived in terms of fluidity, texture and finish.

Elysium Fire, Alastair Reynolds

Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds

Typical Reynolds, typical Revelation Space Reynolds at that: Memory and identity issues, gruesome Gothic elements, psychopaths. Also the usual slow pace initially with a gallop through the final third or so. The main thing holding my interest was the mystery, which was more than sufficiently mysterious.

Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 232 pages.

From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths - Heather O'Donoghue

Norse cultural influence from colonisation had a last gasp at the time of Shakespeare. Nearly 200 yrs later, Icelandic literature is re-discovered by the rest of Europe.

Reading progress update: I've read 188 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 Revenge of Bussy d'Ambois:


A long opening scene establishes much. Bussy was murdered (in a previous play). His ghost has incited revenge (off stage). The current regime is corrupt, self-serving and immoral. The "good" guys (bent on revenge) are distinguished from the bad, with some additional character development and motivation added. A bunch of Classical moral philosophy is expounded.

Reading progress update: I've read 113 out of 288 pages.

Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Various Authors, Jeffrey Gantz

The Dream of Oengus


Celtic myth is full of stories of people transforming in to birds.

Reading progress update: I've read 103 out of 232 pages.

From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths - Heather O'Donoghue

A message from Flagon Dragon:


Roar! Don't like this Sigurd/Siegfried character! ROAR!

Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 288 pages.

Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Various Authors, Jeffrey Gantz

The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel

 

Quite the pagan Celtic tale from Ireland! It starts off cryptic and convoluted but leads to the King of Eriu breaking all his geiss (taboos) in one night and facing death during a huge battle, described only briefly but preceded by a huge description of all the heroes who will fight at the battle. So huge it tried even my patience for such things. There's a great modern fantasy tale to be told from adapting this story to contemporary narrative conventions. Could work well on film, too.

Reading progress update: I've read 145 out of 208 pages.

The silversmith's Art, Made in Britain Today - Rosemary Ransome Wallis

The range of techniques seems to be huge (and still expanding). I dunno what most of the terms really mean.

Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 288 pages.

Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Various Authors, Jeffrey Gantz

The heroes in Da Derga's hostel include three Faeries.

Reading progress update: I've read 74 out of 232 pages.

From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths - Heather O'Donoghue

Tolkien's Barrow Wights have clear ancestry in the Icelandic family sagas where treasure seekers find people living in burial mounds. Never knew that, before.

Reading progress update: I've read 96 out of 288 pages.

Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Various Authors, Jeffrey Gantz

The list of heroes goes on. One of the more remarkable is a supreme juggler, able to keep swords, shields and apples in the air at the same time, but don't let that deceive you - he's still expected to kill "three nines" of enemies in the coming battle and escape alive, though wounded. Not bad for the king's trickster! 

Reading progress update: I've read 68 out of 232 pages.

From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths - Heather O'Donoghue

There's no certain archaeological evidence of a temple building dedicated to any member of the Norse pagan pantheon!

Reading progress update: I've read 160 out of 432 pages.

Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds

Missing memories...an unsurprising feature of a book set in the Revelation Space universe.

Reading progress update: I've read 516 out of 1102 pages.

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

Can I get to half-way (p540) by the end of the year?