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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Beyond compare: Art from Africa in the Bode Museum
Paola Ivanov, Julien Chapuis, Jonathan Fine
Progress: 128/216 pages
Top 10 Berin 2018
Jürgen Scheunemann
Progress: 157/192 pages
Summer Morning, Summer Night
Ray Bradbury
Progress: 84/176 pages
Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 495/792 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: 146/464 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Emmy Noether, 1882 1935
Auguste Dick
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 446/1102 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 294 out of 792 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Hive Monkey: Everyone's favourite profane, gunslinging Spitfire pilot that also happens to be a monkey is back and there's already an intriguing mystery, an explosion and a lot of hard drinking...

Reading progress update: I've read 155 out of 192 pages.

Top 10 Berin 2018 - Jürgen Scheunemann

Bonus Buddy Bear Quadriga pics:

Reading progress update: I've read 154 out of 192 pages.

Top 10 Berin 2018 - Jürgen Scheunemann

So can anybody explain this:

 

I mean, it's clearly this:

 

but with the horses and human replaced with bears, but why? I know there's some association between Berlin and bears (no idea why), too, but *shrugs* is it just a bit of a sculptural laugh, or what?

Reading progress update: I've read 98 out of 305 pages.

Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

Getting exposition heavy; too much time explaining moon colony engineering, not enough advancing the plot.

Demon Road, Derek Landy

Demon Road - Derek Landy

The best novel I've read by Landy! It also has the best reason to get rid of the parents I've ever come across in teen fantasy. I suspect its inspiration resides heavily in the TV show, Supernatural, and the level of explicit horror was startling. Trade-mark Landy quiping and comic-relief idiot are all present and correct, though toned down compared to early Skulduggery Pleasant.

Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 305 pages.

Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

Imagine a female criminal version of Mark Watney from The Martian and you're not far off Jazz, our protagonist.

 

PS. I really, REALLY want someone called Jazz to have twins and name them, Rhythm & Blues.

Reading progress update: I've read 160 out of 512 pages.

Demon Road - Derek Landy

Clearly Derek Landy as much because of the contrasts to Skulduggery Pleasant as the similarities.

Railhead, Philip Reeve

Railhead - Philip Reeve

Initially the obvious rip-off of Peter F. Hamilton (an interstellar rail network links planets via wormholes), Iain M. Banks (AI controlled vehicles), even William Gibson (Neuromancer-style web-diving) was off-putting but as the story progressed I got caught up in the characters, mysteries and plot twists that kept things unpredictable and exciting until the denouement. By the end I was eager for more.

Reading progress update: I've read 16 out of 216 pages.

Beyond compare: Art from Africa in the Bode Museum - Paola Ivanov, Julien Chapuis, Jonathan Fine

This book is based on an exhibition pairing African and European artistic objects currently in the Bode Museum, Berlin. The Introduction forcefully points out how the setting and context of exhibitions affect interpretation (e.g. whether in an art museum or an anthropological one) and how we are still only in the initial stages of emerging from a History of Art that is really just a History of Western Art and how this is just a symptom of how History is still just the History of the West, in turn a symptom of Western cultural hegemony and assumed superiority.

Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

OK, so this house is on fire! No - it's this woman that's on fire! No - she's just metaphorically on fire! Between Aspie literal-mindedness and Bradbury's penchant for the fantastical I often end up confused about what's metaphor and what's literal in his stories. A woman eating breakfast whilst on fire seems entirely plausible in a Bradbury story.

Reading progress update: I've read 93 out of 194 pages.

What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger, Roger Penrose

The final chapter of What is Life? is on the "mind-body" problem. It rapidly descends into religio-metaphysical gibberish. This bodes ill for the next part of the book, Mind and Matter - I fear it will be ~70p of the same incomprehensible nonsense.

Reading progress update: I've read 110 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

Well, well, well! If it's not a hero in disguise!

Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

Stories from Greentown, Illinois, collected.

Reading progress update: I've read 86 out of 194 pages.

What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger, Roger Penrose

A muddled chapter - I'm not even sure what the point is! An argument that Newtonian mechanics is based on the assumption of low entropy (basically rigid bodies are low entropy because they are solids - ignoring Classical fluid dynamics which applies Newton's Laws to fluids). Hence classical mechanics is a macro-result of quantum mechanics. (The worst argument that this is the case I've ever come across.) Then saying that essentially the same argument applies to the "clock-work" of life, whilst noting the distributed nature of the life-meachanism.

Reading progress update: I've read 104 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

I've seen the Revenger's Tragedy performed twice; once by a Uni Drama Dept. graduating class, once by a professional theatre troupe. The former was way better despite a couple of (literal) slip-ups.

Reading progress update: I've read 153 out of 192 pages.

Top 10 Berin 2018 - Jürgen Scheunemann

 

I'm definitely a fan of this building.