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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 128 out of 216 pages.

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

Absolutely amazing  Ndunga mask similar to the one shown on this page:

http://raai.library.yale.edu/site/index.php?globalnav=image_detail&image_id=877

What is Life? Erwin Schrodinger

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

Scientifically very out of date, often unclear and self-condradictory. Frequently descends into religio-metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. The autobiographical part completely superficial.

The Sixth Watch, Serei Lukyanenko

The Sixth Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko

This book takes no prisoners in terms of having read previous books in the series - much will be very unclear if you haven't. If you have - well, we're still following Anton Gorodetsky's career. His daughter is a teenager and constantly being watched - but that doesn't prevent an attempt on her life and suddenly the apocalypse is impending yet again, secrets and history must be revealed and a prophecy must be fulfilled, leading to a bitter-sweet and surprisingly affecting ending.

Reading progress update: I've read 167 out of 194 pages.

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

Colour isn't a physical thing; electromagnetic waves are. Taste isn't a physical thing, chemicals are. Sound isn't a physical thing; compressional waves in solids and fluids are. We don't have a physical theory of "sense impressions" but all our information about what is real comes from them. This is the central mystery of the mind-body problem re-stated. Schrodinger doesn't even attempt to solve this problem.

Reading progress update: I've read 146 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

Tally so far:
1 suicide.
1 murder.
1 execution.

Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 216 pages.

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

We see medieval religious art objects on permanent display in museums but they would not have been originally used that way; reliquaries would have been kept locked up, triptyches closed, except on special occasions. African masks would not be seen in public except when being worn, also in religious performances. African status objects and symbols of secular power would similarly only be seen on special occassions.

Reading progress update: I've read 84 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

Did I just read a story about a serial killer? Or what? Colour me baffled...

Reading progress update: I've read 152 out of 194 pages.

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

Science and Religion; either stating the obvious or the irrelevant.

Reading progress update: I've read 142 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

Revenger turns up with a skull - now, where have I seen that before?
Also, the first murder of the play.

Reading progress update: I've read 157 out of 192 pages.

Top 10 Berin 2018 - Jürgen Scheunemann

The modern Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche can be seen here (or at least, part of it):

No, not everybody's (or at least my) favourite white wavy tower, but the facade on the left. But, yeah, that tower:

And some more Kirche/white tower views. The Kirche rather cleverly manages to swap sides!

Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 194 pages.

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

"Only one conciousness per mind." (NOT brain.) Possibly tautological; "Only one mind per mind." Possibly wrong; IIRC one theory of "voices" in schizophrenia is intrusion of normally subconcious sub-personalities into the main personality i.e. you're actually hearing someone else's thoughts!

 

A frequently quoted book, "Man on his Nature", Sherrington looks more valuable than this essay...because properly scientific.

Reading progress update: I've read 135 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 punning language is reminiscent of Shakespeare even if the poetry is not as good.

 

Junior Brother is in really deep trouble, now, thanks to the unintended consequences of his brothers' manouvres.

Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 400 pages.

The Sixth Watch - Sergei Lukyanenko

Switching between third and first person in the same narrative always feels weird to me.

Reading progress update: I've read 71 out of 216 pages.

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

I haven't seen much African art; apart from this book's exhibition, the only other display I remember is in The Met in New York.

Reading progress update: I've read 71 out of 176 pages.

Summer Morning, Summer Night - Ray Bradbury

These Things Happen: Bradbury seems to have idolised certain authority figures as a child, particularly librarians and teachers.

Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 194 pages.

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

Why should brains generate conciousness when they are made of the stuff as everything else? No answers - just a description of the problem. A not very clear one...