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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Borrowers
Mary Norton, Joe Krush, Beth Krush
Progress: 67/192 pages
More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2
Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin
Progress: 180/501 pages
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 107/789 pages
Too Brave to Dream: Encounters with Modern Art
R.S. Thomas
Progress: 66/96 pages
The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 66/259 pages
Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe
Andreas Schmacher
Progress: 212/360 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
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe

Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 192 pages.

The Borrowers - Mary Norton, Joe Krush, Beth Krush

Arrieta goes on her first Borrowing expedition, with her father.

Reading progress update: I've read 334 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

OK, that's the story of Ceyx and Alcione done with and suddenly the narrator fell asleep...

Reading progress update: I've read 180 out of 501 pages.

More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2 - Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin

My lack of appropriate background knowledge makes the letters about botany much less tractable than ones about geology or evolution where I have a decent grounding.

Reading progress update: I've read 47 out of 192 pages.

The Borrowers - Mary Norton, Joe Krush, Beth Krush

Much snobbery and social rivalry amongst the Borrowers, apparently!

Reading progress update: I've read 332 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

Chaucer liked the new-fangled French iambic metre but he wasn't above a good old-fashioned dream vision! But first, a tale from Ovid's Metamorphoses...

Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 192 pages.

The Borrowers - Mary Norton, Joe Krush, Beth Krush

The first chapter is a framing story - hopefully we get on to the main action quickly.

Reading progress update: I've read 62 out of 241 pages.

Lysistrata and Other Plays - Alan H. Sommerstein, Aristophanes

The Acharnians

 

No idea what I was expecting from my first venture into Classical Greek comedy, but it wasn't the crude, lewd, verbal and physical humour coupled with puns and political and personal satire that I got! The Introduction and notes were extremely useful for setting the historical and cultural scene, explaining how the Comedy of the day worked and elucidating obscure references and jokes. This made me wonder how well it would go on the modern stage, where one would surely expect most of the audience to be oblivious to everything explained in the apparatus. A lot of the humour would translate and the general message of peace vs. war might come through, but all the cultural and historical references would be lost, I think.

 

Tremendous fun from the page, though.

Reading progress update: I've read 330 out of 1327 pages.

The Riverside Chaucer - Geoffrey Chaucer

The Book of the Duchess: Almost certainly written in comemoration of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, who  died of the Black Death, commisioned by her husband, John of Gaunt.

Reading progress update: I've read 172 out of 501 pages.

More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2 - Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin

From geology to botany, which occupies the bulk of the remainder of the book. Despite appearances, that's only ~130p as the main text ends ~p300.

Reading progress update: I've read 171 out of 501 pages.

More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2 - Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin

Lyell pre-deceased Darwin and was born later - hence I deduce he was not an old man when he died. :-(

Reading progress update: I've read 46 out of 259 pages.

Collected Poems For Children - Ted Hughes

"Along with the Ocelot and the Jungle Cattypus..."

Reading progress update: I've read 45 out of 259 pages.

Collected Poems For Children - Ted Hughes

Raymond Briggs' illustrations add to the entertainment.

Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 259 pages.

Collected Poems For Children - Ted Hughes

Moving on from a collection of animal poems (ending brilliantly with Horrible Song, about not just a crow but the Crow from Life and Songs of the Crow, if you ask me) to Meet My Folks, a collection about a very odd family indeed, which I've read before and liked.

Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 241 pages.

Lysistrata and Other Plays - Alan H. Sommerstein, Aristophanes

"...I've got to make a long speech to the Chorus very shortly..."

Meta-humour is at least thousands of years old! Also, note the long-short wordplay - this sort of thing is rife in the original, according to the translator.

Reading progress update: I've read 34 out of 144 pages.

Collected Poems For Children - Ted Hughes

This replaces Cummings' Complete Poems as my focused poetry challenge volume.

Reading progress update: I've read 196 out of 360 pages.

Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe - Andreas Schmacher

The Canalettos, they seem to have been particularly good at painting - canals! Or rivers. Lined with architecture.