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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: 209/216 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: 683/792 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: 176/464 pages
Michael Kidner
Francis Pratt, Michael Kidner, Irving Sandler
Progress: 10/128 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: 488/1102 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 395 pages.

Second Variety (Collected Stories: Vol 2) - Philip K. Dick

A god from Ganymede.

Goldenhand, Garth Nix

Goldenhand - Garth Nix

This marks a return to form after the disappointing Clariel. It also marks a return to the story of Lirael, Remembrancer and Abhorsen-in-waiting, picking up during the events of the novella, The Creature in the Case. We also get a new protagonist in the form of Ferin, a girl from one of the far northern tribes, beyond the Old Kingdom's power. It's a ripping yarn and I gobbled it down.

 

For over 3/4 of the book I thought it was just setting up for a sequel, then, abruptly, I realised it was going to resolve the plot before it ended, meaning that the actual quest is rather rushed and the final victory felt too easy, given such a formidable opponent, but over-all I thought this was a lot of fun.

Reading progress update: I've read 137 out of 216 pages.

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

The technique of lost-wax casting of bronze was developed independently in Europe and Africa.  Owning bronze statuettes was a status symbol as the technique was difficult and expensive.

Reading progress update: I've read 28 out of 193 pages.

Emmy Noether, 1882 1935 - Auguste Dick

Looks like there's not going to be any serious attempt to explain Noether's work, which is not readily accessible to anyone who isn't a very advanced student of abstract algebra - which I most definitely am not.

Reading progress update: I've read 148 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

So far, mischance has had more success than the Revenger.

Reading progress update: I've read 344 out of 432 pages.

Goldenhand - Garth Nix

Can't believe this volume is going to be anything but set-up for at least one sequel, but gripping stuff, nevertheless.

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!