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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 20/289 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 232/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 139 out of 395 pages.

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

The Commuter.

 

An amusing and somewhat unusual take on what meddling with time might mean.

Reading progress update: I've read 174 out of 448 pages.

She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics) - Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith

Goldsmith's anti-Sentimental play so far seems very much typical of the era: Who's gonna marry whom? Meddling parents, feckless oldest son...

Reading progress update: I've read 127 out of 395 pages.

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

Hmmm. Fairly mundane by PKD standards...Poor Martians.

Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 395 pages.

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

Martians Come in Clouds.

Reading progress update: I've read 249 out of 792 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Ack-Ack Macaque

 

The cigar chomping No.1 ace Spitfire pilot of WWII and defender against incessant waves of Nazi ninja paratroopers is a monkey - code name Ack-Ack Macaque. If that doesn't on it's own make you want to read this book then I suspect it's not for you. But! There's more! Way more. Nuclear powered airships. Conspiracies. The Prince of Wales. Bad Facelift Man. A weird cult. Possible armageddon. A rocket to Mars. Well, I don't want to mention all the fun stuff - let's leave some surprises.

 

My only complaint is that such an amazing title character really should have more time in his own book. Still, there are two more novels and a couple of shorts in this omnibus.

Reading progress update: I've read 249 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

One chapter is entitled, "Monkey Ex Machina." This is hilarious in context.

Reading progress update: I've read 180 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

The draw-backs of powering your giant airship with nuclear reactors...

Reading progress update: I've read 157 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Revelations about the true nature of Bad Facelift Guy!

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Mercer & Colville

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins - Matthew V. Mercer, Matthew Colville

Imagine, if you will, "...a bunch of...nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons." Live. On the internet. Every Thursday night. They call the show Critical Role and their group of disparate and sometimes desperate adventurers, Vox Machina because they like bad puns. But those adventures took place in private for over a year before they were persuaded to go public by Queen of the Nerds, Felica Day herself. Implausibly, their ridiculously niche netcast becomes so popular that they can fill actual theatres for episodes with a paying public audience, sell mountains of merchandise and drown in unsolicited fan art contributions, the best of which end up in a printed book. But that's not all - a synopsis of the early, unbroadcast adventures of the crazy Machine Voice adventuring party (did they really mean Vox Ex Machina?) isn't enough for the rabid fans. A six issue e-comic series is produced and eventually gets two print omnibus editions - one is a limited edition hardback in a slip-case, bound in faux leather, with some bonus material at the back. It cost a fortune but it seems to have sold out. And this is it.

Vox Machina: Origins has artwork that captures the characters well and some neat graphic techniques that evoke tabletop fantasy roleplaying really well and the story itself tackles how this group of more or less crazy future savers of the world met whilst trying to get paid for figuring out how a swamp ended up cursed. Unfortunately, it's too short. Whilst the actual adventure of the cursed swamp is brought to a satisfactory conclusion, two of the legendary group don't appear in the story at all. They must have joined later. Hopefully there will be more Origins to come in the future.

Look, seriously, this is all true:
https://geekandsundry.com/shows/criti...
I've listened to the entire first campaign. All several hundred hours of it. Some of it more than once. Keyleth is the best. The cows were awesome. "We're basically gods," was the most hilariously, serendipitously ironic statement I've ever heard. Zara was fabulous. So was Gilmore. The black-powder salesman was stupendous. I am super-nerdy. Get over it.

Reading progress update: I've read 116 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

More shocking revelations and a macaque that's now out for revenge...involving two Colts, several grenades and a bazooka.

Reading progress update: I've read 96 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Twists and turns and a grumpy monkey.

Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

The macaque wonders why he can't die in the middle of a war...

Reading progress update: I've read 42 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

This raid on a secure facility where monkey experiments take place is not quite like any other you've read about...

Reading progress update: I've read 34 out of 407 pages.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L. Powell

Code-name Ack-Ack Macaque crashes in to view in a wrecked spitfire...

Asterix and the Falling Sky, Uderzo

Asterix and the Falling Sky - Albert Uderzo

Often Caesar hatches a nefarious plan to conquer the one small village of Indomitable Gauls that still holds out against the Roman invaders. More rarely our heroes get caught up in an external conflict for some reason - and that's what happens the day Chief Vitalstatistix' only fear comes to pass - and it's a conflict of a scale and type not even Getafix could anticipate!

 

This is pure, distilled Uderzo, whimsical, fantastical and of course, down right silly, perfectly fitting for his last Asterix album. So long, Uderzo - you, along with your great friend, Goscinny, have entertained (and even educated) me as long as I've been reading independently and will no doubt bring me much fun in the future, too, even though there will be no new stories from you. The existing ones still delight every time. I hope your successors can retain the spirit of the little village on the coast of Armorica back in 50 B.C. as they bring us new adventures of Asterix and Obelix. I'll find out soon enough.

Reading progress update: I've read 16 out of 48 pages.

Asterix and the Falling Sky - Albert Uderzo

Super-bonkers from the outset!