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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Too Brave to Dream: Encounters with Modern Art
R.S. Thomas
Progress: 28/96 pages
Peter Pan and Other Plays: The Admirable Crichton; Peter Pan; When Wendy Grew Up; What Every Woman Knows; Mary Rose (Oxford World's Classics)
J.M. Barrie, Peter Hollindale
Progress: 238/384 pages
The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 61/259 pages
Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe
Andreas Schmacher
Progress: 16/360 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
Nessa Carey
Progress: 97/352 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: 924/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe

Reading progress update: I've read 59 out of 111 pages.

A Streetcar Named Desire (Modern Classics Penguin) - Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams

So far the three leads seem more like archetypes than individuals.

Reading progress update: I've read 32 out of 818 pages.

The Complete Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Nineteen Other Tales (Modern Library Classics) - Barry Menikoff, Robert Louis Stevenson

What would a Prince in disguise do without his trusty side-kick of a loyal servant?

Reading progress update: I've read 849 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

Jane has a job and is moving - but who sent her the no longer usefully located piano?

Reading progress update: I've read 87 out of 352 pages.

Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome - Nessa Carey

Some RNA molecules have functions that are not related to protein manufacture.

Secret Corners 2, Newland

Secret Corners 2 - William Newland Welsby

So I identified 6/100 of these photos of interesting details and views of Bath. Anything from gravestones to streetlights feature and the cityscape has changed most in these details over the last twenty years - some of these pictures are now historical records. Even in 2000 it would have been hard to identify all 100, though. Most are obscure and many are in outlying locations. "Within one mile of the Abbey," implies over three square miles to search.

 

The charm of the book, though, is not so much in the puzzle as in the focus on detail, which makes these pictures well out of the ordinary in terms of Bath photography - and Newland's eye and camera skills are very good.

 

Here's a Bath architectural detail photo I took myself:

Reading progress update: I've read 845 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

Box Hill; Emma and Frank both open their mouths and place their feet firmly in them.

Collins Concise English Dictionary, William T. McCloed (ed.)

Collins Concise English Dictionary - William T. McLeod

YES! I've finally found my trusty dictionary that has served me well since 1985 when I was given it, along with a thesaurus, for Christmas. It's worn, torn and tatty but still holding together and I've missed it these last several years while it's been hidden in a box in a self-storage container. I've already used it: "Pertinacious" is now in my vocabulary.

Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 96 pages.

Secret Corners 2 - William Newland Welsby

Half way and so far I've scored 4/50. Some of them don't actually look the same, ~20 years later.

Reading progress update: I've read 840 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

A possible clearing of the mists: Emma is thinking Harriet fancies Frank. The evidence is more that she fancies Knightly. Frank seems more inclined towards Emma if anybody.

Reading progress update: I've read 914 out of 1102 pages.

Complete Poems, 1904-1962 - E.E. Cummings

Tributes to Chaucer, Dante, Keats, Helen of Troy.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 96 pages.

Secret Corners 2 - William Newland Welsby

Will I be able to recognise any of these photos of "Secret Corners" of Bath - all within 1 mile radius of the Abbey? We'll see, but luckily for me, I have the answers in the back, unlike the original purchaser.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 111 pages.

A Streetcar Named Desire (Modern Classics Penguin) - Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams

OK, I've read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and seen The Glass Menagerie; both good. This is probaby equally famous - hopefully at least equally good!

Reading progress update: I've read 836 out of 1220 pages.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen - Jane Austen

One of Austen's humourous techniques is to have a character start out making some categorical statement then ramble on in long-winded fashion untilby the end contradicting the initial assertion.

Reading progress update: I've read 79 out of 352 pages.

Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome - Nessa Carey

A more detailed description of the cause of Down's Syndrome than I'd come across before.

Palladio: The Complete Buildings, Wundrun, Pape, Marton

Palladio - Taschen Publishing

I wanted to find out more about the work of the architect who inspired those who designed and built much of Georgian and Regency Bath. This book seemed the perfect opportunity. There's much that is good about it: great photography, willingness to give over an entire double page spread to one picture when appropriate, nice maps showing the locations of all the buildings, large format, but...you knew there was going to be a but, right?

 

But the book is let down heavily by the text. There's an architectural glossary but it is cursory and needs to be much more comprehensive. Some of the definitions differ from others I've come across. The author clearly isn't a native English speaker and the proof-reading cannot have been done by one either: a few sentences are entirely unintelligible and typos are sprinkled through-out. I never worked out what the author meant by "plastic" - none of the ordinary definitions seem to fit. The style is weirdly elliptical. Whilst interesting, it's not pleasant reading. Finally, at the end, there's a five page essay on "Palladio's Legacy," except only the final three sentences were actually on topic, which is a real shame as it's an interesting topic and most of the essay was just recapitulation of previous material.

 

Despite these flaws, it served my purpose, giving me very clear ideas on what techniques and motifs of Bath architecture are taken from Palladio. I could have acheived the goal just by looking at the pictures, though.

Reading progress update: I've read 16 out of 818 pages.

The Complete Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Nineteen Other Tales (Modern Library Classics) - Barry Menikoff, Robert Louis Stevenson

There is a genuine air of a New Arabian Nights, what with a Prince in disguise having an unlikely encounter and subsequent adventure. Still can't remember anything that's going to happen. Still feels familiar as I read it.