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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
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Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe
Andreas Schmacher
Progress: 16/360 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
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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

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.