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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Nonlinear Time Series Analysis
Thomas Schreiber, Holger Kantz
Progress: 29/320 pages
NeuroDiversity: The Birth of an Idea
Judy Reene Singer
Progress: 52/82 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 440/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 310/346 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: 359/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 110/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages
Darkwater Hall (Hodder Silver Series) - Catherine Fisher Catherine Fisher on top form, technically, gives us a story about a bargain for a teenaged girl's soul. Inspired by Dr. Faustus and the alchemical quest to create gold from base metal, this story's primary strength is its characters. They are flawed, sympathetic, real. Indeed I think this is Fisher's great strength as a writer; her protagonists are completely convincing human beings. (Fisher has used all sorts of mythic and religious inspirations; classical Greek, ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Arthurian and Norse for example and has generally come up with an interesting twist or interpretation - this is no exception.)

The ending became predictable too early but you certainly wouldn't have guessed it at the halfway point where everything takes a surprising turn for the more interesting.

I met Catherine Fisher once and she told me that she chose the name Lord Azrael for a character in this book, only to read Northern Lights and find Pullman was slightly ahead of her in using the name - it was too late to change it, though, and it does suit the character.