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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
V for Vendetta
David Lloyd, Alan Moore
Progress: 82/296 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 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: 204/1102 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: 256/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
The Thirteen-Gun Salute - Patrick O'Brian At some point O'Brian decided this series would go on indefinitely. The structure of some of the books then became odd. There are some that don't end - they just stop. There's an obvious on-going, unresolved plot but - tough luck - you're gonna hafta wait for the next volume to get a resolution. This is one of them. It ends with a cliff-hanger (which some don't) and for some reason it's easier to handle then when a book just stops apparently arbitrarily.

So, thirteen books in and it's getting harder to find non-repetitive things for Aubrey and Maturin to do with each volume, yet O'Brian pulls it off again! Making Maturin not just a physician but an intelligence officer was a stroke of genius in this regard. It offers a much greater range of possible and plausible adventures than regular Royal Navy work could...and so we are off to the Pacific on a diplomatic mission with clandestine additional motivations. The best, most delightful part of this volume is an almost complete aside from the main plot, however: Maturin indulges his interest in natural history by visiting a volcanic island where Orangutans abound.

Back to the cliff-hanger. I have not had so urgent a desire to read the next in this series since probably somewhere in the first five volumes. I think I overdosed for a while and I also think the quality varies somewhat between volumes in this series, but this one is the best since the tenth, at least.