Thursday, 30 June 2011

Some things I read in May and June

I didn't post about what I'd read in May, mostly because I didn't read a lot in May, but also because I was too lazy.  I've read rather more in June, though I am still only halfway through The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose.  It's quite interesting but it moves quickly, so I only really get what he's talking about if it's something I've encountered before, and he makes some great things, for example imaginary numbers, sound much duller than they are.

1. I reread the first Flavia de Luce mystery and then read the next two. (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, and A Red Herring Without Mustard, by Alan Bradley.)  They're excellent unsentimental murder-mysteries about a precocious girl growing up in genteel deprivation after the war.  Flavia is ten or eleven and a bit of a terror.  She lost her mother as a baby and her father has been emotionally absent ever since, while her older sisters bully her to keep her down (at least partly in self-defence).  She's intelligent and bratty and obsessed with poisons.  It's a bit I Capture the Castle but without all that love stuff and with a lot more about fatal toxins.  Go Flavia de Luce!  I hope she escapes to a proper school, or at least eventually to Newnham.

2. I read two wry and quite funny books, Elinor Lipman's Dearly Departed, and Kate Christiansen's The Great Man.  I think Lipman is excellent but I like some of her books more than others.  This was definitely one of the good ones.  Christiansen is a completely new one on me.  It took me a while to get used to her style, but I ended up really enjoying it.

3. I worked through the whole of Wilfrid Hodge's Logic: an Introduction to Elementary Logic.  I don't really feel like reviewing it so much as reviewing myself.  My review reads: "Well done me!"  It may seem conceited to review myself in that way but wouldn't it be more conceited to imply that textbooks on elementary logic are something I just crunch up casually?  There are a few small errors in it.  A list of most of them can be found in a pdf linked to from this page on the Oxford Philosophy website, but I think I found a few more.  I made a note of them on this page.

No comments:

Post a Comment