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Apr. 5th, 2017

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What did you just finish?
Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours by Noga Arikha. A nonfiction popular history of the humors – as in blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile, or sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic. (BTW, I personally am a phlegmatic and I cannot deny this clear truth, but I do wish I didn't have to be the grossest and most boring of the types.) I expected this to be an entertaining retelling of weird medical history, a bit like the Sawbones podcast, but despite being sold as a 'popular' history, it's far more academic and serious than I anticipated. It's also not particularly about medicine as an everyday practice, but rather about the abstract philosophies of the various ways history has conceived of the human body. Arikha simply assumes that the reader already knows the background of what the humors are and what they mean, and leaps deeper into arguments about the consequences of Descartes's theory of mind-body duality or NeoPlatonism's melding of Greek and Christian cosmologies. Which are interesting ideas also, of course, but not really what I expected to get out of this book. It was a read that took a lot of effort to muddle through when that wasn't particularly what I wanted to do this week. But that's on me more than on the book, which probably only needs better PR.

Mount TBR update: 11!

What are you currently reading?
Color of Love by Anita Stansfield. A Victorian romance where the Hero has just married the Heroine's sister (????), a development about which I am feeling very uncertain. But I've still got over a hundred pages left, so let's see how this turns out.

A note on whatever's going on with the new LJ TOS: I haven't had time to really look into the situation and make a decision on what my response will be, but for right now I think I will probably keep crossposting to both DW and LJ. However, I think I will be switching my reading to my DW friends' list instead of the LJ one. If you plan to only post to LJ and/or I don't already have you friended on DW, please let me know so I won't lose track of you!


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