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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

Un Juif pour l'exemple

Un Juif pour l'exemple - Jacques Chessex This short book, the last that Chessex wrote, reminded me of Duras's L'Amant, which I read a few weeks earlier. In both, we have the author, knowing they were near death, trying to make sense of something which had haunted their dreams since their childhoods. For Duras, it was her first affair, when she was a rebellious 15 year old school-girl wearing gold-lamé shoes and a man's hat. For Chessex, it was a particularly horrible murder, which happened in his village when he was 8. Both authors adopt similar solutions. They don't moralize, wring their hands, or express indignation. They just give you the facts, in as simple and straightforward a way as they can. As with Duras, the result is moving and disturbing.

The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures