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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

The Cosmic Landscape

The Cosmic Landscape - Leonard Susskind I had seen many references to this controversial book - among other things, it's quoted approvingly in Dawkins's The God Delusion - but somehow I didn't get round to reading it until this week. Despite the fact that it's sloppily argued and poorly written, I'm embarrassed to say that I found it unputdownable. If you also enjoy watching smart, opinionated people shooting their mouths off in public, you may well have the same reaction.

Susskind, writing in 2005, confidently promises to explain Life, the Universe and Everything. He is one of the founders of string theory and the phrase is in the title, so no prizes for guessing that it will be an essential ingredient. In a nutshell, his argument is as follows.

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