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MannyRayner

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
Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time - Carroll Quigley This gigantic book - 1350 pages! - reminds me in an odd way of Roger Penrose's almost equally massive The Road to Reality, which I read last year. In both cases, we have an unusually gifted person, who sets out to present an integrated overview of an entire field. For Penrose, it's modern physics; for Quigley, it's world history during the period from 1895 to 1960. In both cases, we soon discover that the author has a highly non-standard but strangely persuasive view of their respective subject, which involves juxtaposition of elements normally considered in isolation.

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