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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 Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit - Christopher Wormell This interesting fable is one of Sam's favorites. The monster is so ugly that no animal can bear to be near him. His breath makes grass wither. If he stands in a stream, it dries up, and if he looks at the sky it starts snowing. But inside, the monster is just scared and lonely. In desperation, he carves stone statues to keep him company.

Even stone, it turns out, is no match for his ugliness; when he opens his mouth, all the statues shatter. Except one. A little stone rabbit is left, and he becomes the monster's only friend. He never says anything, but he doesn't disintegrate either. The monster is finally happy. He gradually becomes older, until in the end he is a wrinkled, white-furred creature who can barely hobble around.

One day, the monster retreats into his cave and never comes out again. Grass and flowers return. Soon the blasted landscape is a beautiful garden. The rabbit is still where he was, though almost covered in vegetation. Occasionally people see him, and wonder: where did he come from?

I loved this story.