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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


Ourson - Comtesse de Ségur Chère Comtesse,

Just a brief note to say how much the children and I enjoyed your recent visit, and in particular your kindness in entertaining them every evening with your story "Ourson". They have begged me to continue it; but, alas, I lack your inventive mind and your wonderful command of our language. I have told them that the Prince (no longer a bear-cub) and the Princess lived happily ever after and had many kind and beautiful little princes and princesses of their own. That will have to suffice.

I do admire your ingenuity in putting in something for each of them. As I'm sure you noticed, Eugénie was moved to tears by Violette's self-sacrifice, and Guillaume adored the bloodthirsty combat between the toad-driven chariot of Rageuse and the lark-pulled airship of Drôlette. He has spent all day drawing a splendid picture, which he hopes he can show you next time you come.

I even fancy that you put in a few touches for me. Perhaps I am mistaken, but Agnella's hysteria, vanity and thoughtlessness did somehow put me in mind of our mutual friend la Duchesse de _____. At the same time, I am sure the children saw no more than a noble, exiled Queen. Truly, you are the best and cleverest of aunts! We sorely miss you already.

With all my affection,