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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

Max décide de faire des efforts

Max décide de faire des efforts - Dominique de Saint Mars Not one of the best ones - the story is rather flat - but a scary message. Max, about 9, has serious problems. He can't control his video game habit and it's interfering with his ability to do his schoolwork. His parents are worried. He only just passed last year. Maybe he'll flunk this time?

Max knows his career is on the line; maybe his relationship too, since it's repeatedly made clear in the series that girls prefer boys who get decent grades. (Doesn't anyone like sexy losers any more? Even at primary school?) Max thinks carefully about it. It's not like he lacks ability to concentrate. When they went on vacation, he taught himself to windsurf even though it was hard. Can spelling be so much harder? But he just has to stop spending all his time playing video games. It's ruining his life.

There are other kids with similar issues, and they set up a self-help group which might as well have been called Video Gamers Anonymous. I'm surprised they don't have a twelve-point program. It works fairly well, though Max's parents have no idea what's going on and give him zero support. Luckily, big sister Lili is there for him when it counts.

Bloody hell. All the books in the series are supposed to be based on interviews with real French children and reflect common concerns. Things surely weren't this bad when I was 9.