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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 Caves of Steel

The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov Isaac Asimov had opinions on everything, and he'd often find ways to insert them into his books. I was reminded of Caves a couple of months ago when I read Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride, which is in many ways an updated version of the Jezebel story from I Kings. Atwood gives Jezebel a rough ride. Here's what Asimov has to say:
The Jezebel of the Bible was a faithful wife and a good one according to her lights. She had no lovers that we know of. After Jezebel's husband, King Ahab, died, her son, Jehoram, became king. One of the captains of his army, Jehu, rebelled against him and assassinated him. Jehu then rode to Jezreel where the old queen-mother, Jezebel, was residing. Jezebel heard of his coming and knew that he could only mean to kill him. In her pride and courage, she painted her face and dressed herself in her best clothes so that she could meet him as a haughty and defiant queen. He had her thrown from the window of her palace and killed, but she made a good end, according to my lights.
I'd forgotten how passionate he was about defending her. One of the many unexpected things about Asimov was that he was quite a feminist, but somehow without ever acquiring that label. The Susan Calvin stories are an even clearer example.