book reviewsActa Cryst.(2018). B74, 253–254253Intermolecular Interactions in Crystals: Fundamen-tals of Crystal Engineering.Edited by Juan J Novoa.Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, Pp. 764.Price GBP 99.99 (hardcover). ISBN 978-1-78262-173-7.Gautam R. Desiraju*Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit, Indian Institute of Science, CV Raman Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560012,India. *Correspondence e-mail: [email protected]It is very difficult to produce something, which is both ‘a textbook for Masters and PhDstudents’ and ‘a reference book for researchers’. So, when I read the preface by theeditor, which states these aims, I was quite looking forward to reading the book itself.However, I was disappointed at the end of my enterprise, and doubly so because the bookdid not appear to me to have succeeded in its aims either as a textbook or as a referencework, barring certain sections.Any textbook needs to be simple and short, and it should contain non-controversialand easy to understand concepts and principles. The subject matter, including equationsand quantitative information, needs to flow in a manner so that the novice learns and atthe same time feels impelled to continue reading. A reference work on the other handcontains up to date scholarly material and, in part maybe, even contested and debatableopinions. The features that respectively define a textbook and a reference book areinherently contradictory and in attempting to combine them, the editor was perhapsbeing unrealistically ambitious.