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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
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World - Bryan Lee O'Malley Our son David dragged us to see the movie on Saturday. Elisabeth slumbered fitfully, waking up occasionally to see if it was getting any better and generally deciding it wasn't. I thought it was interesting at an abstract level, and I found several scenes funny or sexy, but I had to admit that I couldn't really appreciate it. I also felt rather sleepy at times. David looked both superior and a little embarrassed. "Well, it's really a movie for my generation," he admitted.

The startling realisation that struck me about ten minutes in is that video games have now become culture! Since I've never played Mortal Kombat or anything similar, it was like watching a movie in a foreign language. Admittedly a language where I had some passive vocabulary, but none the less. I had to hand it to them - structuring a romcom as a video game was clever, and judging from other people's reactions it worked. Several times, I caught myself thinking that, if only I'd known, I would have done a bit of Tekken first to get the literary background. You know, like reading The Odyssey before attacking Ulysses, or Mrs Dalloway before The Hours.

The rest of this review is in my book What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations