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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
Fifty Shades Darker - E.L. James A couple of weeks ago, I made a bet with had quite underestimated the quality of his fine piece of writing, and in the event it was not even close; he had 24 votes by Sunday afternoon. I told [P], whom I believed to be a gentleman, that the exact nature of the prize was for him to decide, though I hinted that this would be my preferred choice.

[P] assured me that the present was on its way. I spent the next few days in an agony of pleasant anticipation, not least because my beautiful and sexy girlfriend discreetly suggested that she would be interested in helping me test it. Chocolate, she murmured, melts in the mouth. There might be other places it would melt too. I wasn't quite certain what she meant, but I looked forward to finding out more.

And now, this morning, I went downstairs to collect the post, and this is what I found:

Miserable chocolate condoms

At first, I couldn't even understand what it was, so great was my disappointment. I had to admit the truth to my girlfriend. After looking at the packet for a few seconds, she shook her head. "What do you do with them?" she asked. I halfheartedly suggested a couple of possibilities, but they fell so miserably short of expectation that I could hardly blame her for turning them down.

[P], I was mistaken. You are no gentleman. You are a rotter, a cad and a bounder. There's only one thing I can say in your defense. As a metaphor for this series, your sorry gift is not entirely without merit.