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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
Everything Explained Through Flowcharts: All of Life's Mysteries Unraveled Including Tips for World Domination, Which Religion Offers the Best Afterlife, the Secret Recipe for Gettin' Laid Lemonade - Doogie Horner In his typically dry, understated way, David Giltinan described this book as "pants-crappingly awesome" - but I knew what he meant, and immediately ordered a copy. It does not disappoint.

Friends, we're always* saying we LOLed. LOL is an acronym that is supposed to mean "laugh out loud". In fact, Table 1 give you a detailed breakdown of what LOL really means, using the scale employed by professional Internet humorologists:
1 (42%) Knowing smirk
2 (30%) Genuine smile
3 (16%) Inadvertent snort
4 (8%) Single stifled guffaw
5 (3%) Peal of head-turning laughter
6 (1%) Helpless, prolonged, tears-in-eyes giggling
Table 1. What LOL really means when it's used on Goodreads.

I lost count of how many times I got to stages 4 and 5, and reached 6 at least twice - embarrassingly, both of them were on the chart Things To Say During Sex. But maybe that's just me, and other people will be more amused by Freudian interpretations of the American Dream, a brief lesson in Dolphin (eee-UUUeee-UUU-click! means "Although I am from the above-world, I still love your daughter") and a knock-out tournament in which all past and present US Presidents battle it out to the death. There's also a ludicrously exact table categorising superheroes and their superpowers, a flowchart explaining how the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife works and several other things that David G mentioned in his review.

Unless you're a Viking warrior with a spear through your body or suffer from some other medical condition where laughing is counter-indicated, I strongly recommend buying this book. It's funny.

* Except for notgettingenough, who hates the word. Not, I am specifically excluding you from this claim, so there is no need to post a denial.