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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

I am Papa Snap and These are My Favourite No Such Stories

I am Papa Snap and These are My Favourite No Such Stories - Tomi Ungerer Very funny absurdist short stories for people of age 4 upwards, accompanied by Ungerer's inimitable illustrations. My favorite was the man who buys his wife a steam-roller as a silver wedding anniversary present. (She uses it to do the ironing and make pizza; the picture is marvelous). I also liked the bad kid who goes to sea in a bathtub and sinks a battleship with his catapult, and the careless aviator, who bales out of his burning plane and then realizes he's left his parachute behind in the officers' mess. "I swear this is the last time I... SPLAT!!!"

I can't find many extracts on the Web - the book is nowhere near as famous as it deserves to be - but here's another one I liked:


Every day, rain, shine or overcast, he walks down to the shore. He sits on a rock to read or dream. He has no friends, no enemies. He lives in peace. No one knows anything about him. Not even his name.