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MannyRayner

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

Contes Des Sages Et Foux Amoureux

Contes Des Sages Et Foux Amoureux - Jean-Jacques Fdida I bought this book on impulse at Livresse, a bookshop/café here in Geneva run by a charming pair of lesbians. For non-French-speakers, the name is a pun: livre is "book", and ivresse is "drunkenness", so livresse is, roughly, "drunk on books". The book I bought is a collection of amusing stories about love in its various forms. Here's one of the ones I liked best:

The young man has never been very good at talking to girls, but now the marriage-broker has found him a real peach, who actually looks like she might be interested. He desperately wants to make a good impression when they're introduced, so he goes to his father and asks for advice.

"It's easy, my son," says the father. "First, talk to her about love, but indirectly, so that she sees you're well brought-up. Then talk to her about family, so that she knows your intentions are serious. Finally, talk to her about philosophy, so that she understands you're not just anyone."

The son goes off to meet the girl. She's even more beautiful than he's been led to believe. Now what was it his father had said? Love, but indirectly...

"I guess you must love noodles?" he blurts out.

"Uh, not really," she answers, surprised.

Hm, that didn't work out, thinks the son. Okay, family...

"You have a brother, haven't you?" he asks.

"No, actually I don't," she says.

Damn! This really isn't going too well. He'd better recoup his losses on the philosophy, but his mind's completely blank.

"Well," he continues. "If you did have a brother, would he love noodles?"

The girl just can't stop giggling. "No one told me you were so funny!" she finally gasps. "I'd be delighted to marry you!"

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Here's another one:

When God had finished his Creation, he called to him the first man and the first woman. And he showed the first man all the wonders he had wrought: the earth, the heavens, the sun, the moon, the myriads of stars, the trees, the plants, the animals, and the first woman. And then He asked the first man:

"What do you think is the most beautiful thing I have created?"

And the first man, without hesitating, pointed to the first woman, and said:

"It's her."

Then God turned to the first woman, and showed her all the wonders of the new world: the earth, the heavens, the sun, the moon, the myriads of stars, the plants, the animals, and the first man. And He asked her too:

"What do you think is the most beautiful thing I have created?"

And the first woman, without hesitating, pointed to the first man, and said:

"He's right. It's me."

____________________________________________________

And one more:

The mother is giving her daughter advice on how to have a happy marriage. "Well," she says, "there are five basic rules. Stick to them and everything will be fine. Here they are."

"First, you need a man who has a steady job and is prepared to help out around the house. Second, you need a man that you can really trust. Third, you need a man who has the gift of wit and humour. Fourth, you need a man that you get on with in bed. And fifth..."

"Yes mom?"

"Fifth, make sure these four men don't know each other."