Cheerful is an important word here as the book is aimed at those who are interested in science with - and this is a crucial addition - a sense of humour. Perhaps this is where the reviewer needs a helping hand because Tom Wilkie also thought the first three chapters contained an excess of male fantasies and "sexist stereotyping". As a result, I feel obliged to point out that the provocatively named title chapter does explain that this "perfect blonde" can be male or female, brunette or redhead or even a golden retriever if that's your cup of tea. I have also yet to meet a woman who wouldn't like her own domestic goddess (chapter 2) while the quoted example of someone who badly needs to lose their lovehandles (chapter 3) is in fact male. Admittedly a male with yellow skin and four fingers, but male nevertheless in the form of Homer Simpson. As for that illustration, by Jamie Keenan, of a thin woman coming out of a larger woman's body, I thought it was brilliant. So I think irreverent is a more accurate description than sexist stereotyping. After all, we also propose wiping out Slough with a black hole although, strangely enough, no one took exception to this.
Sue Nelson Science amp; environment correspondent BBC News