Category Archives: book reviews

What’s the story with Reza Aslan and his Jesus book?

Resa Aslan, author of the new bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, is all over the internet, and although his book is #1 on nearly every bestseller list, the reviews and profiles of Aslan haven’t all been positive. I haven’t yet read the book, so I’m just pointing you to two […]

Matthew’s new book gets plaudits

In the latest Times Literary Supplement, guest writer Matthew Cobb’s new book, Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944, gets a very positive review by Robert Gildea, professor of history at Oxford. Sadly, the review is behind a paywall, so I’ve asked Matthew to give me a precis: Outs me as ‘Professor […]

Five Books site reorganizes, becomes more user-friendly

If you’re a bibliophile, you’ll already know about the Five Books site of The Browser, where you can read really nice interviews with luminaries and learn which five books they most recommend for popular reading in their field. The site has just been reorganized, so you can scan all the interviews by general topic (“World […]

Grayling’s new book: a short but laudatory review

I want to give two thumbs up to Anthony Grayling’s new book, The God Argument: the Case Against Religion and for Humanism, which was released this March but is already available in paperback and Kindle. (Note: I haven’t yet read his previous effort, The Good Book, which is apparently a humanist version of the Bible drawing […]

Discovery Institute claims that Meyer’s ID book is approved by one of Britain’s “top geneticists”; doesn’t mention that he’s a creationist

The Discovery Institute is desperate to flog Stephen Meyer’s new book Darwin’s Doubt, which, according to Nick Matzke’s review, is not only laden with ignorance and errors, but touts God The Intelligent Designer as responsible for the rapid “Cambrian explosion.” Ergo, they’re busy digging up scientists to approve of the book, though I doubt they’ll […]

A bad review on Amazon

An alert reader spotted this, and it’s hilarious. An egg? Really? I’m glad, though, that the readers have been washed by the theory of evolution.

Slate goes after scientism

Aren’t these anti-New Atheism pieces getting tiresome? They have three characteristics: 1. The author is an atheist or agnostic; 2. The author takes New Atheists to task for presenting a caricature of religion and not engaging with religion’s “best” arguments (i.e., academic obscurantism that uses big words), and 3. They call out New Atheists for […]

A bizarre critique of Christopher Hitchens: he wasn’t a skeptic about his cancer

Thanks to alert reader Michael, I’ve made my first visit to the Dublin Review of Books site, where you can read a review of Christopher Hitchens’s last book, Mortality. The review is by Seamus O’Mahony, who seems uniquely qualified for the task: Seamus O’Mahony is a physician with an interest in medicine and literature. He […]

Jane Goodall apparently guilty of plagiarism and sloppy science writing

Jane Goodall’s observations of the chimps at Gombe is perhaps the most famous work in primatology in the 20th century, and she’s rightly famous for her meticulous observations, her absolute dedication to her fieldwork, her discovery of many traits in our closest relatives that were thought unique to humans, and her tireless work on biological […]

Susan Jacoby on atheism: “Five Books” interview and her recommendations for godless readings

On the occasion of Susan Jacoby’s new book, The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought (nice discount at Amazon!), she’s interviewed by Five Books‘ Sophie Roell on the topic of “Atheism”.  It’s a really nice interview and I’ll leave it to you to read it and see what five books on atheism Jacoby recommends […]


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