Category Archives: books

Google Doodle celebrates Tolstoy

Today is Tolstoy’s 186th birthday (9 Sept. 1828-20 Nov. 1910), and Google has celebrated with an animated Doodle recounting his best works. You can get to it by clicking on the screenshot below, and you advance from work to work by clicking on the arrows that will appear. The Guardian took a break from its […]

A trippy xkcd celebrates a book launch

Turtles all the way down! Today’s xkcd, by Randall Munroe, celebrates the issuing of the author’s new book.  This is a screenshot, but if you click on it you will go to the site, and then begin scrolling up (or down; it varies among machines and browsers)—forever.  (Note: it doesn’t work with some browsers, but […]

Frank Bruni at the NYT discusses Sam Harris’s new book

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam Harris has written a new book, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, which will be on sale September 9.  Full disclosure: I’ve read it and given it a blurb: “As a neuroscientist, Sam Harris shows how our egos are illusions, diffuse products of brain activity, and as a long-term […]

A Twi**er exchange

This was inspired, I think, by my recent post about whether there was a historical person around whom the Jesus myth accreted. There was surprising interest in the question, and I’ve learned nothing to convince me that there was more evidence for a historical Jesus than there was before. But on to the social medium […]

The Thinking Atheist’s book

Just a quick note: Seth Andrews, who hosts “The Thinking Atheist,” one of the best and most popular podcasts for the godless, wrote a book about his deconversion from evangelical Christianity to atheism.  I met Seth at the “Imagine No Religion” meeting in Kamloops; he was a great guy and gave a fascinating talk about how […]

The Albatross is here!

O noes!  Everything on this site is going to slow down until I groom this bird and make it capable of flying. The giant bottle of aspirin (they come in “small,” “medium,” “large,” and “author” is to help me. Be kind to Professor Ceiling Cat.

The bonobo and the atheist-basher: Frans de Waal disses atheism

I’m not sure I want to provide a full, free-standing review of Frans de Waal’s The Bonobo and the Atheist, but I can give some excerpts and thoughts, especially because I’m four-fifths of the way through the book. But unless it changes drastically in the last 40 pages, I think I’m on pretty good ground in […]

Unlimited reading through Kindle: $9.99 per month

This sounds too good to be true given that e-books cost about ten bucks each, but I’m calling it to your attention. Amazon has announced a “kindleunlimited” plan in which, for $9.99 per month, you get unlimited reading (go here for the information). I haven’t investigated it thoroughly to see if there’s a catch (I […]

Gary Gutting interviews Michael Ruse and asks him why he coddles religion

Gary Gutting is a philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame, and has been interviewing various academics about religion at his website The Stone at The New York Times. Interviewees have included Alvin “I Haz True Beliefs” Plantinga and my friend the philosopher Philip Kitcher. This week Gutting’s subject is the philosopher of science Michael Ruse, now at […]

Anthony Grayling reviews Barbara Ehrenreich’s book on the numinous

I’ve posted several times about Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book, Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything (e.g.,here, here [on Isaac Chotiner's interview with Ehrenreich], and here [on the New York Times review of the book]). The reason the book deserves scrutiny is because Ehrenreich is a great author who’s written many absorbing […]

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