Category Archives: books

Neglected at the Hyde Park Book Fair

Today’s the day when the denizens of Hyde Park congregate in the open-air plaza at the Hyde Park Shopping Center, looking for used books. Cardboard boxes of books, roughly divided by subject, sit atop folding tables, awaiting the senior citizens who will buy them (yes, the demographic at the book fair skews OLD). As I […]

The case of Malcolm Gladwell vs. Jerry Sandusky

In January of 2018 I wrote a post about whether Penn State’s assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was guilty of child abuse. In 2012 Sandusky was, as you may remember, convicted of 45 counts of sexually abusing eight young boys. His prison sentence was 30-60 years, and, since he was born in 1944, this was […]

Malcolm Gladwell and other authors who make big errors in their books

When I started writing books for the general public (“trade books”, as they call them), I was surprised to find out that I alone was responsible for the accuracy of their content. While publishers do have their legal departments vet books that may violate laws against libel, or cause other legal troubles, publishers have neither […]

What are we reading?

Well, I don’t know what you’re reading, and whether you like it, but that’s what this post is for. In fact, a lot of the books I’ve read, and a few I’m reading now, have come from readers’ comments on posts like this. I usually read only one book at a time, and have been […]

In a Channel 4 interview, Richard Dawkins describes his new book

Although I heard rumors that Richard Dawkins was publishing a new book, I wasn’t aware that it was already finished and scheduled for publication. But Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide is will be out October 8. I haven’t seen it, but it’s apparently intended for young people. And I’ve put below a 45-minute video interview […]

A Templeton-funded researcher recommends five books on science and religion. Guess what take they have?

Five Books is generally a good site, and I’ve done at least two interviews with them. The site’s object is a good one: to get an expert in some field to recommend five books in their area of expertise, books from which the general public could profit. I did interviews about evolution and the incompatibility […]

Bari Weiss’s new book on anti-Semitism

If you look on Amazon, you’ll find that New York Times columnist Bari Weiss has a new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism, which will be out September 10 ($14.02 in hardback, $9.99 on Kindle). I haven’t seen it yet, but apparently Weiss feels that anti-Semitism in America is on the rise, at least judging by the […]

More mishigas about free will, this time in the TLS

The Times Literary Supplement, which I used to write for, doesn’t often make its articles free online, but this one was (click on screenshot below to see it). And it’s about free will: a review of three books on the topic (The Limits of Free Will: Selected essays by Paul Russell, Aspects of Agency: Decisions, […]

A visit with Titania McGrath (Andrew Doyle)

Most of us have enjoyed the spoofs of “woke” culture by Titania McGrath, who has not only 289,000 followers on Twitter, but a book, Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. Here Peter Whittle interviews the person who created and is channeled through Titania, comedian Andrew Doyle, who writes for Spiked and previously wrote for “Jonathan […]

Reminder: Discussion on Tuesday with Andrew Seidel about his new book on the secular origins of America

If you’re in Chicago on Tuesday, remember that I will be having a discussion at the University of Illinois at Chicago with Andrew Seidel, a constitutional attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and author of the new book below on the secular origins of America. The time and place are in the announcement, it’s […]