Category Archives: books

Three Maine clergymen try to ban a library display of banned books

Reader Ken called my attention to an article in the Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal about a group of three clergymen who tried to ban not books, but worse: they tried to ban a display of banned books at the local library. It turns out that National Banned Books Week is from September 23-29, when libraries […]

Book claiming that Israel deliberately maims Palestinian civilians as a form of punishment wins award in women’s studies

According to the Algemeiner (yes, a Jewish site), a book by Jasbir Puar, Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, has won one of the two 2018 Alison Piepmeier Book Prizes awarded by the National Womens Studes Association (NWSA).  According to the Association, the prize is “for a groundbreaking monograph […]

Is belief in free will dangerous? Yuval Harari’s take

I’m sure most of you have heard of Yuval Noah Harari, a historian at Israel’s Hebrew University who wrote the mega best-sellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014) and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016).  I haven’t yet read either book, though I intend to read Sapiens. Wikipedia notes, however, that while the popular reception of that book […]

New book by Lukianoff and Haidt on the fragility of the young

Cooling my heels at the airport, I call your attention to a new book by Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University. The book: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up […]

The White House is even more screwed up than you can imagine

Bob Woodward’s new book on Trump, shown at bottom (click on screenshot to go to Amazon site) paints a picture of a White House even more dysfunctional and bizarre that our most rabid Trump-haters could imagine. First read the CNN article below, and then Woodward’s book, which is based on extensive research and lots of […]

Which book would you hurl across the room?

Grania not only sent me this tweet, but answered the question. The tweet: Has anyone actually *literally* thrown a book they disliked across a room? — Mac Rogers (@macwrites) September 1, 2018 Grania’s answer (brought up a Catholic, she didn’t capitalize “bible”—probably from disgust): In my case it would be the bible. Few Catholics read […]

Another uncritical review of David Quammen’s new book

David Quammen, an acclaimed science writer, recently published the book below (click on screenshot to go to Amazon site). It’s basically a three-part book, dealing with Carl Woese and his discovery of the Archaea, a major branch of life; telling the story of Lynn Margulis and her revival of the theories that mitochondria and chloroplasts, […]

A new review (and critique) of Richard Prum’s book on sexual selection

I’ve now read Richard O. Prum’s new book, The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—and Us (I’d highlighted the work earlier in my critique of his NY Times article about the book). Click on the screenshot to go to the book’s Amazon site. (Prum is a professor of ornithology, ecology, […]

My WaPo review of David Quammen’s new book on evolutionary trees (and a comparison with other reviews)

I’ve just reviewed David Quammen’s new book, The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, for the Washington Post. Click on the screenshot to see my review. (Note that the original title, which was a bit misleading, has been changed to the new one below.) It will be in the paper version of Sunday’s […]

Our World Cup contest winner (and boot lagniappe)

Reader Jack Dostal won our World Cup contest even though he didn’t get the winner (he got the closest, though). Jack dropped by the lab today on his way from North Carolina to Iowa, and I gave him his prize, an autographed copy of WEIT with a soccer-playing cat drawn in it, wearing Belgium’s team […]