Category Archives: books

Big kerfuffle on Amazon over the Book of Mormon

Talk about bimodality of opinion! I thought I had it for Faith versus Fact, but if you go over to Amazon and look at the reviews for the Book of Mormon edition published in 1981, you see this: That’s right: 631 reviews, with 96% being either five-star or 1-star—the lowest possible ranking. Clearly something strange is going on […]

Russian produces world’s smallest book—and other tiny stuff

It’s 70 X 90 microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter), or 0.07 X 0.09 millimeters, which means that you could fit over 100 of these side by side in a single centimeter, or almost three hundred of the books in a single inch.  As Wednesday’s Guardian reports, a Russian man, Vladimir Aniskin, who works at […]

Monday children’s literature

Reader Dom works at a library and thus comes across all manner of interesting literature. This story, “The Cat and the Mouse”, comes from a 1912 book, A Second Reader for Deaf Children. Click to enlarge, and be sure to look at the pictures (especially the last one), and read the story (especially the last […]

Harper Lee dies at 89

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), passed away this morning at age 89, apparently dying in her sleep. She’d not been well for a while, with some even claiming that she wasn’t compos mentis enough to approve the recent publication of Go Set A Watchman, the first draft of Mockingbird, which appeared last year to […]

My review of Matt Ridley’s new book, “The Evolution of Everything”

Matt Ridley is not only a businessman and a banker (or was—he headed Northern Rock before it went bust in 2007), but also a Viscount with huge landholdings, a member of the House of Lords and, to top it off, holder of a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Oxford (I believe he was Richard Dawkins’s […]

A new book by Dan Barker

Oh dear: Dr. Cobb promised a nice, interesting science post this afternoon, but he’s very busy being famous and all, so I’ll just make a few announcements. The first is that Dan Barker, whose proclivity at writing books makes him the Steve Pinker of Godlessness, has yet another book, one that will go on sale February […]

John Gray: an atheist-hating atheist

John Gray is an English writer, philosopher, and atheist—one of those atheists who really, really hates New Atheists, doesn’t think much of science, and positively loves religion. I’ve dissected his pieces before on this website (see this collection, for instance), and, truth be told, I can barely muster up the energy to discuss any more of his […]

Why the study of literature is going extinct

This is a long post, larded with quotes. If you don’t want to read it, take a number, get in line, and. . . When I was in college at William & Mary, I was lucky enough to be taught by professors not only oriented more toward students than toward research (so we got lots of personal […]

Damon Linker reviews Hitchens’s new book of essays in the NYT

Damon Linker, author and senior correspondent at The Week, is also a Catholic, which, it would seem, makes him less than objective as a reviewer of Christopher Hitchens’s new book of essays, And Yet . . . . Linker has also criticized New Atheists on several occasions, chastising us for not being sufficiently lugubrious (you know the […]

Readers’ wildlife photos, purloined edition. (Or: “You won’t believe this stunning mantis!”)

Instead of presenting our own readers’ photographs, I wanted today to highlight a post by naturalist/evolutionist/photographer Piotr Naskrecki from his wonderful website The Smaller Majority.  I doubt that Piotr reads my site, so he probably doesn’t qualify as a “reader,” but I do know him and have permission to reproduce his photos. That’s good enough for me, for today’s […]


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