Category Archives: books

RIP Günter Grass

I didn’t know until I saw this morning’s New York Times that Günter Grass, one of my favorite authors, died yesterday at age 87. No cause was announced, and it appeared to be sudden. I’ve read exactly four of his books: The Tin Drum,  Dog Years, Cat and Mouse, and The Flounder, in that order, and knew when […]

Tennessee legislature tries to make the Bible the Official State Book

There is no end to the LOLs provided by Southern legislatures who try, in obvious defiance of the Constitution’s First Amendment, to institutionalize Christianity as a state-approved faith. This time it’s Tennessee, in which a fast-tracked bill seems on its way to passage.  According to The Tennesseean: Senate and House committees overwhelmingly approved measures Tuesday […]

Five Books: Selina O’Grady on the role of religion, and where New Atheists supposedly go wrong

Selina O’Grady is an author who had a strict religious upbringing but left it behind to become an atheist. She’s the author of And Man Created God: A History of the World at the Time of Jesus, a book about the growth of religions in general, and of Christianity in particular, as well as the connection between […]

Eagleton on Baggini on free will

The philosopher and atheist Julian Baggini has a new book called Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will. As you can probably tell from the title, it’s a compatibilist book, claiming that although all our acts are determined by the laws of physics, we still have a kind of free will.  And it’s reviewed in the April 1 […]

Booklist gives Faith Versus Fact a starred review

Well, my editor at Viking just emailed me with the astounding news that Booklist, another pre-review site that vets books for libraries, bookstores and other outlets, has given Faith versus Fact not just a good review, but a rare starred review (i.e., they’re specially recommending it)! And in the “adult religion category”, too! The review is below, and […]

Sold American! Book goes for over $10K!

Well, my wildest dreams have been exceeded, for here is the final price of the multiply-autographed and Houle-illustrated copy of WEIT: That is a LOT of medical aid, and Kelly and I are chuffed!  All of this goes, of course, to Doctors Without Borders, and I hope they’ll be pleased, too. Thanks to all the […]

OMG: $6100!

Bidding on the autographed and Houle-illustrated copy of WEIT has gone up another thousand simoleons, and there’s still a bit more than a day left: I take no credit for that high price, which I attribute to all the nice autographs that festoon the book and the spiffy artwork, but I’m still pleased that it […]

My review of “Evolving Ourselves” in WaPo

A while back I wrote a review of a new book by Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans: Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation Are Changing Life on Earth. That review has just appeared in the Washington Post (free online at the link). For reasons that escape me, it’s in the “opinion” section, though perhaps the Post doesn’t have a […]

Jon Stewart interviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali (obtusely); Hirsi Ali has a new book

Well, if there’s anything that this interview of Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Monday’s Daily Show proves, it’s that Jon Stewart is no Bill Maher. As you’ll see from the 20-minute interview (click on the screenshot below to see the video), Stewart basically does everything he can to argue that Islam is no different in principle from any other […]

More dosh for the book!

The latest update shows that bidding for The Fancy Book has exceeded $5,000. I can hardly believe it. Yes, perhaps (as one commenter said) the book isn’t “worth it”—but who cares? This is a lot of dough for Doctors Without Borders, and that means a lot of people helped—I hope. Thanks again to Kelly Houle for […]


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