Book Review: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

I’ll be honest with you: Stamped from the Beginning is a very intimidating book in more ways than one. It’s a 511-page tome, which makes sense considering that it is, as the subtitle tells us, The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. It’s won several awards, and for good reason.

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Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: Book Review and 17 Best Quotes

After reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and The Demon-Haunted World, I decided that it was time to return for Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, the Cosmos sequel famous for the short but poignant speech of the same name. Pale Blue Dot is possibly the most humbling book you will ever read, and that rings especially true for anyone who believes that the Universe was created exclusively for humans.

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Book Review: When Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman

When a person leaves religion or loses their faith, I’ve found that they tend to go one of two ways. Some people lose interest in religion altogether and want to get as far away from it as possible. In a way, I think this is a shame, because I’m one of the people that goes the other way; I decided that I wanted to give religion a closer look. I turned back around after walking away to scrutinize the history of Christianity and determine which parts of it, if any, are really true. And what have I found?

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Book Review: The Jesuit and the Skull by Amir D. Aczel

After reading The Demon-Haunted World, I was hoping to find a book that was a bit more fast-paced before moving onto something else academic. I started reading a book that I had had on my shelves for a few months: The Peking Man is Missing by Claire Taschdjian. The Peking Man is a group of fossils that has gone through several names but is now classified as Homo erectus. This might not sound thrilling, but Peking Man’s story is unusually chaotic in that the fossils went missing from their place in China during World War II, and what happened to them is a mystery to this day. Taschdjian’s book really grabbed my attention when I first saw it, and I had been saving it for when I wanted a particularly exciting read. Taschdjian was one of the last people known to have seen the Peking Man fossils before they went missing, and her book is her idea of what may have happened to them, written in the form of a novel.

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Book Review: The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan’s 1996 book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark has gained popularity in recent years as Sagan has been crowned a sort of prophet of science. I learned this while watching this video where Drew McCoy explains Sagan’s most famous “prediction” and raves that his viewers ought to read this book. I had been having difficulty choosing which Carl Sagan book to read next, so the video convinced me that it ought to be The Demon-Haunted World.

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Book Review: The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart

I wish that I could rejoice in the fact that today, I write my first ever blog post reviewing a book by a woman, but the fact is, after reading it, it feels as though there is little to be joyful for. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that it would be greatly beneficial for the future of America and of our global society if everyone read The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, but at the same time, I hated it.

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Book Review: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is undoubtedly one of the—if not the—best-known science books of the twentieth century. Its 2005 follow-up work, A Briefer History of Time, starts its foreword with a note on the original 1988 bestseller’s sales: “A Brief History of Time was on the London Sunday Times best-seller list for 237 weeks and has sold about one copy for every 750 men, women, and children on earth.” From the perspective of today’s reluctance to ponder the greater questions posed to us by science (and the even greater unlikeliness that one is willing to pick up a science book at all), I’m astounded that that many people sat down and read a work like A Brief History of Time.

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Book Review: Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Cosmos by Carl Sagan left me speechless. I don’t even know how to express to you how moved I was by Sagan’s writing. But alas, putting into words the impressions left on me by nonfiction masterpieces like Cosmos is what The Curious Atheist blog is all about, so I suppose I’ll give it my best shot.

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Book Review: The End of Faith by Sam Harris

Once upon a time, I read books to learn the arguments for and against the existence of god and for religion in general. It only took so long for me to feel fully comfortable on the side of atheism. Now my reading has expanded more into things I’m curious about (it’s almost as if I named this blog that on purpose) like paleoanthropology and early Christianity. Relaxing with a good book has been one of my very favorite pastimes for a while. But I knew that my atheist reading repertoire wouldn’t be complete until I had finished Sam Harris’s The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Unfortunately, it was anything but relaxing. In fact, I’d say that reading this was exhausting.

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Book Review: Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman

No matter what else is happening in the world, chances are you will still be able to find me with a book. For the past two weeks, that book has been Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman. I had been meaning to read this book next for several months, but I kept putting it off. Now that I’ve finally read it, I wish I had earlier. It was incredible!

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