Last weekend, I was supposed to be at the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s 2021 National Convention in Boston. It would have been my first freethought conference ever. I had every second of our two days in Boston planned, down to dinner reservations, outfits, and bookstores. The five books I wanted signed were packed in my backpack, and my nails were even painted galaxy to be on-theme (even if no one noticed but me).Read more
If you have read Ibram X. Kendi’s bestseller How to Be an Antiracist, then you know that it is an absolute must-read. Kendi clearly explains why and how racism is sustained—and how it affects every group of people in dozens of intersecting ways—and he uses these facts to demonstrate how to dismantle it. While I definitely recommend that you read the entire book, here are some of my favorite quotes.Read more
The Piltdown Man is one of the most famous human fossils ever discovered, almost as famous as Lucy. But unlike Lucy, the Piltdown Man never lived, at least not 400,000 years ago like the world’s greatest minds in paleoanthropology used to think. These scientists believed from 1912 to 1953 that the Piltdown Man was the missing link of human evolution when in fact he was a human skull found with a modified orangutan jaw by Charles Dawson in Sussex, England.Read more
Even though Nonfiction November has been around for eight years and I have been writing nonfiction book reviews for four, I’ve never thought to participate in this nonfiction-loving event until now. It’s structured with five prompts: one per week, each hosted by a different book blogger. Because I post no more and no fewer than one post a week, and don’t want to miss out on posting my usual content in November, I decided to do them all at once! Or maybe it’s because I am simply a rebel. I think it’s a little bit of both.
White Magic is the weirdest book I have ever read. I knew it would be weird before I started it; the reviews I read were so mixed, and none of their writers seemed to know how to describe it, either. Before starting the book, I wrote, “. . . there’s definitely something to be said for just jumping into a book that people have loved to an extent that it was indescribable.”
Next week, I will be writing my 50th nonfiction book review on this blog. Learning brings me great joy, and when I learn fascinating things in my books, I can’t help but share them with you!
With Nonfiction November coming up, I know that many fiction book bloggers will try their hand at reading and reviewing nonfiction, and that many people aren’t used to it. There is often no character development, plot, setting, or allegory to critique, so what is left? Well, there is actually a lot to talk about, and I think reviewing nonfiction books is a lot of fun! I hope that through this post, my passion for writing nonfiction book reviews can inspire the unsure to give it a try.
A little over six months ago, I wrote a post called 15 Nonfiction Books I Can’t Wait to Read. My intention was just to share some of the books on my to-be-read list, but it actually turned into a lot more than that. After completing four books from that list in a row, I decided to challenge myself to read the entire list without stopping! This might not sound revolutionary, but it did a lot for my reading experience. Not only did it make it easier for me to choose what to read next by narrowing down my options, but it saved me a lot of money on books I didn’t need.Read more
On the surface, Dick Teresi’s Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science—from the Babylonians to the Maya is an eye-opening and thought-provoking book on the history of non-Western science. It is a book I would recommend to anyone who believes in the “Greek miracle,” who takes Carl Sagan’s words about the Ionian birth of science at face value, and generally anyone who wants to take a less white, less Western perspective on both science and history as wholes. However, anyone who reads this must also be able to question what they are reading, ask for the author’s sources and motivation, and be ready to think for themselves despite the author’s biases.
In my quest for both truth and empathy, I discovered geneticist Adam Rutherford’s book How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (And Don’t) Say About Human Difference. I find combating racism to be very important, and I find great joy in reading about science. This book was a perfect mixture of both of these, which is great regardless of my preferences, because it turns out (unsurprisingly) that science is the best way to debunk racist claims anyways.Read more