Category Archives: Book Notes

Nonfiction Notes: Adam Grant’s THINK AGAIN

Adam Grant, THINK AGAIN: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know (2021) This is a recent book, still on the bestseller lists, by an author I had not previously encountered. He’s a professor and TED talker. The book seems … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Alan Lightman’s PROBABLE IMPOSSIBILITIES

Alan Lightman: PROBABLE IMPOSSIBILITIES (2021) This is a new book of essays by a professor at MIT, author of earlier books including the well-regarded novel Einstein’s Dreams (Wikipedia, way back in 1993) and most recently of essay collection Searching for … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Elizabeth Kolbert’s UNDER A WHITE SKY

This modestly-length book is a sequel of sorts to the author’s The Sixth Extinction (2014), which won a Pulitzer Prize and which I greatly admired. (My review here.) That book was about how the human impact on the planet, especially … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Carl Sagan’s BILLIONS & BILLIONS

Carl Sagan: BILLIONS & BILLIONS: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (1996, Random House) This was Carl Sagan’s final book, it says, published in 1997 not long after his premature death in 1996 at age … Continue reading

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Notes and Quotes: Robert A. Heinlein’s BETWEEN PLANETS

This is the fifth of Heinlein’s so-called “juveniles,” what would be called YA (young adult) books today, that Heinlein published from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. I posted about the second of them, SPACE CADET, here last year, … Continue reading

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Notes and Quotes: Richard Dawkins’ UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW

Here is a middle-period book by the Oxford scientist whose writing mostly focuses on evolution; this one is an exception. Its topic is the beauty of science, how science addresses the “appetite for wonder,” and how people who don’t understand … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Michael Shermer’s HOW WE BELIEVE

Michael Shermer, How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science. Freeman, 2000 When I was writing up a post here about Shermer’s first book, Why People Believe Weird Things (post here), I realized Shermer in that … Continue reading

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Notes and Quotes: Ray Bradbury on Good, Evil, and Knowledge

Bradbury, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1962) When I read or reread some two dozen Ray Bradbury books three years ago, in January and February 2018, I skipped this 1962 novel (despite it being one of only two genuine novels … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Matthew Hutson’s The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

Matthew Hutson, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane (Penguin/Hudson Street Press, 2012) Yet another book about irrational beliefs and cognitive illusions! After the ones by Shermer, Duffy, and Rosenberg just discussed. … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Alex Rosenberg’s THE ATHEIST’S GUIDE TO REALITY

Alex Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Delusions (2001, Norton) Here’s another book I’ve had since it was published but only got around to reading this past year. This is a book about taking reality at face … Continue reading

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