2017 Literacy Throwdown! – January Review

The first month is down in my contest with my wife to see who can read the most books this year, and I am, amazingly, tied for the lead. This is probably the last month I’ll be able to say that, because while Rachel is just going at her normal reading pace, I’m going balls-to-the-wall, literarily speaking. There’s not much chance More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Forever War

If you like your science fiction techno action with a healthy dose of Vietnam-era nihilistic futility, The Forever War is the book for you. Originally published in 1974, it tells the story of a man, conscripted into a future Earth army, who is sent to the farthest reaches of the galaxy to fight a mysterious alien enemy. Thing is, since More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – What If?

You know that web comic XKCD? It’s funny. And the guy who writes it, one Randall Munroe, is a pretty bright dude. So bright, in fact that people have taken to asking him all kinds of crazy sciency-physics-type questions just so they can hear his answers, which are serious, but only in a cartoon kind of way. Munroe has collected More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Art of Smart Football

Do you lie awake at night wondering what the difference is between the “veer” and the “inverted veer”? Do you try to memorize the details of the Don Coryell pass route tree for no good reason? Do you often find yourself trying to work the term “mesh point” into everyday conversation? Well, friend, I have a book for you! The More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Undoing Project

The Undoing Project is the latest book from Michael Lewis, the author of lots and lots of good and very successful books like Moneyball and The Big Short. He’s set a pretty high bar, but it’s safe to say that his latest is not his best effort. The Undoing Project tells the tale of two Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, their More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – Icons of Evolution

Book review number one this year is for Icons of Evolution, by Jonathan Wells. In this surprisingly readable book, the author walks you through several of the examples that are commonly used as proof of Darwinian evolution (the titular “icons of evolution”) and explains how they may not exactly cut the mustard, scientifically speaking. It turns out that biology textbooks More …

2017 Literacy Throwdown!

Every year for the last few years, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to try to read as many books as my wife. And every year she laps me like I’m pushing a shopping cart with a bad wheel on the track at Talladega. This year I decided I was going to get serious and really try to keep up More …

Hey, I’m in a Book!

Author, radio show host, and my internet buddy Jen Fulwiler has put together a new book, and I’m just tickled to be a part of it. Not too long ago, Jen asked a bunch of her blogger friends to write a series of posts, each meditating on a word from the Lord’s Prayer (or the Our Father, as our Catholic brothers More …

“And Now the Bedside Table is a Bush”

Where the Wild Things Are, as read by Christopher Walken (or somebody who really, really sounds like Christopher Walken). The true genius is in his descriptions of the illustrations: (Via Open Culture)

Ten or So Books That Stuck With Me

A few weeks ago there was a trend on Facebook for people to share a list of the books that have “stuck” with them. There’s even been some analysis of the results by Facebook, and musings about what we can learn about ourselves from the most common books listed. I like stuff like this, because I think it’s true that you can learn More …

Time Machine World

Every so often, some literary/political science smarty pants will ruminate over who had the more accurate vision of the future — Orwell in 1984 or Huxley in Brave New World. Both are visions of a future dystopia (yes, kids, 1984 used to be the future), just with different varieties of societal degradation. The people who believe that the arc of history is More …

I Need Some Books to Read

Earlier this year, I resolved to read at least half as many books as my wife. We’re getting close to the halfway point for the year, I have to admit that, so far, it’s not going great. While I’ve read parts of about half a dozen books, I’ve finished a grand total of none of them. The problem is, I haven’t More …

One Eighties

I am fascinated by stories of people whose lives were taking them in one direction, who then somehow reversed course and started traveling in the exact opposite direction. One eighties. Because for most people, you can look at the circumstances surrounding their lives today and get a pretty good idea of what kind of person they’re going to be tomorrow. More …

Look at This!

Who has two thumbs and was today coming in at #10 on Amazon’s list of Kindle best-sellers in the “Humor Essay” category? (Points thumbs at self) This guy! Behold the screen-capture evidence below! That’s right, baby! I’m just three places behind Jim Gaffigan and one place AHEAD of White Oprah herself, Ellen DeGeneres. Top of the charts, y’all! Seriously, though, More …

So What is this “Zero-Budget Christmas” Anyway?

As I’ve mentioned previously (repeatedly and loudly), I wrote a little book called Zero-Budget Christmas: The Almost Entirely True Story of Our Quest to Do Our Christmas Shopping Without Spending Any Money. Recently, I’ve been asked more than a few times, “Hey, what’s that book thing all about?” While I tried to cover it in that ridiculously long title, the More …

Book! Book! Book! Book! Book! Book! Book! Book!

From all the changes to the blog and the sparse posting lately, you may have suspected that something was up. And you you would be right! I’ve written a book called Zero-Budget Christmas: The Almost Entirely True Story of Our Quest to Do Our Christmas Shopping Without Spending Any Money and self-published it on Amazon’s Kindle ebook store. If you didn’t More …

Besmirching the Name "Aslan"

Justin Taylor has a round-up of reviews for Zealot, that book about Jesus that’s causing such a stir, written by Reza Aslan. (I’m sorry, I know Aslan. I’ve read about Aslan. And you, sir, are no Aslan.) If you’re looking for pointed criticisms about the book, you’ll find them here, including stuff like this: Aslan repeatedly presents highly unlikely interpretations More …

Chaos!

I’m a big fan of chaos myself. It brings us all kinds of entertaining things, like Jesse Ventura’s term as governor of Minnesota, and Gangham Style. Nassim Nicholas Taleb appears to agree with me, and he’s written a book that I’m going to have to check out: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. From the review in the Daily Beast: More …

Calling the Atheists’ Bluff

Well here’s an interesting-looking book: A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists. I think you’ll find the promo video as interesting as I did. Actually, I think the Tyson quote is, “Everybody’s got a plan until you get punched in the mouth” (said in hilarious but terrifying squeaky voice), but More …

Book Review: The Selfless Gene, Or God Really Wants Us All to Be Filthy Hippies

I recently had the opportunity (courtesy of the good folks at Booksneeze and their complementary reviewer’s copy) to read The Selfless Gene, Charles Foster’s retort to Darwinist absolutists and other atheists like Richard Dawkins who have been having such a literary field day lately.  The short version of my review is: He had me, then he lost me. The extended More …