Books Archive

Monday, September 24, 2012

Support Doctors Without Borders, Get an Autographed Book from Jerry Coyne

I should have announced this before, but better late than never.

There's currently a fundraising drive going on for Doctors Without Borders. It's a very worthwhile organization, and certainly deserving of your money. Jerry Coyne, writer of the website, Why Evolution is True, has come up with a promotion to give you extra incentive to donate. As detailed in this entry, What you missed (but it's not too late!), Dr. Coyne is offering an autographed copy of his book, also titled Why Evolution Is True, to anyone who donates over $100 as part of this drive. But the offer is only valid through this Wednesday, September 26th. Details are in Coyne's post.

I wrote a brief review of the book in Book Review - Why Evolution Is True. It's my favorite introduction to evolution - just the right balance of evidence and theory, with just a touch of refutations against creationism.

As an example of what to expect, here's the way he signed the book for us.

WEIT Signed by Dr. Coyne

What are you waiting for? Go donate before it's too late (well, it's never actually too late to donate to an organization as worthwhile as Doctors without Borders, so even if you missed Dr. Coyne's promotion, go donate, anyway).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Update

Book Cover to Leaving Christianity: A Collection of Essays by Jeff LewisWell apparently, the link that I first got to sell my book on Lulu has changed, and I never realized it. So, anyone who clicked on the link in the sidebar of the blog homepage got an error message from Lulu saying that the product couldn't be found. I'm sure that explains why my book hasn't become a runaway best seller.

So, I fixed the link on the blog homepage, as well as in the Religion section of the site (where you can read the essays for free), and in all the blog entries that mentioned the book. I guess that now I can expect the profits to start rolling in.

Anyway, here are links to the various formats where you can buy the book.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Books, A Year in Review - 2011, Part II

Old Book Bindings, from Wikimedia Commons Here is the second part of my review of the books I read in the last year. Part I was an analysis of my reading habits, while this entry will give a brief review for each book.

I usually try to point out my favorite books from the year in this part. In years past, I've had some difficulty because there were just so many books that I liked. This year, though, there were a few standouts. My favorites were Dragon's Keep, All My Friends Are Dead, Why Evolution Is True, Two Years Before the Mast, and Castle. That's not to say that some of the other books weren't really good, but those five, at least to me, were exceptional.

Continue reading "Books, A Year in Review - 2011, Part II" »

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Book on iBookstore

Book Cover to Leaving Christianity: A Collection of Essays by Jeff LewisI was hoping to have Part II of my yearly book review done this week, but that's taking a little longer than I'd hoped (I'm not as slammed at work as I had been, but I'm still working through many of my lunches). But, on a book related them, I'll mention that my book is now available through the iBookstore. So if you have an iGadget of some sort, you can go get it at the following link:

God? Leaving Christianity: A Collection of Essays

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Books, A Year in Review - 2011, Part I

Old Book Bindings, from Wikimedia CommonsWell, another 12 months has passed, so it's time once again for me to look at my yearly reading habits. I've been doing this for a while, now (see previous reviews for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010). It all started with an article about an AP-Ipsos poll on people's reading habits. Among other things, it pointed out that around 1 in 4 adults in this country hadn't read any books at all in the previous year, and that among those that had, the average number of books read was 6. (Yes, this is the third time I've copied that sentence verbatim).

Like in the past three years, I'm breaking this up into two entries. In the first, I'll reflect on my reading habits (which means it probably won't interest many people), and in the second, I'll give a brief review of each book.

So, here are all the books I read in the last year, sorted by topic instead of by the order in which I read them.

Children's & Young Adult Fiction

  1. Balook
  2. Through the Looking Glass
  3. Dragon's Keep
  4. The Fire Within
  5. Ice Fire
  6. Killing Mr. Griffin

Adult Fiction

  1. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  2. A Christmas Carol
  3. Left Behind
  4. The Color of Magic
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  6. Frankenstein
  7. All My Friends Are Dead

Religion

  1. The End of Biblical Studies
  2. More Than a Carpenter
  3. Thousands, Not Billions
  4. Leaving Christianity

Non-Fiction

  1. What Do You Care What Other People Think
  2. Why Evolution Is True
  3. Two Years Before the Mast
  4. Soul Made Flesh
  5. Castle
  6. Bad Astronomy
  7. The Meaning of Tingo (Not completed)

So, that's 24 books altogether - similar to what I've read the past three years. Though two of those books were pretty short (one especially so), a third I never actually finished reading, and a fourth I wrote myself.

Four of the six kids' books I read this year were recommended to me by my daughter. I suppose that as she gets older, I'll read fewer kids' books, but I suspect that I'll never quit reading them entirely.

One of those adult fiction books was very short, All My Friends Are Dead. It only takes about 15 minutes to read cover to cover. But I've read it enough times myself, and passed it to enough friends, that it was definitely worth the price.

Technically, I read four books on religion, but one of those I wrote myself (Leaving Christianity). Two of them were actually pro-Christianity. Though I must say, I didn't find either of those very convincing. Last year, I lumped religious and non-fiction books together. But with as fanciful as More Than a Carpenter and Thousands, Not Billions were, I didn't think they deserved the distinction of non-fiction.

I only read one book on evolution this year, but it's one I've been wanting to read for a while, Why Evolution Is True. I'm glad I did, as it's one of my favorite books I've read on evolution, yet. There's still one more book on evolution that I've been mentioning on my wishlist for years now, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom). Maybe next year.

I couldn't go a year without reading something by Carl Zimmer. This year it was Soul Made Flesh. In fact, it was an autographed copy.

I knocked out one more book from this list (Frankenstein), which only leaves 88 left to go.

I suppose this makes a good place to mention that my wife bought me a Kindle for Christmas last year, so quite a few of those books were read off of electrons instead of dead trees. I've gotta say, I really like the Kindle in many ways. The form factor is great. It can hold an entire library. I can get all the classics for completely free. The battery lasts forever. I can buy new books from practically anywhere. Actually, there are only a few reasons I still buy paper books (though not insignificant reasons). Used paper books are often cheaper than their Kindle counterparts (and sometimes even brand new books). Picture laden books, especially color graphics, still look better on the printed page. And if it's a book I know I'm likely to loan somebody, it's still a whole lot easier to just hand it to them than go through all the rigamarole associated with Kindle book sharing. So, I foresee a mix of paper and electronic books for me for many years into the future, but I'm glad I have the Kindle.

All in all, I think my reading was pretty balanced again this year, but I could probably still add a little more history and philosophy in there.

Stay tuned for Part II, where I'll post my reviews for each book.


Update 2011-11-21 - Part II is now online.

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