The Bad Science and Good Marketing of Positive Thinking

Book review: Bright-Sided, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Amazon / Book Depository) An acquaintance told me about a friend of hers experiencing a breast cancer recurrence. That's harrowing anytime, but was coupled with shock since the friend was quite young. My acquaintance told me that her friend was in a relationship with a man she'd been "obsessed"... Continue Reading →

Graeme Wood on the “Strangers” of the Islamic State

Book review: The Way of the Strangers, by Graeme Wood (Amazon / Book Depository) "Islam began as something strange and it will return to being strange, so blessed are the strangers." -- Sahih Muslim It's difficult to understand much about the extremist ideology of terrorist groups like ISIS, not least because your average non-Muslim doesn't... Continue Reading →

Inside the Investigation that Brought Down Warren Jeffs

Book review: Prophet's Prey, by Sam Brower (Amazon / Book Depository) Private investigator Sam Brower found something unusual in Ross Chatwin, a former member of the the insular Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Chatwin's case, and Brower's investigation into the religious sect that had excommunicated him, piqued his curiosity like no other investigation had.... Continue Reading →

Lawrence Wright’s Look at the Satanic Panic

Book review: Remembering Satan, by Lawrence Wright (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lawrence Wright is one of my favorite nonsense-busters. It just doesn't get past him. And his books are so well-written that even when they're dealing with the eye-rolling (but also very sad) "Satanic Panic" of the late 80s/90s, they're meticulous and brilliantly laid... Continue Reading →

Mythbusting Rasputin’s Life and Legend

Book review: Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by Douglas Smith (Amazon / Book Depository) The life of Rasputin is one of the most remarkable in modern history. It reads like a dark fairy tale. An obscure, uneducated peasant from the wilds of Siberia receives a calling from God and sets out in search... Continue Reading →

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