My Nonfiction Bookshelf Tour

Since I started this blog, I have posted a bookshelf update about once a year. After my latest one in April 2019, I didn’t know if I would do another one since my bookshelf changes so much, and anyone who wants to keep up with it can do so with my Goodreads anyway. Obviously, I’ve changed my mind and decided to share with you the way it has been changing and what types of books I’ve been into.

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Book Review: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

If you follow me on Goodreads, then you may have seen the painstakingly slow journey I have been on in the past months with Yuval Noah Harari’s nonfiction bestseller Sapiens. It felt a bit like a textbook at times, which contributed to it being a pretty slow read. But it was definitely something that I wanted to read all the way through, because most of its readers have been raving about it since its publication in 2015.

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The Evolution of My Book Collection

I love books. It’s debatable whether I love reading more than I love browsing at bookstores and just hoarding books, but book collecting has probably become my #1 hobby. I’d say that reading itself is a close second.

A few weeks ago, I chronicled “my life in books,” shared what kinds of young adult fiction I was into as a teenager, and told a little about when I started reading again when I got The God Delusion in college. Since then I’ve bought over 130 other “atheist” books, which might sound crazy, and honestly, it probably is. But almost all of my books are used, and most were less than $5 each.

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Book Review: Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

Last year, we lost a man who was possibly one of the greatest scientific minds to date. Stephen Hawking took after Albert Einstein in a quest to discover how the universe works, even in the face of the greatest adversity. Hawking was a pioneer on the quest to reconcile quantum physics with Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and his specialties were the study of black holes and how we might be able to reverse what we know about them to find out how the Big Bang occurred. Brief Answers to the Big Questions was the first book I read by Hawking, but I already feel like I’ve learned so much. Read more

Book Review: Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett

For the last two months, I’ve been getting to know the work of the fourth horseman of atheism: Daniel Dennett. I’ve read and reviewed the other three, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, before this, and I’ve found it interesting to get to know each author’s writing style and area of expertise. Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, Hitchens takes a political science approach, and Harris and Dennett each take their own individual approach to psychology. But from what I’ve seen, Dennett is the only one with the greatest amount of reserve when critiquing religion when it seems that the other authors are attacking it.

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Book Review: The Making of an Atheist by James Spiegel

A couple of weeks ago, my fiance and I spent a day driving around to different bookstores. When I explore bookstores, I usually spend most of my time divided between the science section (specifically biology and evolution) and the religion section (there are sometimes atheism-related books on a shelf labeled “comparative religion”). As one might guess, I found James S. Spiegel’s little book, The Making of an Atheist, among the other atheist books. I picked it up thinking it might be Spiegel’s deconversion story only to see the other half of the title, How Immorality Leads to Unbelief. I was immediately intrigued. It’s common to hear people say, “you’re only an atheist because you want to sin!” but this was the first time I’d seen someone write a 130-page book on the idea.

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