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So you like the modern world?

It looks like Rebecca’s been holding down the fort by herself here lately. I’ve had a heck of a time recovering from my trip to Europe. No jet lag, fortunately, but finding that I did not want to get back to the grind, but that my calendar was overloaded with deadlines that I’d put off until after the trip, thinking that it would be easier to catch up when I got home. Wow, was I wrong. Next time I take a long trip, I will give myself a month (not a weekend) off when I get home.

In August (getting off to a late start), we will be reading A 21st Century Rationalist in Medieval America by John Bice.

This book is largely a collection of columns that John wrote for a newspaper over the past several years, and it includes an introduction that will make you want to start writing for your local paper as well. I know it’s inpsired me and I hope to be able to get some opinion columns published next year.

The title is a take off on Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” and he does play off of the idea that we, as skeptics, are like Twain’s character sent back in time to an era of superstion and ignorance only — guess what — that’s happening right now in the USofA. I’m sure that’s not a surprise to readers of this blog.

The subtitle, “Essays on Religion, Science, Morality, and the Bush Administration” gives you a pretty good idea of what’s contained between the covers, but here’s a list of the sections and links to a couple of excerpts as well:

Weird Beliefs
The Bible
Religion
Morality
Evolution & Creationism
Science
Religious Conservatives
Gay Marriage
Politics
Iraq War, Media & Patriotism

One thing that’s nice about this book, particularly for those who are uber-busy or who don’t normally like to read books, is that the entire book is made up of short, pithy newspaper columns. So you can take a 5 minute break and read one column whenever the mood strikes, without feeling like you have to spend the whole afternoon or day digging deep into a topic. It’s also a great book for commuters (unless you’re driving!).

Excerpts are here:
Preface
Introduction

Each section also includes an entertaining cartoon.

writerdd

Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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