Here’s what I have stacked up for reading in the first part of 2008:
- Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Raised as a Muslim fundamentalist who later lost her faith when she could no longer justify the beliefs of her religion to herself, Ayaan Hirsi Ali also lost the support of her family when she refused to enter into an arranged marraige to a cousin and, instead, fled to the Netherlands where she ultimately became a member of the Dutch parliament.
- Ghost: A Novel by Alan Lightman. A fascinating story about a nonbeliever who works in a morgue and sees something that disturbs him, confuses him, and disrupts his entire life. A very interesting look at the inside workings of the human mind and how we react to personal experinces that might not line up with our worldview. As with all of Lightman’s books, this is a pleasure to read, enlightening, and entertaining.
- Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up by John Allen Paulos. A slim volume that covers the most common arguments for the existence of God and shows the logical fallacies in the arguments. Paulos is a very good writer who takes what might otherwise be dense and complex information and breaks it down into simple language with wit and humor.
- Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti of feministing.com. I’m not young (I can’t deceive myself any more), but I am interested in how feminism and skepchickism overlap and how they do not. I find myself frustrated time and time again by feminist writers who think that science is somehow a “man’s way of knowing” and that it is a tool of the patriarchy to stop women’s intuition, which often leads to feminist authors claiming that “women’s ways of knowing,” usually some forms of what we call “woo,” are somehow superior to rational thought.
Let’s read Full Frontal Feminism in January, and have a chat about what feminsm and skepchicksm have in common. Then we’ll tackle Infidel.
If you have any suggestions for other books to read next year, please leave a comment.