Book Club

Skepchick Book Club: Call for Ideas

Just a quick reminder: This Sunday is the Skepchick Book Club and I’ll be posting about Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan. I’m about 90% done with the book and I’m really enjoying it! It’s a quick read because it’s so compelling and I’ve always wanted to know the backstory behind the multiple personality controversy. So I just wanted to start this post off with a reminder of that!

Anyway, I’ve been running the Skepchick Book Club for more than a year now, and I would like to put out a call to all of you faithful readers for ideas.

Books: Do you have a book you would like us to read? (Mostly nonfiction, generally apolitical, focused on science, history, skepticism, religion, and other fun topics.) In the past, my meatspace book club has read books by Mary Roach, Jon Ronson, Phil Plait, and Richard Wiseman. Fictional books are also welcome (we have read World War Z–great skeptical choice, actually). I have a list of book suggestions here and I welcome any new suggestions!

Format: I have been running a live book club in Boston for more than 5 years (wow!), but I’m pretty new to expanding this online to other readers. Do you have any suggestions with regards to what you would like from an online book club? Would you be interested in watching a live feed of our Boston meetup? Or would you like different features like author interviews? I can only continue having a book club if I have people who want to participate, so please take the chance to let me know what you would like to get out of this. Any and all ideas are welcome!

Other: Have you ever been in an online book club? I hadn’t even been in a live book club before I started my own, and even though I’ve been running it for many years, I still like to know how other clubs work. What do you feel like this book club is missing? Be honest–you are an essential part of making this book club a success and I want to do whatever I can to increase readership participation.

So, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!


Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. A suggestion: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz of io9

  2. I’m not sure how relevant it is, but I absolutely loved The Windup Girl. In terms of non-fiction, The Bomb: A Life, by Gerard J. DeGroot is pretty good, though that might just be my weird obsession with atomic weaponry. I might have to read it again. I remember being annoyed by some bits, but it was an overall good read.

    1. Ah, sorry to reply to my own post, but I just realised that, much as I like The Windup Girl, it needs a MASSIVE trigger warning tag for a few very disturbing scenes of violent sexual abuse. The fact that it needs that warning probably knocks it out of the running for a book club. I still recommend it, but… yeah, I’d forgotten about those scenes, I do apologize.

  3. How about The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan. It’s not too long and very interesting. It’s adapted from his Gifford Lectures in 1985.

    Ann Druyan said
    “Carl saw these lectures as a chance to set down in detail his understanding of the relationship between religion and science and something of his own search to understand the nature of the sacred.”

  4. I recently read Marriage, A History by Stephanie Coontz. It’s a few years old, but if it hasn’t been covered yet, it’s very good for dispelling myths about “traditional” marriage, family structures, and gender roles.
    Also, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood is a really interesting read about the history of debt.

  5. “Delusions of Gender” by Cordelia Fine if you haven’t already read it. And/or “Brain Storm” by Rebecca Jordan-Young.

    Also, you might consider “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” by anthropologist David Graeber. It might be too long for the book club though, but it’s fantastic.

    1. The general page limit I try to stick to is 350, without citations. Otherwise, the book is too long to read in a month.

  6. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

    I know it’s not brand new but I’ve been meaning to read it since I heard part of an interview, this would give me a reason.

  7. If your going to read “Delusions of Gender” a great companion book would me “Mismeasure of Woman” by C Tavris.
    Rat Island by William Stolzenburg is good.
    Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller.
    Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen.

    I’ve been lurking around the book club. I suppose I ought to start participating in the conversation.

  8. I’m a bit late to this thread but I’ve just thought of a great fiction book – Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks by Christopher Brookmyre. It’s about ghosts, psychics and one dead skeptic.

    Brookmyre writes very funny and clever books, although non-Scots might have a bit of trouble with the language (he’s stopped writing very broad characters, but there are still a few phrases that might be a wee bit difficult).

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