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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.



The purpose of this group is to discuss books.

Location: #culture
Members: 54
Latest Activity: Aug 27

Discussion Forum

The strange world of online book reviews

Started by Adriana. Last reply by Lutz Apr 9, 2019. 10 Replies

Hello book lovers, I'd like your opinion on a NYT article about how online book reviews are being used as a weapon to "destroy" books or writers. It is about a book about Michael Jackson, not very complimentary of the dead star, and his fans,…Continue

Tags: sockpuppetry, online, internet, review, book

The Kafir Project

Started by Neal. Last reply by Chris Jan 14, 2017. 3 Replies

I just finished Lee Burvine's latest novel, The Kafir Project.I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a fast moving plot that features atheists…Continue

Tags: atheist, universe, books, project, kafir

The Phantom of the Opera (unabridged)

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Chris Oct 19, 2016. 5 Replies

In Gaston Leroux's novel a half-crazed, disfigured musician living in the labyrinthine cellars of the Paris Opera house creates a series of strange and mysterious events to further the career of a beautiful young singer. The tale is widely regarded…Continue

Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us about Health and the Science of Healing

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Chris Oct 17, 2016. 9 Replies

From the book's description:In 2005, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz consulted on an unusual patient: an Emperor tamarin at the Los Angeles Zoo. While examining the tiny monkey's sick heart, she learned that wild animals can die of a form of…Continue

Tags: health

On Bullshit - Harry G. Frankfurt

Started by Michel. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Oct 12, 2016. 4 Replies

Now, I haven't read this book, but it looks really interesting. It makes a novel (to me) distinction between liars who understand the truth, and bullshitters who simply don't care. I'm glad someone is seriously studying the concept of bullshit in…Continue

Tags: Harry G. Frankfurt, lies, truth, bullshit

Believing the lie, Elizabeth George

Started by Marianne. Last reply by Marianne Nov 24, 2013. 3 Replies

Elizabeth George is a tremendous writer when it comes to psychological thrillers and one can put the emphasis on "psychological".The twists and turn of the story, very well written, keep the reader engrossed an in full alert mode.  She delves deeply…Continue

Barbara Nadel

Started by Marianne Jul 28, 2013. 0 Replies

Barbara Nadel is a great author and I read all her books.  Her latest one DEADLINE is the fouteenth in her series about Inspector Ikmen.   This is a mystery book, read between the lines, murder (s),.  Set in Istanbul, as all other Inspector Ikmen…Continue

Reading theists books.

Started by Marianne. Last reply by Doone Jun 2, 2013. 1 Reply

I'm definitely an atheist but I don't feel threatened by theists maybe sometimes by where their stupidity may lead us.I'am an addict reader. I read all kind of books (especially attracted to mysteries and thrillers and a bit by the paranormal).  For…Continue

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, by Bee Wilson

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Apr 4, 2013. 10 Replies

Two words: Absolutely fascinating. I'm listening to this on CD right now, and I just have two CDs left. This is a truly enjoyable book. It is expertly written, entertaining, and well-researched. We take a lot for granted in our modern culinary…Continue

Tags: cutlery, culture, utensils, cooking, history

1960s Science Fiction Novels Everyone Should Read

Started by Michel. Last reply by Michel Feb 20, 2013. 4 Replies

I'm a HUGE science-fiction fan (not the movies, the books) and I stumbled upon this list of 1960s classics everyone should have read and was reminded again of how little I know even if I have a wall covered floor to ceiling with shelves full of…Continue

Tags: classics, 1960, science fiction

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Comment by Stephen on August 27, 2020 at 5:04pm

Too Much and Never Enough : Full Audiobook by Mary L. Trump PhD

Comment by Stephen on August 8, 2020 at 3:42pm

That's not the same book as Bury my heart at wounded knee, is it?

Because I read it some years ago and just blew me away. 

Comment by Chris B on August 8, 2020 at 3:51am

Yes, we would be kinder to others if we understood our own colonial history. I finished reading a history of slavery in Surinam by Anton de Kom (1898 - 1945), very humbling and an eye opener. Our government showed us nothing but pictures of happy black children...

Comment by Stephen on May 21, 2019 at 8:53pm

Celestial Bodies wins £50,000 Man Booker International Prize

Celestial Bodies has won the £50,000 Man Booker International Prize for 2019.
The book was written by Jokha Alharthi, the first Gulf writer to win the award.
Her novel was translated by US academic Professor Marilyn Booth from the original Arabic.
Both writer and translator were praised for their work and the prize money has been divided between them. Celestial Bodies follows the story of three sisters in Oman as the cultural landscape of the nation slowly evolves.
Historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes presented the prize at a ceremony at the Roundhouse in London.
She said of the winning book: “Its delicate artistry draws us into a richly imagined community – opening out to tackle profound questions of time and mortality and disturbing aspects of our shared history.   “The style is a metaphor for the subject, subtly resisting cliches of race, slavery and gender. The translation is precise and lyrical, weaving in the cadences of both poetry and everyday speech.
“Celestial Bodies evokes the forces that constrain us and those that set us free.”
Luke Ellis, chief executive of Man Group, added: “As one of the first literary awards to celebrate the work of international authors and, in recent years, to celebrate fiction in translation, the Man Booker International Prize plays an invaluable role in encouraging a diversity of voice in fiction worldwide.”£50000-man-booker-international-prize/ar-AABHnjq?ocid=spartanntp

Comment by Chris on March 9, 2019 at 11:53pm

I don't think many understand how they were unable to  stop fascism.

Thanks for the post.

Just finished a book that I recommend.  It is a fiction novel, "The Garden of Beasts", by Jeffery Deaver.  This is kind of a thriller, set in 1936 Germany.  The story line is, a Senator hires a hit man to go to Germany to  assassinate a minister of the military, who is building up Germany's military strength.  The story centers on two characters, the hit man, who is, interestingly,  portrayed in a complex and sympathetic way, and a police detective in Berlin, who is also portrayed as someone who is a good, intelligent, caring man in a country that has gone all to hell, and who is an excellent sleuth.

I liked the portrayal of ordinary  Germans of the time.  Many were very anti-Nazi, caught up in a totalitarian nightmare where they could be denounced for the slightest criticism of Nazis or the Gestapo, and such denouncement could lead to incarceration or torture or murder, no trial.  

I have always been highly conflicted about my own German ancestry - I'm about 1/2 German, and all had emigrated to the USA in the mid to late 1800s - and despite the book being fiction, this 3-dimensional portrayal gave me pause, less likely to condemn ordinary Germans of the time, and my family who were American and had enlisted in the US Army to fight against the Axis powers.  It's interesting that a novel can have that effect on my mind.

It was also interesting, given the contrast to the current social and political climate of the USA, what are the possible parallels to pre-Nazi Germany.  There are many differences, but some parallels are chilling.

Interesting and though provoking read.

Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver

Comment by Chris on March 5, 2019 at 10:31am

Curios how were the Swiss able to stay out of WWII?

Can your recomend a book about that?

Comment by Chris on March 5, 2019 at 10:29am

Daniel W,

I don't read fiction.

I wonder and loøk at things different than many others.  I think that there is a 60/40% ballance.   Within Germany, Italy, Spain, and Russia  fascisim the 40% it seems were conquered buy capital.

What do you think?

Comment by Mrs.B on March 3, 2019 at 7:54pm

That does sound like an interesting read. I may just have to check into that, thanks, Daniel.

Comment by Mrs.B on February 10, 2019 at 2:21pm

She's a great role model, & I've only gotten as far as the preface. I'm rather stalling as we have to leave town soon for my next hip replacement, & don't want to bring the book with me. My small e-reader is a better traveller.

Comment by Mrs.B on February 9, 2019 at 11:54pm

It sounds like a good one.

I've just received Michelle Obama's book, & am looking forward to the read.


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