Nexus Book Club

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Nexus Book Club

A group for those of us who like reading and books. Fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry... everything goes.

Members: 812
Latest Activity: 11 hours ago

Welcome to the Nexus Book Club!

Hello to all our new (and old) members! We'd love to hear from you; please take the time to introduce yourself either on the forum or the wall.

Feel free to discuss the books you're reading at the moment, your favorite authors or works, and so on. I'm sure everyone has a book they think others here might find interesting!

Also, don't forget to check out the page Books by A|N Members Who are Published Authors, located just under the members section on your right.


Books of Interest to Atheists and Skeptics
Breaking The Spell by Daniel Dennett
A Devil's Chaplain, by Richard Dawkins
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
Godless, by Dan Barker
Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris
Why I am not a Christian, by Bertrand Russell

Sites for Bibliotaphs
Audible.com
BookCrossing.com
BookMooch.com
The Internet Archive
LibraryThing.com
LibriVox.org
Project Gutenburg
Shelfari.com

Discussion Forum

Kindle Unlimited Dirty Dealing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loam Gnome Aug 28. 6 Replies

Question about The Dresden Files.

Started by Joseph P Oct 11, 2016. 0 Replies

The Last Blade of Grass

Started by Robert Brown May 7, 2015. 0 Replies

Top 5 Books on Atheism

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 30, 2015. 5 Replies

Why do they all have "happy endings"

Started by Cory D Wells. Last reply by sk8eycat Jan 22, 2015. 5 Replies

New books on the secular life

Started by Nick Bottom. Last reply by Randall Smith Oct 23, 2014. 1 Reply

POLLY AND THE ONE AND ONLY WORLD

Started by Don. Last reply by Don Sep 13, 2014. 1 Reply

Haruki Murakami

Started by Nick Bottom. Last reply by Michael Mann Sep 7, 2014. 1 Reply

"Cli-fi"

Started by Don. Last reply by Don Aug 31, 2014. 4 Replies

top 10

Started by Jeffrey. Last reply by Nick Bottom Aug 23, 2014. 17 Replies

book recommendations?

Started by Fester75. Last reply by Joseph P Jan 11, 2014. 5 Replies

Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" fans?

Started by Jenn Wiffen. Last reply by Joseph P Sep 10, 2012. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on July 21, 2018 at 8:23pm

Interesting recommendation, Bertold. McLuhan influenced my world view. Just read the NPR excerpt. I'd like to see all of that research. But that last 5 books I bought are still mostly unread, <sigh> My eyes aren't what they used to be for the printed page.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on July 21, 2018 at 6:07pm
I'm starting an interesting book titled "The Shallows - What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains" by Nicholas Carr. From the prologue:

"'The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts,' wrote McLuhan. Rather, they alter 'patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance.' The showman exaggerates to make his point, but the point stands. Media work their magic, or their mischief, on the nervous system itself."

It was a finalist for the Pulitzer. One reviewer considered it "a 'Silent Spring' for the literary mind."
Comment by Loam Gnome on July 19, 2018 at 11:31am

Lately I've been reading the crime novels of New Zealand author Paul Cleave.  I started with "Trust No One", about a crime novel author who writes about serial killers, and has Alzheimers, or is he the serial killer?  It's not clear through most of the novel.  Then I read "A Killer Harvest", about a blind teenager who receives the eyes of both a police officer, and a criminal, in an accident prior to his eye transplant surgery.  It turns out there is cellular memory, and he sees some things that only the donors could have seen.  Now reading "The Blood Men", about the son of a serial killer who becomes transformed by family tragedies.  These are dark tales of the human psyche, and make me never want to go to New Zealand.

I also read "The Orphanmaster's son", by Adam Johnson, set in dystopic North Korea, the protagonist is a puppet of the North Korean government and victim of the dystopic culture.  Similar in some ways to 1984 or Brave New World.  After that, I read "A River in Darkness" and autobiographical memoir by Risa Kobayashi, born in Japan of Korean and Japanese parents, emigrated to N Korea as part of a plan to "repatriate" people of Korean ancestry to their "homeland".  That memoir is almost as depressing as the novel, even though he ultimately escapes to China, then Japan, as an adult.  Sobering, but interesting reading.

Comment by Randall Smith on June 20, 2018 at 7:00am

Just finished Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment NOWThe Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Promise. 

In a world filled with despair and foreboding--at least according to what I see on the news--Pinker says things are much better than they appear. His book sets out to prove it.

And, for atheists like us, our "movement" is on the rise. After reading the book, I feel somewhat more optimistic about where we're all headed. It's really a pretty good time to be alive.

Thumbs up recommended reading.

Comment by Joseph P on June 2, 2018 at 7:12pm

It wasn't any real digging, in this case.  I just tried a few different combinations of words, plugged into Google.  A.N. Wilson hasn't written many books, and if I remember correctly, that book was the only one that had anything to do with Darwin.  The article criticizing it popped up in the same Google search.

The thing that tipped me off in this case is my reading of several Christian apologetic books, as well as watching reviews of a dozen or so more.  The claims of this A.N. Wilson guy sounded a lot like the ad hominem arguments I've read in the books of many Christian apologists.  Just the ones that Randall listed in his comment matched that stuff.

That made me immediately doubt pretty much everything A.N. Wilson said, without a corroborating source.  Christian apologists lie pretty much nonstop, whenever they speak about biological evolution, biblical criticism, and biblical archaeology, among many other fields.  It's safe to assume that anything in a Christian apologetics book is a lie, until you discover otherwise.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 23, 2018 at 8:51pm

Joseph, you are becoming this groups finder of "fatally flawed, mischievous, and ultimately misleading" authors." When you "do a little digging," where do you begin? 

I want to do better at finding the suspicious ones!

Comment by Joseph P on April 13, 2018 at 11:14am

No problem, Randall.  The stuff in that book summary sounded suspiciously like the ad hominem arguments that creationists try to slime Darwin with, because they think that if they can show that Darwin was a mean person, all of his scientific work is disproven.  It made me immediately suspicious of this guy's intentions and intellectual rigor.

Some creationists don't seem to get that evolutionary theory is based more upon the 150-something years following the publication of Darwin's book, rather than being based directly upon Darwin's work.  I've talked to creationists who actually think that research into evolution is done by studying Origin in greater depth, trying to glean new insight from Darwin's book.  They don't understand how scientific research works, on a fundamental level.

I doubt that most of them are quite that stupid, but they're definitely out there.

Comment by Plinius on April 13, 2018 at 10:52am

Happy reading Randall, you won't regret it.

Comment by Randall Smith on April 13, 2018 at 6:46am

Thanks, Joseph, for the information. As I said, the Wilson book is controversial and full of misleading statements.

Chris, I'll check for The Lunar Men, on your recommendation.

Comment by Joseph P on April 1, 2018 at 2:03pm

Oh, here we go.  I just did a little digging.  Do you mean the one covered in this article, in The Guardian?  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/charles-darwin-victor...

That article was the second item in the list, when I did a search for A.N. Wilson, following his Wikipedia article.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._N._Wilson#Critiques_of_Wilson's_work:

Wilson's biography Charles Darwin, Victorian Mythmaker, (2017), was criticised by John van Wyhe in the New Scientist for confusing Darwin's theory of natural selection with Lamarckism at one point, as well as other scientific, historical and editorial errors. Kathryn Hughes in The Guardian wrote it is "cheap attempt to ruffle feathers", with a dubious grasp of science and attempted character assassination. In The Evening Standard, Adrian Woolfson says that "..while for the greater part a lucid, elegantly written and thought-provoking social and intellectual history" Wilson's "speculations on evolutionary theory," produce a book that is "fatally flawed, mischievous, and ultimately misleading". Steve Jones, an emeritus of University College London, commented in The Sunday Times: "In the classic mould of the contrarian, he despises anything said by mainstream biology in favour of marginal and sometimes preposterous theories." The geneticist and former editor of Nature, Adam Rutherford, called the book "deranged" and said Wilson "would fail GCSE biology catastrophically.
 

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