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Summer reading question. I love reading books that promote skeptical thinking or books that reveal insights into human nature. I just finished reading Trick or Treatment. It is a look at alternative medicine. My next book is Paul Offit's newest book, Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians and Activists Aren't Your Best Source for Health Information. What are other people reading this summer and what recommendations do you have? #alternative #medicine #books #skepticism

Happystoic 3 July 21

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Yes as a writer i have always done this, i also read books that do not like to get into the thinking of other autors, keep it up the questions


I am reading Judge Dee... ...guilty pleasures here...


The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris is awesome.


I really like all the works of Richard Brautigan. I guess he is a little out of fashion in the literary world these days. But I liked reading him and have even re-read many of this books. His books are not all that long, so even if you did not like it, you could still read it quickly and add it to your list. However, I do feel that he might be quirky enough to hold your attention and entertain you.


Stamped From the Beginning, Ibram Kendi
The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout
The Invisible History of the Human Race, Christine Kenneally
All For Nothing, Walter Kempowski
Grunt, Mary Roach
Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict

I Read The Sociopath Next Door; quite interesting, but I think she overestimates the frequency of the disorder.

I have a work mate telling me that I really should read Sapiens. I think I will have to put that on my list.


Try THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION. Basic premise is that we, as individuals, don't know as much as we think we do; and that, fundamentally, all great human accomplishments are the result of collective, cumulative knowledge. It's not a terribly difficult read, even though written by a couple college profs.

Do they ever lapse into their particular gobbledygook – the language they use when writing amongst themselves and which is unintelligible to outsiders?

@Beelzebant not really, it's pretty intelligible, imho; meant for non-academics.


Half way through “A People’s History of the United States”, you’d like it.?

Buck Level 4 July 21, 2018

Nothing yet, but those two sound great. I'm definitely putting them on my reading list.


If you want something that is challenging both intellectually and philosophically try Italo Calvino. He's Italian, but writes in English. His books are fiction. I can't find the one I wanted to recommend as a starting point on my bbokshelf. Buts about a traveler to a castle, who enteresins the other guests at dinner with a tarot reading shoeing how all the people's lives at the table ate intertwined, even though none of them had evet met before. Intriguing, we'll written and entertaining.

Or try his " invisible cities". A story about Marco Polo describing to the Great Khan what the cities that the Khan has conquered looked like. Despite the fact that neither Marco or the Khan speak a word of the same language.

t1nick Level 8 July 21, 2018

I would suggest Chuck Palahniuk, if you've never read him. He is the writer of Fight Club and I would suggest Survivor or Choke. I think he is able to portray a side of humanity that most authors leave alone.

Someone recently recommended him to me too


Currently my computer is reading Atheist Universe to me. I do a few chapters of e-pub now and then. I used to read in bed but now all I do is go to sleep if I lay down.

I find it hard to lie down and read too. I usually only last 5 to 10 minutes before I am asleep.


I'm reading The Master and Margarita. It's great fun, supposed to be educational, but I have no idea what it's about.


My perception is that Big Pharma has a stranglehold on the medical profession. If someone is given a fatal diagnosis by their MD and nevertheless gets well with an alternative treatment, that is pronounced "anecdotal evidence" which must be ignored. On the rare occasions when an alternative treatment is proven effective by a double-blinded placebo-controlled medical study, that is just ignored. It's bad for business! Here is a 100% effective preventative for type-2 diabetes, featuring something you might have in your kitchen: []

Anecdotal evidence isn't ignored, or not necessarily so, but it carries less weight than science based, peer reviewed, replicated evidence.


I only read for pleasure, not to do debates or for intellectual pursuits.

I go through several books a week so am constantly rereading my Kindle library. I love Robert A. Heinlein, John Scalzi, Jeannette Walls, Misha Burnett, Margaret Mitchell, James Herriot, J.K. Rowlings, C.S. Lewis (but only his secular novels-especially "Till We Have Faces" ), Mary Renault, Maya Angelou, etc. but sometimes I can't find anything I haven't recently reread.

In desperation, yesterday I bought the inexpensive Kindle "The Covenant: A Novel," by James A. Michener, since it's long enough to last more than a few days (hopefully).

Try Amelie Nothomb.
PG Wodehouse, if you haven't read any, and if his humour appeals to you, might keep you going for a month, he wrote so many; W Somerset Maugham ditto. He is a first rate story teller.

You're welcome.


What did you think of Trick or Treatment?

I thought it was well written, entertaining, well researched and easy to understand. They take on several types of alternative medicine one at a time and basically look at what the research says. None come out looking very promising. Homeopathy is the real loser in this book but that doesn't surprise me.

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