Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of april: the magic of reality

I’ve read The God Delusion by Dawkins already, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I did not.

This book is assigned reading for my current Early Childhood Education class. As you can see there are multiple versions. The one in Swedish (on the left) is full of fun and exciting illustrations. The one on the right is in English (I mention this just in case) and lacks pictures, but is read a lot faster when English is your first language. A whole helluva lot faster if you don’t even speak Swedish. I’ll let you decide what language you read in, but you should seriously consider this book. 

It’s a fun introduction to many scientific fenomena. From evolution to space and back. Without going too deep into any one topic Dawkins presents an easy to read and engaging book. I definitely plan on getting our little one a copy in each language – with illustrations of course. I recommend this book to you or any 8-12 year olds you may know.

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eighteen. read a book a month

I hope you didn’t think I’d break the count down, just because it was book of the month time!

No siree Bob.

I have now read a book every month since my 25 before 25 lists inception. I thought it would be fun, in this final review post, to list them in order of my personal preference. If you’re looking for a book to read, I recommend the following:

  1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  2. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  5. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  6. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  7. Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
  8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. Inferno by Dan Brown
  11. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  12. The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay
  13. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barak Obama by David Remnick
  14. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  15. The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
  16. Promises to Keep by Jane Greene
  17. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
  18. The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
  19. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  20. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  21. James Potter by G. Norman Lippert
  22. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  23. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  24. Godnatt, Alfons Åberg by Gunilla Bergström
  25. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville
  26. Mödrar och Söner by Theodor Kallifatides
  27. Läroplan för förskolan Lpfö 98 by Skolverket

Now that was fun, wasn’t it?

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book of april: the god delusion

Here it is! I know you’ve been waiting.

This month I chose to listen to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It was an…..interesting book. To say the least. Dawkins comes right out and states that he’s trying to convince his reader that God doesn’t exist.

Good luck sir.

I’m not entirely sure how effective this book is at completing this goal. First, I’m not sure how many people are going to read this book who are in that middle ground, of unconvinced belief. These seem to be the readers that Dawkins aims his arguments towards, and supposedly would be the readers that would be most open to Dawkins’ ideas. That’s not to say he doesn’t make very compelling arguments, with a little humor thrown in. (At times making fun of the reader who believes in God, which may not be the most effective method…)

People who are completely convinced of their belief are either going to disregard it as heresy (or just plain old crap), become extremely offended (and write an intelligently worded letter to the author), or not really care – because it doesn’t have anything to do with them, the author clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of faith.

Basically what I took away from the book was a strong desire to speak to my Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. friends and see what they think of the book. (Clearly you’d have to read/listen/absorb through osmosis the book first.) But I’m really curious as to what you all would think of the book, so seriously, consider it. I apologize if Dawkins offends you. He’s not the gentlest of authors all the time. Anyway, I think we could have a ridiculously interesting conversation about this book – in my humble opinion.

Some fun facts I did learn from the book:

  • Of the 25 cities with the lowest rates of violent crime 62% are in blue Democrat states, and 38% are in red Republican states.
  • Of the 25 most dangerous cities 76% are in red states and 24% are in blue states.
  • 3 of the 5 most dangerous cities in the US are in Texas.
  • 12 states with the highest rates of burglary are red.
  • 24 of the 29 states with the highest rates of theft are red.
  • Of the 22 states with the highest rates of murder, 17 are red.

This isn't necessarily the map used in reference to the book, and some states may not correspond to Dawkins' statistics, but it gives you the idea.

(Note: the US does the color coding differently than the rest of the world. In the US red signifies conservative states, and blue represents those on the political left – confusing, I know.)

  • In 1976 the US Supreme Court reversed the ban on the death penalty, since that date Texas has been responsible for one-third of all executions in all 50 states of the Union. Former president George W. Bush presided over more executions in Texas than any other governor in the state’s history. Averaging one death every nine days.

What did I learn from this book? Don’t live in a red state, especially not Texas.

(pictures found here and here respectively)