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megancsparks

megancsparks

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Time and Again
Jack Finney
This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death
Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, David Malki, Nathan Burgoine, Toby W. Rush, Rhiannon Kelly, Ryan Estrada, George Page III, Chandler Kaiden, Tom Francis, Grace Seybold, D.L.E. Roger, Daliso Chaponda, John Takis, Ada Hoffmann, Rebecca Black, Karen Stay Ahlstrom, Gord Sellar, M
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time - Michael Shermer, Stephen Jay Gould I loved this book when I was a kid. I'd go to the library and check out every book they had on UFOs, ghost sightings and unexplained phenomena, and then I would add every skeptical book I could find to the pile. They were always more difficult to hunt down, but I loved reading about a mystery and then finding the answers in another book. I remember reading this book on road trips - probably to California and back, giving my eleven-year-old self six hours to pore over stories of ghosts on the Queen Mary and the meaning our brains struggle to find in the world.

I don't know what happened to my old copy - I remember I did own my own copy of it. It's probably in a box in a storage shed, because I don't think this is one I would have willingly sold to Bookman's. But I recently saw it at Half-Price Books for something like $3 so I picked up a newer copy. This one was, as far as I can tell, revised about five years after the original publication, but I didn't really notice anything different. I enjoyed my reread for the same reasons I enjoyed it the first time I read it. Michael Shermer is very good at getting to the true reasons people want to believe strange things about our world. As a former believer himself, he can identify with people who still believe. He has a personal connection to nearly every belief he goes over in the book.

I do think it could use an update for the 21st century, a real update, or a sequel. There is a lot of quackery that has arisen in the decade and change since he wrote the book. I'd really like to see his thoughts on some of this crazy stuff.