Book reviews

Last updated: April 5, 2017

The Selfish Gene (1967[2006]) by Richard Dawkins

Overview: I read a good portion of Dawkins’ books, and I think this is one of his best, after The God Delusion. The Selfish Gene is really thought-provoking and an interesting assessment of human nature. It changes the way many scientists and common people look at the process of natural selection and it redefines how we see the place of the human beings in nature. There are many wonderful ideas in this book, but I’ll mention only three here: 1) Altruism is a form of selfishness – I think most of us see tend to see altruism and selfishness as two opposed concepts. In reality... Read the review »

Date: April 5, 2017

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries (2014) by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Overview: Even if you never heard or seen Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking, when you start reading the book you immediately realize that he is very intelligent. Why? For the simple fact that he has the gift of making complicated things look simple, accessible to anyone. It is one thing to be an expert in your field, and a totally different thing to be able to explain your field to people who have no idea about it. In this aspect Neil deGrasse Tyson excels. His style is relaxed and anything but dry, while his enthusiasm for the subject bleeds on the page. Despite its name, the book... Read the review »

Date: January 10, 2017

The God Delusion (2006) by Richard Dawkins

Overview: For Richard Dawkins this world is a battleground between two forces. On the one hand there is faith, which is like a plague and its obvious symptom is religion, while on the other hand there is reason, whose symptom is science. Dawkins’s book is about defending reason, science and atheism, and attacking faith and religion. For him, faith and religion are a sort of intellectual diseases that not only managed to resist, but they keep coming back over and over again with renewed strength and new means of adaptation. And their effects are horrible... Read the review »

Date: October 18, 2016

La Fidélité et le couple (1999) by Gérard Leleu

Overview: Two aspects, in one way or another, consciously or unconsciously, heavily influence our adult life and our life as a couple in particular: on the one hand, there are the animal instincts and impulses which defines us as a species, and on the other hand there are the childhood experiences. Our partners are, more or less, a reflection of our mothers and fathers. The situation now is even more complex given the fact that the world is changing fast and the balance of power between men and women changed a lot in the last 200 years in the Western world,... Read the review »

Date: September 28, 2016

Ultima noapte de dragoste, întîia noapte de război (1930 [2009]) by Camil Petrescu

Overview: The novel has two parts. The first part, "Ultima noapte de dragoste" (The Last Night of Love), is about the aspiration to the feeling of absolute love, while the second part – “Intaia noapte de razboi” (The First Night of War) – illustrates tragedy, the absurdity of war and the imminence death. The first part is a fiction because the writer was not married nor lived a drama of love until he wrote the novel writing. The second is a real experience because the writer was officer during World War I. The Final Night of Love The novel begins with... Read the review »

Date: September 10, 2016

The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World (1999) by David Icke

Overview: There have been books that changed the world, but I can assure you that this book is not among them. And there have been authors who said that their books will change/revolutionize the world, and I can assure you that Icke is among these authors. This book will not change the world as a whole but it will change, probably, some people’s world by feeding their sick imagination. Have you ever wondered why the snake, and not any other animal, tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden? For me, the snake from the Garden of Eden is a mythical form... Read the review »

Date: September 6, 2016

Pădurea spânzuraţilor (1922) by Liviu Rebreanu

Overview: The novel’s action is largely inspired by the author’s life and the inner struggles experienced during World War I. It must be said that at that time the Romanians in Transylvania, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were forced to fight the Romanians from what was Romania then. This led to a phenomenon of mass desertions in the Austro-Hungarian army, well depicted by Rebreanu in the novel. The main character of the novel is Apostol Bologa, a Romanian from the village of Parva, Transylvania, who loses his faith in God after his... Read the review »

Date: September 1, 2016

America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It (2006) by Mark Steyn

Overview: First, this is not a book about the end of the world religiously speaking, with Jesus coming down from the sky, but about the transformation of this world, or better said, the end of the Western world as we know it. And second, before you read this book, you should ask yourself: can telling the truth be a form of hate speech or not? If your answer is “yes”, then most likely you will rate this book with one or two stars; and vice-versa. If you read and liked Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations, then you will probably like this cold... Read the review »

Date: August 11, 2016

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (2014) by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Overview: Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier is not a book in the real sense of the word; it was not composed as a book. It is a collection of fascinating essays written by Tyson over the years and originally published separately. The primary theme of the book is the importance of space exploration. This is our future as a species, this is our destiny and this is what we must do, as quickly as possible. If we want to avoid a possible extinction, we must follow our multi-millenary dream, reach the stars and become a multi-planetary species. But, in order to achieve this... Read the review »

Date: August 11, 2016

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (2013 [1830]) by Joseph Smith Jr.

Overview: I know I’ll upset many Mormons around here, but, as a non-Mormon (half-atheist actually), I think that the Book of Mormon can be truly understood only if we understand the context that surrounds its appearance. So, I’ll divide my overview in two sections. Content of the book: According to the information from the plates, when the languages were confounded by God at the Tower of Babel, a group of people known as “Jaredites” migrated on the American continent. Although they managed to build a flourishing empire, centuries later the... Read the review »

Date: July 24, 2016

The Diary of Adam and Eve (2002 [1904]) by Mark Twain

Overview: Long before people said that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus,” Mark Twain came with this creative, unforgettable novella about the battle of the sexes. And what is the best way to portray this thing than through the primordial couple, Adam and Eve? The Diaries of Adam and Eve is one additional proof about Twain’s genius, of his gift to study people and how they relate to one another. With his trademark humor, wit, and inventiveness, Twain describes the domestic problems from the Garden of Eden... Read the review »

Date: June 29, 2016

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