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Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt
Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt
by Richard Holloway
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.59

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent memoir!, 5 Jun 2012
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I loved this book. One thing that distinguishes Holloway from Dawkins and his legions is he that holds much of the Christian tradition in great affection, in spite of his doubts. This affection is true for him regarding its liturgy, architecture, people and general sense of goodness. Holloway expresses much of this in his book beautifully. Warning: this is no hard-hearted, dismissal of religion as some sort of evil, so if you are looking for that, stick to Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. The reader is drawn into a very personal world of reminiscence as the author seeks to understands himself and what has motivated him in all honesty and humility. A book that will remain with me when many others are forgotten.


The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life
The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life
by Jesse Bering
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, thoughtful and entertaining read!, 6 July 2011
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I really enjoyed this book. I am somebody who takes a fair bit of interest in psychology of religion discussions and found Bering's book extremely accessible. It is written with humour, humility and intelligence. His conclusions may not be pleasing or make comfortable reading for theists; however his argument does not make necessarily comfortable reading for agnostics or atheists either! Significantly, Bering distances himself from the Dawkins-type argument that sees religion as some sort of erroneous misfiring. Rather, Bering proposes an interesting theory about religion which places it firmly within the epic narrative of evolution. I particularly enjoyed reading the empirical work which he and others have engaged in with respect to theory of mind research. As a student of pyschology I was especially intrigued by the 'Princess Alice' experiments which are discussed within these pages.

This book is easy to read, entertaining and one of the better books of its type out there on the market. Enjoy!


The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 5 Jun 2011
Having become a complete Bryson-head a number of years ago, I was not disappointed with this instalment from the great writer. Bryson touches on many aspects of the American experience in his own masterfully funny way. Enjoy!


Speak for Britain!: A New History of the Labour Party
Speak for Britain!: A New History of the Labour Party
by Martin Pugh
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of Labour history, 5 Jun 2011
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Previously possessing only a rough knowledge of Labour Party history, I found Pugh's book an excellent one which explored the development of the movement from its inception from the late Victorian period through to just before Brown's 2010 defeat. Word for word, the book tends to afford greater coverage to the first half of Labour history: this suited me as I am (probably like most people) stronger on post-WWII Labour Party history.

An enduring theme throughout the book is the tension between Labour's patriotic, semi-capitalist conservatism and more radical socialistic impulses. What is striking is how throughout Labour's history it has effectively embraced the former. The party of the last decade or so chimes with this historical trend in its embrace of the capitalist model.

One of the noticeable features of the book for me is Pugh's relatively cursory treatment of the party in the past decade or two. Does this simple fact simply reflect how little there really is to say about the modern Labour Party in terms of distinctive policies and ideas? As for Blair, Pugh cleverly attempts to understand him through a brief examination of his father Leo. What emerges is a slighly muddled, very conservative polictial opportunist. Fascinating.


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