Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Reviews: The Demon Haunted World and Other Books on Disciplined Thinking

For the month of October, we sent this out to the community: a list of new titles and recommended books with my reviews.

A recommended title from the list is Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World (Ballantine Books, 1996). Sagan encourages the reader to make intelligent and informed decisions by turning to logic, reason and scientific research. His essays reflect his joy of debunking myths and pseudoscience with scientific explanations from years of  disciplined thinking across subject areas. On the one hand, he admits the limitations of scientific thought by saying that "it cannot advocate courses of human action but it can illuminate possible consequences of alternative  courses of action" (page 27). He weighs in scientific thinking with discipline and imagination positioning that both are essential to its successful application in the arts, mathematics, sciences and humanities.

Interestingly, this list of new acquisitions include Michael Michalko's ThinkerToys (Ten Speed Press, 2006) where the reader can access and acquire a host of creative thinking exercises and how it can push him/her to critical analysis; and then, there is the book Little Quick Fix: Research Question (Sage, 2018) by Zina O'Leary, emphasising the decision making skills that can be learned when preparing and identifying sources, reading them, documenting information and how a well crafted research question can lend focus and direction to students working on his/her academic paper.

Visit the blog for more book reviews and my sharing of wonderful titles in our library's collection!

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