End-of-year book plaudits

December 5, 2009 • 9:48 am

Nice news:  WEIT has not only been put on the list of Amazon’s ten best science books of 2009 (note the good company of Dawkins’s The Greatest Show on Earth, and the unwelcome company of The Evolution of God — not a science book! — and Stephen Meyer’s S____ in the C____), but was also  chosen as a finalist in Borders’ Original Voices awards for books by a first-time author (note: finalists for 2009 are not yet listed on the website).

The book has done much better, and gotten much more approbation, than I ever imagined.  Thanks to all of you who supported it.

21 thoughts on “End-of-year book plaudits

  1. The book deserves all the plaudits it has been getting.

    It quite simply is the best single book laying out the evidence for evolution out there.

    If I was asked to name my book of the year, like you find in the Sunday papers this time of year, WEIT would be mine.

  2. Congratulations! It’s a magnum opus intelligently designed for methodical takedowns of manufactroversies, misinformation and creationist lunacy.

    Your lecture series ain’t too bad either.

      1. “Magnum opus” generally refers to the ~single~ most substantive and influential work that someone has created. Almost never does one person have multiple magna opera. So when you say “a magnum opus” it does not lend itself easily to the interpretation you have in mind.

        FWIW, it’s really difficult to compare WEIT to Speciation as anything resembling a “magnum opus”. WEIT is a fine book and I enjoyed reading it, but it’s obviously nowhere near as substantive as Speciation, and at least in the first printing WEIT had a number of little errors that drove me nuts. (Things I know Jerry’s aware of like giving the wrong century w.r.t. Linnaeus, etc.)

  3. Of all the books I’ve read that came out this year, three immediately stand out in my mind…. WEIT, “Your Inner Fish”, and “Mad Science”. All three were not only informative but very entertaining.

    You certainly deserve all the success and recognition you might receive.

  4. Meyer’s book is arguably theological rather than scientific, too. I was also disappointed that The Evolution of God and Karen Armstrong’s latest book made the New York times list of 100 notable books of the year, but not a single book on evolution made the cut even in the Year of Darwin (nor one astronomy in the Year of Astronomy).

  5. You wrote a book?

    Oh wait, that is for Phil Plait.

    Yes, WEIT is a superb book. I have heard very little negative criticism of it and much positive.

  6. Congratulations, Jerry! The book is wonderful, and has pride of place on my shelf of popular science books to be kept forever, and re-read many times.

  7. Congratulations! Well deserved. I bought it, read it, and now can’t find my copy, which I wanted to reread. It must be here somewhere. I don’t think I loaned it.

    I am late starter. I read Darwin’s Origin for the first time when I was almost sixty, and it changed my whole way of looking at the world. It also led me to wonder why it’s not required reading for every English speaking person. It’s a great work of literature as well as a foundational work in biology. It made a movement out of faith necessary and inevitable. It also made me want to know more, and WEIT helped a great deal on that score. Great book. Plaudits well deserved.

    1. I agree; I read ‘On the Origin of Species’ when I was about 11 (and probably should read it again; I can’t remember much at all of it). I would add that students would need an annotated version though; you don’t want them to take everything too seriously only to learn that some bits weren’t quite right; it’s also good to know about many developments through the years which support Darwin’s ideas and which he knew nothing about (and hence couldn’t make part of his case).

      I feel the same way about certain Calculus books; there are so many junk books written by fuzzy-minded hacks which are used to ‘teach’ (if that’s the right word) Calculus at university while some of the best Calculus books ever written remain obscure to the vast majority of students.

  8. I am always disappointed to see such rank nonsense such as S.Meyer’s and that “Moving Goalposts of God” book on such lists. Obviously too many people still lack the elementary thinking skills necessary to determine that those books are a senseless waste of trees.

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