Merchants of Doubt

As I’m writing this in 2022, misinformation is everywhere, and it’s not subtle. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, there are a lot of facts that certain groups of people want to hide or cause confusion with falsehoods. But misinformation is not new. It’s been going on for decades, but when did it start and how did its strategies shift over time? Who were the first merchants of doubt?

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Most of the time when I learn about dinosaurs from someone, I get either way too much information about them or not nearly enough. This book strikes the balance perfectly.

We get a high-level, non-technical overview of all the different eras of dinosaurs in chronological order. From the first to appear, to those that evolved, to those that dominated until they were wiped out, and finally those that survived enough to carry on. Brusatte truly covers the rise, domination, and eventual fall of the group of animals we know as dinosaurs.

Eating to Extinction

The globalized food system of modern times relies on a surprisingly small number of plants, which we are quickly eating to extinction.
Pretty much anywhere you go, you will find the same varieties of bananas, wheat, tomatoes, and so on. This is great for world travelers who want access to familiar foods, but there are drawbacks.
Such dependence on low diversity puts humanity’s staple crops at a higher risk of disease and climate effects. Because of this, the indirect effects of climate change will include food shortages on a global scale.
In addition to reducing the strength of our food system, the low variety of foods we eat is not good for our health. Wild foods are richer in nutrients and good bacteria. The biodiversity of our internal microbiomes reflects the biodiversity of our food, which reflects the biodiversity of our planet.
How did we get the food system we have today, and what should the future of our food look like? How do we protect our food from eating to extinction?


Amanda Montell examines cult success and reveals the cultish language in our everyday lives. Who isn’t fascinated by the power of cults?

The Color of Law

If you don’t believe that government and community housing policies can be racist, you need to read The Color of Law. Richard Rothstein lays out how African Americans were intentionally and systematically excluded from nicer suburban neighborhoods in the mid-twentieth century. They were driven into de jure segregated ghettos. The impacts from those efforts are still visible today.