The Choosing: Books for 2012

It’s time for our first Choosing of 2012 here at SkepLit. Here’s how it works. Our committee has offered up a selection of books they’d like to read, and now everybody gets to vote on the four that will be read for the next few months. You can select up to four choices, and you don’t have to have attended a previous SkepLit to vote. As was pointed out in our last committee, this truly is the masses ruling the few.

You have one week to vote, so get your skates on.

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SkepLit Announces: Books for End of 2011

The polls are closed! We had 63 votes this time, a fantastic turnout.

It was a close-run thing, too, and we have a slight problem, as two books have earned the same number of votes.

As organiser, I’ve decided that since both these books were popular and there were votes for a similar books in the list, both deserve their space, and we shall read a fifth book, taking us into January 2012. This actually makes it easier on me as we won’t need to do any voting in December.

Our clear favourite was David Aaronovitch’s Voodoo Histories, which we’ll be reading in September.

Second choice was Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test, scheduled for October.

Third was Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World, to be read in November.

In December we’ll be reading Jon Ronson again, this time Them.

And finally, in January 2012, we’ll kick off the new year with Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos.

I hope everybody’s happy with that, and I look forward to seeing you at Madlab for SkepLit. Don’t forget that August’s book is Ray Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines and we’ll be joined by Manchester Girl Geeks for a skeptigeek mash-up event for the summer.

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Time for Book Voting: September to December

Hi guys,

It’s that time again. Below is a list of all the books suggested at today’s SkepLit event, for you to vote on. You can pick four, and the top four will be our reading list for the next four months, in descending order of popularity. You have seven days until the poll closes!

Note: occasionally people leave comments recommending books to read. Thank you, but we only accept nominations during SkepLit meeting ‘book poll’ months.

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We have a final, confirmed, final, definite date

It’s taken some doing, but we have a date for the first official proper meeting of the SkepLit Book Club in order to discuss, debate our first book.

The book will be: Margaret MacMillan – The Uses and Abuses of History

The date will be: 29th May, Sunday.

There will be Skepticake, hopefully, because it just wouldn’t be SkepLit without plenty of sugary nourishment to aid our skeptication.

Meetings will take place at Madlab, downstairs, from 2pm onward. If you are worried about getting there or getting lost, please tweet me at @SkepLit or @TheCharmQuark or email skeplit at for emergency contact details.

See you there!

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And the winners are… our books for the next four months

Polling has closed! I’m sorry if you didn’t get a chance to vote. We’re still working on a way to make sure everybody gets a chance to have their say.

In the meantime, we have a clear winner, so May’s book will be The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan.

Here’s a rundown of the voting over the next four months. We’ll do each book/theme in descending order of priority. If we get bored after three months, I’ll suggest we run the voting again with a selection of new and old offerings.

April: The Uses and Abuses of History – Margaret MacMillan (9 votes)

May: Atheism Theme: The God Delusion, God Is Not Great as recommended reads, but you may suggest others. (7 votes)

June: Rhonda Byrne – The Secret (5 votes)

July: Ray Kurzweil – The Age of Spiritual Machines (4 votes)

The next meeting is May 7th 2011. Easter is in the way, so we’re putting it off for a month.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch, the email address is skeplit at

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Vote for Books and Themes for 2011

Hi Guys,

Thanks to everybody who came along to the inaugural meeting of SkepLit, the Greater Manchester Skeptics Book Club. Big thanks also to Mykie for preparing delicious cakes for the occasion and to Gavin for helping to tidy afterward.

We discussed a lot of different books and below you can find a poll to vote on your top choice for the next few months. We will go through books and themes in descending order of popularity. If you weren’t able to make it to the meeting, but would like to attend future meetings, please feel free to go ahead and vote for your choice.

We will be using an alternative vote approach here, so please select your top four choices to be covered in April through to July from the list below.

Notes: For “Theme” months, we suggest that we all read around the subject, especially the pseudoscience and the debates, bringing along some of our favourite and most interesting discoveries. We can bring books for these themes at the meeting the month before to share around.

We will be meeting on the third Sunday of each month, depending on getting the same location. I will keep the blog up to date with news and info on the next meeting as soon as possible.

The poll closes in seven days, so please get voting!

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