Five Books Newsletter 3

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Five Books Newsletter

Dear Five Books reader,

Below are our book picks for this week, chosen from our library of interviews. We've been posting one a day on our Facebook page (  and also on Twitter (, so please do follow us via one of these if you want to hear titbits about interesting books on a daily basis.

For our new interview this week, we did a topic I've been wanting to do for ages, Atheism. Journalist, author and atheist Susan Jacoby (  stepped up to the plate and chose her top five books on a world in which God does not exist. After reading all five of them and speaking to Susan, I have to confess the atheist arguments are pretty overwhelming. This was a bit of a shock for me as while I'm not religious, I did always think it was perfectly reasonable to have my children Christened and to nurse a hope that my mother, who died in 1979, is in the sky watching over me. The interview will be up on the site early next week, so please do check in at (  if you'd like to see which books she chose and what she said about them.

Have a lovely weekend,

Sophie Roell (

This Week's Books

"When I feel my faith flagging in the whole enterprise of fiction, a few pages of Updike will restore my energies."

Ian McEwan on Books That Have Helped Shape his Novels (

"Dodds is brilliant in his last chapter, where...he surveys how much pagans and Christians shared their views of the world. And this is really path-breaking."

Robin Lane Fox on Religious and Social History in the Ancient World (

"I would say that with labour mobility we are where we were with trade in the 1950s."

Dani Rodrik on Globalization (

"It’s hard to pick one book to represent all the richness and coolness that’s going on in fantasy right now, in the present moment. But I have to, so I’m picking..."

Lev Grossman on Fantasy (

"It used to be the case that you could be parachuted into any country in the world and know where you were by looking at the typeface."

Simon Garfield on Typefaces (

"Their mother dies of cancer, and yet years later they hear from scientists that she is actually still alive, and she is in a lab somewhere."

Carl Zimmer on The Strangeness of Life (

Quote of the Week

"Life, at its best, is a pretty horrible proposition. But people’s behavior makes it much, much worse than it has to be."
Woody Allen on Inspiration (

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