What's this all about?

Suppose we're motivated to read up on a region or religion because it's in the news or because it influenced the development of our culture. Where do we start? And what happens in the process of setting out to educate ourselves? Greater understanding, worsened confusion, some of both?

This newsletter will be an experiment combining reading lists and book reviews. The reading lists are inspired by Oxford Bibliographies, but will be formatted my way. The book reviews will include summaries and excerpts, as well as links to external book reviews and relevant further reading.

Expect mostly history, international relations, religion.

From time to time we'll veer toward the less relevant. For example, someday I will post about Andrei Znamenski's Shamanism in Siberia, even though almost none of us will find it relevant to anything. (This book contains the story of the most memorable act of symbolic, futile resistance to dictatorship that I've ever read.)

This is my first and only blog.

Why not use GoodReads?

I want to massage the formatting until I like it. For me, GoodReads isn’t user-friendly.

Who is the target audience?

Non-specialists who make some effort.