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Message from Joan McCaffrey & Joan Omarzu:
From McCaffrey: As you may know, I have run the Skeptic Book Club program for almost 5 years now, but will be stepping out of this role effective this fall, when the current roster expires. Joan has agreed to take over Book Club activities.

Joan, along with her husband Chuck, are regular book club attendees who always read the selections and are enthusiastic participants in the program. I know she will do a great job. Please welcome Joan into this new role and thank her for taking on this responsibility. Book Club is a key regular activity of the Rationalists of East TN, and I encourage all of you to stop by on Sunday Evening (4:00 PM) if you haven't attended in a while. We average 10-15 attendees. As always, check the website for the current schedule, and remember that if you buy anything at Amazon.com, first go to rationalists.org, then link to amazon- anything you purchase will cause a rebate/donation to be directly deposited in RET's checking account each quarter. Below is a note from Joan regarding upcoming book selections-

John has asked me to lead the club beginning this fall and I have
agreed. Since I am new to all of this, I would like you to start
thinking now about the six books we will read after the present round
is completed in October. It's best to complete the voting process by
the middle of October so that readers will have time to buy and read
whichever book is chosen for November. I hope members will send in
suggestions soon so that we will have enough books nominated by early
September. Then I will have time to prepare a list with descriptions
of each book, send the list out to you, and receive and count your

I recently reread the book club information that is listed under
activities on the RET website. I am copying three "rules" that pertain
to choosing books, which may be helpful, though the club has sometimes
chosen to discuss books from a wider range than that suggested by the
founders of the club.

1 Scope. The RET Skeptic Book Club (SBC) is an activity open to all
RET members and interested others who would like to discuss in depth
issues related to science and its impact on society as well as a
variety of related topics, in the spirit of free inquiry.

2 Titles. Preference will be given to new books (published in the last
2-3 years), although older titles will be considered if deemed
interesting by enough members. The range of topics is the one that
falls under the broad headings of skepticism and free inquiry, mostly
as reflected by articles published in magazines such as Skeptic,
Skeptical Inquirer, Free Inquiry, Scientific American, or New

3 Level of difficulty. The SBC is aimed at people with a general
college education or equivalent. The books should not be either too
general or too scientifically sophisticated. Titles regularly reviewed
in the magazines listed at point (2) are most appropriate.

If you are ordering books from Amazon, whether they are for book club
or not, please go to the RET website first and click on the Amazon
search feature below the list of upcoming club books. If you do that,
Amazon will send a percentage of the transaction to RET.

Joan Omarzu

Posted by jpmccaffrey
July 17, 2008