Sunday, April 08, 2007

What the well-read atheist is reading

You know how the folks at have figured out how to tell what books you would probably like based on the kinds of books you have bought in the past? Well here's what I received from the other day:
Dear Customer,

We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins have also ordered Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee by Pamela Druckerman ... Druckerman offers an anecdotal rather than a scholarly exploration of the international etiquette of adultery.

Say whut? Well, yes, I did buy Dawkin's book (you can view my review here), but I really would not be interested in a book about the etiquette of adultery thank you very much. But, of course, most of the people who buy Dawkin's book are not people like me, who are inclined to disagree with him; they are people who are inclined to agree with him. And according to, these are people who are also interested in reading about the etiquette of adultery.

What is interesting about this is that one of the arguments Dawkins makes in his book is that atheists are just as "moral" as Christians.

Now I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I would be willing to wager that people who have bought Christian books don't get messages from about books that outline the finer points of cheating on your spouse.


Bill Snedden said...

Interesting. When I follow the link on Amazon labeled "customers who purchased The God Delusion also bought:" I find absolutely no mention of Ms. Druckerman's book and vice versa. Perhaps Amazon's computer misfired?

Anonymous said...

bill, that is different from the personalized recommendations.

Anonymous said...

They don't order books like that, of course, but Christians have a number of pet sins too -- like pornography.