book beginnings on Friday: The Happy Atheist by PZ Myers

Thanks to Rose City Reader for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.


I am pleased to be reading blogger PZ Myers’s new book, The Happy Atheist. It begins:

On any fine morning in rural Minnesota, I can step outside the door of my home and look a few blocks to the southwest and see the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A few blocks to the west, just out of sight behind nearby houses, lies the First Lutheran Church.

He goes on for several paragraphs naming churches, to the conclusion that in his town of 5,000 people, he has 15 churches to choose among (or not). Which immediately reminded me of an oft-cited Edward Abbey quotation, natually:

Page, Arizona, Shithead Capital of Coconino County: any town with thirteen churches and only four bars has got an incipient social problem. That town is looking for trouble.

(from A Voice Crying in the Wilderness.)

Myers doesn’t go that far – at least not in the opening paragraphs…

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

2 Responses

  1. We do have opposite books this week! 🙂 Although mine is more psychological than religious.

    Thanks for playing along with Book Beginnings on Fridays!

    Rose City Reader

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