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Some books just look so perfect for my interests that their lack of quality really bums me out. Two recent exampels are Growing up human by Brenna Hassett and The Viking Heart by Arthur Herman. It seemed like I was the perfect target group for both books.

For the former, I really enjoy book about evolution, in particular human evolution books like Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzees and Why is sex fun? and probably the best book in the genre this far Catching fire by Richard Wrangham. One of the best book about evolution in general by the way is Evolution of beauty by ornithologist Richard O. Prum. And the fact that I am particularly interested in childhood right now that I have a baby at home made me feel like this would be a home run.

For the latter, the subtitle How Scandinavians Conquered the World clearly flattered me.

However, both books a not worth even the first 50 pages in my opinion. They seem to me the typical example of bad popular science. Growing up human were so focused on trying to be funny and witty that it only conjured up images of an undergrad professor trying desperately to be, in lack of a better word, cool. The Viking Heart was not science at all, just an attempt to tell a quite tendentious story and take any change to draw contrived connections between a biased reading of history to current events and phenomena.

So spare you self some time and do not read any of these books.