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Whichwood is one of five great reads for teens that highlight authentic experiences, marginalized voices and critical thinking. (Dutton Books)

Five great reads to help teens become critical thinkers

Here are five great book recommendations for teens that promote critical thinking, authentic voices, diversity and good conversations.
Simon Leys intervened on a broad range of topics: Mother Teresa, the continuing relevance of George Orwell, conservative values, and the role of the university in the pursuit of truth. Black Inc

Simon Leys, navigator between worlds – a unique Australian intellectual

Pierre Ryckmans - also known by his nom-de-plume, Simon Leys - was an inspirational teacher, the bête-noire of sinology and an outspoken public intellectual. A new biography tells his story.
We’re still not really sure whether puberty is starting earlier. from

Book review: The New Puberty

A new book on puberty has explored why we find it so difficult to talk about puberty, and why we need to start talking about it earlier.
A new book expresses concern that the ‘average American’ has base knowledge so low that it is now plummeting to ‘aggressively wrong’. shutterstock

Book review: The Death of Expertise

Tom Nichols' book The Death of Expertise examines why the relationship between experts and citizens in a democracy is collapsing, and what can be done about it.
The Andromeda Galaxy, just part of a finely tuned universe. Flickr/NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler

Book review: Do we live in A Fortunate Universe?

A new book explores some of the big questions of why the universe exists and why it seems fine-tuned for life.
Are contemporary insults as witty as the scorn of the past? Ollyy/

Review: the fine art of scorn from Twain to Trump

Scorn has a long and humorous history. But a new book on the subject, featuring quotes from Kanye West, Christopher Hitchens and of course, Donald Trump, rather lacks contemporary wit.
All to often, true crime books have glorified male violence and reproduced crude sexist stereotypes. Jari Schroderus

True crime interrogates toxic masculinity, at last

The genre that brought us the writings of Mark "Chopper" Read isn't known for its impeccable gender politics. But two new books cast a critical eye on a culture of male violence.

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