Editor's picks 2006: Books

A look at one woman's journey into the man's world, a conversation with Karen Armstrong, great couch potatoes of history and more.

Published December 28, 2006 12:45PM (EST)


My life as a man
Dressed in drag, Norah Vincent visited strip clubs and dated women to find out what it means to be a man. She ended up in the loony bin.
By Andrew O'Hehir

Everybody loves Spinoza
Atheist Jew, champion of modernism, and kind and sociable man, the 17th century lens grinder who was "drunk on God" continues to win hearts and minds with his breathtaking philosophical vision.
By Laura Miller

Going beyond God
Historian and former nun Karen Armstrong says the afterlife is a "red herring," hating religion is a pathology and that many Westerners cling to infantile ideas of God.
By Steve Paulson

"Murder in Amsterdam"
Ian Buruma's riveting account of the killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Muslim extremist shows how a clash between European Enlightenment values and Muslim fundamentalism is ripping Dutch society apart.
By Matt Steinglass

The happy hypocrite
I never cared that Caitlin Flanagan calls herself an at-home mother, even though she's a magazine writer with a staff of helpers. But now she's using her battle with cancer to denounce feminism and extol her traditional virtues -- and I've had it.
By Joan Walsh

Who are you?
More and more people are trying to trace their ancestry with a quick DNA test. A new book -- and my own experiment -- show that science can reveal some interesting things about your past, but not necessarily what you want to know.
By Laura Miller

Who is Louis Bayard?
I won on "Jeopardy." I lost on "Jeopardy." For consolation, I turned to the tart insights of 74-game champion and master-geek Ken Jennings.
By Louis Bayard

Feminism vs. Femininity
In the impressive follow-up to her anti-monogamy polemic, Laura Kipnis explains why we feel a little uneasy when the possessor of a brand-new boob job proclaims, "I did it for myself."
By Laura Miller

Great couch potatoes of history
Inspired by his deadbeat son, former wanderer Tom Lutz explores 250 years of horizontal heroes -- from loungers and "nerve cases" to Beats, playboys and slackers.
By Gary Kamiya

"I didn't like sex at all"
Martha Gellhorn was a gorgeous, brilliant foreign correspondent once married to Hemingway. But underneath her glamorous exterior, her letters reveal a woman of awe-inspiring rage.
By Stephen Amidon

By Salon Staff

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