Five christmas book recommendations

reindeer covid-19 nose swab

I’m taking a break from the blog until the new year, and in light of that I thought I’d recommend some books that have come out in 2021 and that I think are well worth a read over the christmas holidays.

  1. A hunter gatherer’s guide to the 21st century. This book, written by evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (who also host the excellent Dark Horse podcast), attempts to explain why modern people are so unhealthy, stressed, and dissatisfied with life, by analyzing the many ways in which life in modern civilization differs from the environment that we have evolved to thrive in.
  2. The clot thickens. British physician Malcolm Kendrick has made it his life’s work to understand what actually causes heart disease, based on the early realization that the traditional cholesterol hypothesis (widely believed by cardiologists everywhere) has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. In this book he distils decades of research and thinking in to a single coherent whole, and explains what the true cause of heart disease is.
  3. A plague upon our house. American physician and health policy researcher Scott Atlas realized early in the covid pandemic that the broad brush lockdowns that were then being instituted would result in massively more harm than they would ever prevent. He started writing articles on the topic, and in the summer of 2020 this resulted in him being brought in to the heart of the US government, to serve as a special advisor to the president. This book is a first hand account of his experiences in that role.
  4. The ministry of bodies. This book is a diary of sorts, detailing the last year before retirement of Irish physician Seamus O’Mahony as he worked as a consultant in the medicine wards of a big teaching hospital. The book is both funny and dark, and showcases the absurdity of modern healthcare, from metric driven care, to pharma corruption, to the inability to face death that characterizes modern civilization.
  5. Covid: why most of what you know is wrong. I’d be remiss not to mention my own book, which came out in early 2021, and is thus now almost a year old. The book was meant to do two things – first teach people how to look at and analyze scientific studies themselves, so that they’re not beholden to other peoples’ interpretations, and second to go through what the scientific evidence in relation to covid acutally shows, since what has been said by the media and by public health officials has often been patently false. I think the book still holds up pretty well almost a year later, with one exception. In the book, I was cautiously optimistic about the vaccines, based on the limited data then available. We now know that the protection they offer is fleeting, and that they can cause serious harms in the form of myocarditis and blood clotting disorders. They certainly aren’t the magic bullets many of us were hoping for.

That’s it for 2021 from me. Over the course of the year, this blog has grown from 10,000 to almost 40,000 followers, and from zero to almost 500 patrons. I am deeply grateful that so many of you find my work valuable and worth supporting. My goal for 2022 is to increase the number of patrons further, to 1,000, which would allow me to cut down my hours at the hospital, and thus be able to spend much more of my time researching, writing, and podcasting. That in turn would allow me to produce more frequent and more deeply researched content. If you haven’t already signed up as a patron, then please help make that vision come true by doing so. You can sign up here.

Merry Christmas and happy new year! Let’s hope 2022 is the year in which sanity returns to public discourse!

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49 thoughts on “Five christmas book recommendations”

  1. Sebastian, I have not read the new book by Bernardo Kastrup that was published this August: Science Ideated: The Fall Of Matter And The Contours Of The Next Mainstream Scientific Worldview Underestimated by Bernardo Kastrup. This is one book that I will get to read sometime.
    Bernardo’s Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to Life, the Universe, and Everything is super.

  2. Dear Dr. Rushworth,
    Thanks for all your informative blogs, here’s hoping you have a very happy Christmas and new year, I have a couple of the books already and can attest to their value, (The clot thickens and The ministry of Bodies )I shall have to drop a few hints for the others as birthday presents !
    Take care .

  3. Thank you for all that you have provided.

    Please accept my wishes for a very, Merry Christmas and Fulfilling New Year to you and yours.

  4. Messy Christmas! Hmmm. Predictive text error, or Freudian slip? You decide lol.

    Anyway, I hope you do get to focus more on the blog, though it would seem sensible to keep your hand in as it were.

  5. And happy holidays to you to Sebastian! Your book and blog has been a strong support in this ongoing mayhem. Thanks for all the book tip. I am currently reading The Clot Thickens which is very good. I also want to Hold out The Diabetes Code by Jason Fung. Excellent book.

    Thanks and God bless!

  6. Sebastian,

    I bought book number #5 and recommended it to my friends. You did excellent work . Scott Atlas’s book was an eye opener. I am going to purchase some of the other ones you recommended.

    The CDC’s MMWR school mask lynchpin study, which recently came under fire by Zweig in The Atlantic, is being used by many authorities in the US to push mask mandates on the young. In our town of Broomfield, they are requiring masks on 2 year olds, yes two year olds, in a preschool setting. Insane.

    I decided to find out the methodology used in the study and emailed Dr.Jehn, the lead author. What I received from her revealed what appears to be an egregious error that actually nullifies the study. I am a retired internist/rheumatologist, not an epidemiologist, so I am skeptical that I am right and she is wrong. Would you be willing to take a look? I would be happy to email you all necessary documentation which would take less than 15”to review.

    Richard Erickson MD
    Retired MD, graduate JOhns Hopkins Medical School

  7. On EpochTV: American Thought Leaders you can watch an excellent interview with Scott Atlas. Thanks for the reminder to read buy his book. (You need to log in to watch the video – free).
    From the description of the video: “To me, it’s unconscionable that a society uses its children as shields for adults. Children do not have a significant risk from this illness… Are we [as] a society, a civilization … going to inject our children with an experimental drug that they don’t have a significant benefit from, to shield ourselves?”
    —Dr. Scott Atlas
    In this episode, we sit down with public health policy expert Dr. Scott Atlas to discuss the ethics of vaccinating children, especially given that data has shown children do not significantly spread the virus compared to adults.
    We also discuss the underlying reasons behind the recent COVID-19 surge in Florida as well as the efficacy of natural immunity.
    Dr. Atlas is the author of “A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America,” which is set to be released on Nov. 23.”

  8. Thank you for your ethical work. I have learned much, and look forward to more.
    Trust is lacking in so many of our institutions today. I can say unequivocally that I trust what you report.
    I hope that the New Year sees a less frantic world, and also sees fear mongering depart.
    I wish you a Merry Christmas, and good health and happiness in 2022. Keep moving forward!

  9. Thanks for all your time spent sharing your insights to us all Sebastian. Just a layman construction worker from Scotland, watched in admiration the Swedes handle on the pandemic from early on and have appreciated every piece of information you’ve shared. Your book broadened my knowledge vastly also. Thank you 🙏🏻
    Kind Regards
    James McNally

  10. Have you seen this? So sad to politicize medicine. I have enjoyed following you and Peter Attia but now I’m questioning what seems to be your political leanings that defy science. My opinion…bad idea to bring people like Atlas into your series of recommendations. Just stick to facts. Anyone who cowers to Trump science is on the wrong track.

    1. As far as I can tell, Scott Atlas has been sticking to the science, and the attempt to paint him as a ”Trumpist” is pure smear campaign tactics. Lots of people have tried to use the same tactics on me and many others who have been critical of the dominant narrative. As an example, there is the widely spread false claim that the great barrington declaration was some type of ”libertarian” propaganda effort. Covid is not a left wing vs right wing issue.

    2. I strongly object to your partisan tone. And I strong object to Dr. Rushworth’s censorship of my replies. Americans object to censorship more than most.

      Dr. Rushworth needs to take into account the partisan Trump Derangement Syndrome behind some of these commenters and call it out.

      I’m not a Trump cultist. When Trump supported Operation Warped Greed, he lost my support. Some cultists still support Trump, of course, and I call them out for their support of the covid clotshots.

      Dr. Atlas is a shepherd who happened to be part of Trump’s Covid Task Force and these TDS-inspired attackers are ravening wolves going after a good man speaking the truth.

      1. So smearing a good man’s reputation is Ok, but a little rudeness is out when defending the man whose reputation was smeared?

        Rudeness is merely annoying, but smearing a good man actually makes me a little angry.

        Did you consider that some people’s TDS might be triggered by recommending Atlas’ book?

        I will go off on a tangent now about my theory about TDS generation which has similarities to DeSmet’s theory of mass formation.

        I suspect that TDS will eventually be considered a severe neurosis at some point. Psychological manipulation was involved in generating both widespread TDS and widespread Trump cultism, just as it has been more recently in mass formation:

        1) political estrangement from other Americans due to

        2) brainwashing with lies by the media about “Russia Collusion” (many of which have now been erased or retracted by the same media which published them) and

        3) politically-orchestrated riots, anarchy, theft, and arson (by democrats) to get left wing young people registered to vote for vote harvesting…lots of fear and confusion was produced here (remember that long-term fear and confusion are part of mass formation theory and are psychologically destabilizing).

        Of course, Trump contributed to the estrangement with his tweets. Is a man allowed to defend himself? I think that the media, lying bureaucrats like Comey, and lying congressmen like Adam Schiff have to shoulder most of the blame.

  11. If only more people could be made aware of what it is they must do to cut through the smoke and mirrors being conjured by immoral, corrupt and lascivious government and superficially non-government personnel, these publications might be a starting point.

  12. You are amazing. Thank you for speaking up and combining thoughtful medical practice with in-depth medical research. No doubt English is your ‘second’ language but you employ it more correctly and accessibly than most of us. who speak it natively. Also, you need some kind of nomination for whatever awards are given to those that explain complicated virologic and epidemiologic theory and concepts in an accessible, understandable manner for lay people. Your presentations are not hopelessly simplistic or didactic but manage to convey a lot technical concepts without forcing your readership to understand the latest gene sequences, phenotypes, or bioinformatic analysis. Keep writing…. Please keep writing!!

  13. Thanks for your recommendations! I liked your book except for the last chapter. The Chinese are now laughing out loud when they hear China is authoritarian. They have much more freedom that we do.

    Merry christmass!

  14. Thanks so much Sebastian for all you do. Greatly valued.

    I confirm that Dr Atlas’s book is a great read, and most eye-opening.

  15. You should charge more for what you do. I am signing up for $100 a month and I believe your options only go up to 25.

  16. Wondering about your last paragraph and the years you mention. You start by saying you are wrapping up 2020, then discuss 2021 in the future.
    I am writing to tell you this because I follow you as you add a valuable and unique voice to the situation. I will donate to you today!

    1. Thanks! I was writing in a hurry with a two year old causing mayhem in the background, noticed the mistake in the years about thirty seconds after pressing the ”publish” button! 😅 I’ve fixed it here on the website, but unfortunately can’t fix it in the e-mails.

  17. Merry Christmas! And thank you for your work. I am retired, poor, but sending good vibes!
    Susan Albright

  18. Thank you for your book list and efforts at education without going down the conspiratorial rabbit hole.

    1. However, I think I will skip the Dr. Atlas book. He has taken a medical position and made it a political position. He writes the entire book without footnotes. Here is a review that I think captures it.

      “Dr. Atlas is egotistical and misses the opportunity to fully expose the pettiness, incompetency and immorality of the chosen public health leaders and the naive chaotic atmosphere of the Trump administration. The book is poorly edited and extremely repetitive. This review is coming from a conservative who is very critical of the public health leaders who I consider to be both stupid and wicked.”

  19. Dear Sebastian, I will send you your words for your readers. You have been a beacon of light these days:Merry Christmas and happy new year! Let’s hope 2022 is the year in which sanity returns to public discourse!


    MD Ph.D

  20. Thank you for your very informative blog. I have your book, currently reading The Clot Thickens and will investigate the others. Merry Christmas to you and yours and a safe and prosperous New Year. Keep those podcasts going, too.

  21. “Merry Christmas and happy new year! Let’s hope 2022 is the year in which sanity returns to public discourse!”

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    tl;dr For a book to understand the Rules of Power, I recommend Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power.” [link at end]

    If predators magically vanish, then we can expect sanity. The problem with people who are prey is that they think that everyone else thinks like they do, except for predators whom they think are crazy.

    The wise learn to recognize predators and the behavior of predators and to understand the thinking of predators, unpleasant though it is to do so.

    Not everyone plays the Win/Win game. Some play the I-Win-You-Lose game. And you find many of the latter in bureaucracy and politics. (Of course, the major game in bureaucracy IS politics.)

    If you are going to use scientific tactics, make sure that the game being played is actually science.

    For example, many think that Fauci and Collins played the game of science. And they are wrong.

    Title: “Emails Expose Fauci, Collins Collusion To ‘Smear’ Anti-Lockdown Scientists”


    “From October 2-4, 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research hosted a small conference for scientists to discuss the Covid-19 lockdowns. Just four days later, Dr. Francis Collins, the retiring Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), would call the three of the scientists in attendance “fringe epidemiologists,” in a directive he sent to Anthony Fauci and other senior staff of his agency.

    They were “fringe epidemiologists” because they had the temerity to ask whether the lockdowns of 2020 were effective. Those three, Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford, and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford were simply doing what any good scientist would do: They were following the evidence.”

    But what game is actually being played? Is is science? So Kulldorf, Gupta, and Bhattacharya relied on their reputations to support their scientific argument. And Collins executed the obvious counter-tactic…he smeared them as “fringe epidemiologists” in popular publications, which was very effective. What was the game being played by Collins? Politics and pseudo-science. Power and media control. Mind control.

    You can’t win the game if you don’t understand the rules. If you imagine that the world follows scientific logic or values scientific reasoning, you are living in a fantasy world. We may wish that the world is a better place, but wisdom says to adapt to how the world actually is.

    For a book to understand the Rules of Power, I recommend Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power.”

  22. I wish you a very happy Christmas Sebastian. Thanks for a year of interesting and thought provoking output. I hope you have the strength and courage to keep going in 2022. Lots of love. Henry 🥳

  23. Thanks for the list!
    I have your book and am wondering if there will be a second edition, ie updated. I would like to get it for some friends but i would have to attach several pages of addenda taken from your followup articles on the blog.

  24. According to Alex Berensen, former NYTimes journalist and author, a new British study has been published about the risk of myocarditis in men younger than 40. For each Pfizer jab the risk doubles, apparantly. Moderna is even riskier. Would be much appreciated if you Sebastian could describe the risk-benefit of the Pfizer vaccine for young men (teenagers) and boys, compared to the risk of getting the infection.

  25. If you did not bother to check on Berenson, here is an article about how he was banned from Twitter for spreading disinformation.

    Do we have to play politics on this site? So much great content otherwise. Berenson has credentials but is too extreme in his views to be considered seriously and he is not a scientific scholar. Why raise him here is you are aware.

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