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For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World Kindle Edition
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About the Author
— Bill Nye, author of Everything All At Once
“This lyrical exploration of how we can find beauty in the natural world comes from the daughter of Carl Sagan, so it's no wonder Sasha's reverence for the cosmos shines through on every page . . . A wonderful gift for your favorite reader.”
"A look at life, the cosmos, and finding magic in our daily lives.”
—New York Post
“Wonderful . . . An elixir for people facing personal crises in a secular world.”
—Andrew Rader, Wall Street Journal
“This gorgeous collection of essays . . . will dazzle and comfort you no matter what your relationship to meaning-making in this vast, lonely universe is—but especially for readers who are longing for ritual in the absence of religion, Sagan’s book is a holy-feeling balm.”
—BookPage (Best Books of 2019)
“From birthdays to funerals to the changing of the seasons to lunar cycles, [Sagan] thoughtfully explores how to blend science and spirituality. An eye-opening book for those who might question traditional religious celebrations but feel connected to the community, rituals, and comforts they provide, this is a refreshing, intelligent examination of faith, religion, and the many wonders of science worthy of celebration.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“In Sagan’s astonishingly beautiful and wiser-beyond-one’s-years debut, her lineage bursts forth on each page like a literary and scientific big bang. . . A wondrous journey exploring how rituals and celebration connect to life’s greater meaning.”
"Welcoming and tender. . . Charming and appealing, this thoughtful work serves as an uplifting, life-honoring celebration of human existence.”
“Sagan expertly weaves science and nature into the fabric of humanness and ritual in this book. . . . Whether you are looking for a guide to finding new traditions, or you are simply looking to be re-inspired by the world around you, this book is sure to be a good fit.”
“She’s Carl Sagan’s daughter, and it shows. . . . Her style seems to inherit something from that grand master of scientific prose poetry. While never for a moment departing from secular physicalism, she makes a lyrical case for ritual, marking out the rhythms of life from birth to death. A charming book, ringing with the joy of existence.”
— Richard Dawkins, author of An Appetite for Wonder and The Greatest Show on Earth
“Offers ethereal wisdom and worldly guidance . . . Sagan's debut, a lushly written amalgam of memoir and manual, traces her life as the daughter of Carl and writer/producer Ann Druyan and how she came to appreciate the wonder in the everyday. . . Profound, elegantly written ruminations on the exquisite splendors of life enjoyed through a secular lens.”
“Blends science and spirituality . . . drawing from a variety of anthropological, historical, and religious works, Sagan’s chapters are devoted to the essential characteristics of being human: rituals and celebrations relating to birth and death, people and relationships. . . A potentially transformative read for anyone looking to embrace [Sagan’s] invocation to lead a more connected life.”
"Sasha Sagan has written a lovely book about the sense of wonder and the beauty of rituals--even for the non-religious. It's an answer to my secular prayers."
—A. J. Jacobs, author of Thanks A Thousand
“A lovely, inspiring memoir exploring the intersection of science, wonder, and spirituality in a secular home. . . . Like her parents, Sasha has the passion, brilliance, and ability to spark curiosity, skepticism, and hope, through the written word. Open mind required. No faith necessary.”
“Sagan has written a book for turbulent times. It’s for believers, those of us who are nonbelievers, and for those in-between. . . A life without connections for us humans would ring rather hollow. Sagan’s book gives both import to, and lessons for, connecting. Because of her excellent global examples, the world feels a bit smaller, a better place to be.”
“[A] smart, meaningful, and charming book. For those of us who have thought deeply (or want to think deeply) about what it means to make meaning in the world unbound by religious tradition, Sagan's wisdom is much needed. This book makes space for a new category of morality.”
—Books Are Magic
“Reading Sasha’s book is a reminder to appreciate magnificence of our lives and simply the fact that we exist.”
“This brief, beautiful book is the vulnerable story of Sagan's experience as a daughter and granddaughter, a wife and mother; but it also offers a tangible and practical way for people to tell our own family and community stories more meaningfully. . . .Sasha represents one of the best possible scenarios for the future of humanism: a wise and passionate young woman thinking with love and creativity about how we can design secular lives of beauty and justice, together.”
—Greg Epstein, author of Good Without God
"Sagan has written the book I've always needed to make sense of this world. She makes that spiritual muscle so deeply hidden in my guts feel perfectly at home in the universe. She is that wise friend, in-cahoots with the muse of perspective, that changes your life as she describes the world she sees. I want everyone to read this book. But first, stare at the starry night sky. And when your chest expands with wonder and humility, sit down and read."
—Jedidiah Jenkins, author of To Shake the Sleeping Self
“Birth, anniversaries, fasting, atonement: She approaches these subjects with wonderment and a generous window into her extraordinary family history . . . For Small Creatures Such As We is a marvel. It dazzles and comforts while making us consider our own place in the vast universe.”
“A warm, elegant hymn to finding the spiritual in the secular and the romance in everyday ritual. Sasha Sagan writes beautifully on the power of deep-rooted historical traditions, and the pleasure of inventing our own.”
— Greg Jenner, author of A Million Years in a Day
“Explains and celebrates the human experience as we see it on Earth.”
“Sagan encourages us, as grown-up children of this world, to create for ourselves and each other previously unimagined life-honoring and life-enhancing celebrations and rites of passage more attuned to our own deepest truths and heart's desires. And on this path she introduces us to and vividly portrays five generations of her extraordinary family. . . . A lucent, lovingly written, and joyous book."
—Jonathan Cott, author of There’s A Mystery There
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07N5JQXFK
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons (October 22, 2019)
- Publication date : October 22, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 2013 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 285 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #133,867 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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A strength of the book is that she does not approach the topic through philosophical argumentation. Instead, her book is intimately autobiographical. She writes that the death of her father, the astronomer Carl Sagan, was the “defining event” of her life and that “every other loss, every other heartbreak, would reopen this wound.”
She writes about how her thoughts of her insignificance, when she was a teenager, threw her into a state of depression. Gripped by hallucinations triggered by mushrooms, she writes: “I thought I could see the Earth from space. It was tiny, alone, meaningless, and inconsequential.” In other words, she experienced a hellish, upside down, terrifying version of the feeling of awe that infuses her parent’s series Cosmos.
As an atheist, I admire the fact that Sasha Sagan does not turn to superstition to brave human existence. Instead, she finds strength from the scientific worldview that she inherited from her parents. This is a worldview worth defending and providing to future generations -- I bought copies of the book for all three of my teenage children.
Top reviews from other countries
Kudos !! Keep Inspiring us All
Reviewed in Mexico on December 16, 2019