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This is a mini-review for a mini-book. I read this book in one sitting, in about half an hour. Still, it was enjoyable enough that I felt it deserved a review.

I bought this book at last month's Brooklyn Book Festival which, by the way, is definitely worth checking out if you're in the area next September. My husband Simon and I had gone mostly to browse around and listen to some panels, not with the intention of buying anything (despite nearly 100 tempting booths and pop-up stores selling books of all genres).

This one caught my eye though. On his website, author Ali Almossawi says, "The cover is inspired by one of my favorite games growing up: LucasArts' Monkey Island series. The title's typography and the general feel of the whole scene borrow a bit from Monkey Island and a bit from Indiana Jones." That must be why I was drawn to it amongst the gazillion (yes, gazillion) other books at the festival.

Guilt by Association

Illustration by Alejandro Giraldo
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments is a charmingly easy-to-understand guide to errors in reasoning which are often used in arguments. If you are one of those ever-hopeful people who engages in online arguments or "discussions" then you'll love this book as it equips you to recognize and avoid (or point out) faulty logic. Each page spread gives a short explanation of a specific type of bad argument (straw man, appeal to fear, equivocation, etc.) along with an illustration showing it in action.

I actually bought this book with my younger brother in mind since he has strong opinions and seems to get into online debates fairly often, but I don't think he reads this blog so I might pretend that I totally didn't read this gift before giving it to him.

A bonus that I only discovered later is that the entire book is shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC license. Which basically means the book is available in its entirety online for free, and you are allowed to share it, provided you give proper credit.
I do recommend donating if you enjoy it though, or even buying the print edition as it makes a fun book to flip through.


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