The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal

Kelly, Lynne. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal. New York: Thunder Mouth Press, 2004. Using the principle of Occam’s Razor (that the simplest solution is typically the correct one), Lynne Kelly debunks or provides reasonable alternative explanations to all things supernatural in The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal. Chapter by chapter, she takes down long-cherished spooky phenomena. In many cases, Kelly simply tells the whole story, giving the reader facts and evidence typically excluded from the tabloids and the made-for-TV movies. In others, she explains the science behind the (perceived) strangeness: I had no idea that spontaneous combustion was real (it’s just not spontaneous). My main complaint with the book is that it could have been more personable. Due in part, I suspect, to Kelly’s British upbringing, The Skeptic’s Guide reads a bit formal. Had she taken a more casual (but not mocking) tone, I believe it would have been just as informative, but a lot more fun to read. Overall, The Skeptic’s Guide is a wonderful reaffirmation of reason over superstition.