For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World

Putnam. Oct. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780735218772. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735218789. SCI
With this debut, writer and television producer Sagan blends science and spirituality in order to encourage readers to consider both the key aspects of their lives along with where each of us connects with the tapestry of all life, past and present. Throughout, Sagan shares the scientific influence imparted to her by parents Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan, whose Cosmos television series successfully popularized Sagan’s educational goals. A secularist, Sagan argues that even avowed atheists and agnostics can and do imbue their lives with rituals that would resonate with the beliefs of our ancestors. She maintains, like her father before her, that our very existence on this small planet warmed by our closest star is, indeed, amazing—and is infused with an almost supernatural unlikeliness. Literally, each breath we take is connected to the past and to the future. 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.
VERDICT A potentially transformative read for anyone looking to embrace its invocation to lead a more connected life.

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