I is for Illuminati by Chris Vola is an A-Z guide to conspiracy theories, a coffee table style book with an opening poem for each letter, a spread of text — usually 2 pages but sometimes a tad more about the particular topic (aliens, chem trails, the big bad government wanting to kill us all with vaccines), and a list of other things that start with the same letter, not necessarily all conspiracy-related. The author mentions both those who've espoused a theory and those who've debunked it within in the text.
My only problem with this book is the fact that occasionally the writing is so tongue-in-cheek I had a little trouble figuring out what the author was serious about and when he was joking. To be honest, I don't consider that a big issue because I is for Illuminati is probably best for sparking conversation rather than as, say, a reference book (it's definitely meant to entertain, not go into elaborate detail). Here's an interior shot, with apologies for the poor quality:
It was actually the fact that I have a friend who has fallen for the QAnon conspiracy theories that made me sit up and take notice of this book when it was offered to me for review. It was . . . kind of soothing to read a book in which such things are treated exactly as what they are: conspiracies, often without even a shred of evidence (although he pretty much had me convinced that aliens are real; I can't say why).
Recommended - A fun book to set out on your coffee table in the hopes of starting some fun conversation or a nice gift for someone who can use a smile. Obviously, the midst of a pandemic is not the best time to be having friends over for tea and conversation (unless you're outdoors, of course, and wearing a mask) so it's currently best for enjoying with those in your bubble or for gift-giving purposes. Yes, I definitely have Christmas on my mind.
My thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy!
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