By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated November 02, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
DOUBTFUL NOTIONS The book explores ''the strange things we're willing to believe''

The first part of this eclectic and fascinating collection is titled "The Strange Things We're Willing to Believe," but that could easily apply to the whole book. Ronson seeks out people who cling tightly to doubtful notions, whether it's the faux wholesomeness of a Christmas-themed Alaskan town or pop megastar Robbie Williams' search for extraterrestrial life. Ronson treats his subjects fairly but skeptically in Lost at Sea, his view always framed by an appropriately cocked eyebrow. Still, he's less interested in the implausibilities of his subjects' beliefs than in why they hold their worldviews. A-