I decided that it might be fun to share my reading list. I love books and I have a huge stack lined up to read, so I’ve just made a quick list for now and I’ll update it as I find the time.

Please feel free to make recommendations or to discuss any of the books I’ve read in the comments below.

Oh, I should add, I won’t be buying any books on faith, theology, apologetics, etc. (unless they’re the skeptical kind). I find those kind of books incredibly tedious. But if anyone wants to send me one then I’ll put it to the top of my reading list and blog about it extensively :)

Currently Reading:

Robert Price – A Reason Driven Life

Hemant Mehta – I Sold my Soul on eBay

Tom Standage – A History of the World in Six Glasses

To Read:

Richard Wiseman – The Luck Factor

Michael Shermer – Why People Believe Weird Things

Michael Shermer – Why Darwin Matters

Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner – Super Freakonomics

Victor Stenger – God: The Failed Hypothesis

Richard Dawkins – The Greatest Show On Earth

Christopher Hitchens – The Portable Atheist

Ariane Sherine – The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

Richard Wiseman – 59 Seconds

Malcolm Gladwell – Blink

Ben Goldacre – Bad Science

Simon Singh – Big Bang

Read:

Sam Harris – Letter to a Christian Nation

Steven Pinker – The Language Instinct

Richard Wiseman – Quirkology

Brian Greene – The Elegant Universe

Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene

Phil Plait – Death From the Skies

James Randi – Flim Flam

Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion

Christopher Hitchens – God is not Great

Carl Sagan – A Demon-Haunted World

Steven Pinker – How the Mind Works

Carol Tavris & Elliot Aronson – Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)

Dan Barker – Godless

David Aaronovitch – Voodoo Histories

Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Douglas Adams – Life, the Universe and Everything

Daniel Dennett – Breaking the Spell

19 Responses to “Reading List”


  1. 1 nanobotswillenslaveusall January 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I wouldn’t bother with The Greatest Show on Earth if you’ve already read The Selfish Gene and keep up with news on evolution. It’s well written and all, but really basic. Shermer’s book and Stenger’s book are both amazing though, and I probably don’t need to say anything about The Demon Haunted World if you’re reading it now.

  2. 2 EnlightningLinZ January 12, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Basic is what I need! My husband is reading the Greatest Show on Earth right now and he likes it. I had very little exposure to evolution before I read the Selfish Gene, so a lot of it went over my head.

    The Demon Haunted World is amazing! I want to re-read it with a highlighter.

  3. 3 nanobotswillenslaveusall January 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

    In that case you might want to add Why Darwin Matters by Shermer to your list.

  4. 4 Mom January 31, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’m reading Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett. He’s a philosopher that is tackling many interesting questions including “does religion do more harm than good or more good than harm” and “is religion a natural phenomenon”? He is trying to answer these questions using a scientific approach. I’m only on chapter 3 but so far so good! You may want to add this one to your “to read” list!
    Mom

  5. 5 EnlightningLinZ January 31, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion mom! I’ve been wanting to read that one too but forgot to add it to my list.

  6. 6 Mom May 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Lindsay, I just bought a new book called Why Empathy Matters: the Science and Psychology of Better Judgement by JD Trout. It is so topical to our last philosopy meeting; I think you’d enjoy it! Steven Pinker endorsed it with the comment “An important and engaging book.”
    The back jacket says “Why do human beings consistently make bad choices when it comes to our own health and happiness? Why can’t we utilize our resources to create a decent, just, and humane society for all inhabitants? With the latest scientific research in psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience, philosopher and cognitive scientist J.D.Trout reveals how our empathic wiring actually undermines the best interests of individuals and society. However, it is possible to bridge this “empathy gap” and improve our decision-making enormously. Here, Trout offers a tantalizing proposal–how individuals and governments alike can vault that gap and begin to practice the kind of intelligent and responsible empathy that ultimately leads to the improvement of human well-being.

  7. 7 Chris June 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Lindsay,

    I would like to recommend a book titled “The Irrational Atheist”, by Vox Day.

    It is not a book about “faith, theology, apologetics, etc.”, but a look at the claims of the “New Athiests” (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris & Hitchens), & it shows the bulk of the things they base their arguments on rely on ignorant & easily disproven claims. Yes, it’s good to question authority – including the claimed “authority” of folks like Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens & Harris.

    I would send you a copy, but it is unnecessary, since you can download a copy for free from the author’s site for the book, which would be faster & cheaper anyway.

    http://irrationalatheist.com/downloads.html

    Take care…

  8. 8 EnlightningLinZ June 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for the recommendation, Chris, I’m interested to see what this book has to say, especially since I’ve read Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris and in my opinion they make a very strong case.

  9. 9 Gary Babbitt July 10, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Hi Lindsay,

    I downloaded the book The Irational Athiest by Vox Day(aka Theodore Beale) at Chris’s suggestion. It is indeed quite a read and I would be really interested in your reaction to it. I will probably have more to say later, gotta think it awhile.

  10. 10 EnlightningLinZ July 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I’m about 2 chapters into The Irrational Atheist, ugh what a load of BS! I’ve started writing a blog response to Chapter 1, but I’ve been taking my time (plus I got distracted by a weekend of TAM 8 tweets lol)

  11. 11 Mom July 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I have been reading the Irrational Atheist and am not very far along but so far one thing has particularly stood out for me and I must comment on it before reading any further. That is, the debate over the equation S + F = Deadly danger to mankind. I think the equation itself is quite a simplistic notion. There are many variables missing in the equation including humankind’s values and sensibilities. It is not science or faith that causes harm, it is the lack of individual and group collective’s foresight, insight, hindsight, ethics, cooperation, communication, judgement (general mindfulness) etc. that are so destructive. It seems ridiculous to me to blame either religion or faith is responsible for our problems.

  12. 12 Mom July 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Further to my comment above…In my opinion it is behavior that is committed thoughtlessly and insensitively, by people of faith, of no faith, religious and non-religious alike, that cause all of the problems in the world. And, like it or not, our human condition, makes us all act irrationally and unempathically at times and to varying degrees. That is why it is so important to be cognizant of our thoughts and emotions and to base our decisions on our own and others insights and experiences and to continually weigh and measure what is working and what is not.

  13. 13 Darkchilde July 19, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Although a comic fantasy novel, this one is about religion, from the penmanship of Terry Pratchett: Small Gods.

    Worth every word. Definitely the best book I’ve read this year.

  14. 14 Steven August 10, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I am on the same journey these past few years. I want to encourage you to keep going and don’t worry about past writings. Early work in any area always ends up a bit cliche. It takes ten years to be a master at something (Gladwell’s Outliers). Ishmael by Daniel Quinn should be on your list! Followed by the Story of B by Daniel Quinn. Another very important book is On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins. For me Carl Sagan’s The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God was an important book because it was Cosmos that turned me on to science and critical thinking back when I was younger. There are two ways to go: you bend facts to fit the story you live or a create and live a story that fits the facts!

  15. 15 Rachel September 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) is on my to-be-read list too! I heard about it recently when the first author was interviewed for a Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast. I hope it’s good. It sounds right up my alley.

    Be careful reading Blink. While there is a lot to unconscious decision making, it should never be at the expense of the rest of our brains or the entire history and body of science. I’d recommend replacing that book in your list with Gut Feelings: the Intelligence of the Unconscious by Gerd Gigerenzer. His work is far more focused on the psychological science of what Gladwell coined “snap decisions,” where they come from, when and where to use them and, during those times, why they work.

    I’d like to recommend to you Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich. It’s admittedly a little bloated with some repetition and anecdotes, but it’s still an entertaining read and very informative. I think it would appeal to your skeptical nature and evangelical past (a whole chapter is dedicated to the movement’s foothold in the megachurches).

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  1. 1 The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day « Struck by Enlightning Trackback on November 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm
  2. 2 The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day « The Winnipeg Skeptics Trackback on November 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

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