Unlike theology, atheism isn't really taught in institutions of higher learning except at religious universities for the purpose of apologetics. Since that is the case, I'm trying to get back into reading some of the more well-known books on the subject to educate myself. Last summer I read The God Delusion, God is Not Great, and about half of The End of Faith. This spring, I bought Letter to a Christian Nation and read it at least 3 times.

Today, after being inspired by some of the people on here, I went to the library and got Daniel Dennett's book Breaking the Spell, Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers: a History of American Secularism (which I barely started last summer) and Sam Harris' The End of Faith, so I can finish reading that. I also put a few other books on request so I can dive into those soon. Gotta love inter-library loans!

I'm excited to get back into it but my problem, particularly with non-fiction, is that reading makes me unbelievably drowsy. I got a few pages into Freethinkers and then found myself waking up because I was snoring. Not sure what I can do about this--I don't have a lot of time to read these books and I don't want to keep falling asleep every 10 pages. I never really had this problem when I was reading Hitchens, Dawkins or Harris, so maybe it's just Jacoby's style that's putting me to sleep. Or maybe I just need more caffeine. Haha.

If anyone else out there has more suggestions for reading, I'll be glad to have them! I'm an avid reader and always looking for something new and interesting.

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Comment by Kristi Leitholt on July 14, 2009 at 3:28pm
Has anyone here read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali? It sounds really interesting and I'd like to know what others think about it.
Comment by Wiley Coyote on July 14, 2009 at 8:15am
Hi Kristina, Im going to echo what gecko said and add one more Sagan book, Billions & Billions.
Im also going to recommend Douglas Adams, "Hitchhiker's Guide" series as a break from all the non-fiction.
Enjoy :)
Comment by Kristi Leitholt on July 13, 2009 at 11:52am
This is so great! Thanks everyone, for your help and ideas!
Comment by Gecko, Seth...brother of Richie! on July 13, 2009 at 11:36am
Michael Shermer's Why Evolution Matters., Carl Sagans The Demon Haunted World, and of course The Pale Blue Dot.
Comment by Janet on July 12, 2009 at 5:02pm
I think there was a similar discussion thread in the atheists who like books group. I added some suggestions there. Didn't want to be repetitive.
Comment by Richard Healy on July 12, 2009 at 4:44pm
Oh I see!!!

Mea Culpa.

Speaking of Thomas Paine...

Common Sense

Age of Reason Parts 1 & 2

Examination of Biblical Prophecies (Part III of Age of Reason)
Comment by Scott Otto on July 12, 2009 at 4:15pm
One of my favorites has always been, George H. Smiths' Atheism: the Case Against God. Sure some parts of it were dry, but I learned a lot about the philosophical arguments against theism from it.
Christopher Hitchens' God is not Great, was an exciting read and I highly recommend it. While Sam Harris' The End of Faith was (in my opinion) a yawn inducer. I would avoid it if I were you, I felt like I learned more from Hitchens' anyway. Well that's my experience, take it or leave it.
Comment by Greywolf on July 12, 2009 at 3:42pm
Ooops. Can see how Richard thought I was referring to Ehrman when I was actually speaking in reference to Raymond E. Brown.

In regards to Thomas Paine: It's just tragic story. He deserved better. He certainly paid the price for his freethinking ways. With the number of non-theists on the rise, stout-hearted Tom will now become much more familiar to a young American public. And it won't be solely due to writing "Common Sense"!
Comment by Richard Healy on July 12, 2009 at 1:01pm
Misquoting Jesus. It's short relatively speaking and is a good introduction to the textual criticism for which Ehrman made his name. Also useful for picking up some quick bible-debunking references. (Like the last twelve verses of Mark) and the ever-popular 'who went to Jesus's tomb?' party game.
Comment by Kristi Leitholt on July 12, 2009 at 12:24pm
Thanks everyone! I look forward to reading more. Believe it or not, I was actually able to get through almost TWO chapters of Freethinkers last night. Thomas Paine sounds like quite an interesting person. I think I have his book The Age of Reason around here somewhere. I know we have at least one Paine book anyway.

I've looked up Bart Ehrman at my library and there are a lot of books available by him. Where would you all recommend I start?



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