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A Skeptic's Reading List

(or "Christmas gift ideas for the skeptic on your list"!)

By Tania K ~

Up until a few years ago, I thought that I would always wear the "Christian" label. I never doubted that all the components of my religious faith would be a huge part of my life until, well, the Lord called me Home. When that faith began slipping away from me, my world felt like it was shattering. I was fortunate enough to have a co-worker, a hairdresser, a landlord, and a bunch of other people who listened to my angst, who calmed me down, who made me realize that I was going to be okay. There were also some very helpful websites (like this one!!) and many videos on Youtube.

And there were the books...oh, there were many, many books. I would visit the library's website and order books that I never imagined I'd ever read. I'd stay up late at night, reading, reading, reading. I'd slip the covers off the books (so that nobody could see the supposedly "bad" titles) and sit in Tim Hortons, consuming glazed cinnamon rolls and coffee and trying to figure out what happens now?

Here is a list of books that I've read and loved during the last several years. Some of them helped me as I began navigating life away from my religious faith. Some opened my eyes to concepts in psychology that were completely new to me. Lately, I've been reading about the absolutely fascinating events of history -- 100 years ago, 5000 years ago, 541 million years ago, 13.8 billion years ago. And of course, some Mitch Albom and some hippos helped lighten the load.

Happy reading to all!

Books about doubting your religious faith, leaving your faith, and starting over

Faith Shift: finding your way forward when everything you believe is coming apart -- Kathy Escobar

Still: notes on a mid-faith crisis -- Lauren Winner

When We Were on Fire: a memoir of consuming faith, tangled love, and starting over -- Addie Zierman

Girl at the End of the World: my escape from fundamentalism in search of faith with a future -- Elizabeth Esther

The Divinity of Doubt: the God question -- Vincent Bugliosi

Spiritual Envy: an agnostic's quest -- Michael Krasny

Faitheist: how an atheist found common ground with the religious -- Chris Stedman

Books about leading a fulfilling life outside of religion

With or Without God: why the way we live is more important than what we believe -- Gretta Vosper

Religion for Atheists: a non-believer's guide to the uses of religion -- Alain de Botton

The Good Book: A humanist/secular bible -- A.C. Grayling

Humour

Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: using philosophy (and jokes!) to explain life, death, the afterlife, and everything in between -- Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

Psychology

The Belief Instinct: the psychology of souls, destiny, and the meaning of life -- Jesse Bering

History

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies -- Jared Diamond

Sapiens: a brief history of humankind -- Yuval Noah Harari

Mankind: the story of all of us -- Pamela Toler

A Short History of Progress -- Ronald Wright

Miscellaneous

Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist: the guide to coming out as a non-believer -- David G. McAfee

Have a Little Faith: a true story -- Mitch Albom


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