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Friday, August 15, 2008

Resources for Freethinkers:Books

Books are probably the best source of information when it comes to the topics covered by freethinking, which include science, religious criticism, scepticism, philosophy etc. The importance of books is getting somewhat lost amongst the milieu of information available to the regular broadband-packing layman. In a world of point and click soundbite snippet based media it's important to take a break from the digital intertubes and hold a few pounds of paper in your fist and do some old school learning.

This list is by no means comprehensive, and is in no particular order. It is the first 50 books that came to mind which I felt were important to the freethinking world. If you think I've left out a particularly important book (which I no doubt have) please feel free to let us all know by posting a comment.

Demon Haunted World- Carl Sagan

The God Delusion- Richard Dawkins

God is not Great- Christopher Hitchens

The Origin Of Species- Charles Darwin

Why People Believe Weird Things- Michael Shermer

God: The Failed Hypothesis- Victor Stenger

Atheist Universe- David Mills

Skeptics Guide to the Paranormal- Lynne Kelly

Letter to a Christian Nation- Sam Harris

The End of Faith- Sam Harris

The Science of Good and Evil- Michael Shermer

Darwin's Dangerous Idea- Daniel C. Dennet

Unweaving the Rainbow- Richard Dawkins

The Cannon- Natalie Angier

The Atheist Manafesto- Michael Onfray

Climbing Mount Improbable- Richard Dawkins

Why Darwin Matters- Michael Shermer

Bad Astronomy- Phil Plait

Origins- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Quirkology- Richard Wiseman

The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick- Peter Lamont

Skeptical Essays- Bertrand Russell

Why I am NOt a Christian- Bertrand Russell

The Varieties of Scientific Experience- Carl Sagan

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion- David Hume

Brocas Brain- Carl Sagan

The Portable Atheist- Christopher Hitchens

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing- Richard Dawkins

The World Treasury of Modern Science Writing- Timothy Ferris

Last Chance to See- Douglas Adams with Mark Carwardine

Evolution vs Creationism- Eugenie Scott

The Stuff of Thought- Stephen Pinker

The Blank Slate- Stephen Pinker

How the Mind Works- Stephen Pinker

Death by Black Hole- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Sky id not the Limit- Neil deGrasse Tyson

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural- James Randi

Flim-Flam!- James Randi

The Faith Healers- James Randi

The Doors of Perception- Aldous Huxley

The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Psuedoscience- Michael Shermer

How We Believe- Michael Shermer

The Pandas Thumb- Stephen Jay Gould

The Gods and Other Lectures- Robert G Ingersoll

The Voyage of the Beagle- Charles Darwin

The Descent of Man- Charles Darwin

A Brief History of Time- Stephen Hawking

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams

Brave New World- Aldous Huxley

The Discworld Series- Terry Pratchett


  1. That's a great first 50 list Alan. Can I suggest a couple of others that your fellow readers may be interested in.

    Collapse - Jared Diamond
    The Pleasure of Finding Things Out - Richard Feynman
    Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond
    Love, Poverty and War - Christopher Hitchens
    Kant and the platypus - Umberto Kant
    That should keep your skeptics waist deep in some of the best books by authors of great intellect and insight very satisfied. Keep up the good work, love what you have to say.

  2. I have the following list of readings:

    By the way, the link to my blog is to my old addy? It should now read:


    Podblack blog.