Reading list for atheists

I hear that Matt claimed on the last episode that I had made a blog post with a “top ten” book list for atheists. Actually, I only sent somebody an email with my list, but there was no blog post, so I thought I should make one.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, and I’m sure the comments will fill up with others I’ve missed. I put this together recently by polling my Facebook page with this question: If you met a new atheist who was trying to get a basic handle on the intellectual foundation of atheism, what books would you recommend? These are the books I chose:

  1. Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists (2008)
  2. Dale McGowan, Atheism for Dummies (2013)
  3. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (2006)
  4. George Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God (1974)
  5. Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2009)
  6. Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2005)
  7. A.C. Grayling, The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism (2013)
  8. Guy P. Harrison, 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God (2008)
  9. Victor J. Stenger, The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason (2009)
  10. Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian: And Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects (1967)

Additionally, for many new atheists I don’t recommend they jump into these books until they have read some foundational works about critical thinking. I consider both of these essential reading:

  1. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1997)
  2. John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (2001)