books

A Skeptic’s Reading List

Christmas gift ideas for the skeptic on your list!

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 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
Article by Tania Kuehn