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It may be admirable to claim that I read only to learn and expand my mind, but to be perfectly honest, I read because I enjoy it! It’s fun. If I happen to learn or challenge myself during this pursuit—all the better. I’m the furthest thing from a book snob as you can probably get while still loving to read.

I’ve purchased heaps of books lately (both audio and paper) that must be read! Have you read any of them? Which should I pick up next?

Fiction

The Gray Man by Mark Greaney
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper [fuckme, some of these titles seem embaraassing, don’t they?]
Naked in Death by J. D. Robb [I love naked stuff]
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Non-fiction

The End of Faith by Sam Harris [Are you shocked that I haven’t finished this book yet?]
Why I Am Not a Christian & Other Essays on Religion & Related Subjects by Bertrand Russell
Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan

I’m leaving out a bunch of great options hiding on my shelves, but this is a good start.

What are you reading right now?

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16 thoughts on “A Book List Gets Longer”

Jonathan Creekmore · March 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Both the Subtle Knife and Letters from the Earth are good, but I would suggest LftE first because it is Twain.

Godless Girl · March 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Twain does seem a bit like a trump card šŸ˜‰

MinorGroove · March 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Good List!

For pure, engrossing storytelling (with a little side serving of European history): Pillars of the Earth. One of my top gift-books because it’s *such* an engrossing story!

As far as non-fiction, I’d suggest starting with Bertrand Russell, because so many modern arguments against god(s) and religion started with Russell. I often find myself reading Dawkins, Hitchens, etc. and saying to myself “This is an interesting point, but Russell made it so much *better*!” Then I go digging for the Russell version… He’s an astute writer with some really fascinating viewpoints, particularly coming from a mathematician (as opposed to the more common biologist in this genre).

Enjoy!

Daniel · March 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I would say go with The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. Quite a bit darker and much more anti-religion than the movie was.

After reading the books, it was pretty clear they could _never_ make the full trilogy into movies. Which is too bad.

Tom Armstrong · March 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Non-fiction: “Why People Believe Weird Things” by Michael Shermer, and “The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture” by Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D.

Fiction: There is a sequel to “Pillars of the Earth,” and given that Ken Follett is such a good writer, it’s on my “to read” list. Michael Connelly is a good writer as well, although his books don’t always take on the larger pictures that Follett’s explore.

I recently read Raymond Koury’s “The Templar Salvation.” Despite it being about some devout folks, it has some passages that are pretty firm in saying “religion and gods are created by man.”

Andrew Hall · March 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I just slogged through the Book of Joshua while reading Hitch 22, and a comedy writing manual. Of course, I read through a gaggle of blogs along with my weekly Economist. I am saturated with words. Push my tummy and I burp letters.

Nicole Schand · March 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

You have read the first two His Dark Materials books, yes? Just checking šŸ™‚

My mom swears by Pillars of the Earth… Which is why I’ve been avoiding it. Who knows, though, even a clock with no taste is right two times a day.

Skeptnik Garrison · March 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I’m reading:

Nonfiction:
Religion Explained, Pascal Boyer
A Philosophical Translation of the DaoDeJing
can’t wait to get to Godel, Escher & Bach, by Hofstadter

Fiction:
Bible…for ammunition

KayKay · March 22, 2011 at 4:55 am

Letters from the Earth is wonderful. But The Name of thr Wind is one of the best fantasy books EVER. And if you like fantasy, you must also read Peter V Bretts The Warded Man.

someguy · March 22, 2011 at 6:45 am

I always thought Pullman’s trilogy was overrated. Not to give away too many spoilers, but the wheels come off the plot in the third volume.

If you want some books of adventure that take on religion I recommend Jericho Moon by Matthew Woodring Stover. The Age of Unreason series by J. Gregory Keyes is also a work of brilliance. Heā€™s recently finished his equally good Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series.

Jenny · March 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Non-fiction: Just finished “The Ego Tunnel”, a neuroscientific/philosophical argument against the concept of selfhood :O

Fiction: Just purchased “The Girl Who Played with Fire”

Brittany · March 23, 2011 at 12:50 am

I’ve just finished reading The Secret Life of Bees, which was lovely. There is a lot of “religion” and worship, but it’s more a worship of womanhood than anything.

Enjoy your reading!
-Brittany

Ms. Abominable · March 23, 2011 at 4:27 am

The past couple weeks I’ve rediscovered my passion for reading and have devoured The Hunger Games trilogy, The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (both futuristic accounts of terrifyingly possible events), Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s memoir Infidel, and a piece of YA Fantasy called Graceling.

Right now I’m reading Hitch 22 but am struggling because every 10 pages I need to pull out a dictionary to look up a list of words I’ve never seen before. It’s expanding my vocabulary at least.

Andy · March 23, 2011 at 10:34 am

Russell is good. Math is more philosophical than biology. I find Dawkins asserting more than developing an argument.

I don’t generally read NYTBS titles, but a friend pointed me to The Same Kind of Different as Me about the confluence of a modern day slave turned illiterate homeless man and an international art dealer. I’m reading it now. Interesting life perspectives.

Anne · March 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm

You should read french philosopher Michel Onfray, “In Defense Of Atheism” it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read on atheism because he really does try to keep to the facst and avoid sensationalism …

And If you haven’t wich I’m sure you already have but Dawkins book “The God Delusion” is great.

Stephen · May 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

Twain didn’t publish Letters From Earth. I don’t think it was because of embarassment. I think it was because after four chapters, he’d run out of really good ideas, and was unhappy with the result. It’s worth reading, if only for four chapters. Best to read it while on the floor, so you don’t fall out of your chair.

Have you read Lord Of The Rings? Then you should really read The Last Ringbearer. http://ymarkov.livejournal.com/270570.html

I’m also reading the entire Amber series by Zelazny.

And Wealth of Nations – http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3300

I expect to read or listen to about 30 books this year. A few years ago i ended up reading 50.

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