Updated Recommended Reading List
Not long after I joined here I posted a reading list of books that helped me wake up, but since then I've read so many more that I've found invaluable in furthering and refining my new worldview, plus giving me a more in-depth well read perspective on theological and scientific issues. So I thought I'd post an updated comprehensive list for other voracious readers like me who are always looking for good books to read. Hope you find something useful here.... they are in alphabetical order, not in order of favourites or subject matter or anything like that.
Reading List of Books on History, Science, Philosophy, Archaeology, Theology & Critical Thinking
1984 - George Orwell (What a genius!)
Ancient Israel: A New History of Israel - Niels Peter Lemche
Apocalypse Delayed - Penton
The Art of Thinking Clearly - Rolf Dobelli
The Battle For God - Karen Armstrong
The Better Angels of our Nature - Steven Pinker
The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Breaking the Spell - Daniel C. Dennett
Captives of a Concept - Don Cameron
The Cave and the Light: Plato vss Aristotle - Arthur Herman
Christianity in the Light of Science - John W. Loftus
Cognitive Illusions: A Handbook on Fallacies & Biases - Rudiger F. Pohl
Crisis of Conscience - Raymond Franz
Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of your Life - Richard W. Paul
Doubt - Leigh Sales
The Early History of God - Mark S. Smith
Endless Forms Most Beautiful - Sean B. Carroll
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - David Hume
Evolution - What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters - Donald R. Prothero
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - Charles MacKay
Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion - Stewart Elliot Guthrie
A Field Guide to Lies & Statistics - Daniel Levitin
The Fine-Tuning Fallacy - Victor J. Stenger
Forged - Bart Ehrman
Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism - Aron Ra
The Four Presidents of the Watchtower Society - Edmond Gruss
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism - Susan Jacoby
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
God’s Gravediggers - Raymond D. Bradley
God is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens
Godless - Dan Barker
God, the Devil, and Darwin - Niall Shanks
God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction - Dan Barker
The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins
How Evolution Explains Everything About life - New Scientist
A History of Religion in the Old Testament Period - Rainer Albertz
Hitler Homer Bible Christ - Richard Carrier
Holy Fable: The Old Testament Undistorted by Faith - Robert M. Price
How Jesus became God - Bart D. Ehrman
How the Mind Works - Stephen Pinker
How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice From an Evolutionist - John W.Loftus
Introduction to the Bible (Open Take Courses) - Christine Elizabeth Hayes
The Invention of Nature - Andrea Wulf
The Invention of Religion - Alexander Drake
The Invisible History of the Human Race - Christine Kenneally
Irrationality - Stuart Sutherland
Letter to a Christian Nation - Sam Harris
Losing My Religion - William Lobdell
Lost Christianities: The Battles For scripture and the Faiths we Never Knew - Bart Ehrman
A Manual For Creating Atheists - Peter Boghossian
Misquoting Jesus - Bart Erhman
Mistakes Were Made, But Not by Me - Carol Tavris
The Moral Arc - Michael Shermer
101 Myths of the Bible - Gary Greenberg
Not the Impossible Faith - Richard Carrier
The Not So Intelligent Designer - Abbey Hafer
The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
Paul & Jesus - James P. Tabor
The Power of Parable - John Dominic Crossman
The Pursuit of the Millennium - Norman Cohn
Pythagoras: His Life & legacy of a Rational Universe - Kitty Ferguson
The Quest for the Historical Israel - Israel Finkelstein
Questioning the Millennium - Stephen J. Gould
Rejecting Pascal’s Wager - Paul Tobin
Rock of Ages - Stephen J. Gould
Second Temple Judaism - Lester L. Grabbe
Sense & Goodness Without God - Richard Carrier
Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought 7 Belief - David Madison
The Serengeti Rules - Sean B. Carroll
The Story of Life in 25 Fossils - Donald R. Prothero
The Story of Philosophy: A History of Western Thought - James Garvey
A Treatise of Human Nature - David Hume
The True Believer - Eric Hoffer
Unintelligent Design - Robyn Williams
The Vital Question - Nick Lane
Waking Up - Sam Harris
The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar - Matt Simon
What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? - William G. Dever
When Prophecy Fails - Leon Fesrtiger
Why I am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell
The Works of Immanuel Kant - Immanuel Kant
The Writings of Thomas Paine - Thomas Paine
You Are Not So Smart - David McRaney
Your Inner Fish - Neil Shubin
I would need another lifetime to read all those books doubtful is their any chance you could list the top 3 you would recommend ?
I have read the two COC`s ,I wonder if that was a coincidence?
Captives Of a Concept ,and Crisis of Conscience , and of course 1984 and a few other books that have convinced me all their is to know about religion and God.
Thanks for the list.
Great list! Thank you!
Thanks doubtful, that's a great list. I read the Dawkins' books and thought they were brilliant. Also some of God is not Great and The Better Angels of our Nature. Oh and CoC of course.
Oh my "god"! HOW did you read all those?? (Don't you have a job or life? hahaha just stirring!)
Thank you so much for the recommendations! I look forward to enhancing my knowledge further!
I was only thinking earlier today just how ignorant we were as witnesses. We THOUGHT we knew it all. We had answers to everything. We KNEW everything....
Yet, a genuinely humble person knows that we don't know everything...and there is much to learn. So these books will help expand our knowledge.
Thanks! This is a great list to have. I agree- could you recommend your top 3 or 5 or suggest recommendations for starters. I've read Crisis of Conscience and Steve Hassan's Books but wouldn't know where to begin.
I've recently re-read "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley.First time since high school. Another dystopian novel - as literature not as well-written as 1984, but still thought-provoking.
There is a chapter toward the end which does quite a nice job of demonstrating how frightfully dull and stifling a world of no conflict, where everyone is happy all the time and no problems remain to be solved, would be.
I.e., the JW version of "paradise earth" sounds fine at first, but thinking about its implications makes you realize that you'd eventually end up hating it.
Smiddy3 & KiddingMe - sorry its hard to suggest a top 3 because the subject matter varies so much.
However what I can suggest is watching some of the authors lectures on youtube first to get a summary of their ideas and research to see which ones interest you and then you can dive into the books to get more detail.
For example, in the field of Biblical history (including the questions of the historicity of the Gospels and Jesus etc) I would recommend Richard Carrier, particularly because he takes a very scientific approach to history and everything he researches he publishes for peer review so it is well documented and well thought out using excellent methodology. He also happens to speak well on scientific issues and evolution etc. His books can be heavy going due to their academic nature, but if you search for him on Youtube you will find many recorded lectures he has done of about an hour duration that sum up his research very well in much simpler terms. Just pick a few on subjects that interest you and go from there...
Here's a few of my faves:
Some of my favorite non-JW books:
The art of worldly wisdom
Logic made easy
The art of war
Best Loved Poems
Elemetary Predicate Logic
The Chinese Classics Mencius
Baroque Chess Openings
May I ask why "Black Swan"? What about Talib's work there contributed to your awakening?