When I asked you which books helped you become an atheist, I expected a couple selections to pop up repeatedly. Instead, you all provided a variety of selections that led you to atheism.
I grouped your picks into a few broad categories; it’s also worth noting that many people said it was a combination of the books (not just any one in particular) that pushed them away from their childhood religion.
Here is the list for your perusal. (The list has been updated since the original posting.)
Even if you’re an atheist already, they may be ones you want to add to your reading list.
God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.
The End of Faith by Sam Harris
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennett
Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer and Stephen Jay Gould
Atheist Universe by David Mills
Letting Go of God by Julia Sweeney
The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams
Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell
A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
Mythology by Edith Hamilton (A collection of the Greek myths)
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by James George Frazer and Robert Fraser
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, and Cosmos by Carl Sagan.
The Faith Healers by James Randi
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
History/Criticism of the Bible:
Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan
Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard E. Friedman
How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now by James L. Kugel
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture by John Shelby Spong
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
The Language of God by Francis Collins
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
1984 by George Orwell
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The books on the list seemed to influence more than one person. There were a couple books that immediately came to my mind that no one mentioned at all; perhaps the New Atheist books have taken their place.
Are you surprised by selections on the list?
What books were omitted from the list and should be included?