Upcoming Reading Selections

Don’t forget that Rebecca will be heading up the book discussion in July. When I get back, we’ll take off with a fall reading program full of great recommended titles.

First — and I’m very excited about this — two books written by Skepchick readers:

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison

Many books that challenge religious belief from a skeptical point of view take a combative tone that is almost guaranteed to alienate believers or they present complex philosophical or scientific arguments that fail to reach the average reader. Journalist Guy P. Harrison argues that this is an ineffective way of encouraging people to develop critical thinking about religion. In this unique approach to skepticism regarding God, Harrison concisely presents fifty commonly heard reasons people often give for believing in a God and then he raises legitimate questions regarding these reasons, showing in each case that there is much room for doubt.

Read more from the publisher here. And here’s a review by Hemant at Friendly Atheist.

The Tea House: A Novel by Paul Elwork

Emily Stewart has a secret. So does her brother, Michael. Thirteen years old, precocious and privileged, the Stewart twins are just beginning to learn the power of secrets.

During the summer of 1925, the twins discover a game of pretending to contact the dead. In the garden playhouse of their riverfront estate home, neighborhood children gather to be in the presence of the unknown and test their bravery. When adults become involved, the twins find themselves dabbling in the uncertain territory of human grief, and the game truly becomes a matter of life and death.

Inspired by and loosely based on the true story of the Fox sisters, this deeply compassionate debut novel delivers a suspenseful story that delves into the truths lying at the very heart of families. 

Read an excerpt here. More info from the author is here.

Then two selections recommended by Skepchick readers:

Recommended by limadea:

I just finished The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, the author of “Freethinkers.” It was a great look at America’s attitude to intellectualism, from individuals to politics, etc.

And our first children’s book, suggested by Zoltan:

I have an ususual suggestion: a children’s book – you can read it cover to cover in an hour. However, for any of you skeptics wanting to share ideas with your kids, it’s an excellent place to start. (I don’t have kids, but I like this book anyway.)

The book is The Ghost on Saturday Night by Sid Fleischman. A story about a con artist, foiled by a kid and his clever aunt. Stuffed full of fine, critical reasoning on a kid level. I highly recommend it.

In light of recent discussions, if you have any recommendations for books on evolution or intelligent design, please post them in the comments. Here’s one I recently stumbled onto:

Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl Giberson 

Drawing on his fundamentalist upbringing and experience teaching physics at an evangelical college, Giberson has a native understanding of how conservative Christians feel and think about evolution. As a Christian evolutionist, he finds himself occupying a frequently misunderstood middle ground in the midst of a culture war, fought with culture-war weapons by culture warriors. Behind the culture war, Giberson sketches an engaging historical narrative including Darwin’s background in intelligent design, what really happened at the Scopes monkey trial and how catastrophist geology derived from Seventh Day Adventism found an audience among the evangelical mainstream in the post-Sputnik era. 

More from the publisher. Incidently, William Dembski despises this book. I still think the average person conflates ID and theistic evolution, but this is definitely something I will look into further.

Thanks and enjoy the summer!


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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