This is a group for the atheists on here who are book lovers.
Latest Activity: Jan 4
Started by marlowe dw Feb 16, 2014.
Ok so anyone have a favorite author that has realy inspired or a book that has changed your life in some way.
Sorry to just jump in like this, but I'm looking for an unbiased book on the historical development of Christianity. Not history according to the bible, but an anthropological approach to the origin and growth of the Christian faith, the assembling of the canon, and the determination of church structure and dogma. Any suggestions?
I'm half-way through the second of two of the best books I've ever read in my life. They're both true stories about inner-city gang life. The first is "Fam - rolling with a London girl gang" by Chyna, an amalgam of five different girls' stories, all true. It's written like a novel in that crisp concise style that inner-city Londoners have. Chyna is a very intelligent girl and you warm to her. The second book is "Among the Hoods - my years with a teenage gang" by Harriet Sergeant. She's a journalist / government researcher who befriended a gang of teenage boys in Brixton, South London. She just wants to find out what makes them tick and is very sympathetic to them. Is Harriet Sergeant peculiarly British? I like to think so. She rolls up her sleeves and goes in there like Winston Churchill. You should be able to pick up both books quite cheaply from http://amazon.co.uk.
"Bad Land" is a stunning classic and I can't get enough of it.
The book on Ashoka turned out to be pretty boring - mainly about a succession of British men in the 19th century finding ruins in India and then dying aged 40 of fever. On the other hand, it's great to read about the British tradition of heroic amateurs and failures of which it seems I am one. Now I'm reading "Bad Land" by Jonathan Raban about early settlers on the US prairie. It's beautifully written and like it says on the cover, a true classic. If you love American history, I think you'll love this. Also in my book pile is "The Essence of Buddhism" which I obtained from a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk who lives round the corner from me. Good to read about Buddhism from someone who actually understands it. It shows up some strengths and weaknesses of the religion very well.
I'm reading "Willpower - why self-control is the secret to success" by Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney. It's truly fascinating, and well-written. We all have a finite stock of willpower - mental energy - during a day and when we use it, it gets depleted. (It's powered by blood glucose, so I presume if we have a rest, it gets replenished.) However if we train our self-discipline, our stamina increases and the willpower is depleted less quickly, leading to knock-on effects in other areas of our lives.
I'm also reading "Ashoka - India's lost emperor" by Charles Allen, about India's Buddhist past. It was wiped out by the Hindus and Moslems between them. But it was already failing, because it had grown too esoteric and far-removed from ordinary people's lives. That's a brilliant book too.
@StephenKing is now on Twitter! He recently joined. How cool is that? Some of my favorite books are Stephen King books. Now I can tweet him my appreciation and he just might actually read one. Love the Internet!
I don't read fiction at the moment while I'm working on the atheist morality project. It's all non-fiction. Right now I'm reading Pleasurable Kingdom by Jonathan Balcombe, about the emotional lives of animals. As you would expect, it appears that they have emotions just like we do. If anyone tells you that swinging, and homosexuality, are unnatural - not in the animal kingdom they're not. Those critturs are at it every which way you can imagine, all the time.
My favourite books of all time are Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, and Vanity Fair by William Thackeray. Two rollicking comedies from the 18th century, a different time, but you can relate to them.
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