I'm gonna try this one more time...lol!  Sorry for messaging everyone in the group.  Guess I'm not used to the format :/

I found this site because I am starting a face to face book club with my friend and I googled some ideas and found myself here.  I considered choosing whatever this group's current read was, but it looks like that's not how it works.  So...any suggestions?  She's a solid atheist and I'm an agnostic with an affection for my "culturally Christian" background.  (Don't know if these details would help with the suggestions.)  Thanks to anyone whose willing to help me out!  :)

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Awesome, thank you!  I bet it's difficult to stay accountable with the reading when life gets busy and you don't have to face anyone when it comes to the internet.  I'm hoping that because we will be meeting face to face we will HAVE to be accountable for the reading. 

For the first book, I would like to choose something high interest, along the lines of God is not Great (Except that I've already read that one)...maybe social commentary in light of atheism/agnosticism...something politically relevant...Arguments For/Against God sounds interesting.  Really, ANY of the above you mentioned as long as it is "accessible."  I don't think she is much of a reader so I want to ease us in, and science is NOT my strong suit, so that will have to come later... :)

That is just so cool of you to give me all of these suggestions!  I must say, I am especially drawn to How to Become A Really Good Pain in the Ass.  The way you describe it reminds me of Sophie's World (one of my all time favorites!).  And of course the title..haha...how can I resist?  I will let you know which one I choose tomorrow because we are getting together to decide then.  Regarding the purchase of the books, can I buy them via your site for my kindle?  I haven't decided if I'm buying hard copy or electronic yet, but just in case, I'm curious. 

  Hopefully we'll be successful enough we will read them all!!

I want to read How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass too. I just heard an interview with him on a podcast. Christopher Di Carlo is the author.

I love to read. I run several online book clubs and one local book club. I prefer fiction. I've also been invited to and participated in many local and online book clubs. People are so unreliable. Most rarely read the book much less show up to discuss it. Many times they just say how they didn't like what someone else picked or compare homes, children, husbands, and rings. Oh well. I read for the fun of it and just keep on going. Someday I'll be part of a book club that actually has decided members. I just know it. LOL

A non fiction book I'm reading right now, that might interest you is Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel. He started an interfaith initiative that is open to those of us with no faith at all, working together for world stewardship and peace. This is his story about how he was raised in the Muslim religion in America and came to this way of life and thinking.

I like fiction, but I LOVE non-fiction...just always have!  But I'm definitely open to fiction recommendations too :)  Yep, no surprise that people are unreliable.  I'm a high school English teacher (a detail I don't like sharing because then people analyze my posts for grammar lol), but I know quite a lot about people's resistance to reading even when they really "want" to. Those kinds of attitudes you described are definitely deal-breakers.  That's one of the reasons why my friend and I haven't opened the club to anyone else because we know we can count on each other (life long friends), but we're not so sure of others.

The book you suggested sounds great!  It's definitely relevant to things I've been considering lately.  I just went to a "talk" from Cornel West on Friday (I think he's a professor of theology at Princeton),  but he was so inspiring in ways that I feel I need in my very atheist/agnostic home.  It kind of sounds like the book you suggested might continue in a similar vein.  In fact, I told my husband that I need to reconcile my agnosticism with social responsibility (something he doesn't feel is lacking in his life).  Looks like that book will deal with that.  Thank you again!  :)

I just found this site too, hoping that there would be a book that several atheists were reading and that I could read along and join the discussion. However, I don't see that going on here. Maybe I will try to start one here. My favorite atheist books are The God Virus by Daryl Ray and The Religion Virus by Craig James. 

I want to read " Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All — and...." http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/08/31/sean-faircl...

I am currently taking history class that is taking up my reading time, but when I am done in May, I think I will return and try to start a real book club here.

Nelson, my group decided on God is not Great, even though that was the ONLY one on the list I gave them that I had already read...lol  Oh well!  It's fun reading it again and even though there is no official book club happening at the moment on this site, everyone has probably read it and I'm sure I can pose any questions I have a many people will respond...so that's a plus!   

Absolutely!  In fact, one of the first things I wanted us to discuss before we jumped into the book was whether or not we really think that religion poisons EVERYTHING (in response to the subtitle of the book).  So far, it seems [to me] that it isn't religion that inherently poisons everything, it's just that, as Hitchens points out clearly as early as the first chapter (that's how far I've reread so far), religion is human-made and therefore inevitably reflects the imperfections of humans.  But I don't think that theists would disagree and maybe that's why I say that (I was brought up and educated by Christians).  I guess here's where the inference to the argument against the existence of god--if god is good, how could the manifestation of his reality on earth reflect so poorly on him (eh...if that makes sense)?  

    Finally, in answering the question about whether or not I really think religion poisons EVERYTHING (therefore God can't possibly be good) I think that if it is true that god really does "endorse" a Bible (or choose whatever sacred book) that promotes the marginalization and exclusion (hell) of others legitimized by "divinely revealed" text (non believers), then it will inevitably poison everything...For me, that's the fatal flaw...

What do you think?  Do you think religion really does poison everything?

If have time, and you decide to start one, I'm in!  I read constantly and I'll reread books I liked in the first place.  I bought How To Be a Really Good Pain In the Ass.  It's very good, but not breezy reading.  It's practical, hands on, and skills based.  The book you suggested also looks good! 


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