These books are recommended by me and/or other Redditors.

If you see a book with nothing in the 3rd "mini-review" column and have something to say about the book, please PM me with your suggestion!


  • ATH: Atheism-related
  • BIB: Bible-related, esp. Jesus-related
  • FIC: Fiction (other than BIB), with an atheist theme
  • HIS: History
  • MOR: Morality
  • SCI: Science

Dead tree (Amazon links)

If you see a book with nothing in the 4th "mini-review" column and have something to say about the book, please PM me with your suggestion!
Alfred Ayer SCI Language, Truth and Logic
Dan Barker ATH Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
Larry Beinhart FIC Salvation Boulevard Fiction. A detective thriller with a dead atheist, a Muslim suspect, a Jewish lawyer and a whole lot of Christian fundamentalists. Pulpy but fun.
Jesse Bering SCI The Belief Instinct Recommended by ceramicfiver: I do recommend it as a supplement to the usual authors around atheism. It's very objective and formal, and very scientific with tons of citations.
Susan Blackmore SCI The Meme Machine interesting because of her theories on religion and conscience.
Richard Carrier ATH SCI MOR Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism Please see my review of this book, which I highly recommend.
HIS BIB Not the Impossible Faith A very detailed refutation of the claim that Christianity would not have gotten off the ground if the Resurrection were not a proven fact. Lots of useful tidbits of history. A draft form of this book is available online here!
Jerry A. Coyne SCI Why Evolution Is True
Richard Dawkins ATH The God Delusion One of the classics of "New Atheist" literature. Intellectually thorough and schoolmasterly, but people of faith like to call it "strident."
SCI The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
SCI/ATH Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder Science does not detract from awe and wonder, but adds to it!
Daniel Dennett ATH Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon Intense book, to say the least. Dennett doesn't pull many punches and he requires a fairly large attention span to get through, but he explores religion as a natural and cultural phenomenon.
Bart Ehrman BIB Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible
BIB Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament A pretty decent and organized collection of apocrypha. And he puts them all in the historical context.
BIB Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed The Bible and Why
BIB The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings
Helen Ellerbe HIS The Dark Side of Christian History A summary of the many crimes against humanity committed by the Christian churches. The author is a feminist, pagan-leaning Christian but her historical scholarship is said to be sound.
Richard Feynman SCI QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter Nothing to do with atheism, admittedly. For the science buffs out there.
David Fitzgerald BIB Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All See also his video from Skepticon III! Also available as an essay (PDF!)
Sam Harris ATH Letter to a Christian Nation A thin book directed at Christians, about what the problem is. Afterword.
ATH The End of Faith Why we should end religions.
MOR The Moral Landscape Though the author doesn't spell out a strict moral code created by science, he at least proves that such a code can exist.
ThePantsParty says Practical Ethics is much better, though.
Steven Hawking SCI The Grand Design How the universe came to be, without a creator. A small book explaining M-theory and related cosmology in layman's terms.
If you don't want to buy the book, at least watch A Universe From Nothing!
Christopher Hitchens ATH God Is Not Great: How Religion poisons everything Hitchens' classic rant against religion.
Dromedary Hump ATH Atheist Camel Chronicles A collection of 2-page articles on a wide variety of atheist debate topics.
Robert Ingersoll BIB Some Mistakes of Moses Debunking the Old Testament.
This is a classic, over 100 years old. Here's the text online.
Craig James ATH The Religion Virus: Why We Believe in God An Evolutionist Explains Religion's Incredible Hold on Humanity
William James SCI Varieties of Religious Experience James was a psychologist/philosopher/physician who studied the effects of religious experience from a purely psychological standpoint. It was written in 1901, so there isn't the access to neuroscience to add to the argument, but James makes some very interesting/damning observations. I read it six or seven years ago and I can honestly say it helped start me out on my way from a life of faith, even though he states it is not intended to be damning, simply objective. (Recommendation by coversherinclubsauce)
John Loftus ATH The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails A collection of writings by experts on aspects of various fields of research that refute Christian ideas. See my mini-review.
Lawrence Krauss SCI A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than NothingAn explanation of science's current best understanding of how the universe came to be from not being. See also his popular video talk on the same subject!
Michel Onfray ATH Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam A philosopher's scathing indictment of the Abrahamic religions, with a lot of atheist history.
John Allen Paulos ATH Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up Very concise, excellent resource for countering common theist arguments.
Philip Pullman FIC His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass) Fiction with strong atheist overtones: The Church is not the good guys. A children's story for adults from an atheist author.
FIC/BIB The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Myths) Fictional spin-off from the Jesus story, with some twists that make it unkind toward the "official" story.
Bertrand Russell ATH All of his books as listed by Amazon Sorry to say, I haven't read any of his books. I did read (and recommend!) Why I Am Not A Christian (speech).
Carl Sagan ATH/SCI The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark About UFOs, alien abductions and many other irrational beliefs held by people ignorant of science. With very thoughtful social commentary.
ATH/SCI Lots of references to other books of his in this post.
SCI Cosmos Free ebook!
Robert Sheaffer BIB Making of the Messiah: Christianity and Resentment Jesus the bastard child turns blasphemer, is hung on a pole till dead, and stays that way.
Peter Singer MOR Practical Ethics A highly recommended introduction to various moral frameworks, especially Preference Utilitarianism, with examples concerning many important modern-day topics.
Al Stefanelli ATH A Voice of Reason in an Unreasonable World:
The Rise of Atheism on Planet Earth
A cordial and passionate explanation of why atheism is gaining, and why it had better win! Insightful exposure of the Christian Right in the USA. See my mini review.
Victor Stenger ATH/SCI God: The Failed Hypothesis.How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
CJ Werleman ATH God Hates You, Hate Him Back: Making Sense of The Bible


SCI The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer. An explanation of the psychology behind beliefs strongly held in the face of conflicting evidence
BIB The Brick Testament "Interesting" Bible excerpts, irreverently illustrated with Legos.
BIB The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire A classic book, full text! Christianity treated in chapters 15/16.
SCI Free evolution book downloads Featured on the Richard Dawkins Foundation site.
BIB Evil Bible "Fighting against immorality in religion."
ATH The Necessity of Atheism A solid atheist book by D.M. Brooks.
BIB New Testament Problems
BIB Old Testament Problems
BIB Online Parallel Bible Many versions of the Bible for each verse, plus standard explanatory comments.
BIB The Skeptic's Annotated Bible Summary of Bible errors, contradictions, etc.
ATH Why I Am Not A Christian by Richard Carrier. 4 reasons why God as described by Christianity doesn't make sense.

In the queue

See also: thecrayonleague's excellent atheist book suggestions.

changed January 9, 2013