I have a new feature for The Atheist’s Quill. At the moment, I am calling it Books in the Atheist’s Point of View Queue. Or maybe…Books in the APOV Queue. That’s rather long, isn’t it? How about just…
The APOV Queue
The idea is that not all books I read are by atheists or feature an atheist theme. So, I don’t often get time to read all the books I do want to read that are a good fit for this blog. Thus, the lack of content.
So, I thought, rather than wait for me to read and tell you what I did or didn’t like about a book (those reviews will come, I swear, they will), I thought I would list the books that are currently on my radar. If I have started them, I’ll let you in on my initial thoughts.
Here it goes…
The Atheist’s Prayer by Amy R. Biddle (Feb 2014)
After a solar eclipse, nineteen people were found dead in a remote area of the California National Forest. They were lying in a circle, holding hands and wearing plastic fairy wings. Years later, on the other side of the country, no one in the southern city of Jefferson is concerned about fairies or fairy-worshiping suicide cults.
I started this book and enjoyed the writing, however, I stopped reading about 20% in. It’s a bit of a slow start. We get to meet all the characters individually, and frankly, nothing was happening. It was taking way too long to get to the cults, so I put it down. I may get back to it, maybe not. Maybe you’ll have more patience? Give it a try.
Waking Up, A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris (Sept 2014)
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.
I do plan on reading this one. I started it and was surprised at how honest and open Mr. Harris is with his own spiritual experiences. And while we die-hard skeptics hate to admit it, the human brain is set up to experience something. So, why can’t that something be meaningful to us? While I’m not entirely sure where he is going to end up with this book, I really liked the beginning. Give it a shot.
The Original Atheists: First Thoughts on Nonbelief by S.T. Joshi (Editor)
This is the first anthology ever published to feature the writings of leading eighteenth-century thinkers on the subjects of atheism, religion, freethought, and secularism.
I haven’t had a chance to crack this one open, but I’m very interested in learning what early thinkers thought of the subject of atheism. Though I know many of us do not take our atheism for granted since we are still often listed as the most vilified group on the planet, we have access to the internet, Richard Dawkins, Pat Condel, The Friendly Atheist, and much more. I know secularism is not a new concept, but I wonder just how much harder (or easier) it would have been to be an atheist in a previous era.
Peter’s Out: How the Catholic Church Ends by Albert So (June 2011)
Peter will be the last pope. Born saintly, and a bit odd, the child, the adolescent, the teen, the young man, and the mature adult experience things that eventually infallible people rarely do: Kills a nun, hangs out naked with the other kids, pretends to say mass, deals with, you know, gay people and deconstructs a two-thousand year-old institution.
I started this book some time ago and put it down for some reason. I think it had footnotes. On the ereader I had at the time, it was very annoying. I do remember the beginning being very funny, so I’ll have to get back to this soon.
The Last Dragon Slayer (Deathsworn Arc #1) by Martyn Stanley (Sept 2014)
Saul Karza, wizard of the Empire, has been given a quest by the Empress herself: To find and slay a mythical ‘noble dragon’ – said to be near invulnerable.
I really wanted to like this book, however it starts with a long list of characters. I know I should have just skipped them and jumped into the story, but every time I opened the ebook, I was faced with these characters and it turned me off. It has gotten fairly decent reviews on Goodreads so I do intend to try it again sometime, but before I get to it, maybe you will? Check it out.
God Doesn’t, We Do by James A. Lindsay (Sept 2012)
Does God exist? Does He do anything in this world? Famous authors like Richard Dawkins suggest strongly that it is very unlikely, but how unlikely is it? God Doesn’t; We Do brings James A. Lindsay’s mathematical expertise to the question and is able to put the matter under a microscope only available through an understanding of abstract mathematics…
I did not finish this book. While I agreed with the sentiments and statements in this book, the delivery was a bit too dry for me. I found myself easily distracted when attempting to read this. Maybe I am just not inclined towards abstract math? However, the author does make some compelling arguments on how it is our responsibility to make our world better, because, obviously, god isn’t.
The Insane Journey by Jeffrey Baumgartner
The Insane Journey is a twisted tale about mentally unbalanced men, clever women, a talking penguin and a couple of aliens, all participating in a deadly chase across a desolate, wind-swept Europa that exists in a tomorrow slightly to the left of yours and mine.
I actually read this book, all the way to the (crazy) end. While I think some might find the main character’s antics funny, they seemed rather juvenile to me. I hate conceited main characters and no matter how well written a tale is, if I can’t relate to the main character, then it just won’t connect with me. But maybe it will work for you? Some have described it as similar to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And while I agree it has that same maniac spitfire of events, that’s about all I would
Idolism by Marcus Herzig (May 2014)
A new Pope, a world in social and political chaos, and a young singer and songwriter who has his unbelief tested as his big mouth accidentally propels him towards global superstardom. These are the ingredients of this thought provoking, tongue-in-cheek debut novel.
This is a young adult tale and I just don’t do young adult. In addition, it is not a fantasy, science fiction, or non-fiction book and that’s pretty much all I read. The setting and premise sounds interesting, but not something I want to spend my time on. Maybe you might?
Now tell me, what’s in your APOV reading queue?