Atheism and freethought Books suggestions dump
#1
Request everyone to spare a few seconds and list out your favourite books on topics related to freethought, atheism, hard-science and popular science on this thread. There are many excellent non-indian sites with great suggestions and reading lists, but there remains a need of books relevant for indian freethinkers.

Note: You may use amazon for reviews and Indians may use flipkart to order the book.

Here is my list:

Already read/reading:

1. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Atheism and scientific temper, one of the all time best sellers

2. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Chin up and admire the clarity, depth and flamboyance of Sagan. A life
changing must-gift for any kid.

3. Devaru by AN Murthy Rao
written originally in Kannada, english translation also available

4. Unweaving the Rainbow
By Richard Dawkins
Not my favorite but a determined defense of the beauty of science

5. The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen
Not the most eloquent but must read for every Indian freethinker (or not!)

6. Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani
Great great piece by entrepreneur extraordinaire. A brief perspective of india after independence and what lies in store for India ahead

7. India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha
Magisterial one stop account of India, after gandhi. 800 page thriller, still reading.

8. The origin of species by Charles Darwin
Still reading.

My future reading wish list.

1. The portable atheist, essential readings for the non believer by Christopher hitchens

2. Newton's principia for the common reader by S Chandrasekhar

3. Oxford book of modern science writing by Richard Dawkins

4. Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru

5. The Grand Design by L Mlodinow and Stephen Hawking

More of my not-so-updated-not-so-comprehensive flipkart wishlist may be viewed here: http://www.flipkart.com/wishlist/murthymail-6529
Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#2
Another parallel thread with suggestions for Indian writing can be viewed here: http://nirmukta.net/Thread-Books-by-Indian-Atheists-and-Freethinkers
Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#3
End of Faith by Sam Harris

Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan

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#4
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins

Contact - Carl Sagan

Surely You Are Joking, Mr. Feynman - Richard Feyman

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond

The Language Instinct - Steven Pinker

Consciousness Explained - Dan Dennett
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#5
Contact- Carl Sagan.

Beyond the Good and Evil- Frederich Nietzsche

The God Market-Meera Nanda.
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#6
Evolution 101: Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne, Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer
World History 101: The Human Story by James Davis
Human Nature: The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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#7
A few more to this great list:

1. 80 Questions to Understand India (MA Baig) Note however that the author does seem biased at times and he isn't really what one would call a "freethinker". However, as long as you have your bullshit filter on, you will be able to enjoy his collection of questions and his answers to them. Questions include, "Did the Mahabharata really take place?".

2. Identity and Violence - The Illusion of Destiny (Amartya Sen)
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#8
This is a great list, i have many titles now for my future reading

My Additions -

God Is Not Great - by Christopher Hitchens (He gives a taste of various Totalitarian Regimes and also whistles through the Indian version of the Ku Klux Klan, his interpretation of the few incidents during hte freedom struggle and a good critic of Gandhi)

Nasthikanaaya Daivam - (Malayalam Version (not translation) of The God Delusion by C Ravichandran. A Study on the thoughts of Richard Dawkins)

Kovoorinte Thiranjetutha Kruthikal (Selected Works of Kovoor) - Translated by Joseph Edamaruku

Gods, Demons and Spirits - Dr. Kovoor
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#9
I THINK "NASTHIKANAYA DAIVAM " IS TERRIFIC..NOW A DAYS HE SEEN IN CHANNELS TOO...REMEMBER HE DESTROYS RAHUL ESWAR IN DEBATE....KEEP IT UP
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#10
Here's a listing of highly recommended non-fiction books. Quoting the Guardian:

Quote:After keen debate at the Guardian's books desk, this is our list of the very best factual writing, organised by category, and then by date.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/14/100-greatest-non-fiction-books

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#11
A few suggestions. Kindly forgive if previously mentioned.
1. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Uses reason and common sense to deconstruct the myth that is organized religion.
2. God is not Great: How religion poisons everything by Hitchens. A polemical diatribe with a subtle undercurrent of history,wit and charm that exposes the sham of religion. Perhaps the antithesis to the God Delusion in terms of approaching the matter.
3.The New Atheism by Victor J. Stenger. I wouldn't recommend this one particularly, but it deals well with a section that creationists keep touting: the fine tuning of physical constants. Also deals with recent cults like Scientology and Mormonism.
4. The Atheist Manifesto by Michel Onfray. An excellent read! Covers a fine selection of earlier atheists and examines briefly religion through a Nietzschian lens. Also defends the position of atheism strongly.
5. Jesus Potter Harry Christ by Derek Murphy. Examines two "myths" side by side and explains how elements of one story are based in the other. This book is not a staunch opposition of religion.
"It's alright, I rarely meet anyone who's able to read it properly. Although personally, I never thought that it to be an odd of a name. Once I give people the pronunciation, they tend to remember my name by easily associating me with it. A unique face, a unique moniker."
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#12
Here's a useful reading resource for all India-watchers and activists, online and on-ground, wishing to stay up to speed on issues of public policy and socio-politico-economic trends in India.

The web edition of Seminar: The Monthy Symposium is well worth visiting regularly.

I had picked up this anthology "Indian Persuasions 50 years of SEMINAR" a couple of years ago, and today find much of the writing in there quite relevant and some of the writing almost prophetic. Articles prior to 1995 are not available in he online version and thus that book definitely has bonus materials.
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