Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Atheist Books Suitable for Gift-Giving

Ohai! It’s another midwinter holiday gift giving season, and you’ve probably got a reader or dozen on your list. Did they give you some titles? Fantastic! Gift giving shall be easy, and if you purchase through this link, you can get your gifties and support ye olde blog, too. No list? No problem! I’ve got you covered with a super-awesome, super-gargantuan guide to many books suitable for secular gifting.

Through the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating our lists with additional titles. Here’s a wonderland of atheist books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!

Image shows a calico kitten leaning up against books on a shelf and biting a slender volume laid over the top of them, as if it's removing the book to read. Caption says, "We should buy this one. I tried out a bunch n this is the chewiest."


Here’s the meaty atheist goodness! Not that the previous books weren’t; this stuff has just got more atheism in it.

Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God by Greta Christina

One of the hardest things anyone can do is cope with the loss of a loved one. Many faiths have a set of rituals and phrases designed to help survivors handle their grief, but there hasn’t been much out there for secular folk. Greta Christina stepped up with this endlessly useful book giving us secular means to deal with loss. Drawing on her own and others’ experiences, she gives plenty of thoughtful, compassionate advice. An essential toolkit for anyone suffering loss. Review here.

Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind by Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola

It may be hard to believe, but the person preaching the Sunday sermon at one of your local churches may be a closet atheist. When your only job experience is as clergy, how hard must it be to come out atheist? What happens to those who can’t? Dan Dennett and Linda LaScola have collected many of their stories. This is THE book to get any member of the clergy who happens to be on your list – y’know, just in case. Review here.

The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion—and Others Should Too by Candace R. M. Gorham LPC

This is a marvelous collection of the stories of black women freethinkers, collected by a former minister. It’s also a series of critical essays on the ways the Black Church harms women. As author Candace Gorham says in her intro: “If the Black Church wants to take credit for all of the good things that happen in the lives of black women, it must also take some of the blame for all of the bad things.” For those who want atheist stories from more than the usual white cis blokes, this is a perfect book. Review here.

The End of God-Talk: An African American Humanist Theology by Anthony B. Pinn

Can you have a theology without the theos? Anthony Pinn explores a godless theology “as a method by which to analyze the human experience.” God is a symbol that has lost its utility. With God out of the way, the Bible joins Tony Morrison’s books and others as literary source material for understanding the human condition. Other forms of art also come into play. Review here.

The Inspirational Atheist: Wise Words on the Wonder and Meaning of Life by Buzzy Jackson

Do you need something light and uplifting for the non-theist on your list? A “Chicken Soup for the Soulless,” as it were, full of inspirational but non-religious quotes from some unusual suspects? Buzzy Jackson thought so, too, so she set out to create this lovely volume. It’s just the thing for those needing a little inspiration and uplift without all the god crap! It even begins with a quote from Janis Joplin. Review here.

The Korihor Argument: A Missionary’s Journey Out of Mormonism by Joseph L. Rawlins

Brace yourselves: this is a ride to apostasy with an ex Mormon Missionary. It begins with realizing he’s wrong about genitals (or the lack thereof) in the afterlife. Perfect for LDS members past, present, and potential! (Just be forewarned: the poor dude still thinks Harris and Dawkins are “great men.” Thankfully, his writing doesn’t reflect their more assholish tendencies.) Review here.

Secular Parenting in a Religious World: Practical Advice for Free-Thinking Parents by Be-Asia D McKerracher

This is a handy guide to non-religious parenting, with advice on how to make kids aware of religion without indoctrinating them. It has advice for fortifying them against other children and adults’ attempts to proselytize. It gives suggestions for navigating common life events where secular and sacred so often collide, such as holidays and funerals. And, since it’s purposely not written as an anti-theist manifesto, you could probably get away with giving it to religious relatives so they can see you’re not raising your kids to be baby-eating devil worshipers. Though they may be upset when the author advocates for children’s freedom to choose (or not) their own religious beliefs… Review here.

What the Fresh Hell is This by Star LaBranche

Look! An atheist book, written by an intersectional feminist! In her debut book of essays and musings, Star LaBranche bars no holds and gives no quarter. She explores the vagaries of recovering from Catholicism, navigating the world as a young atheist, and putting up with an entire table full of right-wing relations for Thanksgiving. She retells the Book of Esther in a style suitable for Really Terrible Bible Stories. She’s also come up with the Nicey Nice Translation of the Bible, which is hilarious. There are Urban Legends for Smug Christians. There’s sound advice for the lonely atheist in religious mileaux. The atheist dudebro is roundly mocked. And there’s some fiction to tide us over when reality just isn’t enough. One of my favorite finds this year! Review here.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Don’t give up! You can find all of the Super-Gargantuan Guides here.

Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Atheist Books Suitable for Gift-Giving

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