“Likely to remain the definitive book on the subject”: Amazon Review of “Coming Out Atheist”

Got a nice customer review on Amazon for Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why! Five stars out of five. (In fact, the book now has 16 customer reviews — and 14 of them are five stars out of five, with one four-star review!) Here’s what Brian had to say:

Likely to remain the definitive book on the subject

As followers of her blog and readers of her earlier excellent book “Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off The Godless” will know, Greta Christina has a beautifully clear, conversational writing style. Her writing is a pleasure to read, both for that easy style and because she has a talent for organizing her thoughts on a topic into a clear progression.

“Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How To Help Each Other, And Why” has those sterling qualities, and also another which was hinted at in “Why Are You Atheists So Angry” but which truly comes out in this one: when Greta Christina decides to sink her teeth into a subject, she is *thorough* about it. This is a comprehensive treatment of the subject.

Beginning with the “Why?” of doing it and continuing with an array of practical “How” strategies, not only does she give a compassionate and nuanced discussion of the pros and cons of coming out in the general, but also in the many specifics: she discusses coming out in relatively atheist-friendly places, and in religiously conservative places, in outright theocracies both official and unofficial, at work, in schools, and at home, to immediate family, extended family, friends and even complete strangers. She pays attention to arenas with particular issues, such as clergy who have become atheist, atheists in the military, in healthcare, and others. She has gathered and sifted through literally hundreds of individual stories from several countries and all manner of situations, and she has listed and organized these stories to illustrate both the commonalities and the differences.

The book is organized such that a person can zero in quickly on her or his own situation, to a startling degree of specificity, or read through the entire spectrum to gain an overview. Because of that dual purpose there is necessarily some repetition of advice and description, but the keen notice she gives to how individual circumstances can alter cases prevents the text from becoming boring (at least, I was not bored reading through all the variations).

Nowhere does the author become dogmatic or claim that there is any one right way to come out: in fact, she does not even insist that coming out is necessarily for everyone, and makes particular note of circumstances where it may be better not to do so, or to delay doing so, or to do so in stages. She does note that the overwhelming majority of atheists who do come out are glad they did so (in fact, while many regretted particular aspects of how they did it, only one out of the hundreds expressed regret at the *fact* of having come out), and is encouraging of closeted atheists to come out, but she emphasizes the personal nature of the decision, telling her audience not to allow themselves to be stampeded into it and definitely not to force others out. Her advice on the process is practical and realistic: have your personal and financial ducks in a row to the extent possible, be aware that it is difficult to stay only partially out for long, come out in a controlled way on your schedule rather than in a crisis if possible, and other such clear-headed advice is presented again and again with an eye on how those realities differ by situation. There are no blueprints here, but rather guidelines the person considering coming out can adapt to his or her own particular needs, with an abundance of examples of how others did it well or badly.

Greta Christina is of course one of the most active members of the atheist community at large, and as the subtitle says she does not neglect to provide advice to atheists who want to help others through the transition. As she did in “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” she provides a comprehensive resource guide at the end of the book to help both the individuals seeking to come out and those who want to be of help to them.

The reason I chose to entitle this review as I did is that while I am sure others can, should, and will provide their own take on the subject, this book is so well done and so comprehensive that I believe it will remain the standard against which others of the same stamp will be measured, and that it will measure up very well against any others which do come along.

Finally, I’ll express the hope that this book will become obsolescent to an increasing degree as being openly atheist becomes a norm. There will probably always be a need for some atheists to seek advice on this process of coming out, but I believe the day is coming when it will be a very common happening, and largely unremarkable.

“Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How To Help Each Other, And Why” is a remarkable and valuable tool which will hasten that day considerably, and I recommend it highly to everyone interested in the process of coming out atheist.

Thanks, Brian! And if any of you have read Coming Out Atheist, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.


Here, by the way, is ordering info for the book in all three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook!

Coming Out Atheist cover 150
Ebook edition:

The Kindle edition is available on Amazon. (That’s the link for Amazon US, btw — it’s available in other regions as well.)

The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.

The Smashwords edition is available on Smashwords. Right now, it’s only available on Smashwords in epub format: I’m working to make it available in other formats.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $9.99.

Print edition:

The print edition is now available through Powell’s Books.

The print edition is also available at Amazon. However, be advised (if you haven’t been already) that seriously abusive labor practices have been reported at Amazon warehouses. Please bear that in mind when you’re deciding where to buy my book — or indeed, where to buy anything. (For the records: Powell’s employees are unionized.) Again, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.

You can also buy the print edition at your local bookstore. If they don’t currently carry it, you can special order it. (Bookstores can get it from standard wholesalers; wholesale info is below.) Support your local bookstore!

The print edition is $17.95 USD. It is published by Pitchstone Publishing.

Wholesale sales of the print edition:

Bookstores and other retailers can get the book from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and other standard wholesale distributors. It can also be purchased directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing.

Audiobook edition:

The audiobook version is available on Audible.

The audiobook is also available through Amazon.

The audiobook is also available through iTunes.

And yes, I did the recording for it!

“Likely to remain the definitive book on the subject”: Amazon Review of “Coming Out Atheist”
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2 thoughts on ““Likely to remain the definitive book on the subject”: Amazon Review of “Coming Out Atheist”

  1. 1

    An especially happy sight in my mailbox today: a vinyl pony vinyl figure, dichondra seeds to replace my grass lawn, and Greta’s latest book. I smiled and giggled and the fun cover art in the similar style to your previous excellent book. Whee!

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