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The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
Price: £8.39

5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable collection, 12 May 2014
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Hitchens as done here a wonderful job of collecting here the works of great free-thinkers, rationalists, agnostics and atheists all through the ages. Some of these i was already familiar with yet others were new to me introducing me to some great pieces of writing. This book makes for excellent short reading with each chapter on average being 10-15min long allowing you get a bit of reading done as you await a meal order or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Its very quotable allowing you to quickly look up a counter argument to any theistic argument while also providing some pleasant reading with poetry, novel extracts and short essays. It has my full recommendation to anyone who wishes to join the ranks of the New Atheism movement


Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
Price: £6.59

5.0 out of 5 stars The road back from Damascus, 9 May 2014
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Dan Barker has written an account of his de-conversation from fundamentalist Christianity to atheism. His account presents quite a different read from the usual atheist literature, the reason being that he was once a committed believer and preached the bibles word for 19 years. He really gives you a feeling for what it's like to believe, to feel so certain of something that you can't understand how anyone could doubt its truth. His story is a wonderful one the triumph of reason and human curiosity over dogma and faith. It all begins with small doubts, and once you have begun to read more in areas of science then there is no going back. Excellently written this is a moving and amusing account of a preacher who gave up his faith and is now one of americas leading atheist, working with the Freedom from Religion Foundation he has taken the good word of atheism across the world. My favorite chapter was 'Atheist Adventures' telling of his many adventures since becoming an atheist activist, the many court cases the FFRF took against corruption in religious organisations, the many conferences and conventions held by atheist groups across the world and his mention of numerous clergymen who have lost their faith and come out. It is a powerfully written book and one that really makes me proud to call myself an atheist.


The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason
The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason
Price: £4.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Atheists of the world unite!, 9 May 2014
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Having read some of the books by the Four Horsemen and others on the need to counter religious belief and take a stand for reason i soon found this book on my 'to read' list.

Written by a world class physicist this is a book which shows that the explosion of books advocating atheism in the last decade is not just a few people standing on their own but represents a whole intellectual movement, a new enlightenment, the new atheism
Stenger combines much of the material from his other books and presents an attack on all religious belief. The arguments are the ones usually presented and already covered in depth by other writers such as Dawkins and Hitchens but Stenger adds something extra with his expertise on physics and cosmology showing that the god hypothesis is a totally failed one with no evidence of any cosmic dial turning. The universe works exactly as we would expect it to look without the need of a divine watchmaker, he tears apart the cosmological argument as inconsistent and shows the fine tuning argument is no proof of design. Its a moving book and i hope that it will motivate the more lukewarm atheists who read it to take a more critical approach to religious belief and realize the danger that faith poses to both people and society. I for one am glad to be taking my stand on the side of reason and humanism.


All God Worshippers Are Mad: a little book of sanity
All God Worshippers Are Mad: a little book of sanity
Price: £1.24

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward, witty and logical, 9 May 2014
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This is a short book but a really enjoyable one at that. The author makes his attack not on any one particular religion or any particular belief or any bad history but the very root of religious belief, that being an all creating God, that he answers prayer and demands worship. These are the main beliefs of any religion, you can't be religious if you don't believe in these fundamental things yet as the author so wittily argues the beliefs are once really examined totally insane. It really deconstructs religious belief and examines it in a logical manner to find out the core beliefs and shows that they are highly irrational and that its believers are, well, mad.
Don't let that offend you too much of you are a believer, but you should really look into what it is you say you believe and decide then if its rational. I especially loved the first chapter on God which shows that the whole concept in unimaginable and therefor impossible and destroys the believers usual defense of hiding behind vague language.

Well recommended for anyone though i'm sure it will be more widely read by atheists and agnostics, still i guarantee a good laugh and a clear picture of what it is religious people believe.


Under The Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Under The Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Price: £6.11

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping History, 9 May 2014
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Having already read most of Krakauer's books i was at least left with this one in which he recounts the history of Mormonism and of religions effect on people. The story opens in a small house in Utah county in the 1970's. By the chapters end a young mother is dead, brutally beaten and with a slashed throat, her 15 month old daughter is also dead, her head almost decapitated in a single knife stroke. The killers were members of an off-shoot fundamentalist branch of the Church of latter day Saints, better known as the Mormons. The reason for the murder?
God told them to do it.

Going back to its roots, Krakauer recounts the entire history of the Mormon church. Founded in the early 19th century by a convicted fraudster named Joseph Smith who claimed to have found gold plates inscribed with the history of a lost tribe of Israel. This new religion would grow into a massive beast within a few years. The fascinating thing about the Mormon church is that since it was founded so recently and has plenty of documentation, it allows us to study how a religion starts and how it spreads so easily. Its history is one of persecution, religion bigotry and beliefs which people were willing to die and kill for. Krakauer does not just recount the whole history of Mormonism but also looks into its present day communities. The fundamentalist sections which still practice poligomy, treat their wives and daughters like sexual slaves and await the final judgment when Jesus will return to Missouri and save his chosen people from the end of days. It should be noted this is not an easy read at times, the whole history of Mormonism includes events of terrible slaughter and bigotry as well as the shocking accounts of the fundamentalist communities who's only difference with a Taliban ruled afgan village is that they call god by a different name. Krakauer is at his usual best with a gripping account that keeps you drawn in all through the book, his simple yet dramatic writing style continues to hold readers in such suspense that you'll often forget you reading non-fiction.

I knew next to nothing about Mormonism before i started this book yet now i have a full understanding of its history, a better understanding of how a religion starts and spreads and the dangers of any faith based system that can lead to fundamentalism. Once you start to believe god is talking to you and giving you orders, your capable of almost anything, as the Murder of Brenda and Erica Lafferty shows. It is my hope that this book will serve as another nail in the coffin of religious belief and that it will wake more people up to its dangers.


Chess (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)
Chess (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Mind blowing story!, 24 April 2014
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I purchased this book purely out of curiosity, Once i had cleared my reading list to make room for it and started i could not put it down. It can read in about 2 hours but wow its got to be one of the most crazy stories i've ever read and its all about chess!

The story is about a man who while on a cruise ship journey to south america learns that there is a world class chess champion on board. eager to make his aqraintence yet finding him socially standoffish he decides to start playing chess with the other passengers in the hope of drawing him out and while he does the man takes no interest in a game by these total armatures. But Once a wealthy passenger learns that a world chess champion is on bored he elects to pay the man to play against them. He takes up the offer and of course proves impossible to beat. As all the passengers come to help in trying to beat him they seems totally out of their match until suddenly while in the middle of making their move a stranger stops them. He informs them that their making a bad move and is quickly able to tell them how he will have them in several moves for sure. The best he says they can hope for in this game is a draw.
Taken aback at the sudden appearance of this stranger the rest of the passengers quickly follow his instructions and attain the draw he predicted. Yet when asked latter to step in himself and play the stranger immediately refuses saying he has not played chess in over 15 years. He quickly leaves the room and everyone else in a state of astonishment.

Our main character intrigued by this man go's out to find him on the deck. There after some small talk the stranger agrees to relate his story of how he could be so good at chess, and also frightened, if he has not played in 15 years.
Then follows the bulk of the story and what a story it is!
I won't give the details of it away but trust me when i say you won't be able to put this book down


Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring and tragic story, 24 April 2014
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Here follows the story of someone which every man should aspire to be like. Pat Tillman was known to me for a while, i first leaned about him a number of years ago on a documentary show which briefly mentioned his story, his decision to turn down a massive sporting contract so he could fight for his country and his tragic death in Afghanistan by friendly fire. Yet it was not until recently when i began reading 'Into Thin Air' that a friend also recommended this book that i remembered his story.

Krakauer is at his usual best here with a gripping take that follows this mans whole life and what an inspiring life it was. Right from the start i was struck with admiration for this mans character, his total self-confidence, his loyalty to his friends, his determination to always push himself to his limits, his intellectual side and his compassionate side. Krakauer shows his usual obsession with a story and has charted Pat's whole life as well as the disgusting cover up and campaign of lies by the government after his death. It truly is an odyssey and i felt deeply touched by the story of this man who had the best intentions of the world and always kept to his deepest principles yet was betrayed and used by his government to serve as a 'fallen hero' to drum up support for the war and recruitment. it left me with a sick feeling in my stomach by the books end.
Pat Tillman himself will always serve as an inspiration to me in every walk of life and a person i aspire to be just like.


Love in the Days of Rage
Love in the Days of Rage

4.0 out of 5 stars Poetical and Inspiring, 24 April 2014
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This came recommended from a friend, who described it as his desert island book. I had never before given any though to anarchism or even knew what it was really about but came away from this short book with a real feeling of what the anarchist principles are
Its written in a very poetical form and is not structured in the usual way of a novel so that it really stands out from any novel i've read before. The story is set in Paris at the time of the student strike in 1968 and tells a take of "...love in those days of rage"
It's a very short book and can be read in as little as 2 hours but the story is not easily forgotten. Our main character Annie, an american art teacher working in Paris, meets a mysterious man named Julian Mendes, love blossoms fast yet the country is on the verge of revolution and there is something more to Julian Mendes.

Julian admits to being an anarchist yet he acts alone and does not take to the streets with the students who are in a full on battle with the riot police. Instead he has a bigger mission, one that will bring down the whole bourgeoisie class and usher in a new society. Annie finds herself soon swept up in the tide of events and as their love grows so does the revolution and all the help will be needed to bring it about.

The book may require several readings to fully understand and appreciate yet you'll definitely come away with an idea of what the anarchist ideal is.


Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Scepte 21's)
Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Scepte 21's)
Price: £4.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete and harrowing account, 12 Mar 2014
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If you have ever wished to get a grip on who Kurt Cobain was and what drove him to his suicide then this book has to be read
In a beautiful piece of writing the author has cataloged an entire account of his life from cradle to the grave, from happy childhood memories to the trauma of his parents divorce, from homeless high school dropout to underground rockstar, from stardom to suicide. The authors writing style in incredible giving an almost poetic account of a very emotionally troubled man who would go on to take the world by storm but who's past demons and depression would drive him to end it all.
Be warned this is not an easy read, for the first few days of reading it i found myself overcome by a feeling of sadness for him and how messed up his whole life was that by the end of it my own perspective on life has changed. I somehow feel like his ghost will always follow me now, showing just how low a self destructive behavior and heroin addiction can take you but also what a lowly dropout can accomplish and that sometimes the thing we say we want is not what we really want..

by the books end i felt a desire to cry at the death of an extremely talented and creative artist who came and left us before we could truly know him. i certainly don't feel bad for his suicide and can understand now fully why he did it but as for what really went on in his mind i don't think anyone can ever know.
farewell Kurdt, you finally attained Nirvana.


Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
Price: £5.69

4.0 out of 5 stars The Republic, 13 Oct 2013
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This is quite a read for anyone with an interest in ancient rome or looking to start. first off its not your usual chronological account of the history of the republic but more like an analysis of what the republic and its people were like. that said you will still of course get a very through account of the main events in the republics history and the lead up to its fall introducing you to all the main characters. i found the authors way of giving you an insight into the values rome expected of its citizens which was quite a surprise in some areas giving me a whole different look at rome. well recommended for any study of Rome. my only real disappointment was that the authors does not give much of account of romes early days, rather most of it focuses on the main events leading up to its fall so that is the books main focus how the republic fell and what were the motives of the men behind it.


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