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user 4143008
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 122
Hey everyone! A number of people have expressed interest in doing an SDNA book club. I thought we might use this forum to discuss what we'd like to read and when and where we'd like to meet. Once we have some book suggestions, we can use a poll to choose the first book, and another to choose the time and day of week for meetings.

Or, if someone would like to host, it might be fun to have a potluck get-together to talk about our book club ideas and get to know each other. We can even bring some of our favorite books to share.

Please chime in with your suggestions for books and places to meet!


And to start us off, here's a rather long list of book suggestions from earlier book club discussions:

Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby
Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan
The Compassion Instinct by Keltner, Marsh and Smith
The Chalice and The Blade by Riane Eisler
Sum by David Eagleman

How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God and Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time also by Michael Shermer
The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason and God: The Failed Hypothesisby Victor J. Stenger
Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse by Jared Diamond
Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith by Sam Harris
God is not Great and The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens

The Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
Religion is Not About God by Loyal Rue
Freedom Evolves by Daniel C. Dennett
The Tangled Wing by Melvin Connor

The God Part of the Brain by Mathew Alper
Atheism, A Very Short Introduction by Julian Baggini
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller
50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison

Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking by Thomas Kida
Natural Atheism by David Eller
Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren
The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion by Robert Spencer
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife

Sense and goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism by Richard Carrier
Simple Heuristics that make us Smart by Gerd Gigerenzer, Peter M. Todd, and the ABC Research Group
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins
A Secular Age by Charles Taylor


Rainbow's End: a novel with one foot in the future by Vernor Vinge
Ham On Rye - Bukowski
Leaves of Grass - Whitman
Out of Touch - Tietz
The 19th Wife
50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison
Under the Dome by Stephen King
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
36 Arguments for the Existence of God (a Work of Fiction) by Rebecca Goldstein
San Diego, CA
Post #: 1
I'm in! There are lots of great ideas on that list. I liked "the 19th Wife" a lot, and I have heard great things about "36 Arguments for the Existence of God". Also interested in reading "Guns, germs, and Steel," and many of the others look worthwhile.
Others on my list:
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Overdiagnosed by Shannon Brownlee
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
These are just a few--I have a bunch of "business-y" books on my need-to-read list as well.
I am happy to host a meeting if it's a convenient location. We live in La Jolla. --Val
A former member
Post #: 32
I'm with Val on Guns, germs & steeel, or Jared Diamond's other works. also anything that illuminates comparative religion, mythology, and philosopy from a scholarly point of view. As a non-believer I still think there's much insight into the human condition to be found in the "mythological" or reiligous traditions of all cultures.
I have time to read now, sign me up for some profound amateur reading and thinking.
San Diego, CA
Post #: 4
Can I suggest "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are divided by politics and religion," by Jonathan Haidt? I don't agree with everything in the book, and I think some people in the group will probably hate it, but I thought it had some really interesting ideas we should probably be familiar with.
A former member
Post #: 9
Here's my list. And I tryed to keep it as short as possible.
Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman
Doubt: a history (the great doubters and their legacy of innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson) by Jennifer Michael Hecht
Misquoting Jesus: the story behind who changed the Bible and why by Bart D. Ehrman
The evolution of the idea of God by Grant Allen
Secret origins of the Bible by Tim Callahan
Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms
Lost History: the enduring legacy of Muslim scientists, thinkers and artists by Michael Morgan
The Day the Universe changed by James Burke
Galileo's daughter by Dava Sobel
the power of myth by Joseph Campbell
Discarded Science; ideas that seemed good at the time... by John Grant
Lies my teacher told me: everything your American history textbook got wrong by James Loewen
God the failed Hypothesis: how science shows God does not exist by Victor Stenger
How we know what isn't so: the fallibility of human reason in everyday life" by Thomas Gilovich
Nonsense on stilts by Massimo Pigliucci
The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions" by David Quammen.
How to think about Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age" by T. Schick and L. Vaughn.
Voodoo Science: the road from Foolishness to Fraud” by Robert Park
The Existence of God by Wallace I. Matson
The Problem of God: A short introduction by Peter A. Angeles
A former member
Post #: 128
I'd be happy to host any of these book discussions, my only problem seems to be venue. I wanted to post an event for "Guns, Germs and Steel" but trying to procure a location to talk was becoming a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. I usually like libraries to have book discussions because:

1) They're much quieter than restaurants and you don't have to deal with noise/conversations from other patrons
2) I don't want anyone to feel obligated to have to pay to discuss a book. With the economy the way it is, I sympathize with those who don't have the funds available to have dinner every time we have a book discussion, and
3) When people are focused on the topic at hand rather than eating/ordering, etc... the discussions are much more interesting and are easier to keep on topic.

Finding libraries as of late that have private meeting rooms (for free) and are available (they tend to fill up quickly) is the challenge. It would be great if our group had its own personal space that we could use for any event we want. Anyone here independently wealthy and can buy us a building to use for discussions, parties, movies nights, etc...? Anyone?

Failing that, anyone have any ideas for venues? I'm open to suggestions. smile
user 4143008
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 124
Perhaps a coffee/bread shop might work. I've been to discussions at Pannikin in Del Mar. Are there centrally located coffee shops that would be appropriate for a discussion?
Elaine B.
user 31756662
San Diego, CA
Post #: 12
Annette, regarding venue...I wonder if any prospective Book Club participants are veterans? if so, maybe a military museum or vfw facility would have a small meeting space they would be willing to share. Just a thought. I am wondering also if any of the local rec centers have spaces for this kind of use. It is disappointing that there are so few options for non-consumer-oriented meeting spots!
San Diego, CA
Post #: 7
My home is available as a meeting place for discussion.
A former member
Post #: 1
I've checked with the North Park Rec Center and they have a good-sized room available on Thursdays. I'd need to talk to the Director to make more specific plans (which Thursday each month) so please let me know if this is how the group would like to go. Only drawback is that we would have to be out by 8 pm.
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