Q: I want to get my nephew (who is 15) a Bible for Christmas but I don’t know which one to buy. I went to the bookstore the other day and just got confused because there were so many choices. Do you have any suggestions? — E.K.
A: My first suggestion is not to buy him a bible. The stories of the bible were borrowed from other cultures, the authors are not known, and their historical accuracy is very much in doubt. They advocate violence, cruelty, racism and misogyny, and many of the stories contradict each other. It is not a good book. I will recommend a short list of books that I’ve enjoyed in several categories.
Science & Non Fiction
- Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by Donald Prothero
- Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould
- The Physics of Baseball by Robert K. Adair
- Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America by Jonathan Gould
- 1969: The Year Everything Changed by Rob Kirkpatrick
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Alienist by Caleb Carr
- Sherlock Holmes novels by Arthur Conan Doyle
- L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy (much better than the movie!)
- A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge
- Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
- The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Blood Music by Greg Bear
Then there is always my recommended Reading List of books about freethought and rejecting faith.
Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.