The best books on Atheism, recommended by Susan Jacoby

The main reason for the survival of religion is not a desire to live a better life, but our fear of death, says atheist author and independent scholar Susan Jacoby. Here she recommends five books she considers essential to “understanding the merits of atheism.”

The best books on Humanism, recommended by Andrew Copson

Humanist ideas are not a recent phenomenon, but have been around for millennia, says Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanists UK. He explains why it’s worth making a positive choice to be a humanist and recommends a great humanist reading list.

The best books on God, recommended by Anthony Gottlieb

The philosopher and former executive editor of The Economist, Anthony Gottlieb, discusses religion and suggests that belief in God only truly declines in a society when economic development brings existential security.

The Best Nietzsche Books, recommended by Brian Leiter

Relativist, atheist, existentialist, Nazi. All have been said of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, some with more reason than others. In 2011, we asked Nietzsche expert Brian Leiter to explain the appeal of the controversial philosopher and to recommend books by and about him. In September (2020) our philosophy editor, Nigel Warburton, asked Brian about some of the latest Nietzsche books, notable works that have come out in the decade since we first spoke to him.

The best books on The Emergence of Understanding, recommended by Peter Atkins

Science is the only way to make sense of the world around us and the scientific method the only way to establish truth, says Peter Atkins, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. Author of several chemistry textbooks as well as many popular science books, he recommends books that track the evolution of our understanding about the world around us, starting with an anthology of sacred texts and ending with Shakespeare.