For part 1 of my book recommendations, I have decided to list the non-fiction books that helped me question my original beliefs even though these have little to no direct connection to Mormonism.
In other words, I don’t believe these are “anti” anything.
In listing books here I’m not even saying that I agree with 100% that is written inside, but they did challenge me to think. They opened my eyes to a way of thinking about facts and the world around me that I hadn’t encountered before. A couple of the authors included here are well-know atheists but I found these particular books to be their earlier or less confrontational writings.
These would be books that you won’t have to read covertly as a Mormon, or books that peers of mine have certainly read and come to different conclusions (in other words, they stayed Mormon); but they challenged me to question that world.
In order from most innocuous to more challenging:
- The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
- Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman
- The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Adrienne Koch and William Peden
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
- The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James
- Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond
- How We Know What Isn’t So, Thomas Gilovich
- 1984, George Orwell
- A History of God, Karen Armstrong
- Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life, Stephen Jay Gould
- Unweaving the Rainbow, by Richard Dawkins
- The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, Richard Feynman
- Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer
- Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan
- The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine