Recommended religious/spiritual books

Past book selections chosen
during the second half of 2019

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Previous months' recommendations

The current month's recommended book

Tentatively scheduled selections for future months

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2019-December's selection

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"Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom" (Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society) by Noel D. Johnson and Mark Koyama

Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
U.S. $18.49 in Kindle format!, or
$67.97 in hardcover
plus postage, or
$20.06 in paperback plus postage

Amazon book review:

"Religious freedom has become an emblematic value in the West. Embedded in constitutions and championed by politicians and thinkers across the political spectrum, it is to many an absolute value, something beyond question. Yet how it emerged, and why, remains widely misunderstood. Tracing the history of religious persecution from the Fall of Rome to the present-day, Noel D. Johnson and Mark Koyama provide a novel explanation of the birth of religious liberty. This book treats the subject in an integrative way by combining economic reasoning with historical evidence from medieval and early modern Europe. The authors elucidate the economic and political incentives that shaped the actions of political leaders during periods of state building and economic growth."

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2019-November's selection

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"Religious Delusion" Self published by John Carlshausen

Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
U.S. $4.19 in Kindle format.

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John Carlshausen personal book review:

He stated:

"This book needed to be written. A book about the folly of Religion. Folly is described in the Dictionary as being foolish, lack of sense and unwise conduct. This describes Religion perfectly.

It is foolish to believe there is an invisible friend in the sky called God, who is watching over you and [over] seven billion other people who reside here on Earth.

He is watching over us twenty four hours a day and has been doing this for Centuries.

Anyone who believes this nonsense is being foolish and is definitely lacking common sense. ..."

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Webmaster's comment:

This book is a humorous attack on religion. This web site does not usually include religious attacks. However, we are including this book in our book selection for November for two reasons:

  • We felt that this book would be amusing to many of our site visitors, particularly those who have some negative views towards religion.

  • Also, it should be useful to our religious visitors who attempt to convert non-Christians to Christianity. It might help our visitors to understand the thought processes of other people who have negative views on religion.

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2019-October's selection

Bad Faith

"Bad Faith: A Spiritual Humanist Alternative for Christianity and the West" by Tom Drake-Brockman

Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
U.S. $9.99 in Kindle format, or
$37.52 in hardcover
plus postage, or
$22.00 in paperback plus postage

Amazon book review by Rex A. E. Hunt, Founding Chair, The Common Dreams Conference of Religious Progressives Australia/South Pacific:

"Drake-Brockman's radical, humanistic, Jewish Jesus is provocative. It will challenge as it will be challenged. But the debate is essential for the current Historical Jesus/Early Christianities scholarship, and the overhaul of 'belief-based' Christianity."

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2019-September's selection

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"The Limits of Tolerance: Enlightenment Values and Religious Fanaticism" by Denis Lacorne and C. Jon Delogu

Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
U.S. $19.24 in Kindle format! or
$35.00 in hardcover plus postage.

Book reviews:

  • "I simply don’t know a book on toleration that compares to this one. Denis Lacorne has managed to weave together both an intellectual history of ideas about toleration and a wide-ranging international survey of policies related to it. Theory and practice come together in a very illuminating way and will expand the American reader’s horizon beyond our borders." (Mark Lilla, author of The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)

  • "Living in a religiously tolerant society, Americans no longer understand what the challenge of achieving religious toleration originally meant: learning to coexist with beliefs and practices that one detested. Denis Lacorne begins this critical survey by recalling the great Enlightenment voices for toleration: Locke, Voltaire, and the American founders. But he then examines modern European and American disputes to demonstrate why the struggle for toleration and free exercise remains so problematic ― a fight that never quite ends but that we grasp much better after reading Lacorne's crisp and incisive chapters." (Jack N. Rakove, author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution)

  • "A timely, erudite, and insightful book that sheds light on issues concerning whether and when contemporary democracies should restrict the practices and beliefs of nonmainstream religious and political groups. It is the best book written on this subject to date." (Bruce Cain, author of Democracy More or Less: America’s Political Reform Quandary)

  • "He gives no pat answers, but an implicit lesson runs throughout. Defending toleration is not like protecting a jewel. It takes fixity of aim but also a feel for the changing context, persistence with a task that never ends and readiness to start again. Toleration does gradually spread. It can also suddenly vanish." (The Economist)


2019-August's Book selection

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"Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth," by Mark Hertsgaard

Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
U.S. $9.99 in Kindle format!
$12.59 in hardcover, or U.S. $12.96 in paperback,
plus postage.

Book reviews:

  • " 'Hot' bravely takes aim at perhaps the greatest climate threat of all: apathy." - Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

  • "Hertsgaard's answers . . . are lucid, realistic, and offer reason for hope." - Christian Science Monitor

  • "For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has investigated global warming as a journalist, but the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change was bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard's daughter is part of what he has dubbed 'Generation Hot' -- the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with climate disruption. Drawing on reporting from around the world, 'Hot' is a call to action that injects hope and solutions into a debate characterized by doom and gloom and offers a blueprint for how all of us -- parents, communities, countries -- can navigate an unavoidable new era. Amazon review.

    "[ Hot 's] urgent message is one that citizens and governments cannot afford to ignore." -- Boston Globe


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2019-July's selection

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"The Book of Forgiving" by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
U.S. $1.53 in Kindle format!
19.33 in hardcover, or U.S. $13.59 in paperback,
plus postage.
Also available in Audiobook and Audio CD

Amazon's Book review:

"Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africas Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness -- helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation."

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You might consider getting a Kindle ebook reader app for your PC, Mac computer, Ipad, etc.:

This banner ad has a link to various stand-alone Kindle models sold by
Click on the Kindle picture -- not on the "Shop now" link
you want to add a Kindle to your shopping cart.)

horizontal rule has many millions of movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, and audiobooks available for download into their Kindle eBook reader or Kindle app. In addition, Kindle allows anyone to download the first portion of Kindle-format books for FREE. As of 2015-MAY, stand-alone readers cost from $79 and up. FREE versons of the Kindle app are available for Ipads, PC's, Mac computers, etc.

Benefits to the Kindle:

  • Amazon provides FREE reader apps that you can dowload to your PC, tablet, and many other devices.

  • Various models of Kindles can store from 1,000 to 3,500 books and are more more portable than lugging thousands of books with you.

  • Ebooks can save a lot of money, because eBook versions generally cost significantly less than print versions.

  • Amazon makes a suprisingly large number of books available at no cost. Over a million cost $4.99 or less.

  • Delivery of the books over the Internet is free and almost instantaneous.

  • You don't need to build or expand bookshelves!

  • You don't need to dust off Kindle copies of books!

  • Think of all the trees that would be saved if more people abandoned printed copies!

  • They have a built-in dictionary.

  • They are very light and thinner than a pencil.

  • Many books can be loaned to other Kindle or Kindle app users.

  • Battery life if you use a kindle for 30 minutes a day is 4 weeks.

  • Ebooks have a search function. You can select passages from books and store them in a text file for use by an editor program on a PC or Mac. They have a built-in dictionary to find the meanings of words.

However, beware that some publishers take advantage of buyers, and charge more for the digital versions than for the print versions. We have a policy of not buying such copies.

horizontal rule lists the following books on the topic of spirituality: lists the following books on the topic of religion:

Copyright 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2019-AUG-01
Author: B.A. Robinson

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