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The Book List

I’ve been tagged by olly over at 10,000 Reasons to Doubt the Fish. So here is my book list:

1. A book that changed your life

There were two, actually. The first was "Wealth Without Risk" by Charles Givens. His strategies are simple common sense in terms of saving money and investing. But, being in a church where you could not accumulate any assets (the church owned everything, including my house and car), this book made me realize I could not raise a family that way, and I would never have control over my life under those circumstances. This book, more than any other, convinced me to leave the church. This was especially true because after I confronted the church leadership about the members’ lack of financial solvency, I saw that they didn’t care. They were only concerned that people keep donating their money and their labor.

The second book was "The Age of Spiritual Machines" by Ray Kurzweil. It made me understand in astounding detail the physical nature of our existence and experience–including all so-called religious experience.

2. A book you’ve read more than once

"The Age of Spiritual Machines" by Ray Kurzweil

3. A book you’d want on a desert island

Anything that helped me deal with food, water, and poisonous insects/snakes.

4. A book that made you giddy

"The Complete Far Side" by Gary Larson

5. A book you wish that had been written

A foolproof book on facts and the methods of empiricism that was so compelling, it was impossible to continue to believe in any supernatural nonsense after reading it.

6. A book that made you sob

"American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story" by Cynthia True. This fascinating book details the rise and fall of a brillliant iconoclast comic. He toured the nation tirelessly, excoriating religion and politics alike. He lived a lonely life on the road, and only found love a very short time before the end. He was cut down too soon by pancreatic cancer at the age of 34. What made me sob was the irony of the death of someone who was so talented he was literally about to change the world. He would have been bigger than Robin Williams, Lenny Bruce, or Richard Pryor. And he was saying all the right things in a way that was undeniable. He performed until a couple of weeks before he died. The world is a worse place without him.

7. A book you wish had never been written

All scripture. Claiming divine inspiration for any writing or speech is the most despicable fraud imaginable.

8. A book you’re currently reading

"Why God Won’t Go Away" by Andrew Newberg

9. A book you’ve been meaning to read

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins

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Comments (2 comments)

Aaron Kinney / October 4th, 2006, 4:43 pm / #1

Bill Hicks was a motherfucking hero. The prog-rock band TOOL has given him tribute multiple times in their various albums and works.

BlackSun / October 4th, 2006, 6:02 pm / #2

Aaron: Fuck, yeah! Love the monologue in “Third Eye” that’s what first got me into Bill Hicks 5 years ago.

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