Recommended Reading

Books have been essential to my growth as a human being and a humanist,  helping me to escape credulity and embrace philosophy, and increasing my understanding and appreciation of human society and what it means to be human.  This is a list of books which have, in the past six years, helped me the most. It is subject to change (pruning or additions) in the future.

Science and Skepticism

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind, V.S. Ramachandran
Universe on a T-Shirt, Dan Falk
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal
A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
Darwin's Ghost, Steve Jones
Evolution for Everyone, David Sloan Wilson

Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology, Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler
The Age of Absurdity, Michael Foley

Consuming Kids: the Commercialization of Childhood, Susan Linn
Bowling Alone: the Decline and Revival of American Community; Robert D. Putnam
Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities, Jeff Mapes
The Green Metropolis: How Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainasbility, David Owen
Walkable City: How Downtown is Saving America, One Step at a Time, Jeff Speck
In Praise of SlownessCarl Honoré.  I'm reluctant to include this on the list because it is uncritical of homeopathy, but the section on medicine is only one in an otherwise strong book.
American Mania: When More Isn't Enough, Peter Whybrow
The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederich Engels

Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
African Exodus, Christopher Stringer
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann
Theories for Everything: An Illustrated History of Science, various authors.
Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages, Joseph and Frances Gies
The History of Science (On the Shoulders of Giants)  series by Ray Spangenburg and Diane Kit Moser.

On Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau
The Consolations of Philosophy, Alain de Botton
To Have or to Be?, Erich Fromm
The Art of Living, Sharon Lebell (interpretation of Epictetus' Handbook)
The Emperor's Handbook, translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.
A Guide to the Good Life: the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, William B. Irvine
The Art of Happiness and Ethics for a New Millenium, the Dalai Lama
Dhammapada, Max Müller, annotated by Jack Macguire