Despite the fact that most scientific skeptics do not find themselves formerly associated with a religion, this time of year tends to nonetheless bring out the giving spirit in many of us. Although Tom Flynn wouldn’t approve, many of us secularly celebrate Christmas, or Kwanza, or Festivus, or the Solstice, or Hanukkah, or just like to give presents because it’s fun. With that in mind, I’ve linked below some potential gifts that many a person reading this might want to either give or receive. Each is (in part or whole) the work of one of the Skeptic Ink Network’s fine writers, so you’re not just giving a great gift, you’re helping out a great person.
First up (because, you know, I’m the one writing this) are my two latest books:
Published this past summer, each is a stand-alone introduction to some of the most widespread and costly mental health problems that we as a country face: anxiety and mood disruptions. They were written with both professionals and laypersons in mind, meaning they are easily readable but still comprehensive in their coverage of common problems such as major depression, generalized anxiety, phobias, bipolar disorder, and more. They also cover evidence-based treatment options for each disorder, with a further readings in case you need to learn more. And, they are available across a wide-range of platforms and even in good old fashioned paper! See more and buy on Amazon here.
Next up is my UK SINner Johno Pearce, of the A Tippling Philosopher blog. JP is both an accomplished writer and a publisher, so he has lots of offerings. Probably of the most relevance would be two recent publications from JP’s Onus Books imprint: The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View by Aaron Adair (Amazon link; I reviewed it here) and Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity plus God equals Folly by James Lindsay (Amazon link; video about the book here). In addition, in the spirit of the season, JP himself has a book entitled The Nativity: A Critical Examination (Amazon link; hear a podcast with JP discussing the book here) that does a very thorough job collating the various scholarship on aspects of the Nativity story that we are familiar with (and yet, which doesn’t actually appear in any of the gospels).
Noted philosopher and author Russell Blackford, who writes the Hellfire Club here on SIN, has had a slew of books come out to acclaim in the past few years. His most recent is 50 Great Myths about Atheism (Amazon link; review here), which concisely examines some untrue beliefs about atheists and non-belief, and has been given high endorsements by the likes of Richard Dawkins and Peter Singer. I would also thoroughly recommend his book Freedom of Religion and the Secular State (Amazon link; reviews here and here), especially if you have an interest in the intersection of politics with religion and why having secular states unbeholden to a particular belief system is in the best interests of everyone. Or, if you are more interested in some light reading, Russell also has a number of fiction books, including Kong Reborn (in which King Kong is cloned; Amazon link)!
Nicholas Covington over at Hume’s Apprentice also has some works he’s authored, as well. He has the extended essay “Extraordinary Claims, Extraordinary Evidence, and the Resurrection of Jesus” available on Amazon, as well as the book Atheism and Naturalism.
And, if you’re just too broke to buy anything but still have access to a printer and ink, you could always just make and hand out these amazing Carl Sagan / Skeptic Ink papercrafts!