Book Review: The Best Nonreligious Quotes Ever by Christine Pierce and Kevin Reedy October 16, 2008

Book Review: The Best Nonreligious Quotes Ever by Christine Pierce and Kevin Reedy

If ever a title explained the book, this certainly fits the bill:

The Best Nonreligious Quotes Ever by Christine Pierce and Kevin Reedy is a compilation of quotations on the topics of hope, love, purpose, kindness, death, etc.

Unlike other quotation collections on those subjects, none of the statements in this book mention or refer to God.

It’s refreshing to see intelligent and memorable lines that you can cite in a speech or essay — all of which are secular.

Even better is that the collection quotes outspoken atheists (Richard Dawkins, Salman Rushdie) and atheist bloggers (Greta Christina, Noell Hyman) along with the usual celebrities (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aristotle, Warren Buffett).

This is a book that’ll be even better in a couple years when a newer, larger edition comes out.

In the meantime, it’s a nice little collection of several hundred quotations. You can see some samples here as well as more about the authors — two people who ended up with Master’s degrees in Theology before deciding they were non-religious 🙂

The book can be purchased at their site and Amazon.

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  • Thank you for listing me as one of the bloggers/quote-contributers. It was a nice little surprise to find myself quoted. =)

    The book is a lot of fun to pop open and browse–it’s a nice balance between inspiring and funny. And what a relief not to have to look beyond all the god-related quotes to find something applicable.

  • Amy

    I’m totally getting this book. I always look for inspirational books without the religious claptrap. It’s irritating how inspirational=religious in popular culture. Thanks for the heads up Hemant!

  • T’s Grammy

    Must buy. Love quotes, love books, hate Godstuff.

  • Nick

    I remember a book that was filled to the brim with stories with God in nearly every one of them. Had to keep myself from writing in the margins “I don’t care about God in the story! You can believe in a power, but you don’t have to put in a story where God is the central figure in each one!!!” And it wasn’t even a religious-leaning book…..

  • I too am tired of how inspirational quotes and tales are usually always presented with a religious slant.

    One example that really irritates me is about a story told by Douglas Adams. It occurs in one of his books (I’m pretty certain that it’s Arthur Dent who tells it to Fenchurch) but Adams also confirmed that it is an actual event from his own life.

    I’ll try to retell the story first, before explaining what happens with it that bothers me, as it’s a good one. As far as I can recollect, he says that he was sitting at a table, waiting for a train. Across from him sat a man whom he didn’t know. Adams had bought a packet of cookies and a newspaper and placed the items on the table in front of him. He was reading the newspaper when he noticed how the man across from him opened the package of cookies, reached in, took a cookie and ate it.

    Now, being a real, red-blooded Englishman, Adams couldn’t very well be so bold as to draw any attention to the fact that he had observed the man blatantly eat his cookie. Instead he just ignored the whole event, reached in himself (trying to act casual about the fact that the package was already opened), took a cookie and ate it.

    The man across from him responded in kind and ate another cookie from the pack. Again Adams pretended like he hadn’t even noticed, reached in and took another cookie. So it went, back and forth until they had eaten all the cookies. Soon after the man stood up and left.

    A little while after that, Adams was leaving to catch his train. When he stood and took his newspaper from the table he noticed _his_ cookies sitting in their unopened packet on the table. He had placed his newspaper over them without even noticing, and the man sitting across from him just happened to have a packet of cookies of the same kind. Adams had been eating the other man’s cookies all along, and he didn’t say anything either.

    I love the story, because when I’ve been to England that really IS the sense that I get from real Englishmen. They can really be _that_ civil and courteous. As a boy I once ran almost full speed into a man standing still reading a newspaper on a sidewalk in London, since I didn’t look where I was going, and he apologized to me…

    Anyway, I love Adams’ story. But I’ve seen it several times in a way that I do not appreciate. I’ve seen it on several Christian websites, but with a woman waiting for an airplane instead of Adams waiting for a train. And every time they claim this as a true story, don’t attribute it to Adams, and claim that the story is some sort of proof of God’s love (apparently everything is proof of God’s love). That just bothers me.

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