In an article for Publishers Weekly, Henry L. Carrigan Jr. rounds up some of the recent/upcoming books about atheism with a sweeping (and welcome) summary: They represent a “shift from argument to lifestyle.”
In other words, they spend less time arguing that God doesn’t exist — the focus of the New Atheists’ bestsellers — and more time explaining what to do after you no longer believe in a Higher Power:
Today various national surveys find some 30 percent of Americans identifying as atheists or secular humanists. With an increase of more than 200 percent in the past 25 years, this group — which sociologists of religion refer to as the “nones” — is the fastest-growing “religious” orientation in the country. How do these people lives fulfilling and meaningful lives without the traditional support of religious beliefs?
I love that shift in focus — we need more books helping atheists deal with things like raising kids, finding community, dealing with difficult times, etc. Those books are so much more practical than ones that make the case for why God doesn’t exist. Even if they appeal to a smaller segment of the atheist community, they’re invaluable for people who are seeking those resources but have nowhere else to turn.
As always, I’ll do my best to feature excerpts from some of the books mentioned in the piece on this site.