The Young Atheist's Handbook

This is a book for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. It’s for those who may need the facts and the ideas, as well as the courage, to break free from inherited beliefs. In this powerful narrative, Alom Shaha shows that it is possible to live a compassionate, fulfilling, and meaningful life without God.

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A very special book.’ — Stephen Fry

A book that destroys the cliche of the atheist as joyless rationalist and shows the humanity, love, and concern that often lies behind godless thinking.’ — Robin Ince, writer and comedian

More than just a great handbook, this is an honest and often very moving story about valuing truth over hope, even in the face of grief.” — Tim Minchin, comedian

Illuminates the route to a better destination for all those who seek what Alom found, namely, that precious liberty of mind which makes its possessor open to all good things.’ — A.C. Grayling, philosopher and author

A touching personal account that makes for a courageous and compelling read. This is among the most powerful and convincing arguments against religion that I have come across, and it is written in a way that is never patronising or trivialising.’ — Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, physicist and broadcaster


Alom Shaha grew up in a strict Bangladeshi Muslim community in South-East London in the 1970s and 80s. He was expected to go to mosque regularly and recite passages in Arabic from the Quran, without being told what they meant. Alom spent his teenage years juggling two utterly different worlds: a chaotic, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic family life on a council estate, and that of a student at a privileged private school set amongst the idyllic green playing fields of Dulwich.

In a charming blend of memoir, philosophy, and science, Alom explores the questions about faith and the afterlife that we all ponder. Through a series of loose ‘lessons’, he tells his own compelling story, drawing on the theories of some of history’s greatest thinkers and interrogating the fallacies that have impeded humanity for centuries. Alom recounts how his education and formative experiences led him to question how to live without being tied to what his parents, priests, or teachers told him to believe, and offers insights so that others may do the same.

Blog posts

Looking more closely at the world
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Knowing, and loving, fictional characters
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