Interview with Alom Shaha

31 Jan

Alom Shaha- The Young Athiest's Handbook AudiobookAlom Shaha’s book ‘The Young Atheist’s Handbook‘ is a must for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. We spoke to the author about his book, the audiobook and future plans.

What made you decide to write The young Atheist’s Handbook?

I’m a Physics teacher, so it might seem a bit odd that I’ve written a book about atheism, but the idea for the book came from  the discussions I’ve had with my students about life, God, the universe and everything. It’s my way of putting down all the answers to their questions in the kind of detail I don’t have time for, and which might not be appropriate, in my Physics lessons. I wanted to write a book which conveyed some of the key ideas of atheism whilst also emphasizing the very personal nature of belief. I hope the inclusion of a personal narrative (which was my agent’s idea) makes it more readable than, say, some of the other texts out there that cover the same material about religion and faith.

Were you inspired by any other writers when writing the book?

All my writing is inspired by all the books I’ve loved. I wanted to write a book that people could connect to in the way that I have connected to books I love – a book that elicited a response from the reader along the lines of “I’ve thought or felt that too”; a book that achieved that marvellous thing that books can do of letting you know that you’re not alone. In terms of the ideas in the book, I’ve quoted a lot of other writers in the book ranging from ancient thinkers like Epicurus through to modern day intellectuals like Kenan Malik.

How did you find recording the audiobook?

I had a lovely time recording the audiobook. I had a wonderful director who made me feel completely at ease and made the entire experience hugely enjoyable. I also learnt that “Alma Mater” has two acceptable pronunciations.

Have you or do you plan to have any other books published?

I have an idea for a second book and have started writing bits of it. It will be very different to The Young Atheist’s Handbook in style but may touch on some of the same themes of belief, science and love, because those are the things I’m interested in.

Were you surprised how well received The Young Atheist’s Handbook was?

It has been wonderful to have had such a positive response from readers. Even now, more than 6 months after the UK publication, I regularly receive messages from people telling me how much they liked the book. I’m also delighted that many schools seem to be using it as part of their Religious Studies lessons and with the British Humanist Association’s campaign to raise enough money to send a copy to every secondary school in England and Wales.

 

Listen to a sample of The Young Athiest’s Handbook below and buy the audiobook from AudioGO.

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