Riot Recommendation

24 Books About Renegades of Religious Groups

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters On A Mission by Jo Piazza.

if nuns ruled the worldVeteran reporter Jo Piazza profiles ten extraordinary nuns and the causes to which they have dedicated their lives—from an eighty-three-year-old Ironman champion to a brave sister who rescues victims of human trafficking.

Meet Sister Simone Campbell, who traversed the United States challenging a Republican budget that threatened to severely undermine the well-being of poor Americans; Sister Megan Rice, who is willing to spend the rest of her life in prison if it helps eliminate nuclear weapons; and the inimitable Sister Jeannine Gramick, who is fighting for acceptance of gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church.

During a time when American nuns are under attack from the very institution to which they pledge, these sisters offer inspiring, provocative counterstories that are sure to spark debate.


We asked for your favorite books about renegades and rebels of religious groups, from nuns arrested for their politics to preachers losing their religion. Get ready, get set, get reading:

Memoirs of a Bookbat by Kathryn Lasky

Godless by Pete Hautman

Illuminations by Mary Sharratt

Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church by Lauren Drain

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Nun Shall Pass: The Sister Ingalls Story (not real, but worth a mention)

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Escape by Carolyn Jessup

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hassidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Love Wins by Rob Bell

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisjeux

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Blankets by Craig Thompson

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

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