Riot Recommendation

25+ Of The Best Books About Losing Your Religion

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu.

devoted coverRachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.






While a life of faith can provide guidance and solace to some, it isn’t for everyone- and it can be actively damaging to others. That’s why books, whether they’re fiction or non-fiction, about people wrestling with the things they’ve been taught and ultimately rejecting those ideas are so fascinating. These books ask the biggest questions, and acknowledge that sometimes, we don’t have answers to them.

We asked you to share with us your favorite book — novel, memoir, biography, anything! — about losing your religion. And you answered! Here are over 25 of your favorites.

The Bees by Laline Paull

Blood Secret by Kathryn Lasky

The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber

Circle of Three series by Isobel Bird

Converting Kate by Beckie Weinheimer

Escape by Carolyn Jessop

The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

Godless by Pete Hautman

Going Clear by Lawrence Wright

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago

A History of Doubt by Jennifer Michael Hecht

Leaving the Saints by Matha Beck

Letting Go of God by Julia Sweeney

Losing the Saints by Martha Beck

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Hyam MacCoby

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse

Only a Trillion by Isaac Asimov

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Submission by Michel Houellebecq

Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Waking the Moon by Elizabeth Hand