A deconstructionist's reading list

47 Books on Faith, Mental Health, Sexuality, & Social Justice

Hi, friend.

Did you see that Linsey has started her own newsletter? Subscribe here!

Speaking of Lindsey, here’s a massive list of books that have helped Lindsey and me along the way. Considering deconstructing your faith, mental health, sexuality, and/or social justice? Start here.



(Books listed are in no particular order.)


  1. The Shack, Wm. Paul Young*

  2. Lies We Believe about God, Wm. Paul Young*

  3. Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh*

  4. The Universal Christ, Richard Rohr

  5. 8 Habits of Love, Ed Bacon*

  6. Love Wins, Rob Bell

  7. What is the Bible?, Rob Bell*

  8. Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans*

  9. Inspired, Rachel Held Evans

  10. Womanist Midrash, Dr. Wilda C. Gafney

  11. Jesus Feminist, Sarah Bessey

  12. An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor

  13. Henri Nouwen on Suffering and Joy (Audible)

  14. The Inner Voice of Love, Henri Nouwen

  15. The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen

  16. Grounded, Diana Butler Bass

  17. Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice, Brene Brown (Audible)*

  18. Short Stories by Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine

  19. How to Survive a Shipwreck, Jonathan Martin

  20. The Wisdom Jesus, Cynthia Bourgeault

  21. Agnostic, Lesley Hazleton

  22. How Jesus Became God, Bart D. Ehrman (Audible)

  23. Catching Your Breath, Steve Austin (I know. Shameless plug.)


  1. Shameless, Nadia Bolz-Weber*

  2. God and the Gay Christian, Matthew Vines

  3. Space at the Table, Brad and Drew Harper

  4. Queer Virtue, Liz Edman

  5. Torn, Justin Lee

  6. Transforming, Austen Hartke

  7. Bible, Gender, and Sexuality, Dr. James V. Brownson

  8. Beyond Shame, Matthias Roberts*

  9. The Ethical Slut, Janet W. Hardy (re: open relationships)

Mental Health:

  1. Try Softer, Aundi Kolber*

  2. The God-Shaped Brain, Timothy R. Jennings, MD*

  3. The God-Shaped Heart, Timothy R. Jennings, MD

  4. I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die, Sarah J. Robinson*

  5. Untamed, Glennon Doyle

  6. Bipolar Faith, Monica Coleman

  7. Hiding In the Pews, Steve Austin (another shameless plug)

Social Justice:

  1. How to Be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi

  2. Native, Kaitlin B. Curtice*

  3. White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo

  4. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

  5. I’m Still Here, Austin Channing Brown*

  6. Be the Bridge, LaTasha Morrison

  7. Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson*

  8. Jesus and John Wayne, Kristin K. Du Mez

*Denotes my favorites

P.S. There are only 5 spaces left for Jesus Coaching! Looking for a mentor, coach, or spiritual director? Let’s chat! 8 weeks of private coaching could change your life. Reply to this email to sign up now.