We’re church history junkies. We’re also lucky enough to live in the age of the internet, where information on Mormonism is far more available than it was when the Tanners were talking about it in the 70s! To help you figure out what’s really really worth reading when it comes to Mormonism, we’ve put together a list of our top 8 must-reads. Some of these are 100% “church-approved” (aka no one can accuse you of reading “anti-Mormon” literature”), and some of them aren’t — we believe in open investigation. So whether you’re Mormon, ex-Mormon, or just interested in Mormonism, here are our suggestions!

(P.S. These are Amazon affiliate links, so if you buy through them we get a small percentage of the profit. If that makes you uncomfortable, feel free to buy them on your own terms. But if you’d like to support our site and help us with our #TakingBackTithing mission, then we’d love it if you clicked these links! 🙂 Happy reading!)


1. Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman


2. In Sacred Loneliness by Todd Compton


3. An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins by Grant Palmer


4. No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn Brodie 


5. Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith by Linda King Newell


6. The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power by Michael Quinn


7. The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power by Michael Quinn


8. David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory Prince


Further reader recommendations:
(Books our readers have also suggested to us)
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer


The Korihor Argument by Joe Rawlins

(Great if you want a hilarious but insightful read!)

Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.
  • Martin Harris Luther

    The links aren’t working for me.

    • Zelph on the Shelf

      If you click the image (not the “shop now” part), do they work then?

      • Martin Harris Luther

        My fault – I had my ad blocker turned on. Thanks!

  • YoungModern

    You forgot to include The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy

  • Jaxon Peterson

    What, no Early Mormon Documents by Vogel?

  • Ashley Maughan

    I have the first four books. They are really good. The other four are on my list to eventually buy.

  • GS

    So glad you included Greg Prince’s book in this list!

  • Shawn

    I really enjoyed American Crucifixion by Alex Beam. It was a fascinating and very suspenseful narrative building up to Joseph’s murder.

  • Shawn

    Can you post affiliate links to Audible too? Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy is a good listen.

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