Ranking Author Lawrence Wright’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Lawrence Wright Bibliography Ranking

“What are Lawrence Wright’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Wright’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Lawrence Wright and looked at his Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Lawrence Wright is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s By Lawrence Wright



10 ) Saints and Sinners

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 7

“In this fascinating book about religion in America, one of this country’s most probing yet sympathetic journalists puts forth stories not only of real grace but of despair, sexual scandal, and attempted murder.

Lawrence Wright’s Saints and Sinners are Jimmy Swaggart, who preached a hellfire gospel with rock ‘n’ roll abandon before he was caught with a, prostitute in a seedy motel; Anton LaVey, the kitsch-loving, gleefully fraudulent founder of the First Church of Satan; Madalyn Murray O’Hair, whose litigious atheism sometimes resembled a brand of faith; Matthew Fox, the Dominican priest who has aroused the fury of the Vatican for dismissing the doctrine of original sin and denouncing the church as a dysfunctional family; Walker Railey, the rising star of Dallas’s Methodist church, who, at the pinnacle of his success, was suspected of attempting to murder his wife; and Will Campbell, the eccentric liberal Southern Baptist preacher whose challenges to established ways of thinking have made him a legend in his own time.”

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9 ) City Children, Country Summer: A Story of Ghetto Children Among the Amish

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 9

An up-close account of the experience of inner city New York kids—black and Latino, from ghettos and projects—who spent a summer in an Amish and Mennonite farm community in Central Pennsylvania in the late 1970s, sponsored by the Fresh Air Fund. City Chidren, Country Summer follows these children as they navigate two very different worlds

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8 ) Twins: And What They Tell Us About Who We Are

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 5

An examination of how the study of twins informs our understanding of free will, individual identity and human nature. Wright looks at twin research and shows how it increasingly illuminates our understanding of the old nature-or-nurture, genes-or-environment debate.

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7 ) Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 6

In 1988 Ericka and Julie Ingram began making a series of accusations of sexual abuse against their father, Paul Ingram, who was a respected deputy sheriff in Olympia, Washington. At first the accusations were confined to molestations in their childhood, but they grew to include torture and rape as recently as the month before. At a time when reported incidents of “recovered memories” had become widespread, these accusations were not unusual. What captured national attention in this case is that, under questioning, Ingram appeared to remember participating in bizarre satanic rites involving his whole family and other members of the sheriff’s department.

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6 ) God’s Favorite: A Novel

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 8

It is Christmas 1989, and Tony Noriega’s demons are finally beginning to catch up with him. A former friend of President Bush, Fidel Castro, and Oliver North, this universally reviled strongman is on the run from the U.S. Congress, the Justice Department, the Colombian mob, and a host of political rivals. In his desperation, he seeks salvation from any and all quarters — God, Satan, a voodoo priest, even the spirits of his murdered enemies. But with a million-dollar price on his head and 20,000 American soldiers on his trail, Noriega is fast running out of options.

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5 ) In the New World: Growing up with America, 1964-1984

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 9

We first meet Larry Wright in 1960. He is thirteen and moving with his family to Dallas, the essential city of the New World just beginning to rise across the southern rim of the United States. As we follow him through the next two decades—the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the devastating assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the sexual revolution, the crisis of Watergate, and the emergence of Ronald Reagan—we relive the pivotal and shocking events of those crowded years.

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4 ) Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 4

A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists-both famous and less well known-and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige-tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard. We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract. In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.

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3 ) The Terror Years: From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 1

These powerful investigative pieces, which take us from the religious police of Saudi Arabia to the rise of the Islamic State, comprise an essential primer on jihadist movements in the Middle East—and the attempts of the West to contain them. In these pages, Lawrence Wright examines al-Qaeda as it experiences a rebellion from within and spins off a growing web of worldwide terror. He shows us the Syrian film industry before the civil war—compliant at the edges but already exuding a barely masked fury. He gives us the heart-wrenching story of American children kidnapped by ISIS—and Atlantic publisher David Bradley’s efforts to secure their release. And he details the roles of key FBI figures John O’Neill and his talented protégé Ali Soufan in fighting terrorism. In a moving epilogue, Wright shares his predictions for the future. Rigorous, clear-eyed, and compassionate, The Terror Years illuminates the complex human players on all sides of a devastating conflict.

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2 ) Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 3

“A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day.

With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill, Lawrence Wright takes us through each of the thirteen days of the Camp David conference, illuminating the issues that have made the problems of the region so intractable, as well as exploring the scriptural narratives that continue to frame the conflict. In addition to his in-depth accounts of the lives of the three leaders, Wright draws vivid portraits of other fiery personalities who were present at Camp David––including Moshe Dayan, Osama el-Baz, and Zbigniew Brzezinski––as they work furiously behind the scenes. Wright also explores the significant role played by Rosalynn Carter.
What emerges is a riveting view of the making of this unexpected and so far unprecedented peace. Wright exhibits the full extent of Carter’s persistence in pushing an agreement forward, the extraordinary way in which the participants at the conference—many of them lifelong enemies—attained it, and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome, not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

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1 ) The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2

A gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

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Lawrence Wright’s Best Books



Lawrence Wright Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 112 1
Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David 223 2
The Terror Years: From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State 361 3
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief 554 4
In the New World: Growing up with America, 1964-1984 429 5
God’s Favorite: A Novel 928 6
Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory 776 7
Twins: And What They Tell Us About Who We Are 885 8
City Children, Country Summer: A Story of Ghetto Children Among the Amish 6109 9
Saints and Sinners 1097 10

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