Top Picks: John Grisham Books

Happy birthday, John Grisham! This award-winning, bestselling novelist has much to celebrate as he turns 65 on February 8. Grisham published his 40th book, The Guardians, this past fall. While you'll want get your hands on his latest legal thriller, here are my top picks from his prolific career. 

Going down memory lane, I checked off the books I had read. I started my winter vacation by re-reading my personal beat-up copy of The Pelican Brief. Yes, that very same one with Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts—stars of the December 1993 Pelican Brief film adaptation—on the cover. (Yes, Grisham had two film adaptations come out that year! The first was The Firm film adaptation in the summer of 1993.) The Pelican Brief is still my favorite with Darby Shaw as my fictional heroine.

If you're a fan of Jake Brigance in Grisham's first book, A Time to Kill, you definitely should pick up the sequel, Sycamore Row.

Grisham is well-known for crafting legal thrillers one after another, but he has many other books that aren't thrillers. Like Grisham, I'm a huge baseball fan. While you're waiting for spring—and baseball season—to arrive, check out Calico Joe, a moving novel about fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball.

Love rare books? Love a good mystery? Camino Island is a wonderful mash-up with novelist Mercer Mann going undercover to infiltrate bookstore owner Bruce Cable's literary circle. 

I'm a die-hard true crime fan. John Grisham's only foray into nonfiction, The Innocent Man, is not to be missed. If you're a Netflix junkie, be sure to tune into the documentary series by the same name, which includes interviews with Grisham.

What's your top pick for John Grisham?

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