The best books for detecting bullsh*t

Who am I?

Writing is my life. As a child I wrote poems, scripts, and short stories. A couple of decades, a BCALA literary award, and a three-book deal later, my wild imagination has grown into a passion for exposing the truth. In 2020, a third of the 300,000 missing women in the United States were Black, and in that same year, I was almost a victim of human trafficking myself. With this second chance, I write to bring awareness and attention to women who cannot speak for themselves. I write to shed light on the truth and these five books have helped me on my journey.  


I wrote...

Barren

By JJ Savaunt,

Book cover of Barren

What is my book about?

A troubling series of missing person cases lead back to Mercy Hospital, but the truth is far more terrifying than you could ever imagine...

After receiving a promotion, Dr. Jacqui is thrilled to begin a career helping infertile women conceive. However, her excitement soon turns to fear when she realizes what patients must give up in exchange. But Jacqui cannot walk away. She has more at stake than just her career—her daughter’s life.

The books I picked & why

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The Husband's Secret

By Liane Moriarty,

Book cover of The Husband's Secret

Why this book?

I absolutely loved this book because it taught me one big thing: always pay attention to the red flags. In the beginning of The Husband’s Secret a key piece of evidence is introduced and from there working backwards, forwards, and somehow sideways, the story explains how the item was created, and what it means for everyone involved. This mystery novel helped me put together things that didn’t quite add up in my personal life, and strangely enough, I discovered a secret about my own husband at the time which later led to a divorce. Crazy how life works.

The Husband's Secret

By Liane Moriarty,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Husband's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE—THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF BIG LITTLE LIES AND APPLES NEVER FALL

One of the Best Books of the Year—Entertainment Weekly
One of the Top Ten Books of the Year—People

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…
 
Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you…


What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People

By Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins,

Book cover of What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People

Why this book?

Written by an ex-FBI agent, What Every Body Is Saying completely changed the way I listen during conversations. People lie with their faces, but their bodies can’t hide the truth. In this book, you learn how each part of the body (i.e., eyes, hands, feet) manages stress and in doing so you can detect deception. For example, I’ve always heard if someone has their arms crossed that they are being defensive or untrustworthy well… that age-old thought is not necessarily true. In fact, crossing arms during conversation is scientifically proven to be a self-soothing measure, if anything, they are protecting themselves, not trying to intimidate others. In the book, I discovered tons of ways to figure out if someone is lying, all you have to do is listen to their body.

What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People

By Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Every Body is Saying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What you say is often far less important than how you say it. One of the harbingers of success is understanding how nonverbal cues such as body language, dress, and demeanor affect how you are perceived and understood. In this book Navarro, one of the leaders in nonverbal behaviours, demonstrates how to modify your subconscious statements to your greatest advantage and also read what other people are 'saying' nonverbally. These skills will increase your ability to accurately assess moods, decode behaviors, anticipate problems, avoid hidden pitfalls, influence negotiations, and understand the secret motivations of those around you.


Abuse of Power

By Nancy Taylor Rosenberg,

Book cover of Abuse of Power

Why this book?

One of my favorite reads of all time is Abuse of Power because it gave birth to my inner conspiracy theorist. When a routine check turns violent, a reputable police officer does the unthinkable, and even worse, his brothers in blue follow suit, leaving the heroine trapped between telling the truth or staying alive. From this novel I learned if you want the truth out of someone, you have to ask the right questions, probing questions that require a specific answer other than yes or no, but even more than that, listen for inconsistencies. 

Abuse of Power

By Nancy Taylor Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abuse of Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Racing through scenes of danger and excitement, ABUSE OF POWER reaches a shattering conclusion that will make you think hard about issues of police corruption and personal integrity. This is Nancy Taylor Rosenberg at her finest - a bestselling author on top form.


Red Widow

By Alma Katsu,

Book cover of Red Widow

Why this book?

This action-packed spy thriller kept me on edge from the first chapter mostly due to the beautiful prose, but also because it depicts the CIA in an accessible way. The book taught me to analyze people based on not their words or actions, but their intentions. Diving headfirst into the political hierarchy of the esteemed agency, this book highlights that no one—especially the co-worker you sit next to and eat lunch with every day—can be trusted. Fun and fast-paced, Red Widow drops you in a body of water and just when you think you’re in a swimming pool, you find out you’re in the ocean. 

Red Widow

By Alma Katsu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Widow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A wicked sharp spy novel…Equal parts Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Killing Eve.” –S. A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland and Razorblade Tears

An exhilarating spy thriller written by an intelligence veteran about two women CIA agents whose paths become intertwined around a threat to the Russia Division--one that's coming from inside the agency.

Lyndsey Duncan worries her career with the CIA might be over. After lines are crossed with another intelligence agent during an assignment, she is sent home to Washington on administrative leave. So when a former colleague--now Chief of the Russia Division--recruits her for an internal investigation,…


Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

By Harriet A. Washington,

Book cover of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Why this book?

Did you know that 75% of bones in the human body are found below the knee? I thought that was interesting as well… if only it were true! This book taught me to critically assess data and not blindly accept every ‘scientific-sounding’ statement as truth. Medical Apartheid details the origins of several medical innovations which shockingly date back to slavery. The things doctors once considered permissible to do to enslaved women on the basis that ‘they did not feel pain’ brought literal tears to my eyes, but it was necessary for me to read because it shared the truth. A horrible, terrifying truth that pharmaceutical giants—like Pfizer—refuse to acknowledge to this day. 

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

By Harriet A. Washington,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Medical Apartheid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • The first full history of Black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read this masterful book.

"[Washington] has unearthed a shocking amount of information and shaped it into a riveting, carefully documented book." —New York Times

From the era of slavery to the present day, starting with the earliest encounters between Black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, Medical Apartheid details the ways…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in family secrets, human subject research, and police?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about family secrets, human subject research, and police.

Family Secrets Explore 113 books about family secrets
Human Subject Research Explore 21 books about human subject research
Police Explore 165 books about police

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Bad Blood, The Plutonium Files, and Experimentation with Human Beings if you like this list.