59 books like The Art of the Heist

By Myles J Connor, Jenny Siler,

Here are 59 books that The Art of the Heist fans have personally recommended if you like The Art of the Heist. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Sam Mitrani Author Of The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894

From my list on why takes on the police miss the real problem.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of history at College of DuPage, a community college outside of Chicago. Growing up in New York City and rural Vermont in the 1980s and 1990s around people who questioned everything made me think a lot about how and why the social world is organized in such an obviously unjust and irrational way. I have tried to understand the development of this organization ever since.

Sam's book list on why takes on the police miss the real problem

Sam Mitrani Why did Sam love this book?

This might seem like a strange choice since this book is not directly about policing. But it shows in a powerful and direct way how inextricably bound policing is with the basic organization of this society.

Despite the controversies currently surrounding Hayley’s depiction of Malcolm X’s life, the book retains its power to express Malcolm X’s cutting critique of every one of this country’s justifications for its brutal criminal justice system. No one who engages with it can believe that police exist simply to deal with some criminal element in society.

But the book also shows how impossible it would be for this society to somehow “defund” the force used to keep under control the millions of people who, even with all their talents, this society can find no place for.

By Malcolm X, Alex Haley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Autobiography of Malcolm X as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement…


Book cover of Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems

Robert Pinsky Author Of The Sounds of Poetry: a Brief Guide

From my list on that were composed by ear.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet, my main gift is related to my first ambition, to be a musician. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like the sounds of words and I like to hear (for example) what Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats have to say.

Robert's book list on that were composed by ear

Robert Pinsky Why did Robert love this book?

Williams, late in his life, can look out the window or at the newspaper and open his mind and eye and breath to catch the truth of the thing in verse-music.

Very early in his life, he memorized a lot of poems, so as a New Jersey improviser he didn’t have to think about the sounds. He composed as an athlete runs, jumps, throws, etc. I can hear him.

By William Carlos Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection makes available work of one of our greatest American poets in the last decade of his life. The first section, Pictures from Brueghel, contains previously uncollected short poems, while the second and third parts are the complete texts of The Desert Music (1954) and Journey to Love (1955), originally published by Random House. In these books, Dr. Williams perfected his "variable foot" metric and achieved full mastery of the "American idiom" which was his lifelong first concern. Among the poems of this period is the long "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower" which W. H. Auden has called "one of…


Book cover of The Bean Eaters;

Robert Pinsky Author Of The Sounds of Poetry: a Brief Guide

From my list on that were composed by ear.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet, my main gift is related to my first ambition, to be a musician. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like the sounds of words and I like to hear (for example) what Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats have to say.

Robert's book list on that were composed by ear

Robert Pinsky Why did Robert love this book?

When Brooks says “ballade” or “blues” she speaks with the authority of one who can hear—can allude to music without needing to copy it.

Composing the sounds before the record-keeping act of merely writing the words. She doesn’t need the added music of actual song: she embodies the music in the sentence-sounds. (And the harmonies and discords and rhythms of speech.)

By Gwendolyn Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bean Eaters; as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of Straight Life: The Story Of Art Pepper

Robert Pinsky Author Of The Sounds of Poetry: a Brief Guide

From my list on that were composed by ear.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet, my main gift is related to my first ambition, to be a musician. I like to talk, I like to listen, I like the sounds of words and I like to hear (for example) what Emily Dickinson and William Butler Yeats have to say.

Robert's book list on that were composed by ear

Robert Pinsky Why did Robert love this book?

An artist—a wonderful horn player—speaks his candid, clear-eyed, eloquent account of his life: self-destructive, immensely creative.

If the horn is broken, if the player is just out of prison, if he’s drug-riddled... all that might be bad for himself or others, but he improvises with his back to the wall, to get out of it. And in speech as in music, a great improviser.

By Art Pepper, Laurie Pepper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Art Pepper (1925-1982) was called the greatest alto saxophonist of the post-Charlie Parker generation. But his autobiography, Straight Life , is much more than a jazz book,it is one of the most explosive, yet one of the most lyrical, of all autobiographies. This edition is updated with an extensive afterword by Laurie Pepper covering Art Pepper's last years, and a complete and up-to-date discography by Todd Selbert.


Book cover of Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures

Tim Maleeny Author Of Hanging the Devil

From my list on planning an art heist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by art, not just the paintings themselves but their historical significance, the personalities behind the canvas, and the seemingly arbitrary value placed on one artist’s work versus another. Writing my latest novel, Hanging the Devil, was a chance to delve into the illicit side of the art world, where forgers and smugglers consort with organized crime. I’ve been an award-winning mystery author for more than a decade—this is my sixth novel—and the great thing about writing crime fiction is the chance to get lost in the research and learn something new, so writing this novel was a great excuse to visit museums, talk to experts, and plan a heist!

Tim's book list on planning an art heist

Tim Maleeny Why did Tim love this book?

Robert K. Wittman is the founder of the FBI Art Crime Team, and any one of his undercover adventures could be the plot for a box office thriller. Over the course of his career Wittman not only recovered hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth a stolen property, he protected priceless masterpieces from being lost forever. 

When I first began doing research for a novel about art theft, it was clear the global market for stolen masterpieces is incredibly complex, an underground network of smugglers, master forgers, and organized crime syndicates. To get my facts straight I needed a navigator, and this book immediately put me on the right track.

Wittman’s backstory and relentless drive to make art crime a priority within the FBI, as Italy has done with its Carabinieri Art Squad, is an inspiring story on its own, and many of his cases would feel right at home in…

By Robert K Wittman, John Shiffman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Priceless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Wall Street Journal called him “a living legend.” The London Times dubbed him “the most famous art detective in the world.”
 
In Priceless, Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career for the first time, offering a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair.   
 
Rising from humble roots as the son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a twenty-year career that was nothing short of extraordinary. He went undercover, usually unarmed, to catch art thieves, scammers, and black market traders in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and…


Book cover of A Fool and His Monet

Janet Sketchley Author Of Unknown Enemy: A Green Dory Inn Mystery

From my list on Christian books with mystery and women's fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good, clean mystery/suspense story that's light enough to be escape fiction but has enough heart that I engage with the characters. Let me root for them and watch them grow. Give me hope and a happy ending. Bonus if there are some quirky ones who make me smile or some snappy dialogue. Double bonus if it's Christian fiction with an organic, non-preachy faith element and characters who grow spiritually. Why leave faith out of our fiction if it's part of our lives? I hope you'll make some new imaginary friends in the books I've listed!

Janet's book list on Christian books with mystery and women's fiction

Janet Sketchley Why did Janet love this book?

I can't resist a good pun, so this book had me with the title. I found plenty to make me grin in the middle of the action, and I couldn't help rooting for Serena as she tried to prove herself on the job as a new FBI field agent and resist her mother's matchmaking.

I love a story where a quirky support character adds complications, and Serena's Aunt Martha is a hoot. And I like the hint of a coming romance, although I like both men in Serena's life and don't want to see either of them hurt.

By Sandra Orchard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Fool and His Monet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Serena's learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating…


Book cover of Write My Name Across the Sky

Blair Bryan Author Of When Wren Came Out

From my list on women’s fiction you’ll think about years later.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing often focuses on motherhood and the difficult choices mothers are asked to make every day. I search for books to help me understand the points of view of other women. What they're thinking and feeling and the revelations that shape them and change the trajectory of their lives. I decided a long time ago, that if I'm going to invest the amount of time it takes to write a novel, then I have to have a passion for it. I strive to write characters that resonate, with those who are often marginalized in society because I want to shine a light on all the facets of humanity, not just the pretty ones. 

Blair's book list on women’s fiction you’ll think about years later

Blair Bryan Why did Blair love this book?

I identified with WIllow, the musician, who poured her whole heart and soul into a record that never hit the big time. She is disappointed with her current level of success and goes home to New York to stay with her Aunt Gloria in her famous mother’s old penthouse. The story revolves around an investigation into stolen art and I adored the seventy-year-old Gloria who chose herself instead of the love she found in the arms of a passionate artist turned art smuggler. The characters are richly detailed and women you want to know, and the prose is lyrical and complex, so beautiful you have to pause to appreciate it. 

By Barbara O'Neal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Write My Name Across the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The USA Today bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids returns with a tale of two generations of women reconciling family secrets and past regrets.

Life's beautiful for seventysomething influencer Gloria Rose, in her Upper West Side loft with rooftop garden and scores of Instagram followers-until she gets word that her old flame has been arrested for art theft and forgery, and, knowing her own involvement in his misdeeds decades earlier, decides to flee. But that plan is complicated when the nieces she raised are thrown into crises of their own.

Willow, overshadowed by her notorious singer-songwriter mother, has…


Book cover of Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists

Tim Maleeny Author Of Hanging the Devil

From my list on planning an art heist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by art, not just the paintings themselves but their historical significance, the personalities behind the canvas, and the seemingly arbitrary value placed on one artist’s work versus another. Writing my latest novel, Hanging the Devil, was a chance to delve into the illicit side of the art world, where forgers and smugglers consort with organized crime. I’ve been an award-winning mystery author for more than a decade—this is my sixth novel—and the great thing about writing crime fiction is the chance to get lost in the research and learn something new, so writing this novel was a great excuse to visit museums, talk to experts, and plan a heist!

Tim's book list on planning an art heist

Tim Maleeny Why did Tim love this book?

Rembrandt was incredibly prolific and well known in his lifetime, unlike so many artists whose fame only followed their deaths.

Both his reputation and the value of his paintings have continued to grow in the centuries since he died, so the combination of ubiquity and name recognition makes Rembrandt’s paintings particularly attractive to art thieves.

Quickly recognizable and easily appraised, a stolen Rembrandt is exactly the kind of black market currency professional criminals value most, whether using it for collateral during a deal, holding it for ransom until the museum pays, or selling it illicitly to a private collector.

One of the stolen masterpieces in my novel is a Rembrandt, so this book was invaluable in understanding the ambition and scope of modern art crimes. The problem of profiting off something that everyone knows is stolen turns out to be a minor challenge if you know the perfidious players working…

By Anthony M. Amore, Tom Mashberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Art security expert Anthony M. Amore and award-winning investigative reporter Tom Mashberg reveal the actors behind the major Rembrandt heists in the last century. Through thefts around the world - from Stockholm to Boston - the authors track daring entries and escapes from the world's most renowned museums. There are robbers who coolly walk off with multimillion dollar paintings; self-styled art experts who fall in love with the Dutch master and desire to own his art at all costs; and international criminal masterminds who don't hesitate to resort to violence.


Book cover of The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft

Tim Maleeny Author Of Hanging the Devil

From my list on planning an art heist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by art, not just the paintings themselves but their historical significance, the personalities behind the canvas, and the seemingly arbitrary value placed on one artist’s work versus another. Writing my latest novel, Hanging the Devil, was a chance to delve into the illicit side of the art world, where forgers and smugglers consort with organized crime. I’ve been an award-winning mystery author for more than a decade—this is my sixth novel—and the great thing about writing crime fiction is the chance to get lost in the research and learn something new, so writing this novel was a great excuse to visit museums, talk to experts, and plan a heist!

Tim's book list on planning an art heist

Tim Maleeny Why did Tim love this book?

The biggest unsolved art crime is the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, during which two men disguised as policemen stole 13 works of art worth an estimated $500 million.

Not one of the stolen paintings has been recovered, and rumors about their whereabouts and the identity of the thieves continue to fuel investigations across the globe. This book is a rapid-fire read and a terrific crash course in the many challenges involved in tracing lost art, let alone ever catching the thieves.

When writing a mystery novel that opens with an audacious museum heist in the very first chapter, it’s probably a good idea to research the biggest museum robbery in history. The Gardner heist shocked the art world and revealed how many museums around the world have shockingly bad security protocols relative to most office buildings, let alone a bank, even though priceless art is…

By Ulrich Boser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gardner Heist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortly after midnight on March 18, 1990, two men broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and committed the largest art heist in history. They stole a dozen masterpieces, including one Vermeer, three Rembrandts, and five Degas. But after thousands of leads, hundreds of interviews, and a $5 million reward, not a single painting has been recovered. Worth as much as $500 million, the missing masterpieces have become the Holy Grail of the art world and their theft one of the nation's most extraordinary unsolved mysteries. Art detective Harold Smith worked the theft for years, and after his…


Book cover of Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered It

C.F. Yetmen Author Of The Roses Underneath

From my list on photo books that tell stories of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my “day job” I write about architecture, which means I often write about things I see in photos. When I began writing fiction, I continued using photos as inspiration and research. My novels are inspired by my family’s circumstances at the end of World War II and my fascination with the work of the Monuments Men. Photos show me details like a little girl playing with her doll under a sign that declares her building to be at risk of collapse, or a woman using the ruins of a building to hang out the wash. I love finding ways to use these elements in my writing.

C.F.'s book list on photo books that tell stories of World War II

C.F. Yetmen Why did C.F. love this book?

I chose photo books for my list because I often use photos to help me as I write—either to construct a scene or to provide detail. Because my books are set against the backdrop of the Monuments Men’s work, this book was really the starting point for my writing the trilogy.  

Edsel presents a methodical overview of the vast scope of Nazi art theft in Europe, the destruction wrought on its monuments, and the enormous task of restitution and rebuilding. Seeing the sheer quantity of looted art stacked ceiling-high in endless rows and the faces of the men and women charged with making it right helped me put their work into my fictional work.

By Robert M. Edsel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rescuing Da Vinci as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monuments Men, which is now a major motion picture directed by and starring George Clooney, Rescuing Da Vinci uses 460 photographs to tell the story of the Monuments Men.   

The Monuments Men were a group of 345 or so men and women from thirteen nations who comprised the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section during World War II. Many were museum directors, curators, art historians and educators. Together they worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. In the last year of the…


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