The best conspiracy books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about conspiracies and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

By Vincent Bugliosi,

Why this book?

Bugliosi, the famed former Los Angeles prosecutor of Charles Manson, directs his attention to dismissing the conspiracy theories in the JFK murder in his massive (1648 page) tome. Bugliosi writes with the caustic tone of a prosecutor and covers just about every issue in some detail. It is a great reference book and concludes that Oswald alone killed Kennedy. Published 14 years after Case Closed, I often refer to it as Case Still Closed.

From the list:

The best books about who killed JFK

Book cover of Six Days of the Condor

Six Days of the Condor

By James Grady,

Why this book?

For me, this story is a lively reminder of the necessity of adaptability. Our mastery of life is essentially on-the-job training, an education that never ends.

In this espionage thriller, a man comes back from lunch to find everyone in his office murdered. Realizing that he is also a target, he goes on the run. But it’s not enough to escape. If he wants to survive, he needs to understand what’s happening. He must pursue his pursuers.

But he is completely out of his element here. His job was to read books all day. He has no experience being an…

From the list:

The best novels about people taking risky action outside of their realm

Book cover of Dread Nation

Dread Nation

By Justina Ireland,

Why this book?

Dread Nation is an alternate history in which the dead rise from the battlefields of Gettysburg. As the states struggle to deal with the undead crisis, black and native children are forced into combat schools and trained to defend wealthy white patrons. If you’re itching for a classic zombie apocalypse story with a twist, this is your book. Ireland’s writing is sharp, tight, and unflinching. This book is a fast-paced adventure full of ravenous zombie hoards and bold heroines. One thing I especially love about Dread Nation is the fight scenes which are frequent, bloody, and a whole lot of…

From the list:

The best spooky YA books - zombies, ghosts, and demons, oh my!

Book cover of City of Stairs

City of Stairs

By Robert Jackson Bennett,

Why this book?

What could be more fun than Gods getting involved in city planning? Spy story wrapped inside a grand and mysterious history of once-supreme Gods now dormant (or not). Memorable characters. Don’t mess with the giant grunt Sigrud. Divine power with 6 Gods (light bearer, judge, warrior, seed-sower, trickster, and builder). Imagine holding a committee meeting with this group. Magical portals that enable back-and-forth between current gritty and past majestic city. A thought-provoking conclusion that speaks to worldwide conflict in real life today. 

From the list:

The best dystopian books where cities pulsate with life and death

Book cover of Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids

Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids

By Jim Marrs,

Why this book?

Rule by Secrecy was an eye-opening, non-fiction book that gave me a greater understanding of the world we live in. The historical background it taught me about humanity and how it was developed changed my whole perspective on the world and how I approached it. I found the material fascinating.

From the list:

The best life-changing books I ever read

Book cover of The Prodigal Spy

The Prodigal Spy

By Joseph Kanon,

Why this book?

In 1950, McCarthy-ite red-baiting is at its height and communists are being hunted across America. When a US government official is accused of being a spy by the House Un-American Activities Committee, he abandons his family to flee the country. His apparent defection seems to confirm the allegations that he was a Soviet Bloc spy. Almost 20 years later, his son goes behind the Iron Curtain for a painful reunion.  Kanon’s novel is written as a thriller, yet it captures the paranoia of America in the early Cold War, the drabness of Soviet-occupied Prague, and explores profound issues of love…

From the list:

The best Cold War spy books (non-fiction & fiction)

Book cover of The Camel Club

The Camel Club

By David Baldacci,

Why this book?

The Camel Club took me away from the massive technical details that Clancy wrote to a more intimate spy character…and his cadre of retired spies. Whereas Clancy's writings were broader in scope, Baldacci narrowed the field and presented characterization at a closer level, one the reader can readily relate to. As I discovered David Baldacci's books, I fell in love with his style of writing. His novels have probably had the greatest influence on my writings above any other author.

From the list:

The best spy thriller books

Book cover of Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

By James M. Cain,

Why this book?

I am constantly telling people that if they haven’t seen Billy Wilder’s 1944 movie, Double Indemnity—based on James M. Cain’s 1943 novel and generally regarded as the first film noir—they owe it to themselves to rectify that situation as quickly as possible. What even many film scholars don’t always realize is that it’s based on one of the most sensational murder cases of the Jazz Age. In March 1927, a pair of middle-aged adulterers—a love-starved Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her milquetoast paramour, Judd Gray—murdered Snyder’s husband in his bed, then ransacked the house to make it look…
From the list:

The best American novels inspired by true crimes

Book cover of Kushiel's Dart

Kushiel's Dart

By Jacqueline Carey,

Why this book?

This ground-breaking fantasy novel incorporates eroticism with worldbuilding. The religion of the society centers around sex with the motto, “Love as thou wilt.” The heroine, Phèdre nó Delauney has been born with a mote in her eye, signifying that she is one of the rare individuals who finds pain to be erotic, and so she becomes a celebrated and sought-after courtesan.

From the list:

The best speculative fiction about sex and society

Book cover of Leo Gray and the Lunar Eclipse

Leo Gray and the Lunar Eclipse

By K.J. Kruk,

Why this book?

The year is 2113 and Leo Gray is like any other normal science-loving boy. Except for his incredibly embarrassing family of course, who weirdly insists on living and dressing like it’s still 2013! Poor Leo has to wear century-old outfits and live in a house full of ancient clocks and TVs. Meanwhile everyone else zips around on flying cars and wears the latest electronic clothes. Leo is desperate to win a science competition so that he can attend the lunar academy on the moon, but his Dad is equally determined to keep him here on earth. Twists and turns abound.…

From the list:

The best space books that will launch your kids into orbit

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