The most recommended books about reporters

Who picked these books? Meet our 17 experts.

17 authors created a book list connected to reporters, and here are their favorite reporter books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of reporter book?


Book cover of Slow Horses

Bruce Borgos Author Of The Bitter Past

From my list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved peculiar heroes and heroines. Characters with strange gifts and an equal number of challenges. It started with Sherlock Holmes, whose mind fascinated me. As a child, I gravitated to the unnatural protagonist, Tarzan, in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was never a big fan of Superman, I preferred people who adapted quickly to new surroundings and could think on their feet. Once I began my writing career, I kept those protagonists in my mind. Four novels in, I do my best to capture their spirit and determination to overcome whatever lands in front of them.

Bruce's book list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities

Bruce Borgos Why did Bruce love this book?

I loved this book because it’s about misfits. In this case, misfits who are spies. Spies who have screwed up and disgraced themselves and their masters at the British Secret Service. They’re led by the disheveled and malodorous Jackson Lamb, who is so smart he disdains everyone around him.

He and the Slow Horses get all the bad assignments, but I loved how each of them possessed special skills and a desire to redeem themselves. I think Mick Herron is the master of humorous spy fiction!  

By Mick Herron,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Slow Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*

'To have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one's career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron's novels - the heir, in a way, to le Carre - is a terrific thing' Gary Oldman

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the 'slow horses' these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty.

In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don't run…

Book cover of Time's Undoing

Delia C. Pitts Author Of Trouble in Queenstown

From Delia's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Classic film noir fan University administrator Foreign Service Officer

Delia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Delia C. Pitts Why did Delia love this book?

I never lived in the South, but both my parents migrated from Alabama to Chicago in the first half of the twentieth century. I'm an historian whose first professional work was as a journalist, so Time's Undoing hit me in all the tenderest places.

This moving work of historical fiction captured my heart and imagination with a series of deft snapshots that pinged between present-day Birmingham, Alabama and a dark chapter in the city's early twentieth-century past. Cheryl Head mines her own family history to deliver a searing account of unsolved murder and racial injustice. The contemporary thread of this novel follows a young journalist's attempt to uncover and right those buried wrongs.

By Cheryl A. Head,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time's Undoing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A searing and tender novel about a young Black journalist’s search for answers in the unsolved murder of her great-grandfather in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, decades ago—inspired by the author’s own family history

Birmingham, 1929: Robert Lee Harrington, a master carpenter, has just moved to Alabama to pursue a job opportunity, bringing along his pregnant wife and young daughter. Birmingham is in its heyday, known as the “Magic City” for its booming steel industry, and while Robert and his family find much to enjoy in the city’s busy markets and vibrant nightlife, it’s also a stronghold for the Klan. And with…

Book cover of The Great Reporters

Tony Harcup Author Of Journalism: Principles and Practice

From my list on journalists as heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve worked in and around journalism long enough to know that not all journalists are heroes. Few even aspire to be. But there is something quietly heroic about the daily task of holding the powerful to account, even in democracies where the risk of imprisonment or assassination is less than in more authoritarian states. Here is my selection of books to remind all of us about some of these more heroic aspects of the journalism trade. I hope you find reading them enjoyable and maybe even inspiring.

Tony's book list on journalists as heroes

Tony Harcup Why did Tony love this book?

This hugely enjoyable book introduced me to the work of Nellie Bly, and for that alone I will forever be in debt to David Randall. Nellie Bly is just one of 13 great reporters discussed – others include William Howard Russell and James Cameron – but it was her exploits that most captured my imagination. She specialised in going undercover to expose wrongdoing, and her targets included those in positions of power responsible for everything from unsafe factory conditions to the inhumane asylums in which women were locked up for suspected insanity. Her stories were written in straightforward language but were genuinely sensational, raising awareness and helping to change social conditions for the better. As Randall concludes: "Nellie Bly was the very antithesis of cynicism."

By David Randall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who are the greatest reporters in history? This unique book is the first to try and answer this question. Author David Randall searched nearly two centuries of newspapers and magazines, consulted editors and journalism experts worldwide, and the result is The Great Reporters - 13 in-depth profiles of the best journalists who ever lived.

Each profile tells of the reporter's life and his or her major stories, how they were obtained, and their impact. Packed with anecdotes, and inspiring accounts of difficulties overcome, the book quotes extensively from each reporter's work. It also includes an essay on the history of…

Book cover of The English Wife

Tracy Grant Author Of The Seven Dials Affair

From my list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by stories about married couples, especially when there are secrets in the marriage. My series The Rannoch Fraser Mysteries follows Mélanie and Malcolm Rannoch, whose marriage began when Mélanie, a French agent, married British agent Malcolm to spy on him during the Napoleonic Wars. As the Rannochs investigate mysteries, they grapple with personal and political betrayals and the secrets between them. 

Tracy's book list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage

Tracy Grant Why did Tracy love this book?

The English Wife had me racing to unravel the secrets at the heart of Annabelle and Bay's marriage. And at the same time I was savoring the fascinating characters and brilliant writing.

The twists and turns of the plot had me gasping, but the biggest mystery was understanding the central characters and their relationship.

By Lauren Willig,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he's the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairy-tale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dot, and he's recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria.

Yes, there are rumours that she's having an affair with the architect, but rumours are rumours and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night ball,…

Book cover of The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Susan Vaughan Author Of Primal Obsession

From my list on historical mystery with women sleuths and romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading historical mysteries with a touch of romance is a delicious chocolate dessert after a day of work. I’m the author of 16 romantic suspense novels. Why not double the excitement with both romance and mystery/suspense. I began reading mysteries because my mother read them. Once I’d read all the Nancy Drews, I moved on to Erle Stanley Gardner and Agatha Christie. I wrote a few mystery manuscripts that remain in a box in the attic, but then all-grown-up me discovered romantic suspense novels and found my niche. I love throwing the hero and heroine together under extraordinary circumstances and pitting them against a clever villain.

Susan's book list on historical mystery with women sleuths and romance

Susan Vaughan Why did Susan love this book?

Amanda Quick writes a variety of fiction, all of which include romance—romantic suspense, historical romance, and historical mysteries.

This is the start (you guessed it, right?) of a series set in 1930s California at an exclusive resort enjoyed by Hollywood stars. The heroine sleuth, a rookie reporter, hopes to get a scoop on a new leading man from an actress, but instead finds her dead in a swimming pool.

With the handsome owner of the hotel, she investigates, and finds that this glamorous paradise hides dark and dangerous secrets.

By Amanda Quick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl Who Knew Too Much as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of 'Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins ...When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It's where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool ...The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn't resist - especially since she's just a rookie at a…

Book cover of Burn For Me: Phoenix Fire #1

Catherine Edward Author Of Lycan's Blood Queen

From my list on fantasy/shifter romance to make your heart flutter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a paranormal romance and fantasy author who fell in love with fantasy as a young girl. My journey as a reader started when I was four, but what changed me entirely was Russian Tales woven with magic. I’m passionate about Lycans, Werewolves, Witches, Vampires, and everything that’s magical. I like to write sizzling tales of love and betrayal.

Catherine's book list on fantasy/shifter romance to make your heart flutter

Catherine Edward Why did Catherine love this book?

I haven’t read many Phoenix shifter books, but this book is just so good. As you can see I like to read different books containing all sorts of shifters and tried to include one from each type I enjoyed so much. Subject Thirteen aka Cain O’Connor is locked in a secret lab and is tortured until he is freed by Eva Bradley. With bad guys on pursuit, the couple must take refuge and while on the run they uncover several secrets and face danger head on. This entire series will keep the readers on their toes because of the suspense and mystery element. 

By Cynthia Eden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Burn For Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eve Bradley was undercover looking for a story, not a cause. But something about the man they called Subject 13 got her involved. The scientists said he was a devil, and they had a decent case: Terrifying power. A bad attitude. And looks that could lead anyone to sin....

Cain O'Connor knows the minute he catches her candy scent that Eve could drive him wild. But she's a threat - in a way no one has been for him in years. She's safer away from him, too. But with a powerful conspiracy determined to shut Eve up for good, there's…

Book cover of In Pursuit of Disobedient Women: A Memoir of Love, Rebellion, and Family, Far Away

Karen Sherman Author Of Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere

From my list on women driving change around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been driven to help advance women and girls around the world for years, shining a light on their stories of resilience and strength, even in the most dire of circumstances. My thirty-plus-year career in global development has introduced me to hundreds of inspirational women who are changing their own lives, investing in their families, and building their communities. I am a woman for women because of them. The recommended authors are inspirational women in their own right who have used their writing to amplify the voices of other women. I hope you enjoy these books and can identify with the personal stories found in their pages. 

Karen's book list on women driving change around the world

Karen Sherman Why did Karen love this book?

Dionne’s book speaks to me on such a personal level. The story follows her journey of uprooting her family to West Africa and shares the stories of the women she meets along the way, navigating extraordinary circumstances and hardship. I, too, did this.

In 2012, my three sons and I landed in Kigali, Rwanda, where we lived for a year. Having experienced firsthand the resiliency and tenacity of women, such as those Dionne encountered, I can’t recommend In Pursuit of Disobedient Women enough to learn more about the challenges and triumphs for women across Africa.

By Dionne Searcey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Pursuit of Disobedient Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a reporter for The New York Times uproots her family to move to West Africa, she manages her new role as breadwinner while finding women cleverly navigating extraordinary circumstances in a forgotten place for much of the Western world.
“A story you will not soon forget.”—Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award–winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty

In 2015, Dionne Searcey was covering the economy for The New York Times, living in Brooklyn with her husband and three young children. Saddled with the demands of a dual-career household and motherhood in an urban setting, her life was in…

Book cover of Set Sail for Murder

Carmen Radtke Author Of The Case of the Missing Bride

From my list on mysteries set on ships and trains.

Why am I passionate about this?

After years dedicated to the hard facts of a newspaper reporter’s life, including a sting covering the police beat, Carmen Radtke has changed her focus to fiction. She’s been fascinated by both history and mystery as long as she can remember and stays dedicated to the truth behind the lie, and the joys of in-depth research. As a repeated emigrant, she is enthralled by voyages into the unknown and the courage (or madness) that takes.

Carmen's book list on mysteries set on ships and trains

Carmen Radtke Why did Carmen love this book?

Carolyn Hart is one of those cozy mystery writers who effortlessly reel me into their world. Set Sail for Murder satisfies my longing for travel with its itinerary and the lush vivid descriptions, as well as having an enjoyable mystery at its core. As a former journalist, I’m also a sucker for retired reporters turned sleuth. I read this first on a train, and it made the hours fly by. As soothing as the sound of waves gently lapping a boat. 

By Carolyn G. Hart, Carolyn G. Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Set Sail for Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Though retired newspaper reporter Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins, Henrie O to her friends, once turned down a marriage proposal from Jimmy Lennox, he's still one of her most cherished friends. So when he asks for her help on behalf of his wife, world-famous documentary filmmaker Sophia Montgomery, Henrie O reluctantly agrees to join them on a Baltic cruise. Sophia is the stepmother to the now-grown heirs of a great fortune, who are none too happy that she controls their inheritance. But do they really want her dead? Jimmy thinks so, and he wants Henrie O to prove it.

On the cruise,…

Book cover of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

Brian Klingborg Author Of Thief of Souls

From my list on international crime both fiction and nonfiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small town in the days before the internet and cable television, so books were my escape, and through them, I traveled to faraway places and learned about different customs and cultures. Later, I studied Chinese cultural anthropology and lived and worked in Asia for many years. Now, I write a series about a Chinese police inspector in the brutally cold far north province of Heilongjiang and use mystery stories to unpack some of the more fascinating and essential aspects of Chinese society, politics, and religion.

Brian's book list on international crime both fiction and nonfiction

Brian Klingborg Why did Brian love this book?

This is an autobiographical tale by an American journalist on the crime beat in Tokyo.

It’s not only a riveting tour of the underbelly of Japanese society – hostess bars, yakuza gangs, murder, and mayhem – it’s a fascinating cultural journey.

The author, Jake Adelstein, studied at a Japanese university and fell into journalism almost as an afterthought.

His description of the stringent procedures for getting hired, the brutally hierarchical nature of working for a major Japanese daily, and his growth as an intrepid investigative reporter is a must-read for anyone interested in Japanese culture, society, media, and crime.

By Jake Adelstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A riveting true-life tale of newspaper noir and Japanese organised crime from an American investigative journalist. Soon to be a Max Original Series on HBO Max



From the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club: a unique, first-hand, revelatory look at Japanese culture from the underbelly up.

At nineteen, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a…

Book cover of Yesterday's News

Thomas Kies Author Of Random Road

From my list on by and about journalists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the critically acclaimed Geneva Chase Crime Reporter series. I live and write on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina with my wife, Cindy, and Annie, our Shih-Tzu. I’ve had a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York, and I’m currently working on my next novel. 

Thomas' book list on by and about journalists

Thomas Kies Why did Thomas love this book?

Mr. Belsky’s media background is in newspapers, magazines, and TV/digital news. Yesterday’s News is the first in his series featuring Clare Carlson, the hard-driving and tenacious news director for Channel 10 in New York City. When eleven-year-old Lucy Devlin disappeared on her way to school more than a decade ago, it became one of the most famous missing child cases in history. The story turned reporter Clare Carlson into a media superstar overnight.

Now Clare once again plunges back into this sensational story. With new evidence, new victims, and new suspects—too many suspects. Everyone from members of a motorcycle gang to a prominent politician running for a US Senate seat seems to have secrets they’re hiding about what really might have happened to Lucy Devlin. 

I love Mr. Belsky’s Clare Carlson series because they’re fast-paced and thought out and the protagonist is easy to identify with.

By R.G. Belsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yesterday's News as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Tell me what happened to my daughter?” For fifteen years this anguished plea has haunted reporter Clare Carlson

When eleven-year-old Lucy Devlin disappeared on her way to school more than a decade ago, it became one of the most famous missing child cases in history.

The story turned reporter Clare Carlson into a media superstar overnight. Clare broke exclusive after exclusive. She had unprecedented access to the Devlin family as she wrote about the heartbreaking search for their young daughter. She later won a Pulitzer Prize for her extraordinary coverage of the case.

Now Clare once again plunges back into…