The most recommended sniper books

Who picked these books? Meet our 14 experts.

14 authors created a book list connected to snipers, and here are their favorite sniper books.
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Book cover of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

Robert Patrick Lewis Author Of Love Me When I'm Gone: The True Story of Life, Love, and Loss for a Green Beret in Post-9/11 War.

From my list on non-fiction on US special operations at war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former Green Beret and combat veteran of OIF (Iraq), OEF (Afghanistan), and OEF-TS (North Africa). My first unit within Special Forces is the oldest within SF, and as such, I had the opportunity to work alongside some legends amongst men, people who were there in the early days of Special Operations. After leaving Special Forces I have written three published Special Operations-focused books, both fiction and non-fiction, which has led to a life of studying everything there is to know about Special Operations, the intelligence behind wars, and the history of both.

Robert's book list on non-fiction on US special operations at war

Robert Patrick Lewis Why did Robert love this book?

Books that tell the story of Special Operations soldiers fighting in the Global War on Terror typically focus all of their efforts on adrenaline, explosions, the men, and the teams. While those are all critical elements and essential to the stories, most of them leave out one of the most crucial factors to keeping Special Operations troops in the fight.

In Special Forces, we had many sayings, but one of the most important was, if momma ain’t happy, Joe ain’t happy.” 

All active duty soldiers engaged in war, even we Special Operators, depend on our families to keep us going. These may be the details required to keep the household running, keeping the family happy, healthy & fed (as nearly all Special Operators are extremely family-oriented), but also to be the rocks that we can fall back on when needed, the support to keep us pushing forward, and…

By Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle tells the story of his legendary career, from 1999-2009, during which time he recorded the most confirmed sniper kills (officially a record 155, though the real number is even much higher) in the history of the United States military, any branch, from 1776 to present. Nicknamed The Legend by his fellow SEALS, Kyle's service in Iraq and Afghanistan earned him seven medals for bravery, including two Silver Stars. With the pacing of thriller, "American Sniper" vividly recounts Chief Kyle's experiences at key battles, including the March on Baghdad (beginning of Iraq War), Fallujah, Ramadi,…


Book cover of The White Sniper: Simo Häyhä

Väinö Mononen Author Of The Lost Russian Ski Brigade: A hard fate in the Finnish Winter War

From my list on winter warfare in Arctic conditions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in 1957 in Finland. I completed my military service in the Kainuu Brigade, graduating as a reserve officer. Later, I worked in the field of voluntary national defense as a spokesperson and editor-in-chief of a reservist magazine, and participated in numerous refresher exercises around the North Karelia region. I also wandered a lot in the wilderness of Kainuu, where my father lived. I was attracted by the peace of nature, and all my free time with my wife was spent in the wilderness in our own hideaway. As I walked the terrain, I couldn't help but notice the scars of the Winter War. Soon, I became seriously interested in past events.

Väinö's book list on winter warfare in Arctic conditions

Väinö Mononen Why did Väinö love this book?

Finnish Simo Häyhä is the world's most famous sniper. The statement that best describes him is: One shot–one hit. Simo Häyhä still holds the top spot in the calculated world statistics for snipers with 542 kills. Häyhä still serves as a role model for all snipers, regardless of nationality.

In the Winter War on the Kollaa line, Häyhä made history by eliminating more than five hundred enemies. Häyhä was rewarded for his achievements in numerous different ways, such as by promoting him from lance sergeant directly to second lieutenant, by awarding him the Kollaa Memorial Cross, and by awarding him as the best sniper on the war front with a model 28 rifle manufactured by the SAKO arms factory. I have had the honor of holding that award rifle in my hand. It vividly reminded me of my own military sniper training in Kajaani.

Häyhä's war ended dramatically on March…

By Tapio Saarelainen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Simo Hayha (1905 - 2002) is the most famous sniper in the world. During the Winter War fought between Russia and Finland in 1939 - 1940 he had 542 confirmed kills with iron sights, a record that still stands today. He has been a role model for snipers all over the world and paved the way for them by demonstrating their significance on the battlefield.

Simo Hayha was a man of action who spoke very little, but he was hugely respected by his men and his superiors and given many difficult missions, including taking out specific targets. Able to move…


Book cover of Ghost Target

Stephen Templin Author Of Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper

From my list on black ops memoirs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a NYT and international bestselling author, with the movie rights to one of my books purchased by Vin Diesel. My books have been translated into 13 languages, and I’ve published with three of the Big Five publishers: Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette UK. My writing has been called “action packed…harrowing…adrenaline laced” by The New York Times. I wasn’t a SEAL, but I completed Hell Week, qualified as a pistol and rifle expert, blew up stuff, and practiced small-unit tactics during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. Secretly, I’m a dark chocolate thief.

Stephen's book list on black ops memoirs

Stephen Templin Why did Stephen love this book?

Army Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nick Irving hunts for “The Chechnian” in Afghanistan in this action-packed memoir of war, comradery, and sacrifice. The reader endures sniper training before deploying to Afghanistan. Irving’s numerous insights into sniping at night in mountainous terrain blend smoothly with his priceless memoir. On each hit, we feel him push aside his excitement and fear to take that next critical killing shot…

By Nicholas Irving, A. J. Tata,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An explosive, no-holds-barred thriller by New York Times bestselling author and star of Fox TV’s American Grit Nicholas Irving

Vick “The Reaper” Harwood is an esteemed sniper with a record kill count―33 kills in 90 days―when he is wounded at war. Now back in the U.S. with little memory of what happened, Harwood is eager to put the past behind him. He finds work training Special Forces snipers in Fort Bragg and enters a promising relationship with an Olympic medalist named Jackie. But his sixth sense tells him that something about his new life is not right.

“Will ensnare readers…


Book cover of American Sniper: Chuck Mawhinney

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam

From my list on snipers in the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in Vietnam and observed the direct results of snipers. I am the author of 30 non-fiction books on the military (six specifically about the Vietnam War), sports, and health that have sold more than 1.1 million copies in 15 countries and 12 languages.

Michael's book list on snipers in the Vietnam War

Michael Lee Lanning Why did Michael love this book?

There are many books, some greatly fictionalized, claiming just who was the most effective USMC sniper in Vietnam.  Although extremely brief, this book confirms just who was the top Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.  Mawhinney had 103 kills.  Unlike other snipers who have embellished their accomplishments, Mawhinney has remained modest and off the grid.  He alone sits at the top of the list of "Marine snipers with the most kills."

Book cover of Panic Attack

Linda Reid Author Of Renegades: The Zygan Emprise Trilogy, Book 1

From Linda's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Creator Mom Trekkie Hitchhiker Murder mystery maven

Linda's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Linda Reid Why did Linda love this book?

As an avid reader and digester of Dennis Palumbo’s outstanding thriller series, I eagerly dived into his latest book, Panic Attack

Rinaldi expertly uses his skills as a psychologist with a “tough on the outside, warm heart on the inside” personality to extricate himself from the dangerous situations he is drawn to as an advocate for compassionate justice and the innocent.

In Panic Attack, Rinaldi witnesses a college mascot shot by a sniper at a football game and gets drawn into another murder mystery when the intended victim calls the psychologist to help him deal with his panic. Soon, Rinaldi has been drafted to investigate a killing spree in which a serial murderer could be targeting him.

Palumbo, as in his other Rinaldi books, weaves a gripping, exciting thriller with fascinating characters and always surprising plot twists set in a wonderfully created atmosphere of Pittsburgh noir. I’ve enjoyed…

By Dennis Palumbo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A shooter takes deadly aim, and throws a city into panic
Psychologist Daniel Rinaldi is no stranger to trauma. A survivor of not one, but two attempts on his life by a deranged killer, the therapist also counsels trauma patients in his private practice, and contracts with the Pittsburgh Police to help victims of violent crime cope with their experience. When a sports mascot is gunned down mid-field by a sniper at a college football game he attends, Rinaldi becomes an accidental yet integral part of the investigation. To begin with, the victim in the costume is not the person…


Book cover of The Long-Range War: Sniping In Vietnam

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam

From my list on snipers in the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in Vietnam and observed the direct results of snipers. I am the author of 30 non-fiction books on the military (six specifically about the Vietnam War), sports, and health that have sold more than 1.1 million copies in 15 countries and 12 languages.

Michael's book list on snipers in the Vietnam War

Michael Lee Lanning Why did Michael love this book?

Contains the history, along with exceptional pictures and illustrations, of Army and Marine snipers in Vietnam. Along with history it details the fielding of rifles, scopes, and suppression devices. More technical than “war story” it provides an excellent base document on which to build an education on long range shooting by American soldiers and Marines in the Vietnam War.

By Peter R. Senich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Long-Range War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the most complete report ever on the U.S. military's unprecedented use of snipers and sniping equipment in Vietnam. Highlighted are the fielding of the XM21 sniper rifle and the Adjustable Ranging Telescope, plus the application of sound suppression devices and special carbines so typical of the unconventional warfare in SE Asia. 8 1/2 x 11, hardcover, photos, illus., 280 pp.


Book cover of The Diamond Eye

Todd Harra Author Of Last Rites: The Evolution of the American Funeral

From Todd's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Funeral historian Undertaker Family man Enjoys a cold beer

Todd's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Todd Harra Why did Todd love this book?

I love history, and The Diamond Eye is a fantastic retelling of Soviet sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko’s story. Quinn’s research into Pavlichenko’s life is evident as she seamlessly weaves details about the deadliest female sniper ever into a thrilling narrative that encompasses a plot to assassinate American President Roosevelt.

Who doesn’t like a good underdog story? When we first meet Pavlichenko, she is a young, single mother with a small child working a factory job. Through sheer tenacity and hard work, she enrolls in Kiev University to get her degree, and the war breaks out. She then embarks on her remarkable military career that propels her onto the international stage and to an officer’s rank (all the while carrying her cherished university thesis).

This is the best story about someone you’ve never heard of before.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Diamond Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The brand-new historical novel based on a true story from the bestselling author of The Rose Code and The Alice Network

In the snowbound city of Kiev, aspiring historian Mila Pavlichenko's life revolves around her young son - until Hitler's invasion of Russia changes everything. Suddenly, she and her friends must take up arms to save their country from the Fuhrer's destruction.

Handed a rifle, Mila discovers a gift - and months of blood, sweat and tears turn the young woman into a deadly sniper: the most lethal hunter of Nazis.

Yet success is bittersweet. Mila is torn from the…


Book cover of One Shot

Trevor Douglas Author Of Cold Comfort

From my list on characters I can’t forget.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read my first crime thriller at the age of 12, and since then I’ve always had a passion to write my own stories. Although I’ve never worked as a police officer, I spent close to 10 years working as an IT consultant to multiple police forces in Australia before retiring to write full-time. The time spent working closely with law enforcement gave me a ‘feel’ for how police forces operate and helped me gravitate towards the police procedural genre. A book that moved at the pace of most police investigations would never sell and I love the challenge of making the stories authentic but still moving at a pace to keep the reader captivated.

Trevor's book list on characters I can’t forget

Trevor Douglas Why did Trevor love this book?

The Jack Reacher character is arguably the best-known protagonist in the mystery thriller genre. In most novels I’ve ever read, the main character has a character arc where the protagonist learns from his adventures, trials, and tribulations and becomes a better person (or in some cases the opposite). Whatever the trajectory, the character changes over time, but in Lee Childs’ books, the Jack Reacher character never changes. Reacher is your quintessential flat line – nothing phases him and nothing ever changes him. He's a drifter, who walks the USA with a toothbrush in one pocket and an ATM card in the other. Reacher likes to stay out of trouble, but he’s not afraid to confront it either when it finds him. It's very hard not to like Jack Reacher and it's even harder not to like Lee Childs books (he's written 27 so far). I always read a Jack Reacher…

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Six shots. Five dead.

A heartland city thrown into terror. But within hours the cops have it solved. A slam-dunk case. Apart from one thing. The accused gunman refuses to talk except for a single phrase:

Get Jack Reacher for me.

Reacher lives off the grid. He's not looking for trouble. But sometimes trouble looks for him. What could connect the noble Reacher to this psychopathic killer?

_________

Although the Jack Reacher can be read in any order, One Shot is the 9th in the series.

And be sure not to miss Reacher's newest adventure, no.27, No Plan B! ***OUT…


Book cover of 13 Cent Killers: The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam

From my list on snipers in the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in Vietnam and observed the direct results of snipers. I am the author of 30 non-fiction books on the military (six specifically about the Vietnam War), sports, and health that have sold more than 1.1 million copies in 15 countries and 12 languages.

Michael's book list on snipers in the Vietnam War

Michael Lee Lanning Why did Michael love this book?

Titled after the cost of a single sniper round, this book details the performance and accomplishment of scout snipers in the 5th Marine Regiment. Culberson and his fellow Marine snipers exhibited patience, stealth, marksmanship, and pure courage to make their sniper platoon the most decorated in the Corps. Uncommon valor was a common virtue among these one-shot killers.

By John J. Culbertson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 13 Cent Killers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“It’s not easy to stay alive with a $1,000 bounty on your head.”

In 1967, a bullet cost thirteen cents, and no one gave Uncle Sam a bigger bang for his buck than the 5th Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon. So feared were these lethal marksmen that the Viet Cong offered huge rewards for killing them. Now noted Vietnam author John J. Culbertson, a former 5th Marine sniper himself, presents the riveting true stories of young Americans who fought with bolt rifles and bounties on their heads during the fiercest combat of the war,from 1967 through the desperate Tet battle for…


Book cover of War of the Rats

Ursula Wong Author Of Amber Wolf

From my list on WWII and Eastern Europe (that you may not know about).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Lithuanian-American with a Chinese name, thanks to my husband. Thirty years ago, I found papers among my uncle’s possessions telling a WWII story about our ancestral Lithuania. I had heard about it in broad terms, but I could hardly believe what I was reading. I spent years validating the material. The result was Amber Wolf, a historical novel about a war within the war: the fight against the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe. While many countries were involved in separate struggles, I focused on Lithuania and their David and Goliath fight against the Russian army. After all this time, the story still moves me.

Ursula's book list on WWII and Eastern Europe (that you may not know about)

Ursula Wong Why did Ursula love this book?

This riveting novel brings us into the lives of Russian snipers during the WW II siege of Stalingrad.

We live in a basement, learn something of extreme patience, and get a sense of how people barely remain sane in pressure-cooker situations. What struck me most were the women. One was a sniper with extreme convictions. Others were there for the pleasure of the men. But the best part of the novel was the cat-and-mouse game between opposing snipers. 

Not only did I learn something about warfare, but I couldn’t put the book down.

By David L. Robbins,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked War of the Rats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stalingrad in 1942 is a city in ruins, its Russian defenders fighting to the last man to repel the invading German army. One of their most potent weapons is the crack sniper school developed by Vasily Zaitsev. Its members can pick off the enemy at long range, and their daring tactics - hiding for hours in no man's land until a brief opportunity presents itself - mean that no German, and particularly no German officer, can ever feel safe. This part of the battle is as much psychological as anything, and to counter the continuing threat to German morale, the…