Michael Connelly's Book Picks

The author of the Harry Bosch series and, famously, one of Bill Clinton’s favorite mystery writers shares some of his favorites, from Vonnegut to a memoir that has yet to be released.

The author of the Harry Bosch series and, famously, one of Bill Clinton’s favorite mystery writers shares some of his favorites, from Vonnegut to a memoir that has yet to be released. Connelly’s most recent book, The Scarecrow, was released last week.

The Way Homeby George Pelecanos

“You can tell every page comes from the heart.”

Pelecanos is the master of the crime novel as social document. This time the crime story is just window-dressing for a meditation on a father-son relationship. It may be the book he leaves the most impressive mark with, because you can tell every page comes from the heart.

The Black Marbleby Joseph Wambaugh

“These stories are not about how cops work on cases but how cases work on cops.”

Still a strong and vital writer after four decades of producing top-shelf cop novels, Wambaugh practically wrote the treatise that informs every cop novel since, including my own. I am revisiting this book from 1978 because it quietly set forth that the best of these stories are not about how cops work on cases but how cases work on cops.

Cruel Poetry by Vicki Hendricks

“The motors in Hendricks’ novels run on high-octane lust. She knows no boundaries.”

The motors in Hendricks’ novels run on high-octane lust. She knows no boundaries. This one blends the gutter and academia into a sun-bleached masterpiece of sex and violence in hard- broiled Miami Beach.

The Opposite Field by Jesse Katz

“It’s got that indescribable thing that is in all great storytelling.”

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You can’t read this memoir yet. It won’t be published until later this year, but I got an early peek at it. Calling it a memoir is probably a disservice. It’s much, much more. It’s about baseball and it’s about love and it’s about the clashing and merging of cultures. It’s got that indescribable thing that is in all great storytelling. That glue, the juice, the stuff that captures the human experience in such a way that speaks to all of us.

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

“The late, great writer did the near impossible with this book.”

Vonnegut’s classic gem. The late, great writer did the near impossible with this book, creating a story both at once hilarious and frightening. The novel is a timeless story carrying timeless warnings about organized religion, politics, and science.

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