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Scott Turow's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Scott Turow recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Scott Turow's favorite book recommendations of all time.


A Married Man

A Novel

John Strickland is a middle-aged barrister with a wife, Clare, and two children. Staying with his parents-in-law at their house in Norfolk, he reads Leo Tolstoy’s novella, The Death of Ivan Illych, and this precipitates a mid-life crisis. What has happened to his youthful ideals to do good in the world? What has happened that has made his marriage go stale? It is the period of strikes, political crisis and the `three-day week’: Strickland determines to stand as a Labour MP. His ambition is mocked by his wife and, blaming her for his life’s stagnation, he starts an affair with another woman. less
Recommended by Scott Turow, and 1 others.

Scott TurowIt is elegantly plotted and it’s about serious stuff – about a lawyer in London who’s turning 40 and about the approach of middle age. (Source)

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The Just and the Unjust

In The Just and the Unjust, Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Gould Cozzens examines the ways in which freedom under the law operates in a democracy when a murder trial dominates the life of a small town.
Recommended by Scott Turow, and 1 others.

Scott TurowThis is just a very, very good book about a small-town lawyer. It’s ultra-realistic, which means that it is from that time when realist novelists believed that their job was to portray only the so-called middle range of experience. (Source)

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Billy Budd, Sailor

A handsome young sailor is unjustly accused of plotting mutiny in this timeless tale of the sea. less
Recommended by Scott Turow, and 1 others.

Scott TurowIt’s a clear classic … it stands on its own as simply a classic piece of literature about the war between duty and morality. (Source)

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To Kill a Mockingbird

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and...

Eric BerkowitzThe case is about racism, but it’s also about white sexual fear of the black man, and the failed effort of white America to stop intermixing. I think the notion of the scary black man still permeates the American justice system today. I don’t think To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever, but it is a very good window into the ingrained sexual fear that permeated at... (Source)

Scott TurowIt’s dated in many ways; it’s extremely sentimental. But it’s beautifully done – you can’t take a thing away from it. (Source)

David Heinemeier HanssonReally liking this one so far. I’m sure a lot of people here probably read it in high school or whatever, but it wasn’t on the Danish curriculum, so here I am! (Source)

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Snow Falling on Cedars

Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric—a masterpiece of suspense San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and... more
Recommended by Scott Turow, Bryan Callen, and 2 others.

Scott Turowit’s just a superb novel, full of really beautiful characterizations – the reporter who’s covering this trial, and his elderly lawyer who’s defending the case is quite a remarkable character. (Source)

Bryan CallenSo here are my three must read books. I've been reading a lot of great books like: Outsmart Your Instincts, The Culture Code, and Antonio Damasio’s The Strange Order, and sometimes when you read a lot of nonfiction it’s very enriching, sometimes you need a novel. I really believe you should take a minute and read something beautiful. Listen, listen to Lolita by Nabokov. But also listen to Blood... (Source)

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