John Grisham Popular Books

John Grisham Biography & Facts

John Ray Grisham Jr. (; born February 8, 1955) is an American novelist, lawyer and former member of the 7th district of the Mississippi House of Representatives, known for his best selling legal thrillers. According to the American Academy of Achievement, Grisham has written 37 consecutive number-one fiction bestsellers, and his books have sold 300 million copies worldwide. Along with Tom Clancy and J. K. Rowling, Grisham is one of only three authors to have sold two million copies on the first printing.Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He practised criminal law for about a decade and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990.Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, was published in June 1989, four years after he began writing it. It was later adapted into the 1996 feature film of the same name. Grisham's first bestseller, The Firm, sold more than seven million copies, and was also adapted into a 1993 feature film of the same name, starring Tom Cruise, and a 2012 TV series which continues the story ten years after the events of the film and novel. Seven of his other novels have also been adapted into films: The Chamber, The Client, A Painted House, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas. Early life Grisham, the second of five children, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Wanda (née Skidmore) and John Ray Grisham. His father was a construction worker and a cotton farmer, and his mother was a homemaker. When Grisham was four years old, his family settled in Southaven, Mississippi, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.As a child, he wanted to be a baseball player. As noted in the foreword to Calico Joe, Grisham gave up playing baseball at the age of 18, after a game in which a pitcher aimed a beanball at him, and narrowly missed, doing the young Grisham grave harm. Although Grisham's parents lacked formal education, his mother encouraged him to read and prepare for college. He drew on his childhood experiences for his novel A Painted House. Grisham started working for a plant nursery as a teenager, watering bushes for $1.00 an hour. He was soon promoted to a fence crew for $1.50 an hour. He wrote about the job: "there was no future in it". At 16, Grisham took a job with a plumbing contractor but says he "never drew inspiration from that miserable work".Through one of his father's contacts, he managed to find work on a highway asphalt crew in Mississippi at age 17. It was during this time that an unfortunate incident got him "serious" about college. A fight with gunfire broke out among the crew, causing Grisham to run to a nearby restroom to find safety. He did not come out until after the police had detained the perpetrators. He hitchhiked home and started thinking about college. His next work was in retail, as a salesclerk in a department store men's underwear section, which he described as "humiliating". By this time, Grisham was halfway through college. Planning to become a tax lawyer, he was soon overcome by "the complexity and lunacy" of it, deciding instead to return to his hometown as a trial lawyer.He attended the Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi and later attended Delta State University in Cleveland. Grisham changed colleges three times before completing a degree. He eventually graduated from Mississippi State University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. He later enrolled in the University of Mississippi School of Law intending to become a tax lawyer, but his interest shifted to general civil litigation. He graduated in 1981 with a J.D. degree. Career Law and politics Grisham practiced law for about a decade and won election as a Democrat to the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990. He challenged the incumbent after becoming embarrassed by Mississippi's national reputation and inspired by the passage of the Education Reform Act of 1982. Grisham represented the 7th District, which included DeSoto County, Mississippi. By his second term in the state legislature, he was the vice-chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committee and a member of several other committees. He supported Representative Ed Perry's unsuccessful bid for the House speakership in 1987. With a different speaker elected at the beginning of the 1988 legislative session, Grisham was out of favor with the new legislative leaders and assigned to more minor committee roles. Not as busy with political affairs, he devoted more time to his novel, The Firm. Grisham later reflected that if Perry had become speaker he might have been given more committee responsibilities and thus unable to write.Grisham's writing career blossomed with the success of his second book, The Firm, and he gave up practicing law, except for returning briefly in 1996 to represent the family of a railroad worker who was killed on the job. His official website states: "He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer. Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500 — the biggest verdict of his career." Writing career Grisham said a case that inspired his first novel came in 1984, but it was not his case. He heard a 12-year-old girl telling a jury what had happened to her. Her story intrigued Grisham. He saw how the members of the jury cried as she told them about having been raped and beaten. "I remember staring at the defendant and wishing I had a gun." It was then, Grisham later wrote in The New York Times, that a story was born. Over the next three years he wrote his first book, A Time to Kill. The book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, agreed to give it a modest 5,000 copy printing. It was published in June 1988.The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on his second novel, The Firm. The Firm remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 47 weeks, and became the seventh bestselling novel of 1991. This would begin a streak of having one of the top 10 selling novels of the year for nearly the next two decades. In 1992 and 1993 he had the second-bestselling book of the year with The Pelican Brief and The Client, and from 1994 to 2000 he had the number one bestselling book every year. In 2001 Grisham did not have the bestselling book of the year, but had both the second and third books on the list with Skipping Christmas and A Painted House. In 1992, The Firm was made into a film starring Tom Cruise and Ed Harris and was released in June 1993, grossing $270 million. A feature film version of The Pelican Brief starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington was released later that year and grossed $195 million. Following their success, Regency Enterprises paid Grisham $2.25 million for the rights to The Client which was released in 1994 starring Susan Sarandon.... Discover the John Grisham popular books. Find the top 100 most popular John Grisham books.

Best Seller John Grisham Books of 2023

  • Gray Mountain synopsis, comments

    Gray Mountain

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  John Grisham has a new hero ... and she’s full of surprises.   The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street ...

  • The Innocent Man synopsis, comments

    The Innocent Man

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction: a true crime story that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence. LOOK FOR THE ...

  • Partners synopsis, comments


    John Grisham

    AN ORIGINAL ESHORT  This standalone prequel to the #1 bestseller Rogue Lawyer tells the story of how Sebastian Rudd finally found someone he could trust to be his driver,...

  • A Time to Kill synopsis, comments

    A Time to Kill

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The master of the legal thriller probes the savage depths of racial violence in this searing courtroom drama featuring the beloved Jake Brigance. “Jo...

  • The Whistler synopsis, comments

    The Whistler

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A highstakes thrill ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State, from the author hailed as “the best thriller writer alive” by Ken Follett ...

  • The Confession synopsis, comments

    The Confession

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.   In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis ...

  • The Testament synopsis, comments

    The Testament

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In a plush Virginia office, a rich, angry old man is furiously rewriting his will. With his death just hours away, Troy Phelan wants to send a message...

  • The Summons synopsis, comments

    The Summons

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  A pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years, Judge Atlee is now a shadow of his former selfa sick, lonely o...

  • The Street Lawyer synopsis, comments

    The Street Lawyer

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  Michael Brock is billing the hours, making the money, rushing relentlessly to the top of Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. law firm. One step awa...

  • The Racketeer synopsis, comments

    The Racketeer

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “The Racketeer is guilty of only one thing: keeping us engaged until the very last page.”USA Today In the history of the United States, only four act...

  • The Maze synopsis, comments

    The Maze

    Nelson DeMille

    #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille returns with a “genuinely thrilling” (The New York Times) suspense novel featuring his most popular series character, former NYP...

  • Playing for Pizza synopsis, comments

    Playing for Pizza

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER After providing what is arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL, thirdstring quarterback Rick Dockery becomes a national laugh...

  • The Firm synopsis, comments

    The Firm

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  From the master of legal thrillers, a pageturning classic of “suitanddagger suspense” (The New York Times): At the top of his class at Harva...

  • The Last Juror synopsis, comments

    The Last Juror

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER  In 1970, Willie Traynor comes to Clanton, Mississippi, in a Triumph Spitfire and a fog of vague ambitions. Within a year, the twentythreeye...

  • Camino Winds synopsis, comments

    Camino Winds

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER “The perfect crime scene ... in the type of wild but smart caper that Grisham’s readers love.”Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads ...

  • The Pelican Brief synopsis, comments

    The Pelican Brief

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER In suburban Georgetown a killer's Reeboks whisper on the front floor of a posh home... In a seedy D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to&#x...

  • Sycamore Row synopsis, comments

    Sycamore Row

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER John Grisham returns to the iconic setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill, as Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a controversial trial that ...

  • End Game synopsis, comments

    End Game

    David Baldacci

    Two of the government's most lethal assassins scour rural Colorado to find their missing handlerand discover an insidious and lethal threat along the way in this New York Times bes...

  • The Associate synopsis, comments

    The Associate

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER If you thought Mitch McDeere was in trouble in The Firm, wait until you meet Kyle McAvoy, The AssociateKyle McAvoy possesses an outstanding legal mind...

  • The Guardians synopsis, comments

    The Guardians

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER  A classic legal thrillerwith a twist. "A suspenseful thriller mixed with powerful themes such as false incarceration, the death penalty an...

  • The Appeal synopsis, comments

    The Appeal

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small t...

  • Witness to a Trial synopsis, comments

    Witness to a Trial

    John Grisham

    A startling and original courtroom drama from New York Times #1 Best Seller John Grisham that is the prequel to his newest legal thriller, The Whistler. An Original EShort. A judge...

  • The Litigators synopsis, comments

    The Litigators

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER After leaving a fasttrack legal career and going on a serious bender, David Zinc is sober, unemployed, and desperate enough to take a job at Finley &a...

  • Feast Day of Fools synopsis, comments

    Feast Day of Fools

    James Lee Burke

    The critically acclaimed thirtieth entry from New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke, featuring Texas Sheriff Hackberry Holland in an epic tale that is equal parts thril...

  • Calico Joe synopsis, comments

    Calico Joe

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball…“Grisham knocks it out of the...

  • The Cuban Affair synopsis, comments

    The Cuban Affair

    Nelson DeMille

    Nelson DeMille’s #1 New York Times bestseller, “an actionpacked, relentlessly paced thriller” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), featuring DeMille’s newest characterU.S. Army com...

  • The Deserter synopsis, comments

    The Deserter

    Nelson DeMille & Alex Demille

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAn “outstanding” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) blistering thriller featuring a brilliant and unorthodox Army investigator, his enigmatic female partn...

  • The Boys from Biloxi synopsis, comments

    The Boys from Biloxi

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  Two families. One courtroom showdown. John Grisham’s most gripping thriller yet. “A legal literary legend.” USA Today  John Grisham return...

  • The Rooster Bar synopsis, comments

    The Rooster Bar

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER John Grisham’s newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that’s on shaky ground.Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, t...

  • Falling synopsis, comments


    T. J. Newman

    #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Terrifying…buckle up for a chilling summer read.” People (Best Books of the Week) “The perfect thriller! A mustread.” Gillian Fly...

  • The Partner synopsis, comments

    The Partner

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  Once he was a wellliked, wellpaid young partner in a thriving Mississippi law firm. Then Patrick Lanigan stole ninety million dollars from his ow...

  • Sooley synopsis, comments


    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dre...

  • The King of Torts synopsis, comments

    The King of Torts

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and,...

  • A Painted House synopsis, comments

    A Painted House

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  Until that September of 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie. But in the long, hot summer of his seventh year, ...

  • The Brethren synopsis, comments

    The Brethren

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison. One was sent up for tax evasion. Another...

  • A Time for Mercy synopsis, comments

    A Time for Mercy

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Jake Brigance is back! The hero of A Time to Kill, one of the most popular novels of our time, returns in a courtroom drama that The New York Times sa...

  • Drowning synopsis, comments


    T. J. Newman

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “The first terrific thriller of 2023.” James Patterson “Spectacular…Taut, gripping.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Reads like Apollo 13 underwater.”...

  • Rogue Lawyer synopsis, comments

    Rogue Lawyer

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Featuring one of John Grisham’s most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller a...

  • The Reckoning synopsis, comments

    The Reckoning

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER John Grisham's most powerful, surprising, and suspenseful thriller yet  “A murder mystery, a courtroom drama, a family saga.” USA Today...

  • The New Iberia Blues synopsis, comments

    The New Iberia Blues

    James Lee Burke

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNamed one of the best crime novels of 2019 by The New York Times Book Review.The shocking death of a young woman leads Detective Dave Robicheaux into the d...

  • Sparring Partners synopsis, comments

    Sparring Partners

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  John Grisham is the acknowledged master of the legal thriller. In his first collection of novellas, law is a common thread, but America’s favorit...

  • The Broker synopsis, comments

    The Broker

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial lastminute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power ...

  • Camino Island synopsis, comments

    Camino Island

    John Grisham

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  “A delightfully lighthearted caper . . . [a] fastmoving, entertaining tale.”Pittsburgh PostGazette A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a ...