John Grisham Books: What Reading Order Is Best?

John Grisham’s writing is very stable.

If you read his first book The Firm (1991) and then Rogue Lawyer (2015), the only thing you’ll notice is the technology that the characters used has changed (from phones and faxes to mobiles/email/internet).

You will barely notice a shift in writing style.

He’s been a gripping writer all the way through.

You may be aware that he writes in 2 styles: Legal stories and non-legal stories.

I like his legal stories more. Even though A Painted House (2001) is fantastic, some of his others were not quite as interesting (sorry John if you are reading this!).

Therefore, if you are a new addict of John Grisham’s novels I propose this order:

  1. His legal stories first (in publishing order)
  2. Then his Jake Brigance and Theodore Boone series
  3. And then, just for fun, have a go at his non-legal stories after that

John Grisham Stand-Alone Novels (In the legal Genre)

These novels can be read in any order really, but I prefer the analytical option of completing them in order of publishing date.

  1. The Firm (1991) [Amazon]
  2. The Pelican Brief (1992) [Amazon]
  3. The Client (1993) [Amazon]
  4. The Chamber (1994) [Amazon]
  5. The Rainmaker (1995) [Amazon]
  6. The Runaway Jury (1996) [Amazon]
  7. The Partner (1997) [Amazon]
  8. The Street Lawyer (1998) [Amazon]
  9. The Testament (1999) [Amazon]
  10. The Brethren (2000) [Amazon]
  11. The Summons (2002) [Amazon]
  12. The King of Torts (2003) [Amazon]
  13. The Last Juror (2004) [Amazon]
  14. The Broker (2005) [Amazon]
  15. The Innocent Man (2006) [Amazon]
  16. The Appeal (2008) [Amazon]
  17. The Associate (2009) [Amazon]
  18. Ford County (2009) [Amazon]
  19. The Confession (2010) [Amazon]
  20. The Litigators (2011) [Amazon]
  21. The Racketeer (2012) [Amazon]
  22. Gray Mountain (2014) [Amazon]
  23. Rogue Lawyer (2015) [Amazon]
  24. The Whistler (2016) [Amazon]
  25. The Rooster Bar (2018) [Amazon]
  26. The Reckoning (2019) [Amazon]
  27. The Guardians (2019) [Amazon]
  28. Camino Winds (2020) [Amazon]
  29. A Time For Mercy (2020) [Amazon]

John Grisham Series

It’s nice to read these books in their intended order, I recommend starting with the Jake Brigance series and then moving onto the Theodore Boone series.

  1. Jake Brigance
    • A Time To Kill (1989) [Amazon]
    • Sycamore Row (2013) [Amazon]
    • A Time For Mercy (2020) [Amazon]
  2. Theodore Boone
    • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010) [Amazon]
    • Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011) [Amazon]
    • Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012) [Amazon]
    • Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013) [Amazon]
    • Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015) [Amazon]
    • Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016) [Amazon]
    • Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (2019) [Amazon]

John Grisham Novels (Outside Of The Legal Genre)

  1. A Painted House (2001) [Amazon]
  2. Skipping Christmas (2001) [Amazon]
  3. Bleachers (2003) [Amazon]
  4. Playing for Pizza (2007) [Amazon]
  5. Calico Joe (2012) [Amazon]
  6. The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller (2016) [Amazon] – Free ebook!
  7. Camino Island (2017) [Amazon]

Your Thoughts?

Are you a huge fan? Have you just begun reading the books? Which order is best?

Have your say in the comments below.


33 thoughts on “John Grisham Books: What Reading Order Is Best?

  1. 07May,2016
    I just finished A Painted House, and I must say it is a very good read.
    I would rate it as 4 & 1/4 Stars outta 5.

    Thanks for a Great Read John Grisham!
    MN1 Robert Briggs
    USN Retired
    Vietnam Veteran N TN

  2. I have read and own every book John Grisham has ever written. My favorites are A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row. He is one of the best authors I have ever read even though I like others.

    • A Time For Mercy! Jake Brigance. I hope Mr Grisham continues this series. I know all these characters so well by now and I want MORE!

  3. I am in the process of starting John Grisham books. I have read so far, a Time to Kill, Sycamore Row, Pelican Brief, King of Torts. Looking for another author for some variety, but, I’m stuck on Grisham! Any recommendation?

  4. I have all John Grisham books plus the DVD’s and continue to read and watch them over again..
    I love best “Playing For Pizza” and wish that could be made into a DVD.
    I also like”Mickey” (I’m a sport fanatic)

  5. I have all of his books so far I am addicted to his writing and love reading them
    Sonja Camacho from Sullivan, Indiana

  6. I have read and have bought for my own library all of John Grisham books plus the DVD’s of the films, Including the DVD of Mickey (baseball film)
    I read them all over again. They are the best reading material ever.

    • I’m the same Barbara from Tasmania (Australia) who wrote this and I also wish that more DVD’s of his books could be made.

      • Nov. 1st 2020. I can’t send a message, so have to depend on replying to my own and hope someone sees it.
        I have just read “A Time for Mercy” and couldn’t put it down.
        I was disappointed after I had finished it because there was no more left of it to read.
        I’m starting on a second reading again..
        I have read all of Grisham’s books more than twice now and can’t get enough of him.

  7. I’m 72 & a carer. So far have read 12 in 3 months. Only reason not more is they are not available at my library.

    Brisbane Australia.

  8. Love John Grisham books I’m sad he has written three books that you can only read as ebooks as i have collected all his books and would love to have these three in a book form not an ebook.

  9. I like the comments from the other readers.
    Am anxiously waiting for next week when the latest Camino book will be
    on sale.
    Barbara from Tasmania (Australia)

  10. Yes I agree, John Grisham is my favourite. I love that the story usually covers a specific topic in America, and therefore creates more awareness of it. In Lockdown now, I’m fishing out all the books of his that I have so far, writing myself the list of all books (the above list is therefore helpful!) and am set to order to fill in the gaps! Looking forward to The Guardians in paperback and A Time for Mercy in October ’20. Yes I agree with having the book itself, I fear we are a breed though, houses filled with too many books 🙂
    Carolyn from London UK

    • I loved the latest A Time for Mercy, was hard to leave off reading.
      Am about to read again.
      Hope you are doing well in lockdown.
      Maybe a new book from John Grisham will cover this next time.
      That would be ideal. Maybe! maybe not!

  11. Just finished reading his new book The Judges List. As always a good read. I own every book that he has written and all books are great reads.

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