Journalists and Journalism: A Collection of Recommended Books 

Although many among us no longer read through a daily newspaper, the work of journalists around the world, ranging in media from print to digital to radio and television, remains one of the main ways that we discover information about the news and issues of the day. This month’s list of recommended titles includes a variety of novels and nonfiction focusing on the craft, lives, and challenges faced by journalists in the pursuit of this important profession.

Although many among us no longer read through a daily newspaper, the work of journalists around the world, ranging in media from print to digital to radio and television, remains one of the main ways that we discover information about the news and issues of the day. This month’s list of recommended titles includes a variety of novels and nonfiction focusing on the craft, lives, and challenges faced by journalists in the pursuit of this important profession.

Digital book (DB), braille (BR), large print (LT), and audio described videos (DVD) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.

Prepared by Leah Ellenbogen

Children’s Resource and Service Librarian

Perkins Library

The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers

by Terry McDonell

DB 85255, Available as BARD Download

Former editor at Time, Newsweek, Esquire, and other publications recounts his work experiences and the people he knew, including Hunter S. Thompson, David Carr, and Steve Jobs, among others. Provides advice on developing a career in journalism and publishing. Strong language. 2016.

Download The Accidental Life, DB 85255

After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story

by Michael Hainey

DB 79371, Available as BARD Download

Michael Hainey used his reporter skills to uncover the truth behind his newspaperman father’s death decades earlier when Michael was six. Bob Hainey was found alone near his car on Chicago’s North Side, dead of an apparent heart attack “after visiting friends,” but it was surrounded by mystery. 2013.

Download After Visiting Friends, DB 79371

All the President’s Men

by Carl Bernstein and Robert Woodward

DB 50574, BR 13143, Available as BARD Download

Two Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters chronicle their investigation of the Watergate scandal, which began as a burglary of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters on June 17, 1972. They explain the events that precipitated their first suspicions and led them to ascertain the truth. Some strong language. Bestseller. 1974.

Download All the President’s Men, DB 50574

Download Braille, All the President’s Men, BR 13143

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

by Deborah Solomon

DB 78042, Available as BARD Download

Author of Jackson Pollock: A Biography (DB 27937) examines the life and work of Norman Rockwell, preeminent illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post. Examines Rockwell’s struggles with depression and the ways the disorder influenced his work. Chronicles the evolution of visual journalism from illustration to photography and television. 2013.

Download American Mirror, DB 78042

Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels

by Paul Pringle

DB 109684, Available as BARD Download

In April 2016, a salacious tip arrived at the L.A. Times that reporter Paul Pringle thought should have taken, at most, a few weeks to check out: a drug overdose at a fancy hotel involving one of the University of Southern California’s shiniest stars-Dr. Carmen Puliafito, the head of the prestigious medical school. Pringle, who’d long done battle with USC and its almost impenetrable culture of silence, knew reporting the story wouldn’t be a walk in the park. USC is the largest private employer in the city of L.A., and it casts a long shadow. But what he couldn’t have foreseen was that this tip would lead to the unveiling of not one major scandal at USC but two, wrapped in a web of crimes and cover-ups. 2022.

Download Bad City, DB 109684

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan

DB 76074, Available as BARD Download

New York Post reporter’s account of the mysterious disease that mimicked mental illness and almost killed her in 2009, when she was twenty-four years old. Describes her eventual diagnosis–NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis, a rare brain infection that causes seizures and paranoia–and her successful treatment and recovery. Some strong language. 2012.

Download Brain on Fire, DB 76074

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

by Ronan Farrow

DB 97040, DB 101827 (Spanish), LT 27145, Available as BARD Download

In 2017, a routine network television investigation by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author revealed that one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator. Describes the surveillance and intimidation tactics deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. 2019.

Download Catch and Kill, DB 97040

Download Spanish, Catch and Kill, DB 101827

Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom

by Carl Bernstein

DB 106783, LT 31710, Available as BARD Download

The Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of All the President’s Men (DB 50574) reflects on his formative years as a teenage newspaper reporter at the Washington Star and the subsequent trajectory of his career. He discusses covering grisly crimes, political rallies, the civil rights movement, and more. Bestseller. 2022.

Download Chasing History, DB 106783

Citizen Reporters: S.S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine that Rewrote America

by Stephanie Gorton

DB 100096, Available as BARD Download

A history of the rise and fall of the influential Gilded Age magazine McClure’s, which was responsible for many groundbreaking stories of its time. The author also profiles the magazine’s staff and argues in favor of the importance of investigative journalism in a democracy. 2020.

Download Citizen Reporters, DB 100096

Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America; From the Age of the Pullman Porters to the Age of Obama

by Ethan Michaeli

DB 84186, Available as BARD Download

Former editor and reporter for the Chicago Defender examines the history of the publication which was founded in 1905 and spoke out on many race issues in the twentieth century. Its writers across the decades included Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes, and Martin Luther King, Jr. 2016

Download Defender, DB 84186

Dirty Headlines

by L. J. Shen

DB 93604, Available as BARD Download

With no job, a sick father, and a cheating ex, Jude is happy to enjoy a scorching one-night stand with handsome Frenchman Célian. Then she lands a job as an intern in a TV newsroom–and finds Célian is her new boss. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 2018.

Download Dirty Headlines, DB 93604

Don’t Blink

by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

DB 71941, LT 11135, Available as BARD Download

Magazine reporter Nick Daniels is interviewing a legendary baseball player at Lombardo’s Steakhouse when a horrific murder occurs at the next table. After Nick realizes his tape recorder captured the killer’s words, he is drawn into the dangerous mob-related case. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2010.

Download Don’t Blink, DB 71941

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World

by Matthew Goodman

DB 77521, Available as BARD Download

Chronicles the historic 1889 around-the-world journeys of New York World reporter Nellie Bly and her rival Elizabeth Bisland at the Cosmopolitan magazine, as the women attempted to break the record of Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg in the novel Around the World in Eighty Days (DB 53171). 2013.

Download Eighty Days, DB 77521

Everybody’s Got Something

by Robin Roberts with Veronica Chambers

DB 78864, Available as BARD Download

Cohost of Good Morning, America, Roberts (born 1960) details her childhood growing up in Mississippi, her life as a television reporter, her health crises including breast cancer and a bone marrow disorder, and the support of friends and family. Bestseller. 2014.

Download Everybody’s Got Something, DB 78864

The Fervor: A Novel

by Alma Katsu

DB 107806, Available as BARD Download

1944. Meiko and her daughter, Aiko, attempt to hold on to elements of their old life in a Japanese internment camp when a mysterious disease begins to spread. They team up with a newspaper reporter and widowed missionary to investigate, but it becomes clear something more sinister is afoot. 2022.

Download The Fervor, DB 107806

Following Christopher Creed

by Carol Plum-Ucci

DB 104511, BR 23923, Available as BARD Download

Seven blind persons recall how they have reached the summit as they scaled “personal mountains.” “To Climb Every Mountain” describes Erik College reporter Mike, who is legally blind, hopes to get a story about a body found in the strange town of Steepleton, believed to be that of long-missing teen Christopher Creed. Sequel to The Body of Christopher Creed (DB 52758, BR 13389). For senior high and older readers. 2011.

Download Following Christopher Creed, DB 104511

Download Braille, Following Christopher Creed, BR 23923

Front Row at the Trump Show

by Jonathan Karl

DB 99743, Available as BARD Download

A White House reporter discusses his views on how the Trump administration has reshaped the presidency and relates behind-the-scenes moments that he feels define Trump’s presidency. Bestseller. 2020.

Download Front Row at the Trump Show, DB 99743

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

DB 82666, BR 19413, Available as BARD Download

When investigative reporter Ava’s company is bought out, she is reassigned to a tabloid magazine. During her first assignment, a celebrity wedding in Aruba, Ava is accompanied by photographer Cliff. The irregularities they discover involving pop star India’s manager and the groom put them both in danger. Some strong language. 2010.

Download A Good Man Is Hard to Find, DB 82666  

Download Braille, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, BR 19413  

Hilde on the Record: Memoir of a Kid Crime Reporter

by Hilde Lysiak

DB 108676, Available as BARD Download

Young crime reporter Hilde Lysiak shares, for the first time, how she started her own newspaper, the Orange Street News, and how she was able to not only survive the ups and downs of her youth but emerge from it all with a renewed sense of purpose and confidence. For grades 4-7. 2022.

Download Hilde on the Record, DB 108676

Hollow Fires

by Samira Ahmed

DB 108627, Available as BARD Download

After discovering the body of fourteen-year-old Jawad Ali in Jackson Park, seventeen-year-old journalism student Safiya Mirza begins investigating his murder and ends up confronting white supremacy in her own high school. For senior high and older readers. 2022.

Download Hollow Fires, DB 108627

How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future

by Maria Ressa

DB 113157, Available as BARD Download

For decades, Maria Ressa challenged corruption and malfeasance in her native country, the Philippines, on its rocky path from an authoritarian state to a democracy. As a reporter from CNN, she transformed news coverage in her region, which led her in 2012 to create the news organization, Rappler, which used social media to crowdsource breaking news, find pivotal sources and tips, harnessed collective action for climate change, and helped increase voter knowledge and participation in elections. But by their fifth year of existence, Rappler had gone from being lauded for its ideas to being targeted by the new Philippine government, and made Ressa an enemy of her country’s most powerful man: President Duterte. 2022.

Download How to Stand Up to a Dictator, DB 113157

The Huntress: The Adventures, Escapades, and Triumphs of Alicia Patterson: Aviatrix, Sportswoman, Journalist, Publisher

by Alice Arlen

DB 85379, Available as BARD Download

Biography of Alicia Patterson, founder and editor of Newsday. Discusses her early childhood in Chicago as part of a legendary journalism family, multiple marriages, adventures in early aviation, renown as a big-game hunter, and the development of her own newspaper. 2016.

Download The Huntress, DB 85379  

The Ingenious Mr. Pyke: Inventor, Fugitive, Spy

by Henry Hemming

DB 81778, Available as BARD Download

Journalist describes the life of Geoffrey Pyke (1893-1948), known for his journalism and escape from a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War I, attempts at educational reform, inventions for use by the military, and spying on behalf of the Soviet Union. Some violence. 2015.

Download The Ingenious Mr. Pyke, DB 81778

It Had to Be You

by Susan May Warren

DB 93033, BR 22352, Available as BARD Download

Eden Christiansen has been looking after her reckless younger brother Owen, a rookie in the NHL, even if that meant neglecting her own career in journalism. If only she could get his team captain, Jace Jacobsen, to mentor her brother. 2016.

Download It Had to Be You, DB 93033

Download Braille, It Had to Be You, BR 22352

Journalism: A Very Short Introduction

by Ian Hargreaves

DB 86477, Available as BARD Download

Journalist-turned-academic sums up the history of journalism and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century. Discusses the upheaval caused by the rise of “born-digital” news and advertising platforms, the “mediatization” of war, the tension between news and public relations, and the growing popularity of celebrity-focused infotainment. 2014.

Download Journalism, DB 86477  

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

by Fiona Davis

DB 99608, LT 28629, Available as BARD Download

1913. Laura Lyons has made a home for her family within the august walls of the New York Public Library thanks to her husband’s job. But her world is opened when she’s accepted to journalism school. Eighty years later, her granddaughter Sadie reckons with choices made. 2020.

Download The Lions of Fifth Avenue, DB 99608

Media Capture: How Money, Digital Platforms, and Governments Control the News

ed. Anya Schiffrin

DB 104398, Available as BARD Download

Collection of sixteen essays exploring the intersections of journalism, media, government, and technology across the globe. Topics include the rise of Silicon Valley, the decrease in local journalism outlets, the rise and fall of blogging, the role of funding, and defending the role of independent journalism. 2021.

Download Media Capture, DB 104398

Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life

by Margaret Sullivan

DB 111276, Available as BARD Download

Sullivan, who began her career at the Buffalo News where she rose from summer intern to editor in chief, chronicles her years in the trenches battling sexism and throwing elbows in a highly competitive newsroom from The New York Times to the Washington Post. Recounts how she navigated paper’s controversies, from Hillary Clinton’s emails to Elon Musk’s accusations of unfairness to the need for greater diversity in the newsroom and her front-row seat to the rise of Donald Trump in American media and politics. 2022.

Download Newsroom Confidential, DB 111276


by Allison Brennan

DB 85160, Available as BARD Download

Nationally renowned investigative reporter Maxine “Max” Revere tackles cold cases. But the one unsolved murder that still haunts her is a case from her own past. When Max was a high school senior, one of her best friends was strangled and another accused of the crime. 2014.

Download Notorious, DB 85160

On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist

by Clarissa Ward

DB 112078, Available as BARD Download

The recipient of multiple Peabody and Murrow awards, Clarissa Ward is a world-renowned conflict reporter who has covered conflicts in Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Ward, who speaks seven languages, has been based in Baghdad, Beirut, Beijing, and Moscow. Follows Ward’s singular career and her views on journalism in this age of extremism. 2020.

Download On All Fronts, DB 112078  

Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison–Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out

by Jason Rezaian

DB 94676, LT 25328, Available as BARD Download

Memoir from journalist who was imprisoned in Tehran for eighteen months and whose eventual release was part of a nuclear deal. Recounts his arrest, interrogations, and trial; his time in captivity; and the efforts to secure his freedom. 2019.

Download Prisoner, DB 94676

Reporter: A Memoir

by Seymour Hersh

DB 91349, LT 24600, Available as BARD Download

Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Dark Side of Camelot (DB 45157) and Chain of Command (DB 59238) recounts his experiences in the journalism industry and major stories he has covered, including the Vietnam War massacre at My Lai and horrors committed at Abu Ghraib prison. 2018.

Download Reporter, DB 92490

Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission to Make It Home

by Benjamin Hall

DB 114606, Available as BARD Download

When veteran war reporter Hall woke up in Kyiv on the morning of March 14, 2022, he had no idea that, within hours, Russian bombs would nearly end his life. As a journalist for Fox News, Hall had worked in dangerous war zones like Syria and Afghanistan, but with three young daughters at home, life on the edge was supposed to be a thing of the past. Yet when Russia viciously attacked Ukraine in February 2022, Hall quickly volunteered to go. A few weeks later, while on assignment, Hall and his crew were blown up in a Russian strike. With Hall himself gravely injured and stuck in Kyiv, it was unclear if he would make it out alive. Recounts Hall’s time at the front lines of our world’s conflicts, exploring how his struggle to step away from war reporting led him back one perilous last time. 2023.

Download Saved, DB 114606

Since We Fell

by Dennis Lehane

DB 88110, BR 21886, LT 22216, Available as BARD Download

Rachel credits her new husband, Brian, for getting her through the aftermath of her on-air panic attack in Haiti that signaled the end of her journalism career and sent her into shut-in mode. Then she learns something sinister about Brian. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller.  2017.

Download Since We Fell, DB 88110

Download Braille, Since We Fell, BR 21886

Standing in the Shadows

by Peter Robinson

DB 114919, LT 33440, Available as BARD Download

In November 1980, Nick Hartley returns home from a university lecture to find his house crawling with police. His ex-girlfriend, Alice Poole, has been found murdered, and her new boyfriend Mark Woodley is missing. Nick is the prime suspect. The case quickly goes cold, but Nick cannot let it go. He embarks on a career in investigative journalism, determined to find Alice’s murderer-but his obsession leads him down a dangerous path. Decades later, in November 2019, Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team are called in to investigate an unearthed skeleton. Left with few clues, Banks and his team must rely on their wits to hunt down a killer. 2023.

Download Standing in the Shadows, DB 114919

Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR

by Lisa Napoli

DB 104433, Available as BARD Download

A journalist profiles four women who were trailblazers for women in news reporting. When National Public Radio came into existence in the 1970s, journalism was dominated by men. Despite their different upbringings, personalities, and career paths, broadcasters Susan Stamberg, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg, and Cokie Roberts helped change that. Some strong language. 2021.

Download Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie, DB 104433

Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts

by David Edward McCraw

DB 94455, Available as BARD Download

A New York Times newsroom lawyer recounts his experiences leading the paper’s fight for freedom of information, providing legal counsel to its reporters, determining what controversial stories are fit to print, and defending the organization against libel suits. Recounts the legal decisions behind impactful stories of the early twenty-first century. 2019.

Download Truth in Our Times, DB 94455

Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News

by Lisa Napoli

DB 100038, Available as BARD Download

A journalist examines the founding of the cable news channel, CNN. Focuses on the efforts of founder Ted Turner to make the channel a reality and how the advent of an outlet that provides live updates to news stories twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, changed journalism. Strong language. 2020.

Download Up All Night, DB 100038

Weather Girl

by Rachel Lynn Solomon

DB 106324, LT 31294, Available as BARD Download

TV meteorologist Ari Abrams looks up to her boss, legendary weatherwoman Torrance Hale, but the constant bickering between Torrance and her ex-husband has her at her wit’s end. She teams up with sports reporter Russell Barringer to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. 2021.

Download Weather Girl, DB 106324

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