7 Books to Read If You’re Loving The People vs. O.J. Simpson

by  | March 31

Even if you remember exactly where you were during the infamous Bronco chase or watched the trial religiously on TV every day, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has been must-see TV this season. The show’s incredible performances, attention to detail, and dramatic tension have us incredibly excited for the season finale, “The Verdict,” next Tuesday, April 5 on FX. But we’re also not sure what to do with our Tuesday nights until season 2 (which creator Ryan Murphy has said will focus on Hurricane Katrina). If, like us, you’re at a loss for what to glom onto in the meantime, here are *the* seven books to read after you’ve watched every episode and read all the think pieces.

(Related: The 7 Best True Crime Books for Making A Murderer Fans)


If you want more from the author whose book inspired the series…

Of course you already know about The Run of His Life by legal eagle and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin—the show is based on this seminal book on the case. But Toobin’s gone on to cover all aspects of the American justice system in his work, and his tome The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, is the best book out there on the Supreme Court, packed with exclusive interviews with justices and simple-to-understand breakdowns of some of the court’s most complicated decisions in the last century.

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound 

9781476716053If you ‘shipped Marcia Clarke and Chris Darden…

Marcia Clarke and Chris Darden’s “will they or won’t they” relationship proved to be one of the more delightful and unexpected elements of the show. In Allison Leotta’s Anna Curtis series, federal sex crimes prosecutor Anna takes down complicated targets ranging from a high end escort service patronized by U.S. senators to a dangerous new street gang, all while trying manage her covert relationship with her boss, homicide detective Jack Bailey. Book 5 in the series, The Last Good Girl, is out this May, but we recommend picking up the first one, Law of Attraction, to see the early days of Anna’s career and her courtroom romance.

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound 


If you wish your man was half as well-dressed as Johnny Cochran…

The only thing on the show more bombastic than Johnny Cochran‘s speechifying is his vast collection of colorful, jazzy, and oh-so-90s ties. Johnny’s style is one-of-a-kind, but for any other guys who need to freshen up their look, Alan Flusser’s Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion takes readers on an encyclopedic roller coaster ride through the world of men’s fashion, from the fit of a sports coat to the proper positioning of a bow tie.

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound 



If you want another legal drama where race plays a central role…

In legal thriller master John Grisham’s Sycamore Row, a wealthy white man leaves the majority of his enormous fortune to his black housekeeper, much to the chagrin of his family; lawyer Jake Brigance (from Grisham’s beloved debut A Time To Kill) is pulled into the mess when he unexpectedly receives a posthumous letter from the dead man. Like The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Grisham’s novel provides a nuanced and fascinating look at the role race still plays both in society and the criminal justice system.

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound 


If you’re newly obsessed with Marcia Clarke (aren’t we all?)…

From her chain smoking to her iconic (and infamous) hairstyles, Sarah Paulson’s performance of Marcia Clarke captures the famous prosecutor to a T, and is one of the most captivating elements of the show. But did you know that after the O.J. trial ended, Clarke went on to write a series of legal thrillers? Start with Guilt by Association, featuring the potty-mouthed, wardrobe-challenged prosecutor Rachel Knight (sound familiar?), which Booklist called “a top-notch legal thriller that will leave readers wanting more.”

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound 



If you’re craving another true crime story set in Los Angeles…

The seedy underbelly of the sunny City of Angels has been the subject of countless books and films, and James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia is one of the most gripping Los Angeles-set true crime tales of all time. 22-year old actress Elizabeth Short was murdered in 1947, her body cut in half and mutilated, but her killer was never found—and the case remains ice cold to this day. If it already hadn’t been the subject of a blockbuster movie (starring Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank and Scarlett Johansson), we could envision this case as ACS season 3, especially since new evidence was uncovered as recently as 2013.

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound 



If you’re only watching for Bobby, Kris, and the baby Kardashians…

As the trial gets underway, Robert Kardashian (played expertly by David Schwimmer—Ross Gellar himself) becomes increasingly haunted by his belief that his friend O.J. is in fact guilty of the murders. He’s one of the more human characters on the defense team, and we loved watching his tender scenes with little Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney. If you want to know more about Robert’s ex-wife Kris, her relationship Nicole and O.J.,  and what life was like for her during the trial, check out the matriarch’s memoir, Kris Jenner…and All Things Kardashian.

Read it: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound