Last Updated on April 3, 2020 Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of over 25 women fiction novels, many on heavy contemporary topics such as war, childhood leukaemia and stem-cell research, domestic violence, murder, gun control, and suicide, to name just a few of the moral dilemmas, taboos, and heavy topics that her books deal with. Many of her books are classified as chick-lit, however, I think that due to the topics they cover, they are a bit more serious than that.
My first introduction to her books was after watching My Sister’s Keeper with Cameron Diaz, following which I eagerly searched for the book that the movie was based on. The book impacted me so much that I went on to search other novels by the author, and thankfully, there were many to choose from.
So here are the Jodi Picoult books in order for her numerous novels. Most of them are standalones, however, there are also a few written within book series.
New Jodi Picoult Books
Between the Lines Series
co-authored with Samantha van Leer (her daughter)
Ruth Jefferson Series
Standalone Jodi Picoult Books
- Songs of the Humpback Whale, 1992
- Harvesting the Heart, 1993
- Picture Perfect, 1995
- Mercy, 1996
- The Pact, 1998
- Keeping Faith, 1999
- Plain Truth, 2000
- Salem Falls, 2000
- Perfect Match, 2002
- Second Glance, 2003
- My Sister’s Keeper, 2004
- Vanishing Acts, 2005
- The Tenth Circle, 2006
- Nineteen Minutes, 2006
- Change of Heart, 2008
- Handle with Care, 2009
- House Rules, 2010
- Sing You Home, 2011
- Over the Moon, 2011 (play with Jake van Leer)
- Lone Wolf, 2012
- The Storyteller, 2013
- Leaving Time, 2014
- Where There’s Smoke, 2014 (novella)
- Larger Than Life, 2014 (novella)
- Mermaid, 2017 (novella)
- A Spark of Light, 2018
- The Book of Two Ways, 2020
Jodi Picoult Biography
Jodi Picoult was born in 1966, in Nesconset, New York, Long Island, where she remained until the age of 13 when she moved with her family to New Hampshire.
She grew up in a non-practicing Jewish family. Growing up in a family of teachers (both her mom and her grandmother were teachers), she discovered a liking for reading and writing, and she crafted her very first story at the tender age of 5, when she wrote The Lobster Which Misunderstood.
She attended Princeton University, where she studied creative writing, and from where she graduated in 1987. She continued writing, however, and she published two stories during her college times in Seventeen magazine.
After graduating from college, she worked as a textbook editor, as well as an English teacher for the eighth grade.
While pregnant with her first child, the author Jodi Picoult started to work on her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale. Once she became an established and successful novelist, her husband, Tim, quit his day job to stay at home with the kids.
Next, she attended Harvard University from which she earned a master’s degree in education, which were followed by two honorary Doctor of Letters degrees: from Dartmouth College in 2010, and from the University of New Haven in 2012.
Before she got her first book published, Jodi tried over 100 times, receiving over 100 rejections. Eventually, an unknown agent thought she could sell her book, which she did in only three months, and the rest is history.
When she sits down to write her books, the author asks the question What If? She thinks of a situation and imagines what would she do if this or that took place. Once she has her idea firmly in her mind, she starts to do her heavy research, and then finally sits down to write her story.
For her research, she not only used the web browser a lot, but she also meets with people in authority related to the topics she writes about. For example, for House Rules, a book about a boy having Asperger’s syndrome, she first got the idea based on a cousin who is autistic. However, for the book, Jodi met with attorneys for factual information, with teens who had Asperger’s and with their parents, and also sent out questionnaires to kids with Asperger’s which were answered by over 35 teens who gave a copious amount of information about their daily lives and coping with the illness.
For her book, My Sister’s Keeper, the author talked so several doctors and nurses, especially in the oncology field, and had also a point of start from her own son, Jake, who at the age of 5 was diagnosed with a benign tumor inside his ear which needed several surgeries.
For the book Sing You Home, again, part of book was based on her personal experience since her son had recently come out as gay, so she went to interview various organizations, including the conservative Family Research Council.
For her book A Spark of Light, published in 2018, a book that deals with the issues of abortion, and pro-choice vs pro-life, the research took her to speak with many women who had abortions themselves, as well as to people who are pro-life, believing that life begins at conception.
In an interview, she said that she doesn’t believe in writer’s block. She mentioned that only writers who have too much time on their hands can afford to get writer’s block. Once you’re extremely busy and only get a bit of time here and there to write, you take all that time to make it your own words on paper.
Over the years, the numerous Jodi Picoult books got several awards, including New England Bookseller Award for Fiction in 2003, Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association in 2005, Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year also in 2005, the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for mainstream fiction, Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fearless Fiction Award, and several others. In 2016, the author joined VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) organization to its advisory board.
Reading the Jodi Picoult books in proper order is quite easy because the standalone novels can be read in any order you want (you can even start with the latest one), and her two series are only two-books each.
In addition to My Sister’s Keeper, which was adapted for the big screen, The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls were also turned into movies and TV films. Small Great Things is also scheduled to become a motion picture featuring Julia Roberts.
Currently, the author still lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with her husband, Tim, whom she met in college. Their three children are already adults with their own separate lives, and they have left the family nest. Jodi and her daughter, Samantha, co-authored the two Between The Lines books based on an idea by Samantha from when she was 13 years old.
The Jodi Picoult books, including The Tenth Circle, Change of Heart, and many others, have sold so far over 14 million copies all over the world, and have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Praise for Jodi Picoult
Picoult at her fearless best . . . Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate. (The Washington Post)
This is Jodi Picoult at her best: tackling an emotional hot-button issue and putting a human face on it (People Magazine)
A gripping courtroom drama . . . Given the current political climate it is quite prescient and worthwhile. . . . This is a writer who understands her characters inside and out. (Roxane Gay)
Jodi Picoult is never afraid to take on hot topics, and in Small Great Things, she tackles race and discrimination in a way that will grab hold of you and refuse to let you go. . . . This page-turner is perfect for book clubs. (Popsugar magazine)
Picoult does a spectacular job weaving in all sorts ofspiritual elements…. The story makes you wonder about God. And that’s a rare moment in modern fiction. (USA Today)
- Jodi Picoult author website
- VIDA (Women in Literary Arts)
- Jodi Picoult interview at Princeton University