8 Must Read Books by Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston is a New York Times best-selling author with both fiction and nonfiction books. 

Here, you will find a summary of all of his nonfiction works. 

His true life stories focus on true crime and uncovering the true about interesting historical stories. You will also find that he is personally connected to many of the stories he writes about. 

One fair warning about his books. Once you pick them up, you will not want to put them down until you are done! 

Douglas Preston Books

1. Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History

Dinosaurs in the Attic

Published: 1986

Pages: 256

Since he worked at the American Museum of Natural History for seven years, Preston knows quite a bit about it. This includes some of the secrets that we, the public, haven't seen or experienced. What do you think of when you hear the words "natural history?"

Do you imagine dinosaurs and mammoths, or perhaps stones and minerals? Whatever comes to mind, the odds are good that the American Museum of Natural History has something to do with it. This world-renowned institution is home to an astonishing variety of exhibits, all devoted to increasing our understanding of the natural world.

This book takes readers on a fascinating tour of this remarkable place. Through Preston's eyes, we marvel at the sheer scale of the museum and its collections and learn about the dedicated scientists who work there. Not only do we get good, but we also get bad, including questions about who should own the artifacts and more.

2. Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado

Cities of Gold

Published: 1992

Pages: 480

Have you ever wanted to take go on an expedition and see if you discover where some of the world's most fabled myths exist or not? In Cities of Gold, that is precisely what he and his friend Walter Nelson set out to do in April of 1090. In this case, it is about following the path that Coronado took as he searched for the cities of gold from 150 to 1541.

However, this is so much more than just a tedious long-winded quest about the trip; it is a true adventure. The first part is about the three men who set out, one of who left, and how they dealt with having almost no experience in even riding a horse, among other problems. The second is about all the crazy characters they meet along the way. The final section is about the story of Coronado and his story.

3. Talking to the Ground: One Family's Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo

Talking to the Ground

published: 2019 (1995)

Pages: 320

For someone who had never ridden a horse before writing Cities of Gold, Preston quickly fell in love with just that. In this book, he decides to continue exploring the Southwest of the USA but this time looking into the history of a Navajo deity named Naayéé’ neizghání.

The deity was supposed to be able to create peace and make the Earth beautiful again. The book starts with the history of the Navajo people, their culture, and their land. If you are ever thinking of going through the southwest, this is an essential book to get a feeling of what it was like then.

And even if you have gone, it will bring back memories and give you lots to think about during it.

4. The Royal Road: El Camino Real from Mexico City to Santa Fe

The Royal Road

Published: 1998

Pages: 191

Although there are loads of fun information in this book, it is more than just a read as the photographs are gorgeous also. The author and his wife decided to take a trip up the nearly 1,500-mile-long "road" the El Camino de Tierra Adentro. This trail/road is often just dirt, so they had to go from walking to horse riding to driving a car and back and forth during it.

This book is fantastic because you get lots of information regarding the road and the cultures and people that use it. Being that much has stayed the same, you genuinely understand and can imagine yourself going through and along with it. You will feel like you are traveling with them on this trip back in time.

5. Ribbons of Time: The Dalquest Research Site

Ribbons of Time: The Dalquest Research Site

Written by: Douglas Preston and Christine Preston

Published: 2006

Pages: 95

Preston takes readers on a fascinating journey through the history of one of America's most important paleontological sites. From its discovery by noted fossil hunter Walter Dalquest in 1948 to the ongoing research being conducted there today, Preston tells the story of this unique place and its importance in our understanding of the Earth's history.

Along the way, he introduces us to the many scientists who have worked at the site over the years and reveals some of their most exciting findings. The photos are also gorgeous, and the landscape is stunningly beautiful. If you're interested in learning more about our planet's past, this is a book you won't want to miss.

6. The Monster of Florence: A True Story

The Monster of Florence: A True Story

Written by: Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi

Published: 2008

Pages: 322

As you can see, Preston liked to travel and figure out the truth of those journeys. In this book, he and his family moved to Florence, Italy, in 2000. They thought they’d have a nice, normal, and relaxing life for a bit and see what it was like. Little did they know that the 14th-century house they lived in had a double murder committed by the Monster of Florence.

The Monster was known to have murdered at least sixteen people from the years 1968 to 1985. Being that Preston was Preston, he started working with a local journalist to try and crack the case. As if trying to bring them to justice and having conversations with him, the police seemed to think that Preston and Spezi were the killers.

They had their phones tapped, accessory to murder, and told to leave the country. How did it end up? You’ll have to read on to find out!

7. Trial By Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case

Trial by Fury

Published: 2013

Pages: 254

Preston chronicles the case of Amanda Knox, an American student who was accused of murdering her roommate while studying abroad in Italy. It investigates the trial and the incredibly vicious, including prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and journalist Nick Pisa.

However, an essential part of this book is that the internet basically helped convict her.

With bloggers, social network posts, and even changes to Wikipedia sites, the distortions to reality allowed people to think the worst about her and her boyfriend.

Through Knox's story, Preston shines a light on the power that internet mobs can have in today's world. An example of this is that People were even stalked physically if they posted something that others disagreed with because it was so out of control.

And, if anything, it has only gotten worse as more people use social media to get their points across and twist the truth to fit their needs. He also offers some solutions for how we can combat this anonymous savagery.

8. The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

Lost City of the Monkey God

Published: 2017

Pages: 328

In 2012, a team of explorers set out into the rainforest of Honduras in search of a fabled city known as the "Lost City of the Monkey God." This city, which was said to be inhabited by an ancient civilization, had long been rumored to exist deep in the jungle.

This city supposedly was haunted, and anyone who discovered it would die. Preston always thought that would be a fantastic story and headed down with some scientists to find it.

The team's journey was fraught with danger, and they faced many challenges along the way. These include massive storms, snakes, and even jaguars. However, they decided that they would carry on no matter what got in their way.

The question is always did they find the city or not? That is for you to find out as your read this book.