3 Nonfiction Books About Scams, Schemes, And Heists That Prove "Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction"

Let me be the first to say that fiction is wonderful. Studies have shown that reading literary fiction improves empathy and can improve your vocabulary and language skills. There is nothing I enjoy more than getting wrapped up in a tale spun by someone else's big, beautiful imagination. But sometimes, the whole "real life is stranger than fiction" idiom proves itself to be hilariously and unbelievably true — and the three books recommend below are proof.

If you're looking for truly bonkers tales about schemes, scams, and heists, you don't necessarily need to look to made-up stories to get your fill, because real life is just as bizarre, wild, and strange as fiction. So much so, in fact, that sometimes people steal 299 rare bird skins from a high-security British museum in order to raise money to buy a golden flute. Other times, people create an alter-ego as a French psychic to scam hundreds of millions of dollars out of people. Honestly, who could make that up?

All three books recommended below are written by esteemed journalists who dove deep into the subject matter bring you the exhaustive histories of the crimes — and the stories of the perpetrators and the victims: