Spring Reading: The Untold Story of CAA and 9 Other Hollywood Reads

Shake off the winter blues with a host of books that tap into topics serious (sexism), sensational (making of Broadway hit 'Hamilton') and superheroic (Marvel's Black  Panther).

This story first appeared in the March 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

For booksellers, spring is a curious season. Caught between the gifting rush of winter and the summer beach reads, it offers a little of everything, from a guaranteed blockbuster in Powerhouse to a buzzy history of CAA. And with Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton and Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther, best-seller lists likely will be more diverse than usual.

1. Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta
Scribner, March 8, $25

Elevator pitch: In this timely novel tackling sexism in Hollywood, two women become feminist filmmakers and get ensnared by a mysterious woman who seduces some of the industry's most powerful producers.

Aimed at: Readers interested in seeing why Spiotta, the daughter of former Zoetrope president Robert Spiotta, is the current "It" girl of the lit crowd.

2. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
Grand Central, April 12, $40

Elevator pitch: Everything you ever wanted to know about the making of the smash hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton.

Aimed at: Fans and those curious to see what the hype is all about.

3. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
Ecco Harper Collins, April 12, $27.99

Elevator pitch: The inside story of how English teacher Jack Ma created the "Amazon of China," whose 2014 $25 billion IPO was the biggest ever.

Aimed at: Business execs curious about the world's largest e-commerce company.

4. Enter Helen by Brooke Hauser
Harper, April 19, $28.99

Elevator pitch: The story of Helen Gurley Brown, who helped invent the swinging '60s with Sex and the Single Girl and went on to edit Cosmopolitan.

Aimed at: The Mad Men audience looking for stories about corporate men and suburban moms.

5. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
Random House, April 19, $28

Elevator pitch: In this Cincinnati-set update, Elizabeth and Jane are yoga instructors, Bingley is a doctor who just appeared on a Bachelor-like show and Darcy is a high-powered neurosurgeon.

Aimed at: Those with a seemingly insatiable interest in Pride remakes.

6. Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker's Journey by Harlan Lebo
Thomas Dunne, April 26, $27.99

Elevator pitch: Everything there is to know about the greatest film ever made.

Aimed at: Film fans celebrating the movie's 75th anniversary May 1.

7. Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Marvel Comics, April, $4.99

Elevator pitch: A #BlackLivesMatter take on the African hero, celebrating his 50th anniversary this year, from the National Book Award-winning writer.

Aimed at: Hamilton's big-tent audience seeking stories with diverse characters in new mediums.

8. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Dial, May 10, $17.99

Elevator pitch: When Harry Met Sally meets Me, Earl and the Dying Girl in this story of a 16-year-old agoraphobic and the psych major who tries to "fix" him.

Aimed at: The YA/adult crossover audience that made Matthew Quick, Rainbow Rowell and John Greene stars.

9. Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller
Custom House, May 10, $29.99
*EDITOR'S CHOICE

Elevator pitch: The story of Hollywood's most powerful talent agency, from its founding by five young turks who broke away from William Morris to its 2014 sale to private equity firm TPG Capital.

Aimed at: Industry players who will comb the index to see if they're mentioned. America will follow, if it uses the story of one agency as a lens into the history of modern Hollywood.

10. Zero K by Don DeLillo
Scribner, May 3, $26

Elevator pitch: One of the grand old lions of American letters meditates on death and dying in this story about an octogenarian billionaire trying to save his younger wife from a terminal illness with experimental cryogenics at a facility in the former Soviet Union.

Aimed at: Consumers of highbrow pop lit in a season remarkably devoid of brand-name authors.

 

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