Hillary's Election Tell-All, John Green's 'Fault' Follow-Up and 20 More Must-Read Fall Books for Hollywood

10:00 AM 9/12/2017

by Andy Lewis

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner's debut novel and Ta-Nehisi Coates' take on Obama are also among the season's most anticipated reads.

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster; Courtesy of Dutton Books for Young Readers

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  • 'A Legacy of Spies' by John le Carre

    Sept. 5, Viking, 275 pages, $28

    Courtesy of Viking

    LOGLINE In the first new George Smiley story in 25 years, retired Cold War spies rejoin "the Circus."

    WHY READ IT? With the success of AMC/BBC's miniseries The Night Manager in 2016 (plus three other films in development) and the re-emergence of a Russian threat, le Carre is hot and relevant again.

  • 'What Happened' by Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Sept. 12, Simon & Schuster, 512 pages, $30

    Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

    LOGLINE Clinton has promised she "let her guard down" to give her side of the 2016 election.

    WHY READ IT? It's likely the biggest release in a season filled with anxiously awaited books about the current political landscape. Early excerpts, including one in which Clinton describes how her "skin crawled" during a debate with Donald Trump, suggest it'll be a riveting read.

  • 'Unbelievable: My Front‑Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History' by Katy Tur

    Sept. 12, Dey Street Books, 304 pages, $27

    Courtesy of Dey Street Books

    LOGLINE A first-person account of covering Trump from the NBC News journalist who was there from day one.

    WHY READ IT? Promises of a "darkly comic" and "fascinatingly bizarre" story, plus an ironclad embargo until publication, foreshadow a juicy tale.

  • 'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng

    Sept. 12, Penguin Press, 352 pages, $27

    Courtesy of Penguin Press

    LOGLINE The controversial adoption of a Chinese-American baby divides wealthy Shaker Heights, Ohio — and specifically a landlord and her mysterious tenant, single mother Mia.

    WHY READ IT? The follow-up novel to Everything I Never Told You (optioned by Relativity) received stellar prepublication reviews, positioning Ng as a potential household literary name.

  • 'We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy' by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Oct. 3, One World, 400 pages, $28

    Courtesy of One World

    LOGLINE Mixing memoir and political commentary in eight new essays — one for each year of Obama's presidency — interwoven with some of his most influential earlier writing, Coates reflects on his own rise, the accomplishments of the first black president and the backlash that produced Trump.

    WHY READ IT? It's a deep dive into the past eight years and a cautiously optimistic look at the future from the country's most prominent African-American commentator.

  • 'Turtles All the Way Down' by John Green

    Oct. 10, Dutton Books for Young Readers, 304 pages, $20

    Courtesy of Dutton Books for Young Readers

    LOGLINE Little is known about this one other than that it centers on a 16-year-old OCD sufferer (loosely inspired by Green's own mental illness) and her search for a fugitive billionaire (plus plot points involving Star Wars fan fiction and tuatara, New Zealand lizards).

    WHY READ IT? This is Green's first novel since 2012's The Fault in Our Stars, and expectations are high. To reward fans, he personally signed 200,000 copies.

  • 'Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero' by Nancy Schoenberger

    Oct. 24, Nan A. Talese, 256 pages, $28

    Courtesy of Doubleday Books

    LOGLINE Using overlooked letters and documents, the William & Mary professor illuminates the personal and professional relationship between director John Ford and star John Wayne.

    WHY READ IT? It's a wide-ranging exploration of Westerns, the evolution of the film business and the meaning of masculinity that never loses sight of its central theme: the making and unmaking of a great partnership.

  • 'Heather, the Totality' by Matthew Weiner

    Nov. 7, Little Brown, 144 pages, $25

    Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

    LOGLINE In this noirish thriller, the worlds of a beautiful, wealthy teen girl and a construction worker with violent fantasies collide.

    WHY READ IT? Can the celebrated TV visionary whose Mad Men often was described as "novelistic" actually write a novel? Early critical buzz implies yes. (But $25 for 144 pages — really?)

  • 'Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose' by Joe Biden

    Nov. 14, Flatiron, 272 pages, $27

    Courtesy of Flatiron Books

    LOGLINE How the former vice president balanced the demands of office and caring for his terminally ill son while wrestling with the decision of whether to run for president in 2016.

    WHY READ IT? It looks to be a moving and probably funny (it's Biden, after all) alternative to the drumbeat of Trump stories from one of America's most beloved political figures (and a possible 2020 White House contender).

  • 'Artemis' by Andy Weir

    Nov. 14, Crown, 320 pages, $27

    Courtesy of The Crown Publishing Group

    LOGLINE In the moon's first city, a hustler plots the perfect heist, only to get caught up in a shadowy conspiracy.

    WHY READ IT? There's already a Fox movie deal, but the follow-up to The Martian will prove whether Weir is a perennial best-seller or one-hit wonder.

  • 'Origin' by Dan Brown

    Oct. 3, Doubleday, 480 pages, $29.95

    Courtesy of Doubleday

    LOGLINE One of Harvard professor of symbology and religion Robert Langdon's first students is about to reveal the answer to two fundamental questions about humanity at the Guggenheim Bilbao when something goes terribly wrong. Langdon escapes (with a beautiful woman, of course) and sets out to uncover his former student's work. 

    WHY READ IT? With a movie already in development and huge pre-orders, it is clear there's life left in the Langdon series 14 years and five novels after it launched in 2003 with The Da Vinci Code.

  • 'The Hamlet Fire' by Bryant Simon

    Sep. 12, The New Press, 320 pages, $26.95

    Courtesy of New Press

    LOGLINE The noted historian explores a 1991 fire at a chicken processing plant in North Carolina that killed 25 people, one of the worst industrial disasters in recent years. 

    WHY READ IT? This gripping and moving account of what happened and why goes far beyond what Morgan Spurlock attempts in his new documentary about the chicken industry. 

  • 'Warcross' by Marie Lu

    Sep. 12, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 368 pages, $18.99

    Courtesy of G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

    LOGLINE Teenage hacker-turned-bounty hunter Emika Chen gets sucked into the addictive virtual reality game Warcross, which is a way of life in the future.

    WHY READ IT? Lu's previous two series (Legend, The Young Elites) were both optioned for film and her stories have been worthy successors to The Hunger Games.

  • 'Genuine Fraud' by E. Lockhart

    Sep. 5, Delacorte Press, 288 pages, $18.99

    Courtesy of Delacorte Press
    LOGLINE In this twisty YA psychological thriller told nonsequentially, doppelgangers Jule, an orphan, and Immie, an heiress, get involved in each other's lives in a story that evokes The Talented Mr. Ripley.
     
    WHY READ IT? Lockhart proved with the best-selling We Were Liars that she knows how to thrill the YA audience. 
     
  • 'Dear Martin' by Nic Stone

    Oct. 17, Crown Books for Young Readers, 244 pages, $17.99

    Courtesy of Crown Books for Young Readers

    LOGLINE Future Ivy Leaguer Justyce McAllister grapples with what it means to be black after he is the victim of police brutality. 

    WHY READ IT? In the world of Trayvon Martin and Charlottesville, there's room for two great books about African-American teens and police brutality. Dear Martin and The Hate U Give shouldn't be in competition — the two books reinforce and complement each other.

  • 'All the Crooked Saints' by Maggie Stiefvater

    Oct. 10, Scholastic, 320 pages, $18.99

    Courtesy of Scholastic Press

    LOGLINE In 1962 Colorado, a young member of a Mexican-American family known for its saints and miracles runs away when he is touched by darkness. His cousins (using the technological miracle of AM radio) must bring him back and help him. 

    WHY READ IT? Stiefvater (Scorpio Races, Shiver, The Raven Cycle) is one of the most accomplished and successful magical realism YA writers.

  • 'Manhattan Beach' by Jennifer Egan

    Oct. 3, Scribner, 448 pages, $28

    Courtesy of Scribner

    LOGLINE Anna Kerrigan, the first female diver at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, teams with Dexter Styles, a mob-connected nightclub owner, to figure out why her father disappeared in a story that spans from the 1930s on. 

    WHY READ IT? Early buzz is that Egan has crafted a worthy follow-up to 2010's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad (optioned by HBO).

  • 'Grant' by Ron Chernow

    Courtesy of Penguin Press

    LOGLINE The life of the general who won the Civil War and became the 18th president, from middling West Point cadet to war hero to scandal-racked president. 

    WHY READ IT? Perhaps you've heard of a little musical called Hamilton that was based on Chernow's 2005 biography?

  • 'Making Sense of the Alt-Right' by George Hawley

    Sep. 19, Columbia University Press, 232 pages, $28

    Courtesy of Columbia University Press

    LOGLINE: A look at the origin, evolution, ideology and methods of the "alt-right" from a Columbia University political scientist who specializes in studying the movement. 

    WHY READ IT? A good, short (222 pages) primer to help understand the political forces responsible for Charlottesville (and the election of Donald Trump as president).

  • 'Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves' by Jessica Yu

    Nov. 7, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 384 pages, $27.00

    Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    LOGLINE At least 5,000 children live on the streets of the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Gladys Kalibbala, part journalist, part detective, part Good Samaritan, tries to help them via her newspaper column, “Lost and Abandoned.”

    WHY READ IT? The Oscar-winning documentarian tries her hand at writing with this story that is both heartbreaking and inspirational. 

  • 'We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True' by Gabrielle Union

    Oct. 17, Dey Street Books, 272 pages, $26.99

    Courtesy of Dey Street Books
    LONGLINE A collection of biographical essays in the vein of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist.
     
    WHY READ IT? An African-American voice in the genre of Hollywood memoirs dominated by white women. 
  • 'The Golden House' by Salman Rushdie

    Sep. 5, Random House, 400 pages, $28.99

    Courtesy of Random House

    LOGLINE On the day of Obama's inauguration, Nero Golden, an enigmatic foreign billionaire, arrives in Greenwich Village with his three adult sons, but their world turns upside when Russian expat Vasilisa ingratiates herself into their world and ends up as Nero's companion, all seen through the eyes of an ambitious young filmmaker chronicling the Goldens' lives. 

    WHY READ IT? Rushdie, a perennial Nobel Prize contender, has written a novel variously touted by early critics as either a Great Gatsby or a Bonfire of the Vanities for the present day. 

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