Fall Books Preview: 20 Must-Reads From Bruce Springsteen, Anna Kendrick and More

7:00 AM 9/13/2016

by Andy Lewis

THR looks at some of the most buzzed-about books of the fall, from Carrie Fisher’s 'Star Wars' diaries to a debut novel about a Chinese cosmetic mogul.

  • 'Angel Catbird' by Margaret Atwood, art by Johnnie Christmas

    William Morrow, $27.99, 368 pages (Sept. 6)

    Dark Horse Books

    The Handmaid's Tale scribe tries her hand at a kids' graphic novel with this tale of a scientist who accidentally mixes owl and cat DNA in with his own, to fantastic results.

  • 'Hidden Figures' by Margot Lee Shetterly

    William Morrow, $27.99, 368 pages (Sept. 6)

    William Morrow

    Ahead of the movie — set for release Jan. 13, 2017, and starring Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer — here’s the book version of the forgotten true-life story of the African-American women whose math genius helped make the moon landing possible at a time when segregation was still the law of the land.

  • 'Where Am I Now?' by Mara Wilson

    Penguin, $16, 272 pages (Sept. 13)

    Penguin Books

    The cute little kid from Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda spins a surprisingly great story about growing up in and growing out of Hollywood, what she learned along the way (e.g., everything about sex on Melrose Place as a 6-year-old), and how she came to terms with the weird journey of her childhood.

  • 'Jerusalem' by Alan Moore

    Liveright, $35, 1,312 pages (Sept. 13)

    Knockabout Comics

    Moore’s nongraphic novel is a sprawling, fantastical epic set in Northampton, England, that spans centuries. Pre-pub reviews are calling it "magisterial," but will Moore’s fans flock to a book without pictures?

  • 'The Wonder' by Emma Donoghue

    Little, Brown & Co., $27, 304 pages (Sept. 20)

    Little, Brown and Company

    In this 1850s Irish-set Gothic chiller, a nurse tries to figure out if a young girl who claims to have survived without food for months is a miracle or fraud. After the success of 2010's Room (Donoghue also wrote the 2015 film’s screenplay), this novel, which touches on similar themes, likely will find a ready audience.

  • 'Born to Run' by Bruce Springsteen

    Simon & Schuster, $32.50, 512 pages (Sept. 27)

    Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

    "I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud," writes the Boss provocatively in the forward to his memoirs, which he has been writing for the past seven years. "So am I." Springsteen's legendary between-song concert monologues have set expectations sky-high, and comparisons with the greatest music memoirs — Bob Dylan's Chronicles, Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory, Patti Smith's M Train — are inevitable.

  • 'Today Will Be Different' by Maria Semple

    Little, Brown and Co., $27, 272 pages (Oct. 4)

    Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

    Ferris Bueller for soccer moms, this third novel from the Arrested Development writer tells the story of a Seattle housewife who completely changes her life in a single day. Semple's previous novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, was a surprise hit and soon will be made into a Richard Linklater movie.

  • 'The Wangs vs. The World' by Jade Chang

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 368 pages (Oct. 4)

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Charles Wang, a cosmetics baron, takes his spoiled, Americanized kids on a cross-country road trip so he can leave them with a relative and return to China to reclaim his ancestral lands. The debut satirical novel has won rave pre-pub reviews and a place on nearly every "best of" list for the fall.

  • 'Rogue Heroes' by Ben Macintyre

    Crown, $28, 400 pages (Oct. 4)

    Crown

    The London Times writer takes on the World War II history of Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS), a story of full of crazy characters pulling off unlikely attacks behind German lines.

  • 'Our Chemical Hearts' by Krystal Sutherland

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $18, 320 pages (Oct. 4)

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

    Filling this season’s John Green slot, Sutherland’s debut novel chronicles the highs and lows of first love, in this case the geeky but romantic Henry who surprises himself by falling for the grungy Grace.

  • 'Tetris' by Box Brown

    FirstSecond, $19.99, 256 pages (Oct. 11)

    Macmillan

    It turns out everything you ever wanted to know about the addictive puzzle video game is more fascinating than expected (like how your brain reacts to the game, which is why it's so addictive).

  • '`

    Scribner, $27, 280 pages (Oct. 18)

    Scribner

    The actor, who won multiple Emmys for his work on Breaking Bad and accolades onstage and -screen playing Lyndon B. Johnson, shows he’s as adept at writing in this memoir that is a cut above the usual actor autobios.

  • 'IQ' by Joe Ide

    Mulholland, $26, 336 pages (Oct. 18)

    Mulholland Books

    The South Central-born and -raised author’s debut novel follows Isaiah Quintabe, a brilliant high school dropout who does P.I. work around the neighborhood, as he gets hired for a questionable gig investigating the attempted murder of a rap star, a case the LAPD wants no part of.

  • 'Heartless' by Marissa Meyer

    Feiwel & Friends, $19.99, 464 pages (Nov. 8)

    Feiwel & Friends

    The author, who breathed new life into old fairy tales by setting them in a wild future, now reimagines the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. (She’s not bad. She’s just a girl looking for love.)

  • 'Scrappy Little Nobody' by Anna Kendrick

    Touchstone, $26.99, 304 pages (Nov. 15)

    Courtesy of Touchstone

    A series of autobiographical essays by the Oscar-winning actress and social media oracle on subjects ranging from growing up a theater geek in Maine to her career in Hollywood. If just a fraction of her 5.74 million Twitter followers can read more than 140 words at a time, Kendrick might have a best-seller on her hands.

  • 'Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood' by Trevor Noah

    Spiegel & Grau, $28, 304 pages (Nov. 15)

    Spiegel & Grau

    The Daily Show host’s coming-of-age story, told in 18 essays, recounts his harrowing childhood in South Africa (in lean times, he ate caterpillars when he was hungry and once jumped from a moving car to escape a kidnapping).

  • 'Moonglow' by Michael Chabon

    HarperCollins, $28.99, 448 pages (Nov. 22)

    Harper

    A grandfather’s shocking deathbed confession sends a young man on a hunt for the truth in a story that moves from the present to World War II to the early days of NASA and back to today. Chabon mines his two favorite subjects here — his own life (the story is loosely based on his grandfather’s deathbed confession) and the glory of midcentury America.

  • 'The Princess Diarist' by Carrie Fisher

    Blue Rider, $26, 240 pages (Nov. 22)

    Courtesy of Blue Rider PRess

    Fisher's long-awaited, much-delayed diaries from the set of the original Star Wars trilogy — scribbled on hotel stationery during the mid-1970s in London — finally are being published alongside a series of new essays. An insider's account of the original trilogy will no-doubt excite franchise fans. But Fisher's sly and witty prose — think Postcards From the Edge with Darth Vader — has others excited, too.

  • 'Talking as Fast as I Can' by Lauren Graham

    Ballantine, $28, 224 pages (Nov. 29)

    Ballantine Books

    Graham, whose well-reviewed debut novel Someday Someday Maybe was a New York Times best-seller, tells her own story now, concentrating on her career-defining role as Lorelei Gilmore. The book’s release is timed to the premier of the Netflix reboot of the beloved show.

  • 'The Undoing Project' by Michael Lewis

    W.W. Norton, $27, 320 pages (Dec. 6)

    W.W. Norton & Co. Wood

    Lewis' latest tackles the subject of behavioral economics — why rational people sometimes make irrational decisions, even when they have evidence to do otherwise. He's turned such presumably dry subjects as bond trading and baseball scouting into best-sellers — there’s every reason to suspect he'll do it again.

comments powered by Disqus