Hot Summer Books: Kevin Hart's Memoir, a Discovered Michael Crichton Novel and 8 More Must-Reads

A dishy tell-all by Jeffrey Tambor, a new page-turner from John  Grisham and a fictional (or is it?) tale of a screen diva and her ghostwriter are among the most anticipated books of the summer.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House (Palm, Once), Twelve (Senate), Simon & Schuster (Hugo, Up), Harper Collins (Teeth)

Are You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor
(Crown, May 16, 304 pages, $27)

LOGLINE The actor chronicles his memorable career, from playing second banana on The Larry Sanders Show to winning two Emmys, a Golden Globe and a SAG award as lead of the groundbreaking Transparent, as well as his childhood as a self-described "fat kid with a lisp."

BUZZ Few have enjoyed both the longevity (200-plus credits over 40 years) and the late-career renaissance of Tambor; this is bound to be full of juicy anecdotes and pearls of wisdom.

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
(Harper, May 23, 304 pages, $29)

LOGLINE A fictional take on the "bone wars," the 1870s rivalry between paleontology pioneers Edward Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, as they hunt for dinosaur skeletons in the Wild West.

BUZZ There's already a movie in development for this Jurassic Park-meets-Deadwood tale, which was discovered among the author's papers after he died in 2008.

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
(Twelve, May 30, 416 pages, $28)

LOGLINE A memoir that delves into the author's unlikely journey from Saturday Night Live writer to U.S. senator from Minnesota via one of the closest elections in American history (he prevailed in his 2008 race by 0.01 percent).

BUZZ The title's no joke: Franken is one of the leading voices of opposition against President Trump, a star Democrat and a potential 2020 presidential candidate.

I Can't Make this Up by Kevin Hart
(Atria, June 6, 400 pages, $27)

LOGLINE The Ride Along star and stand-up comic recounts his life story, from a scrappy Philadelphia childhood to movie stardom — with plenty of humor, of course.

BUZZ Every summer needs a good laugh-out-loud read, and a spot on the best-seller list will only enhance Hart's A-list credentials.

Camino Island by John Grisham
(Doubleday, June 6, 304 pages, $29)

LOGLINE A recently laid-off teacher meets a gang of rare-book thieves who might be responsible for a robbery at Princeton.

BUZZ The master of the legal thriller also is one of the most reliable sellers in publishing.

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
(Viking Books for Young Readers, June 6, 368 pages, $20)

LOGLINE As the daughter of wedding planners, Louna has had enough of bridezillas, bad guests and love — until she falls for a client's brother.

BUZZ Dessen has written several best-sellers, and lots of early media coverage and positive reviews for this lighthearted romance have it poised to be picked up by adults as well as its target YA audience.

Blackout by Marc Elsberg
(Sourcebooks, June 6, 320 pages, $27)

LOGLINE A cyberattack knocks out Europe's electric grid, throwing the continent into chaos; only a former hacker, hunted by police as a possible suspect, has the tools to bring the lights back on.

BUZZ Published in Germany in 2012, it has sold more than 1 million copies in 15 languages around the world. Movie rights have been snatched up by German company Dreamtool.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(Atria, June 13, 400 pages, $26)

LOGLINE Monique Grant gets the job of a lifetime: ghostwriting the memoir of seven-times-married movie star Evelyn Hugo. Against the backdrop of this fictional tell-all of 1950s and '60s Hollywood, the mystery of why Hugo chose Grant plays out.

BUZZ A June Indie Next pick, it already has early reviewers speculating which real-life Hollywood stars inspired the characters.

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
(Knopf, June 27, 416 pages, $28)

LOGLINE A quirky family of magicians lose, then regain, their abilities and are pursued by everyone from the mob to the CIA.

BUZZ This Royal Tenenbaums-with-powers tale is in development as a TV series at Paramount.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
(Henry Holt, July 11, 208 pages, $26)

LOGLINE With her life at a crossroads, a young woman quits her job and returns to her SoCal hometown to care for her famous professor father — recently

diagnosed with Alzheimer's — and her erratic mother.

BUZZ Stellar prepublication reviews praising the mix of poignancy and humor had

this debut on many 2017 "must read" lists.

The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton
(Knopf, Aug. 8, 304 pages, $26)

LOGLINE A Brooklyn mother embezzles $180,000 from her kids' private school and goes on the lam, leaving behind her trust-fund poet husband, two daughters and a school board determined to track her down.

BUZZ The first-time novelist scored a big advance after a bidding war for this send-up of millennial parenting; film­makers will pay attention.

This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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