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Each week, The Hollywood Reporter will offer up the best new (and newly relevant) books that everyone will be talking about — whether it’s a tome that’s ripe for adaptation, a new Hollywood-centric tell-all or the source material for a hot new TV show.
Small Game by Blair Braverman (WME)
The author, who appeared on Naked and Afraid in 2018, channeled her experience on the reality show (and from her competitive dog-sledding past) into this twisty thriller about contestants on a survival series abandoned in the wilderness by a TV crew.
The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler (WME)
Octopi are having a moment in pop culture, and in this work of literary fiction with shades of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, a doctor hired by a tech firm travels to a remote archipelago to investigate a very smart, very dangerous new species of cephalopod.
Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades (Gotham Group)
Sort of a Now and Then for these times, this multi-narrative debut novel goes deep into the vibrant blocks of eastern Queens to trace the lives of five young girlfriends as they come of age in a city full of endless opportunity — and endless heartbreak.
Dickens and Prince by Nick Hornby (Casarotto Ramsay & Associates)
The author who brought us High Fidelity and About a Boy has a new obsession: what he describes as the cosmic link between Charles Dickens and Prince. Here, he explores their personal lives, their prolific creativity, and mutual flamboyance in material ripe for a documentary.
A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney
In January 2018, Rob Delaney’s two-year-old son, Henry, died of cancer. Now, nearly five years later, the actor-comedian has channeled his grief into words. The result is a memoir, in the vein of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, that allows the reader into the dark recesses of a mind that’s been nearly destroyed by the utmost tragedy. The reading experience is as painful as it sounds, but — especially in our current cultural state of overstimulation bordering on numbness — it’s an essential exercise in empathy.
Aesthetica by Allie Rowbottom
The plot of Rowbottom’s debut novel follows a 35-year-old former Instagram celebrity as she spends the night in a luxury hotel while getting ready to undergo a new surgery (called Aesthetica) that reverses her past cosmetic procedures and altercations. What the book really does is examine — and occasionally eviscerate — everything from social media consumption, to vanity, feminism, the city of Los Angeles and beyond.
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