Gift Guide: 9 New Books About Hollywood

8:30 AM 11/23/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg

The holiday must-reads by Kobe Bryant, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and more.

Kobe Bryant Keira Knightley Pharrell Split - Getty - H 2018
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Give the gift of reading to your industry coworkers with nine new books written and cultivated by Hollywood insiders. Read Pharrell Williams' interview of Oprah Winfrey or peruse glossy images of Keira Knightly and Julianne Moore. Justin Timberlake pens his first book, and Kobe Bryant speaks out in his first nonfiction piece post-retirement. Here are The Hollywood Reporter's picks for entertainment-related coffee table books — and who to give them to.

  • The Endings

    The photographic book — featuring intimate images of Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Tessa Thompson, Nina Dobrev, Danielle Brooks and (topless) Alison Pill — is dedicated “to women with wild hearts and a flair for the dramatic” as it captures loss and heartbreak, with a foreward by American Psycho director Mary Harron. Gift to Jim Gianopulos, Jon Feltheimer, Joseph Middleton, Marcello Bellisario or other executives of Lionsgate and Paramount, the studios with the lowest number of female-directed movies out of the top-grossing 1,100 films from 2007 to 2017, according to the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative ($30, Chronicle Books).

  • The Mamba Mentality: How I Play

    For long-time Lakers fans like Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg or Paradigm chairman Sam Gores, give the first nonfiction book from Kobe Bryant since his retirement in 2016. The Mamba Mentality dives into Bryant’s “biblical workouts” and “playing through the pain” with an intro from coach Phil Jackson. Those who frequent games — Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington — will enjoy Bryant’s reflection on his nickname: “It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality” ($35, Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

  • Pharrell: A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet

    Kicking off with the “Happy” superstar interviewing Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams’ book spans from fashion photography of his Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream clothing lines to interviews with stars on pay equity (Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer declare, “Pay Me What You Pay Him”) — all in the first 50 pages.

    Give the book to creatives like Christopher Meledandri, producer of Despicable Me and The Grinch (whose soundtrack features Williams); those vocal in the Time’s Up era like Laura Dern or Ellen Pompeo; and Chanel ambassadors Margot Robbie and Kristen Stewart, who may appreciate the Karl Lagerfeld interview (“I’m not in a position to change the world because fashion designers are considered superficial and stupid”). The cool A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet highlights artists of all kinds — sculptor Daniel Arsham, model Cara Delevingne — who intersect with Williams’ work in fashion, music and film ($55, Rizzoli).


  • Hindsight

    Justin Timberlake, 2018 Super Bowl halftime performer, tops off his year with his first book, Hindsight, whose name cleverly plays off his 2013 album, The 20/20 Experience. Timberlake reflects on his career in three parts: The Connection, The Practice and The Stillness.

    He recalls anecdotes from Saturday Night Live (“Everything I’ve done on SNL, I did on The Mickey Mouse Club when I was twelve years old”) and how he called Tom Ford to dress him for his wedding (“Tom agreed to dress me and my groomsmen, which ended up being his wedding gift to me. He just did it all for us. That’s the type of person he is”). Gorgeous photos depict the superstar with Andy Samberg, Madonna, Beyonce and everyone in between; good for Lorne Michaels, who Timberlake calls “dark, sarcastic,” and music producers like Greg Kurstin, Jack Antonoff and No I.D. ($40, HarperCollins).

  • The Stan Lee Story

    Stan Lee superfans can get their hands on one of 1,000 limited copies of The Stan Lee Story, out Dec. 3. Each collector’s edition is signed by the Marvel creator, who died Nov. 12 at age 95. Printed on archival paper, the book includes a foreward by Lee and text written by his successor Roy Thomas to chronicle the entertainment legend’s life with scripts and comics and a separate reissue of Lee’s 1947 Secrets Behind the Comics!.

    Give the book to Marvel heads Isaac Perlmutter or Dan Buckley; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman; or other cast and crew of previous Marvel hits ($1,500, Taschen). 

  • Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret

    Journalist Craig Brown offers 99 glimpses (read: chapters) in his biography of Princess Margaret, with Hollywood tidbits tucked in: “She made John Lennon blush and left Marlon Brando tongue-tied. She iced out Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor.” Ideal for actors and crew on The Crown, heading into season three with a new Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman), including creator Peter Morgan, writer Edward Hemming and director Philip Martin ($28, Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

  • Hollywood Modern: Houses of the Stars

    For the design-inclined, Hollywood Modern: Houses of the Stars offers a look into more than 20 industry homes. Consider gifting to the likes of Mandy Moore, who documents her design adventures with #MandyMooresMidCenturyMaison on Instagram; Platoon producer Arnold Kopelson, who just put his Beverly Hills home on the market, and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, who might enjoy this Hollywood's biggest lifestyle guru. The book showcases the homes Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Cooper, Lucille Ball, Lew Wasserman, Bryan Lourd and Faye Dunaway, whose iconic picture see her poolside at her apartment in 1969 with her Oscar statue, club soda and red lighter on a table, as newspapers are scattered on the ground ($55, Rizzoli).


  • Ed Sheeran: Memories We Made

    Four-time Grammy winner Ed Sheeran is showcased in a collection of photographs taken by Christie Goodwin, who met Sheeran in 2008 when he was unknown and she was willing to shoot him for free. The singer’s father, John Sheeran, helps select never-before-seen images and writes the foreward: “I love the fact that Ed and Christie both started in pubs and clubs, and are now doing arenas and stadiums. So I see this book as a wonderful celebration of their creative talents.” Best given to assistants and publicists who are fans of 27-year-old sensation ($30, HarperCollins).


  • Liberté, Égalité, Beyoncé: Empowering Quotes and Wisdom From Our Fierce and Flawless Queen

    The ultimate millennial coffee table book, Liberté, Égalité, Beyoncé shares illustrations and stats about Queen Bey. “She has no peer,” author John Davis declares, documenting her career from when she would charge her family $5 to watch her perform to selling more than 60 million albums worldwide.

    David includes a "Crazy in Love" timeline of her marriage to Jay-Z, as well as effusive quotes and social media posts from fellow female icons Adele, Issa Rae, Laverne Cox, Amandla Stenberg and Zendaya — all of whom would get a kick out of this fun, white elephant-style gift ($25, Smith Street Books).

    This story first appeared in the Nov. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.