Spring Reading: The Next 'Hunger Games' and 10 Other New Books to Check Out

Spring Reading - H 2015

Spring Reading - H 2015

Tinseltown tales of love and regret, big-screen-ready history and more: They're ready for option or just enjoyment.

This story first appeared in the March 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Hot Memoirs

Start with A Fine Romance (Simon & Schuster, April 7, $28, 368 pages), Candice Bergen’s second memoir, in which the Murphy Brown star tells all about her love affair with Louis Malle, becoming a mother at 39, Malle’s death in 1995 from a rare brain disease and finding love again with Marshall Rose. … A week later comes Born With Teeth (Little, Brown and Co., April 14, $28, 320 pages) by Kate Mulgrew, which finds the Orange Is the New Black star telling the heartbreaking story of the daughter she gave up for adoption at 22, the guilt that shadowed her and the hunt 20 years later to find her. … In Whatever … Love Is Love (HarperCollins, April 28, $26.99, 288 pages), actress Maria Bello expands her 2013 New York Times “Modern Love” column about finding romance with a woman and building an unconventional family.

Young Hearts

Feeling left behind in the romantic sweepstakes, high schoolers Riley and Reid decide to make moves on their crushes and record the results in a notebook in Amy Spalding’s YA novel Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) (Little, Brown and Co., April 7, $18, 320 pages), pitched as Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A. … More fantastic is Martha Brockenbrough’s The Game of Love and Death (Scholastic Co., April 28, $17.99, 352 pages), which has won heaps of advance praise. Set in Jazz Age Seattle, the novel finds Love and Death picking new pawns — privileged white boy Henry for Love, African-American orphan Flora for Death — in their ageold power struggle. … The much anticipated fantasy An Ember in the Ashes (Razorbill, April 28, $19.95, 464 pages) by Sabaa Tahir mixes The Hunger Games with Game of Thrones — the setting is an ancient Rome-like city that hosts a tournament of death — and adds a dash of Romeo and Juliet. Paramount has the movie rights.

Book Club Candidates

God Help the Child (Knopf, April 21, $24.95, 192 pages), the latest from Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, comes with expectations that she build on her reputation as one of the most commercially successful literary novelists. The book explores the intersecting lives of a successful dark-skinned woman unloved by her lighter-skinned mother and a young, abused white girl. … Kate Atkinson follows 2013’s best-selling Life After Life with A God in Ruins (Little, Brown and Co., May 5, $28, 480 pages), a Zelig-like story that covers the great moments of the 20th century. … The Buried Giant (Knopf, March 3, $26.95, 336 pages), the first book in a decade from Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day), is a spin on the Arthurian legends in which an aging Sir Gawain — whom Ishiguro likens to John Wayne in The Searchers — embarks on one last mission.

Hollywood's Favorite Historians

Erik Larson, whose The Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts were optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, respectively, is back with Dead Wake (Crown, March 10, $28, 448 pages): a retelling of the 1915 sinking of the British ocean liner Lusitania by the German navy, an event that turned American opinion and led to the U.S. entry into World War I. … Meanwhile, David McCullough (John Adams) says readers of his The Wright Brothers (Simon & Schuster, May 5, $30, 368 pages) will discover that the brothers are very different — and far more interesting — than grade-school history classes would have us believe.