These seasoned storytellers will add star power to your bookshelves.
Scrappy Little Nobody, by Anna Kendrick
Is there anything Anna Kendrick can’t do? A talented actor, singer, and Tweeter, Kendrick proves she is also a witty and engaging storyteller in her memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody. The book feels like one, long gab session with your best friend as Kendrick shares her story of journey of growing up from a diminutive outsider in Maine to her current status as Hollywood “It Girl.” Along the way she shares stories from her Broadway debut in High Society through her roles in Twilight (remember when she provided the comic relief as social climber Jessica Stanley?), Up in the Air (which earned her an Oscar nod), and Pitch Perfect. Kendrick manages to stay relatable even when discussing the surreal elements of life as an A-list actress, such as working with George Clooney and posing for fashion magazine shoots. Self-deprecating and honest, Kendrick lets readers into her life, detailing failed relationships, moments of insecurity, and the struggles she experienced trying to make it as an actor when she first moved to L.A. Make sure to read the tongue-and-cheek “Bonus Reading Group Guide” for one final laugh from this sweet, funny read.
To buy: $16, amazon.com.
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah
Long before he took the helm of The Daily Show from Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah was a stand-up comedian, making light of his life as a mixed-race child under the oppression of apartheid. In his gritty memoir, he now reveals the full force of the terror and injustice he and his mother endured during his childhood in Johannesburg. Beginning with the title, Noah reveals his mere existence violated the Immorality Act of 1927, which outlawed interracial relationships in South Africa. Born to a black African mother and a white Swiss German father, Noah was not allowed to be seen in pubic with his parents. As a result, Noah spent much of his time isolated and later faced homelessness and hunger as the legacy of apartheid lived on. While this memoir isn’t full of laughs, there is plenty of humor courtesy of funny stories of teen awkwardness and insightful observations about life in South Africa.
To buy: $17, amazon.com.
Released November 15.
Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins, by Kathy Griffin
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to meet Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbara Streisand, or, say, Judge Judy, then this is the book for you. Comedian Kathy Griffin delivers a laugh-out-loud compendium of the many celebrity encounters she has enjoyed (and endured) over the years. Beginning with Woody Allen and concluding with Warren Zevon, Griffin doesn’t pull any punches. (Let’s just say there’s no love lost between Griffin and Demi Lovato.) But don’t worry, Griffin, best known for her zingers, doesn’t spend the whole book bashing people. She also shares hilarious moments like when she ended up on the back of a golf cart, chauffeured by none other than president-elect Donald Trump, with Liza Minnelli, a sweet interaction between old friends Streisand and Warren Beatty, and heartfelt reflections on her friendship with Cher. A quick and hilarious read, this book allows readers to be flies on the wall at the most insider Hollywood events.
To buy: $16, amazon.com.
The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher
Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, Carrie Fisher was a 19-year-old up-and-coming actress working on a sci-fi movie that no studio had any faith in. That movie was Star Wars, and as we all know today, it went on to be an enormous success, inspiring a multi billion-dollar franchise that is still flourishing today. In her latest memoir, The Princess Diarist, the Postcards From the Edge author culls the journals she kept during the filming of the first film. With excerpts from her journals, which include love poems, stream of consciousness musings, and the inner, vulnerable thoughts one only reveals in private, The Princess Diarist goes behind the scenes of one of the most famous movies in cinematic history. Highlights include a pre-production stint at a Texas “fat farm” where she met famed advice columnist Ann Landers and former first lady Bird Johnson, the story behind Princess Leia’s iconic side-bun hairstyle, and, as has been excerpted in People magazine (which, like Real Simple, is a Time Inc. publication), Fisher reveals had a three-month affair with costar Harrison Ford. “It was Han [Solo] and Leia during the week,” she told People, “and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.” Come for the juicy romance, stay for a peak inside the mind of a star on the rise.
To buy: $15.50, amazon.com.
Released November 22.
Talking as Fast as I Can, by Lauren Graham
Where Lauren Graham leads, Gilmore Girls fans will follow. With one successful novel (Someday, Someday Maybe) under her belt, Graham shares her life story: from her early childhood living in Japan to her first school productions to nearly missing out on playing Lorelei Gilmore because of scheduling conflicts. She even watched all seven seasons of the hit WB show in order to share her memories. Here, fans may long for a bit more detail. While she shares her personal thoughts on certain plotlines, she mostly comments on the episodes as time capsules of a bygone era (think slip dresses of the early 2000s and flip phones). While the chapters detailing filming the Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (available for streaming November 25) are still under wraps, Graham shares excerpts from her on-set journal, which fans will no doubt eat up like a Gilmore girl-approved feast of Pop-Tarts and pizza.
To buy: $16.66, amazon.com.
Released November 29.