I don't like to think of myself as a genre snob, but there is one category I usually avoid: books written by celebrities. In spite of my usual prejudices towards them, though, 2017 has surprised me with some pretty remarkable
new celebrity books out this year that are actually worth reading. If you like behind the scenes stories, self-deprecating humor, and gut-wrenching heartache, you're going to love these.
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but whenever I see a celebrity's name on the front, I can't help but roll my eyes. It's an automatic reaction to a category of books that is frequently filled with little more than mediocre memoirs, shallow self-help guides, and ghostwritten gossip. Books by celebrities, whether they be autobiographies, children's books, or inspiration instructions for better living, are all too often used to get the star media coverage rather than stand on their own as meaningful contributions to literature.
Every once in awhile, though, there comes a celebrity-penned book that is more than just a publicity stunt. I'm talking about contributions like Mindy Kaling's laugh-out-loud funny essay collections
and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? , and Mary-Louise Parker's emotional literary letters in Why Not Me? . I mean the kind of wonderful works like Dear Mr. You Carrie Fisher's bestselling books and Steve Martin's many acclaimed novels and hilarious memoir.
I'm talking about titles like these nine new
celebrity books that you should actually add to your TBR pile. From candid stories about the hilarious life of a comedian to a heartwarming young adult novel grownups will love, there's something on this list for everyone.
'Grace Notes: My Recollections' by Katey Sagal
Throughout her illustrious career, Katey Sagal has proven herself time and time again as a skilled actress, singer, and songwriter. With
Grace Notes, a poignant memoir told in essays, she proves herself to be a talented author as well. Beautiful and sincere, Sagal takes snippets of her thrilling life, sometimes inspiring but often heartbreaking, and weaves them together to create an unforgettable life story. Click here to buy.
'I'm Fine... And Other Lies' by Whitney Cummings
If you thought life as a famous comedian was all sunshine and smiles, Whitney Cummings's new memoir will show you otherwise. Sharp and candid,
I'm Fine... and Other Lies chronicles the many hilarious misfortunes throughout the comedian, actress, and writer's personal life and career. It's smart, heartfelt, and unapologetic in the best way. Click here to buy.
'We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere' by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel
'We're Going to Need More Wine' by Gabrielle Union
If the title of actress Gabrielle Union's new book doesn't already entice you, maybe its premise will:
We're Going to Need More Wine is a bold and thought-provoking essay collection that explores gender, sexuality, race, body image, fame, and the modern state of womanhood. Ripe with humor and heartfelt wisdom, these stories expose a personal side of the actress, including her hopes, fears, and insecurities, many readers will relate to. Click here to buy.
'This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare' by Gabourey Sidibe
Among all the unconventional Hollywood success stories, actress Gabourey Sidibe's is among the most fascinating and, in her new memoir, addicting to read about.
This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare traces Sidibe's rise from her humble Bed-Stuy/Harlem roots, where her mother supported her family by singing in the subways and the now-famous actress herself earned money as a phone sex operator, to her breakout role in Precious and continued success on TV. Funny, thoughtful, and unflinchingly honest, this is one celeb memoir not to be missed. Click here to buy.
'Stranger Than Fanfiction' by Chris Colfer
Best known for his role on
Glee, Chris Colfer has found success post-regionals as a New York Times bestselling author of middle grade novels. Stranger Than Fanfiction, a heartwarming YA about friendship and identity, is the actor-turned-writer's first try at writing for teens, and might I say, he nailed it. Sweet, funny, and oh-so-relatable, this short novel is sure to please readers young and old alike. Click here to buy.
'Uncommon Type: Some Stories' by Tom Hanks
While you may know Tom Hanks for his many iconic movie roles, including forrest Gump, Woody, and Chuck Noland, the actor, screenwriter, producer, and director also includes "writer" among his many job titles. His work
has been published in , among other places, and most recently he published The New York Times and Vanity Fair Uncommon Type, a collection of 17 skillfully crafted short stories. Smart and equally heartfelt, this collection is a must-read for fans of the actor and literary lovers alike. Click here to buy.
'Unqualified' by Anna Faris
Under different circumstances,
Anna Faris's candid memoir might not have made it onto my celebrity reading radar, but her recent split from husband Chris Pratt makes the book more interesting than ever. In Unqualified, the actress and mother talks openly and honestly about her relationship with her ex, the way fame influences romance, what its like to raise a child in Hollywood, and more. Silly and equally sincere, this book is a fascinating look at fame through the eyes of someone who feels like your best friend. Click here to buy.
'The Last Black Unicorn' by Tiffany Haddish (Dec. 5, 2017; Gallery Books)
If you've seen
Girls Trip, you already know Tiffany Haddish is laugh-out-loud funny. In her first book, out in December, she dishes up more of her signature humor in a series of personal stories about her childhood growing up in South Central Los Angeles, her life as famous comedian, and everything that came in between — including her days spent making money as the paid school mascot and as a Bar Mitzvah hype girl. Click here to buy.