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.
The Unfolding by A.M. Homes (UTA)
After Barack Obama’s election, a group of wealthy, powerful Republicans gather to devise a plan to stop the country’s progressive momentum. The scenario is fictional, but Homes’ vision is so cannily crafted, it feels like peering into a top-secret world.
People Person by Candice Carty-Williams (42MP)
This boisterous novel from the author of the beloved 2019 debut Queenie revolves around a group of half siblings connected by an absent, highly idiosyncratic father. A spontaneous reunion could be the springboard for a tender, laugh-out-loud miniseries.
Survival of the Richest by Douglas Rushkoff (The Bent Agency)
An economist is whisked to a remote resort where billionaires request a consultation about the end of the world. But instead of seeking a comrade-in-arms to save the planet, they’re looking for help to build apocalypse bunkers — and it’s all a true story.
Bliss Montage by Ling Ma (UTA)
The Severance author’s first short story collection is rich with onscreen potential, like the tale of a woman living with her obscenely wealthy husband in one wing of their mansion while her 100 ex-boyfriends co-habitate in another wing.
Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell
Warrell’s debut novel first start catching attention due to its high-profile acquisition: it’s the first that newly-crown publisher of Pantheon Lisa Lucas (formerly the head of the National Book Foundation) made on the job. Lucas sang its praises this summer in a splashy New York Times Magazine story about the publishing industry’s push to diversify, describing her experience reading it for the first time as “slipping into a trance.” But beyond its memorable introduction to the world, the story is an enticing exploration of jazz music and the inner lives of women.
Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout
The author has built a beloved world of literary, onscreen, and onstage IP — she’s the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Olive Kitteridge, which became a Frances McDormand-starring (and Emmy-winning) HBO miniseries, and My Name is Lucy Barton was adapted for the West End. Now she returns to the delightfully quirky character (played by Laura Linney onstage) and places her in the middle of the pandemic, quarantining with her ex-husband William in small-town Maine. Sure, it’s an emotional return to those early days of anxiety that most of us prefer to forget, but this moving novel is worth the cabin fever.