We’ve talked about products inspired by celebrities quite a few times on here before – whether it’s a clothing line they have a hand in, or a perfume designed with their essence in mind, stars are mostly called on as bankable endorsements. But what about when they’re producing an actual work of art that’s a bit outside the realm of typical celeb? It’s a lot harder to judge when you hear about, say, James Franco curating an art collection, or in the case of today’s post, celebrity types that have served up some literary prose. Today I’ve rounded up a handful of book titles that have been penned by a celebrity that is otherwise known for something else – whether it be actor, spokesperson, model, or musician. Note that I’ve avoided memoirs and biographies, because really, it’s just telling your life story. These are fictional tales that just happen to be written by the rich & famous. Enjoy.
Palo Alto by James Franco
Speaking of multi-talented artiste James Franco, we’ve got his debut collection of short stories that was released last year. Although each tale should be consumed independently, there are recurring themes of justice and self-destruction that link them all up. Every tale is centered on a different teen (or few), making this a great pick for your niece that’s simply going through the rigors of high school as much as your friend that’s still starry-eyed over Franco’s good looks and immense abilities as an actor, artist, and now, writer.
Elixir by Hilary Duff
Although child star Hilary Duff is currently bringing up baby herself, she’s actually been busy with a series about a spirited photojournalist that gets tangled up in a surprising supernatural love triangle after her father’s mysterious disappearance. With two books under her belt charting the otherworldly romance between Clea and Sage and a third one due next year, this is a fun (but admittedly frivolous) option for Twi-hards on your gift list that want to get invested in a new sci-fi romance, that happens to be written by a starlet they may or may not have grown up with.
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
You may be surprised to hear that comedian extraordinaire and SNL staple Steve Martin is actually pretty well-respected in the writing world – but it’s true. The guy actually has a long writing career dating back to the late 70′s, when he published a book of essays, trickling all the way up to present day where he’s churned out everything from the novella Shopgirl (which he later produced, wrote, and starred in with Claire Danes) to a children’s book to his well-received 2010 novel An Object Of Beauty. Anyone that loves tales of ambition (including more saccharine fare like Candace Bushnell’s gritty-yet-glam tales of NYC life and love) should snap this story up, about a young woman with big ambition and a well-groomed pedigree, poised to climb up the social and career ladders of New York high society.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Glee star Chris Colfer has admitted to being a big fan of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series – after all, he grew up with them. It’s with that same style of whimsy and escapism that he’s created a new children’s series set in the proverbial ‘Land of Stories’, a place where all your favourite fairy tale characters live in a sorta-united world with many ruling kingdoms. The first book follows twins Conner and Alex after they mistakenly fall into their favourite book that contains the story, and are given the hard task of collecting ingredients across the land for a wishing spell that will send them home. The story itself pays homage to some of the best children’s fantasy literature out there, while still giving the story plenty of fresh spins and sweet moments to keep little ones and their parents turning the page – and it’s been extremely well-reviewed and sold so far!
When It Happens to You by Molly Ringwald
80′s it girl Molly Ringwald isn’t one to rest on her laurels. When she’s not doing her latest movie or TV stint, she’s been busy crafting this collection of short stories that let you peer into the windows of a seemingly ordinary group of family members, friends, and neighbours in a regular Los Angeles neighbourhood. Again, like Franco’s novel, each story is a self-contained experience, but the characters interweave through one another’s lives and influence their decisions, emotions, and reactions – just as in real life. Ringwald really is a solid writer making this a good pick for any bookworm, but admittedly the nostalgia factor of simply seeing her name on the cover also makes it a prime pick for your Pretty In Pink-obsessed friend or sibling.
Modelland by Tyra Banks
Like The Hills star Lauren Conrad before her, Tyra Banks has put a semi-autobiographical tale of her younger years – as a wannabe model – into a wild fictional yarn that veers more into the fantasy realm than Conrad’s stories about fame-seeking in LA. In Banks’ novel, everything from the characters’ names (like proto-Tyra Tookie De La Creme) to the overall plot is far-fetched and almost laughable…but admit it, you’re curious right? Because underneath all those layers of frippery and silliness, there are threads of truth about the modeling industry – more than you’d probably see on Banks’ ANTM series at this point – and some insight into the over-the-top mind of Tyra Banks. As long as whoever you’re gifting it to can take it with a grain of salt, you’re golden.