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Fall is a great time to recommit to a reading routine. After all, what’s better than cozying up with a good book on a chilly autumn day? Fortunately, if you’ve been looking for a new book (or ten!) to add to your lineup, October is ripe with a slew of noteworthy and headline-making releases—especially ones focused on celebrities. From Britney Spears’ bombshell memoir, The Woman In Me, Julia Fox’s highly-anticipated (and surprisingly compelling) autobiography, Down The Drain, and yes, the seemingly omnipresent Jada Pinkett Smith’s Worthy, there is certainly no shortage of star-powered reading material to scoop up right now.
If you’re looking to seek refuge from this month’s tidal wave of celebrity-based tell-alls, you’ll find the dreamiest escape diving into Margaret and Corey Bienert’s infinitely giftable coffee table book, Hotel Kitsch. This first publication from the duo is a gorgeous visual tour exploring some of the world’s sexiest fantasy-themed and adult-only hotels. For the (fast) foodies out there, I’d recommend digging into Lynsi Snyder’s, The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger, which examines how the beloved fast food chain In-N-Out became a bona fide cultural icon. Regardless of your interests, there’s a pop-culture new release to delight bibliophiles and bookworms of all kinds. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best pop-culture (and pop-culture-adjacent) reads to rake up this fall.
‘The Woman In Me’
Let’s face it—there was no way Spears’ new memoir was not going to top this list. Whether you’re a fan of the pop superstar or not, The Woman In Me is 100 percent worth a read. Unsurprisingly, it’s already climbed to the top spot on Amazon’s bestsellers list just hours after release.
The tell-all runs the gamut of topics, detailing everything from her contentious conservatorship, her relationship (and alleged abortion) with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, and the “drug of choice” that powered her partying days with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan back in the early aughts. You won’t be able to put this one down.
The ultimate pictorial trifecta of travel, pop culture, and postmodern nostalgia, Margaret and Corey Bienert’s (the husband and wife duo behind the viral travel series, A Pretty Cool Hotel Tour), Hotel Kitsch: A Pretty Cool Tour of America’s Fantasy Getaways takes readers on a visual tour of some of the best adult-only fantasy and romance hotels across America and abroad. Brimming with stunning original photography of delightfully tawdry heart-shaped bathtubs, and over-the-top themed honeymoon suites with mirrored ceilings, rotating beds, and shag carpet galore, this niche coffee table book is the ultimate visual feast.
Hotel Kitsch is more than just a skimmable travel guide, though—the book is also peppered with insightful cultural commentary about the history, legacy, and recent renaissance of retro honeymoon motels. As a fellow themed hotel obsessive myself, Hotel Kitsch is a one-of-a-kind read you won’t be able to find elsewhere. Whether you’re a design lover with a taste for retro interiors or are always on the hunt for new off-beat travel destinations, this book will not disappoint.
‘Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones’
Another gift-worthy coffee table book celebrating country singer, beauty icon, and philanthropist Dolly Parton, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones pays homage to Parton’s most iconic (and, often, bedazzled) looks throughout her career. This coffee table book is basically a tangible museum visit—or, closet tour—allowing readers to walk through Dolly’s costume archive, looking back at all of the pop culture icon’s most celebrated fashion looks from the 1960s to the present day. Whether you’re just looking to add to your Dolly shrine or are looking for a gift for her biggest fan, you can’t go wrong with Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones.
‘The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger’
Authored by the beloved fast food chain’s president (and granddaughter of the burger drive-thru’s founders), Lynsi Snyder’s The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger: The Inside Story of California's First Drive-Through and How it Became a Beloved Cultural Icon gives readers a juicy inside look at In-N-Out’s operations, history, and cultural legacy. Regardless of where you stand on the surprisingly contentious In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack vs. Whataburger debate, this fun read will delight any fast-loving foodie.
‘Down the Drain’
Julia Fox, the multidisciplinary artist known for her breakout role in the Safdie brothers’ film, Uncut Gems, is arguably equally famous for her daring fashion choices and whirlwind romance with disgraced musician Kanye West. With her new memoir, Fox adds another hyphenate to her repertoire: author (and, no, Fox says she did not hire a ghostwriter for the book).
Described by the Daily Beast’s own culture reporter, Helen Holmes, as “Harrowing, achingly sad at times, and a narcotics-soaked shock to the system,” there’s no denying that Fox is a compelling storyteller. Regardless of your thoughts on the polarizing pop culture multihyphenate, Down the Drain is a downright riveting read.
‘CBK: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy: A Life in Fashion’
While CBK: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy: A Life in Fashion will not technically be released until November 7, I’ve decided to include it on the list because it’s already available for pre-order and, somehow, has already made it onto the Amazon bestselling book list ahead of being launches. The late Carolyn Bassette Kennedy, an impeccably chic New York City publicist for Calvin Kelin, quickly became a fashion icon after being propelled into the limelight thanks to her very public relationship—and eventual marriage—to John F. Kennedy Jr.
Over two decades after her tragic death, CBK remains a celebrated fashion icon, known for her signature understated yet polished style, often punctuated with a red lip, oversized Hermes handbag, and restricted color palette. This gorgeous coffee table book celebrates the legacy of the late Mrs. Kennedy, honoring the enduring legacy she left in the fashion world.
Taylor Lorenz’s debut book, Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet, explores every facet of how Internet culture—including the impact of social media and the rise of influencers—has shaped not only culture at large, but the economy, career landscape, and human interaction as a whole.
The acclaimed reporter takes a deep dive into how mom bloggers were among the first influencers to make money off of their digital content and explores how the impact of monetizing social media has shifted over the past decade. While not a visually-oriented new release, Extremely Online is an absolute must-read for anyone in (or interested in) digital media.
When Jada Pinkett Smith’s memoir launched in mid-October, the juicy excerpts and revelations about the actress and her husband, Will Smith, caused a minor media frenzy. Not only did she reveal that she and her husband have actually been separated for five years, but she also addressed Will Smith’s public assault on Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards and speaks about her close relationship with the late rapper Tupac Shakur, who she claims also suffered from the hair loss condition, alopecia.
Only a few days after the tell-all was released, many took to social media to express their exhaustion from the seemingly endless stream of headline-worthy revelations stemming from Worthy. Regardless, we still think it is, indeed, a worthy read.