As 2020 continues to deliver more than its fair share of challenging times, books have become a welcomed escape for many — for entertainment, knowledge, or just a moment of peace amid otherwise troubling times. With the release of anticipated fiction titles such as Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games prequel novel to surprise bestsellers such as Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown or Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half garnering attention, non-fiction books have also fared well this year — maybe even better than usual.
The NPD Group reports that adult non-fiction rose 3.3 percent this year compared to 2019 on sales of more than 257 million units through Nov. 28, 2020. “Non-fiction books of all kinds fared very well this year, bolstered by the excitement surrounding the presidential election and with the additional reading time afforded by pandemic mitigation orders,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “From political memoirs to nonfiction books about race, to political commentary and opinion, U.S. readers were reading books at a higher rate than usual.”
Most notably this year was the fact that a myriad of Hollywood stars shared their reflections in new memoirs and offered readers the opportunity to immerse themselves in their personal stories.
Per NPD, the top three biographies/memoir works year-to-date from Hollywood stars through the week ending Nov 28, 2020 are Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights (300,695 print copies), Incomparable by Brie and Nikki Bella (54,402 print copies) and No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox (48,543 print copies).
Other notable memoirs released this year included Jessica Simpson’s Open Book, Mariah Carey’s The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Jim Carrey’s Memoirs and Misinformation, Colin Jost’s A Very Punchable Face, Sunny Hostin’s I Am These Truths and more.
With a surplus of releases entertaining readers as they continue to self-isolate, other stars such as Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Patrick Stewart and Sharon Stone have already announced their upcoming memoirs that will be released.
Though most wrote their books prior to the novel coronavirus, some stars took moments to acknowledge the sudden new state of the world in their introductions or afterwords. Below, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look back at 13 of the year’s Hollywood memoirs