NEW YORK — One year ahead of the 2024 election, don’t expect many new books about the presumed front-runners, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
The wave of Trump releases that began six years ago with his presidency has subsided, with Jonathan Karl’s “Tired of Winning” and former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s “Enough” among the handful of Trump-centered works due out this fall. Biden, meanwhile, continues to inspire far fewer publications than his immediate predecessors, whether by opponents or defenders.
For now, says Shannon DeVito, Barnes & Noble’s senior director for books, there’s “an exhaustion of interest in political titles.”
By this point in Trump’s administration, he had been the subject of unflattering bestsellers from journalists, takedowns by former government officials and books of praise from supporters. With the Biden administration in its third year, detractors have been as interested in attacking his son Hunter Biden or the immunologist Anthony Fauci, the subject of Sen. Rand Paul’s forthcoming “Deception,” as going after the president himself. Insider memoirs have been relatively rare because Biden’s administration has had far less turnover than Trump’s.
Franklin Foer’s upcoming “The Last Politician,” which draws upon interviews with more than 100 administration officials, is one of the few in-depth accounts of the Biden presidency.
“You just don’t have the kind of drama in the Biden administration that you do with others,” says Foer, a staff writer for The Atlantic whose book will offer a mostly positive take on Biden. “His public image has been a bit boring by design. But Joe Biden is a fascinating political figure and his presidency has the chance to be more consequential than Trump’s in the long run.”
Many political titles this fall will explore broader trends, like Rachel Maddow’s “Prequel” on a World War II-era far-right plot, or Tim Alberta’s “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals.” Other topical books will include firsthand takes on two of the business world’s most contentious figures: Walter Isaacson’s “Elon Musk” and Michael Lewis’ “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” about disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
Celebrity memoirs, from Britney to Werner Herzog
Even before her divorce was announced, Britney Spears’ “The Woman In Me” was expected to be the most talked about memoir of the fall, while the weightiest celebrity book — literally — is Barbra Streisand’s “My Name is Barbra,” decades in the making and listed at more than 1,000 pages.
Others with memoirs this fall include Jada Pinkett Smith, Kerry Washington, John Stamos, Henry Winkler, Julia Fox, Elton John’s longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, filmmaker Werner Herzog, writer-comedian Sarah Cooper and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Sly Stone will finally open up about his life and work in “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).” Staci Robinson’s “Tupac Shakur” is the first authorized account of the late rapper and actor, whose long-unsolved killing has recently been back in the spotlight.
In fiction, franchises are revisited …
Like the movie industry, book publishing has its share of popular franchises: Expected bestsellers include Christopher Paolini’s latest “Inheritance” book, “Murtagh: The World of Eragon”; Rick Riordan’s next Percy Jackson novel, “The Chalice of the Gods”; Rebecca Yarros’ “Iron Flame,” the second volume of her “Empyrean” fantasy series; and Ken Follett’s fifth Kingsbridge historical novel, “The Armor of Light.”
John Grisham’s “The Exchange” is the sequel to his breakthrough book from 30 years ago, “The Firm,” while Karin Smirnoff’s “The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons” continues the Lisbeth Salander series made famous by the late Stieg Larsson. Crime stories also will come from Stephen King, Anne Perry, James Ellroy, Lou Berney and Tod Goldberg. A famed Agatha Christie sleuth returns in Sophie Hannah’s “Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night,” authorized by the Christie estate.