BUILD Book Club: Fill your reading list with these new books from our distinguished celebrity guests

·10 min read

Welcome to the BUILD Book Club! We highlight the best new celebrity books and get the story behind the story from the authors themselves. We may receive a share from book purchases on this page, and pricing and availability is subject to change.

Neil Patrick Harris wants to cast a spell on you with The Magic Misfits. (Photo: Getty)
Neil Patrick Harris wants to cast a spell on you with The Magic Misfits. (Photo: Getty)

What are you going to read next? After reading a great book, that's often the first question on our minds — not to mention the toughest one to answer. Allow us to help you with that dilemma. Here we have a collection of exciting new novels, riveting memoirs, inspiring self-improvement books, and more. Their authors are all the fascinating guests who have come by the BUILD Series studio in recent months. They'll tell you in their own words why these are the next books you should add to your bedside table.

High School, by Tegan Quin and Sara Quin

The indie-pop musicians dug into journals, tapes, photos, and other ephemera from their high school years in Calgary, Alberta, to construct this memoir. In alternating chapters, the twins tell stories about their early drug experimentation, coming out as queer, and finding that music could be the creative outlet for all they were going through. "I don't think stories about women, especially young women, get taken very seriously very often," Tegan Quin told BUILD Series host Noah Michelson. "Young people are often patronized and oversimplified. We were not simple people, not even when we were teenagers."

Shop it: $14,

Magic Misfits: The Minor Third, by Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris' middle grade series The Magic Misfits is about a group of young magicians who each have their own unique talents and very different backgrounds. But they are bound together by friendship and their determination to fight back some nefarious villains threatening their small New England town of Mineral Wells. The third in the four-book series, The Minor Third, is an adventurous story that's also about balancing friendships and changing identities, following Theo Stein-Meyer, a violinist who can make things levitate with his bow. He develops his first crush, causing trouble within the group just as they have to face down an evil ventriloquist. "Grimm's fairy tales were dark and a little bit acerbic because kids could handle it," Harris told BUILD Series of why his books have complex and creepy elements. "I didn't want to write something that didn't have multiple layers."

Shop it: $8,

Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Own Terms, by Antoinette M. Clarke and Tricia Clarke-Stone

Raised by their Jamaican mother and grandmother in Brooklyn, twins Antoinette M. Clarke and Tricia Clarke-Stone learned early on that they'd have to be resourceful to achieve their goals in life. Antoinette rose through the ranks of the television industry to become vice president of branded entertainment and media innovation at CBS. Tricia Clarke-Stone went from using the Yellow Pages to sell ads for New York's Hot 97 to co-founding WP Narrative, a creative and tech agency, where she’s now the CEO. "One of the reasons we wrote the book was to help democratize success for people that look like us, to create a new operating system," Tricia explained on BUILD Series. That system involves figuring out your unique strengths and where to apply them, BUILDing on the support of others, and then lifting others up with you.

Shop it: $16,

Now Accepting Roses, by Amanda Stanton

Amanda Stanton's first date after getting divorced was on national television. It was the single mom's own mother who had sent in her application for The Bachelor. While things didn't work out for her with Ben Higgins on that season, nor with her two Bachelor in Paradise relationships, she's now turning those lemons into lemonade we can all drink up. "In the chapter when I talk about [BiP ex] Josh [Murray], I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just bashing him for no reason," she said on BUILD Series. "Everything that I wrote in the book was just relevant to what I learned from that situation and what I wanted the readers to take from it."

Shop it: $15,

The Life of A Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray, by Bella Thorne

Former Disney star Bella Thorne spent a great deal of her earliest years not being herself — that's what an actor does, after all. But at 21, she felt frustrated by the fact that no one seemed to understand who she really is. This book of poetry — which she wrote on a real typewriter while on the set of a TV show — is her way of exposing the rawest, truest version of herself for others. "I put anger towards my dead father, and I put anger and sadness and confusion toward a lot of things," she told BUILD Series of her poems. "I hope most of you in this room don't judge me for it, and if you do that sucks."

Shop it: $13,

You Are My Happy, by Hoda Kotb

A mother bear lulls her baby to sleep in Today show host Hoda Kotb's second children's book. The story lists the many little joys (from learning to stand to laughing with friends) that make up a great day in the life of a little one. Kotb said her rhymes were inspired by the way her 2-year-old daughter, Haley, has changed her perspective by being so amazed by everything she sees in the world. "She makes me appreciate the tiniest things in life," Kotb said on BUILD Series.

Shop it: $9,

Too Much Is Not Enough, by Andrew Rannells

While his typical Playbill bio begins with his Broadway debut in Hairspray or his Tony-winning turn in The Book of Mormon, Andrew Rannells writes that there were a whole lot of lows before and after his big break. Only in hindsight does he know how bold it was to move from Omaha to New York City right after high school. "I was naive enough to be like, 'It's all going to work out,'" he told BUILD Series. His memoir recounts how he was able to hold onto that ambition, even when it looked like showbiz success wasn't going to happen for him. "It didn't work on my timeline, but it did work eventually."

Shop it: $12,

He Said, She Said, by Gigi Gorgeous

Canadian Youtube star Gigi Gorgeous has shared so much of her life story in her popular videos and in the documentary This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, but she still has more to say. In this hilarious, poignant memoir, she reveals even more about her life, beginning with her childhood, when she was called Gregory and stealing her mom's nail polish. She recounts how she came out of the closet multiple times — first as gay, then as transgender, then as bisexual, and finally as a lesbian. She gives details about her surgeries, her heartbreaks, and her triumphs. What compels her open up about these things in public? Because her fans have given her the strength to be herself, she told BUILD Series: "I honestly don't even know if I would have transitioned if it wasn't for Youtube."

Shop it: $12,

Baby, Don't Hurt Me, by Chris Kattan

Compared to so many of the Saturday Night Live alums of his era (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, etc.), Chris Kattan's post-SNL career hasn't been so hot. In this memoir, the actor and comedian who created classic characters like Mango and Mr. Peepers discloses why: An accident he said occurred on the set in 2001 broke his neck, causing him chronic pain and requiring almost two decades of surgeries. "I didn't write it to be super funny," Kattan told BUILD Series of the darker moments of this book, which also includes some surprising allegations about Lorne Michaels. "It's a story about a comedian; it's not a comedy book."

Shop it: $15,

Our Shoes, Our Selves: 40 Women, 40 Stories, 40 Pairs of Shoes, By Bridget Moynahan and Amanda Benchley

When actress and model Bridget Moynahan was looking through her closet one day, she wondered why there were old shoes she just couldn't get rid of. Then she wondered, aloud to Amanda Benchley, if this was something other women also felt about their favorite kicks. That's the lens through which they managed to get the stories of 40 truly remarkable women from all walks of life, from Misty Copeland to Barbara Bush, Danica Patrick to Susan Collins. "I wanted women who often broke the ceilings, that were the firsts in whatever [their] field," Moynahan explained to BUILD Series. These aren't just stories about shoes, of course — though we get to see those shoes in full color photographs by Melanie Dunea — these are stories of what women do in those shoes.

Shop it: $18,

Thirty-Life Crisis: Navigating My Thirties, One Drunk Baby Shower at a Time, by Lisa Schwartz

Lisa Schwartz has made a career out of being funny and open about her life on Youtube. Even so, she acknowledges the medium's limitations. "There's only so much you can share in a three-minute video," she said on BUILD Series. That's why she published this collection of essays about the trials of being a 30-something coping (or not) with the fact that all her friends do "adult" things like get married, get pregnant, and throw gender-reveal parties. Her humor frames but doesn't mask the real stuff she goes through. "The book goes pretty in-depth on my anxiety," she said, "I hope in doing so that it really helps somebody feel like they're not alone. Sharing makes me feel a little bit better. It's like going to therapy."

Shop it: $10,

Mama's Boy: A Story from our Americas, by Dustin Lance Black

Not many would expect Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning writer of Milk and outspoken activist for marriage equality, to write a book about sitting down and listening to what conservative Americans have to say. But Black describes in his memoir how he connected to his Mormon mother, and suggests that there is a way for all of us to speak to people who hold opposite political views. "I think the most effective way to create change is to take it one step further [than facts] and to figure out the story, the very personal story that will help illuminate those politics and that science," he said on BUILD Series. "It's actually harder work. It takes a little bit more thoughtfulness. It takes the courage to get personal."

Shop it: $14,

Butterfly in Frost, by Sylvia Day

Plastic surgeon Teagan Ramsom needs to do some healing of her own in the latest romantic read from Crossfire Saga author Sylvia Day. That might be finally possible when she meets damaged artist Garrett Frost, who has demons of his own. Day found inspiration for her latest heroine from an interesting source, the famous dermatologist Dr. Pimple Popper. "She is so kind, and she understands that sometimes having a physical ailment ... can cause you to have lower self-esteem, and maybe if we fix this for you, you can feel better about yourself, feel better about your life," Day said on BUILD Series. "[Teagan] is not really doing that for herself."

Shop it: $5,

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