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6 books with buzz: Judd Apatow on Garry Shandling, best friend on Whitney Houston, and more

Also: What happens 50 years after Michael Crichton’s ‘Andromeda Strain,’ a Carrie Fisher appreciation, a U. of C. physicist’s history of the universe and Erin Morgenstern’s ‘Starless Sea.’

Gary Shandling and Judd Apatow in March 2014.
Gary Shandling and Judd Apatow in March 2014.
Getty Images

In search of something good to read? Here are six of the hottest new book releases:

Click for an excerpt from “It’s Garry Shandling’s Book” by Judd Apatow.
Click for an excerpt from “It’s Garry Shandling’s Book” by Judd Apatow.
Random House

‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Book’ by Judd Apatow

(Random House, nonfiction, $40)

What it’s about: Director Judd Apatow was a friend and colleague of Garry Shandling. Sorting through the TV star’s personal items after his death in 2016 at 66, “There were these very personal journals, thousands of pages of jokes and ideas, tons of incredible photographs, and, as a fan of comedy, I thought it would be terrible if no one ever got to see this again.” Apatow edited them and wrote an introduction.

The buzz: “A little too scattershot and light on details to qualify as either biography or oral history, ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Book’ is best characterized as a scrapbook,” The New York Times writes. “But what a scrapbook!”

“A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston’ by Robyn Crawford.
“A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston’ by Robyn Crawford.
Dutton

‘A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston’ by Robyn Crawford

(Dutton, nonfiction, $28)

What it’s about: The late singer’s best friend confirms they had a secret love affair that ended with stardom.

The buzz: “Crawford’s book is a minor masterpiece of genteel score-settling,” the Washington Post writes.

Click for an excerpt from “The Andromeda Evolution” by Daniel H. Wilson and Michael Crichton.
Click for an excerpt from “The Andromeda Evolution” by Daniel H. Wilson and Michael Crichton.
Harper

‘The Andromeda Evolution’ by Daniel H. Wilson and Michael Crichton

(Harper, fiction, $29.99)

What it’s about: The long-awaited sequel to the late Michael Crichton’s best-selling “The Andromeda Strain,” published 50 years ago, details in thrilling fashion a scientific crisis that nearly wiped out humanity.

The buzz: A USA Today review calls it “an infectious evolution of the Michael Crichton literary legacy.”

Click for an exceprt from “The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern.
Click for an exceprt from “The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern.
Doubleday

‘The Starless Sea’ by Erin Morgenstern

(Doubleday, fiction, $28.95)

What it’s about: The best-selling author of “The Night Circus” spins a fantastical love story in an underground world of lost cities, pirates and magic.

The buzz: “An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book,” Kirkus Reviews says.

“At the Edge of Time” by Dan Hooper.
“At the Edge of Time” by Dan Hooper.
Princeton University Press

‘At the Edge of Time’ by Dan Hooper

(Princeton University Press, nonfiction, $24.95)

What it’s about: A history of the universe, starting with the Big Bang, by the top theoretical astrophysicist at Fermilab, an Oak Park resident who’s also a University of Chicago astronomy and astrophysics professor.

The buzz: “A lucid account that is neither dumbed down nor overly difficult,” Kirkus Reviews says. “Beginning with Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ in 1980, Big Bang books have become a genre that curious readers should check out every few years to keep up with breakthroughs (gravity waves being the latest). They can’t go wrong with Hooper’s.”

Click for an excerpt from “Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge” by Sheila Weller.
Click for an excerpt from “Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge” by Sheila Weller.
Sarah Crichton / Farrar Straus and Giroux

‘Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge’ by Sheila Weller

(Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, nonfiction, $28)

What it’s about: This biopic appreciation of Carrie Fisher taps friends and colleagues of the late actress and writer to celebrate her spirit and talent and is candid about her open struggles with bipolar disorder and drug addiction.

The buzz: Kirkus Reviews calls it “an expansive look at a woman who lived large, loved deeply and did a lot to destigmatize mental illness.”