1. Double Down
Mark Halperin & John Heilemann
This blistering fly-on-the-wall account of the 2012 presidential race is as compulsively readable as Game Change, the duo’s book about the 2008 election.
2. From Scratch
Salkin dishes up a delectable behind-the-scenes history of the Food Network that’s liberally seasoned with gossip about some of the cable channel’s biggest stars, from Paula Deen to Emeril Lagasse.
3. Going Clear
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s exposé of the Church of Scientology brims with mesmerizing Hollywood detail, much of it gleaned from interviews with writer-director Paul Haggis.
What was Amanda Bynes like before this year’s headlines? Klickstein provides a bracing oral history of Nickelodeon in the 1990s, the era of shows like Ren & Stimpy and Clarissa Explains It All.