The titillating details threaten to overshadow the lyrical prose in Prince Harry’s buzzy memoir, which made countless headlines when it was published in January. But Spare is the rare tell-all that finds balance. Sure, the book features an insider’s perspective on wedding-related squabbles between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, a moment when Prince William physically attacks Harry, and an anecdote about Harry’s frostbitten penis. But the talented ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer (who has pulled off this trick before in Andre Agassi’s memoir Open and Phil Knight’s Shoedog) finds literary heft in Harry’s life in a gilded cage. Never before has a celebrity memoir pulled off comparisons between its subject and another dithering prince: Hamlet. Even the story of Harry’s icy appendage segues into a moment of reflection on how the press scrutinized every intimate detail of his life since he was a child—including whether he had been circumcised. Come for the drama, stay for the writing. —Eliana Dockterman
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