May 27, 2015

the best (celebrity) memoirs I've read...

the best memoirs I've read: celebrity |
Okay, folks! It's time for the second post in my favorite memoirs series (can we call this a series?). This time I'm focusing on another of my favorite subjects to read about: celebrities. I may not be one to watch much E! or reality TV at this point in life, and celebrity magazines are definitely not my cup o' tea, but a well-written celebrity memoir never does me wrong. I find that the transparency of (most) celebrities within these sorts of books ends up being refreshing to me, especially the ones laced with bits of self-depreciating humor.

Clearly, I lean much more toward the humorous when it comes to memoirs of this sort, but there are a couple more serious ones in the mix that I absolutely loved, as well.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite celebrity memoirs:
Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi — This book is absolutely captivating. I knew little to nothing about the author before reading this book, and I'm so glad this book was recommended to me. Portia shares a very intimate look at her struggles with an eating disorder (which started very early on in life), many of her experiences in Hollywood, and how she ultimately was able to get well and overcome her battle with anorexia. It's beautifully written and a little heartbreaking.

Bossypants by Tina Fey — I had to put this one on the list, even though I'm pretty sure everyone and their mom (and their mom's mom) has read it. Tina Fey is such a gem, and this book was the perfect mix of hilarity and honesty. It's one you won't want to read in public, unless you don't mind snort-laughing around strangers who may give you the side-eye. I loved the behind-the-scenes stories about her time at SNL, as well as her take on motherhood. Tina Fey can do no wrong, I tell you this! She always makes me laugh.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler — This book reminded me a lot of Bossypants, and I found it equally charming. There's something about those SNL gals that will always get to me! I loved reading about her childhood, and especially her early years before landing a coveted spot on SNL. Reading about how hard many celebrities had to work to get to where they are helps me respect them more (and envy them less!). I loved how she tackled the subject of her divorce, and handled it with so much grace and less sarcasm than I was expecting. Amy throws in a bit of rougher language here and there, and I don't always agree with her opinions on certain things, but this book is a quick read that is completely entertaining and surprisingly sweet.

Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch — I randomly came across this memoir a while ago, and was surprised it didn't get as much promotion as the previous two on the list! Rachel Dratch is one of my favorite SNL cast members of all time, and although she seems to be a bit more under-the-radar than Poehler and Fey, she is every bit as fantastic in my eyes. In her memoir, she is very honest about the struggles she still has to overcome in Hollywood, and (as I've probably mentioned with all the others!) her transparency about fame and all that jazz is rather refreshing. I especially adored how she shared her unexpected journey into motherhood, which she had never planned on. If you enjoyed Bossypants and Yes Please, you won't want to miss this one!

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan — Oh, Mr. Gaffigan. How you slay me. If you are a parent, you must read this book, filled with the irreverent tales of a father of five, who somehow makes it work (with the help of his wife, obviously!) in a New York City apartment. I listened to it as an audiobook, and given the fact that I adore his stand-up comedy, I'm glad I chose to hear it that way instead of reading it! Either way, this is a great read. (It's worth it to read his take on home birth alone. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.)

sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling — I read this book ages ago, and although I'm not the biggest fan of Tori Spelling, I'm adding it to the list because this book gave me enough insight to her life that it definitely softened my opinion of her. Tales of her childhood, being a teenage celebrity, her first marriage, her second marriage, difficulties with her mother, entering motherhood herself—she covers it all in this memoir, and it's absolutely fascinating to read about someone who has had a life so completely different from my own. I've read some of her other books, but to me, this one will always be the best.

The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx — Years ago, my husband went through a phase where he was a little obsessed with rockstar memoirs. He bought this one and one day I picked it up, sure it would make me roll my eyes and return it to the shelf immediately. Surprisingly enough, I couldn't put it down. Maybe it was the fact that his life as a drug-addicted rockstar was so out there that it didn't even seem real. Whatever it was, the book sucked me in and I absolutely loved it! Clearly, it deals with very heavy subjects and I wouldn't recommend it to the younger set, but if you're looking for a book that may be totally out of your normal style, try this one and see if you end up completely wrapped up in his story, the same way I was.

Sliding into Home by Kendra Wilkinson — This is another one my older sister actually recommended to me (she always gives great recommendations!) and I almost didn't read it because my feelings on Playboy Bunnies in general are…not so dandy. But, again, I'm glad I picked it up, because reading about who she truly is and where she came from made me actually think we could be friends. (Friends with very different opinions on almost every single thing ever, but still, friends!) Since this book was released, her life (and marriage) has changed a lot, but it's still a celebrity memoir I'd recommend reading. (Her honesty about "reality" TV was one of my favorite parts!)

Now it's your turn to give me some recommendations! Are there any celebrity memoirs you've finished that you think are worth the read? Do tell!

Further reading: The best (religion) memoirs I've read

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  1. The cover of The Heroin Diaries is creeping me right out!

    I need to listen to that Jim Gaffigan book. I've seen it recommended so many times now.

  2. I also loved Bossypants and Yes Please. I knew Dratch had written a memoir but kind of forgot about it so thank you for reminding me that I need to read it! I agree with you. She is definitely not as famous as Tina and Amy but she should be. She is fantastic.

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  4. I'm reading Bossypants. It seems really interesiting and I'm enjoying it.
    I'm a big Isabel Allende fan and her 2 books about her life are great; Paula and The Sum of Our Days. Of course she's not like a big celebrity, but those are the ones I really enjoyed reading.(i've only read a few memoirs, and some of them sucked :( )

  5. I haven't read it yet but "Personal History: Katherine Graham" is on my list. She's not an entertainment celebrity, but she was the owner (?) of The Washington Post when the Watergate Scandal and Pentagon Papers scandal broke, which were huge at the time. It's got great reviews and sounds really fascinating!

  6. I really enjoyed Mindy Kaling & Neil Patrick Harris' memoirs. Both had great anecdotes and made me giggle.

  7. I loved Rachael Dratch's memoir! I think I read it after you suggested it in an earlier post. I was really impressed by her honesty, humor, & grace. Amy Poehler's is next on my list, & I also really loved Lena Dunham's.


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