Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 Celebrity Memoirs, Part II

Continuing my year end look at the celebrity memoirs I read in 2016. I have Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me? on my library borrows/TBR and will hopefully get to it by this weekend.
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini - 4 stars
Read July 2016
I meant to just start this book this morning, but couldn't put it down until I finished it. Content wise, it was heartfelt, gossipy, and authentic. Writing quality could have used some polish, which is not surprising considering Remini dropped out of formal education at the eighth grade.

Remini had my interest from the first page, but it was her descriptions of growing up in an Italian-Jewish family in Brooklyn circa mid-1970s and early 1980s that made me smile. Italian-American families are so alike, I thought she could have been a cousin of mine. I still remember her from her guest spots on Who's the Boss? and Saved by the Bell! Her rise in Hollywood was painful but much more realistic than child stars or models turned actors. She was very real about her wanting to be an actress for the money, but stayed and dealt with the hardships inherent with the acting world because she loved the work. She doesn't hold back about the crap that Scientology is known for, and she names people and their rank/role within the organization. If Remini ever writes another book, I will read it.
P.S. I never liked Tom Cruise or his movies, but damn he is quite the douche-bag

Yes Please by Amy Poehler - 4.5 stars
Read July 2016
This was a great memoir that read like a conversation between friends. I am glad she focused on herself and her work rather than her divorce. Amy Poehler was real, showing scars, warts, and mistakes as well as good times. There is a lot of celebrity name-dropping, but mostly it was her friends or mentors that she spoke of who also happened to be pretty well known.
Warning that there is a bit of stream of conscious type of storytelling, so she would start with a story from her childhood, halfway through it would turn into a story from her twenties, then return to the story from childhood to bring everything back around to her point. There was some filler, such as pictures and pages from scripts.
Bossypants by Tina Fey - 4 stars
Read July 2016
This was a quick and enjoyable read. I did laugh out loud at several chapters. This book was written towards the career women who want a family life too. It also focused a lot on her writing career (for both improve, sketch, and scripted comedy shows). I did feel a connection with Fey, but also feel she self-edited a lot.

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