Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Memoirs: Truths and tabloids

My dad reads everything. Always has, and probably always will. Maybe this is why I've always loved libraries. Books make you smart. And smart people are cool. Unless you're Paris Hilton (see previous post).

I made the ridiculous resolution to read 100 books this year PLUS the entire Bible. Well, I think I'm a little behind, but I'm still trucking through (okay, I'm only on books 18 and 19 - and in 1 Samuel). At least it keeps me hanging out at libraries. Which, as a general rule, are pretty cheap places to hang out.

I really like reading about people's lives. Even more, I really love autobiographies. I think you learn more about someone hearing their stories in their own words than reading some "unauthorized tell-all" by Jude Law's childhood neighbour or something. What they choose to disclose (and not), the tone they take, it's all so very revealing.

For those who haven't picked up an autobiography lately, I'll help you out a bit. Here's my notes on the lives of the quasi-rich and famous. Read at your own risk.

Sean Astin (There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale) - Whiny boy: "My childhood wasn't perfect, then my career wasn't perfect, then Rudy was underappreciated even though it was the greatest movie ever made, then they didn't pay me enough for LOTR even though I'd never heard of the books but I'm such a brilliant actor I bet you couldn't tell and now my career has to rock forever because I do and if it doesn't it's not my fault."

Cybil Sheppard (Cybil Disobedience) - Insufferable: "My beauty is my curse. I've always been beautiful. No one looks past my beauty. Bruce Willis wanted to sleep with me but I said no. I could have said yes. But I'm too sexy. Did I mention I'm beautiful?"

Michael J. Fox (Lucky Man) - Who doesn't love this man? He's just so gracious and thankful and non-evil. I might hug him if I see him. Yes, I think I will.

Rosie O'Donnell (Find Me) - She manages to balance between her cutsie-talk-show-host persona and her more recent bitter-lesbian-don't-tick-me-off personality. A pretty fair look at her life, I think.

Kirstie Alley (How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life) - My friend Andrew is obsessed with Kirstie, so I figured I'd give her book a spin. Okay, here's some advice to future writers: Don't write about how to get skinny when you're not skinny yet. And telling me what you ate doesn't qualify as a tell-all. Talk more about Ted Dansen. Or the Olsen twins.

Tatum O'Neal (A Paper Life) - I know it's one-sided. I know she's probably the most frustrating person to be friends with. But if I ever meet her father, I will punch him. Right after hugging Michael J. Fox.

Carnie Wilson (I'm Still Hungry) - Newsflash: Only take her advice if you're ready to starve a little and pose for Playboy. Skinny people are happy. Just ask the starving children.

Joan Rivers (Bouncing Back) - This is an advice book. I didn't realize this until I started reading it. Don't take advice from a woman whose face is made of Silly Putty.

I'm now reading about Dolly Parton (she's so frikkin' cool, I had no idea. A fantastic storyteller), and then comes Eddie Fisher (because I want to be Debbie Reynolds dancing with Gene Kelly - yes, this all makes sense in my little brain). I'm sure I'll tell you all about them later.

Okay, so none of these people are considered the greatest people who ever lived. Unfortunately, most of history's greats didn't write about themselves. So I have to read regurgitated research (which I do, but it's not as fun as the autobiography).

Maybe I'll write my story one day. And then people can judge my sentence structure and inclusion of the Exacto-knife story.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Unlike you and your father I don't read much, but when I do I love a good life story. My reads tend to focus on sports figures but maybe sometime I'll venture out to other sections of the population.

A few I liked were:
Pinball Clemons - All Heart My Story. A good read, cause everyone loves Pinball!

Kurt Warner - All things Possible - from grocery bagger to NFL MVP, a nice story.

Lance Armstrong - It's not about the Bike - from the brink of death to multiple Tour de France Champ

Alex Zanardi - My Sweetest Victory - a great story on making the most with what you got. Still racing cars after loosing his legs in an autoracing accident.

Albeit, there likely more interesting if your into sports such as football, cycling, and autoracing.