Truth behind the tabloids, celebs tell it like it is—May 25, 2012
Hi, I am the new guy at the Hastings Public Library (this is my first article). Working here so far I have had to take in a lot of information and learn numerous different tasks. It has been a bit of a challenge but it is worth it because of all the amazing discoveries I make by working here. When you handle books and movies all day you start to find your curiosity being piqued by certain titles, sometimes to the point where you just have to check them out right there and then.
My favorite discovery so far has been celebrity memoirs. I am the kind of person who has always been obsessed with movies, television, and pop culture in general and yet, until I started working here, I do not think I had ever read a celebrity memoir. Now I cannot get enough of them. The ones I have read so far have all been incredibly interesting.
“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me: And Other Concerns” by Mindy Kaling was the book that started my current obsession with celebrity memoirs. I tore through a good eighty percent of the book on one two hour drive, that is how riveted I was. Kaling, best known for her role as bubbly/over-dramatic Kelly Kapoor on The Office and less known for being, at various times, a writer, director, and/or producer of the same program, has crafted an impressively engaging view into her past and her present. I may have started this book only looking for interesting behind-the-scenes stories about The Office (which there are) but I stayed for Kaling’s willingness to dive straight into embarrassing territory (including her days as a chubby child) and her compulsive desire to share her opinion on anything under the sun. Bonus: If you enjoy Kaling’s writing style she also has a hilarious Twitter account where she is always spitting out funny things.
“Guts” by Kristen Johnson centers on when Johnson (best known for her role as Sally on the aliens-come-to-earth sitcom Third Rock from the Sun) suffered a medical emergency caused by a secret pill addiction that she had been hiding for years. That may sound like a story that has been told a hundred times, as Johnson herself acknowledges in the book (“Oh another actress with a pill problem”) but Johnson’s unique voice invites you in and keeps you locked in until the last page, as well as really making you appreciate your intestinal fortitude.
Hilary Winston is a name most people would not recognize but we all know her work; Winston is a writer/producer for television’s Community and has previously worked on My Name Is Earl. Her memoir “My Boyrfriend Wrote a Book about Me” (he really did) focuses on the full range of her romantic foibles but is carried along by the unfolding of the relationship that would ultimately spawn not one but two books. (And you thought your last breakup was ugly). There are also many mentions of Winston’s slightly disconcerting relationship with her cat.
“Bossypants” by Tina Fey is the book on this list that you are most likely to have already heard of and possibly considered reading. If you did not do it then now is the time. Fey, who for my money is one of the funniest individuals currently working in television, knocks her memoir out of the park with her characteristic wit and self-deprecating humor. Fey touches upon her years at Saturday Night Live, the development of her Emmy-winning show 30 Rock and even her (in)famous Sarah Palin impression. Go get this book. Right now.
“The Bedwetter” by Sarah Silverman is by far the raunchiest book on this list. It also happens to be unspeakably hilarious and my personal favorite. Silverman is famous for her self-titled television program The Sarah Silverman Program, for dating Jimmy Kimmel, and for being really irreverent. She certainly pulls no punches here in recounting her journey from foul-mouthed little girl struggling with nocturnal enuresis to young lady dealing with depression and a parade of therapists to even fouler-mouthed mid-level celebrity with her own tv show. Personally, I could not get enough of Silverman’s writing and anyone who is comfortable with the occasional bathroom humor and ironic use of derogatory terms will likely feel the same.