As part of our Best Books of 2011 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.
How much do I love Tina Fey? Enough that I'd listen to an audiobook of Bossypants the week it came out, start to finish without stopping at all? Why—yes! In the category of celebrity memoirs, this might just be my favorite of all time, which is no surprise since Fey—the first female head writer of "Saturday Night Live"—isn't just any ole celebrity.
This story of Fey's life, from childhood to success on "30 Rock," is absolutely hilarious. In addition to laughing until you cry, you'll also learn valuable nuggets of wisdom à la Tina, from the poignant (think of life as an improv sketch—say yes to everything and trust your partners and keep it moving) to the funny (next time you find yourself envying a magazine cover model, remind yourself that the back of her dress is probably gaping open because she couldn't fit into a sample size—and that's okay!).
Save Bossypants for a day when you need a fun and quick read that will make you cheer up and smile.
Check out our full Best of 2011 list here.
I blogged about Ashley Judd's "memoir with purpose" more than a year ago, and the book is finally on sale a week from today.
Though I usually feel a bit ho-hum about celebrity memoirs, the book trailer for Judd's All That is Bitter and Sweet is actually quite inspiring:
What do you think, readers? Were you touched by Judd's decision to make her life "an act of worship"? Will you read All That is Bitter and Sweet?
Have you seen any good book trailers lately?
Jerry Lee Lewis had back-to-back hits with "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," was friends with Elvis, inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, had six wives (including to his 13-year-old first cousin once removed) . . . are you curious about the man behind the scandal and rockin' tunes?
If the answer is "yes," then you're in luck—because Lewis has signed a deal with HarperCollins imprint It Books, which will publish his memoir in 2012.
Press release author quotes are usually quite bland, but I had to smile at Lewis's statement about why he's writing a memoir:
I am ready to say a whole lot about why I lived my life the way I did. People can read it, burn it, or never give it another thought. Either way the truth is about to be told, and I'm the only man still standing who can touch it.
Today Publisher's Marketplace posted a new book deal from Ellen DeGeneres—as the comedian and talk-show host said, "I found that between my talk show, American Idol and my late night blogging, I didn't have enough ways to express myself."
Ellen has already written a couple other books: The Funny Thing Is. . . and My Point. . . and I Do Have One. And if you can't get enough of all things Ellen, her mother, Betty, wrote a book called Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey.
The new book is pitched as a look at DeGeneres' "life through her humor." A lot has happened since DeGeneres published The Funny Thing Is. . . in 2003: from marriage to Portia de Rossi, to judging American Idol, to appearing on Oprah's magazine.
Are there any topics you hope Ellen will address? Will you look for this book? (It's coming in fall 2011 from Grand Central.)
Christian publisher Tyndale House announced today that they will publish Drew Brees’ memoir, Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity. Brees is, of course, the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. He’s also beloved in New Orleans, where he and his wife started a foundation.
The press release doesn’t shy away from comparing Brees’ story to that of the Saints, and New Orleans:
When a potentially career-ending shoulder injury left quarterback Drew Brees without a team, the NFL wondered, would Brees ever come back? When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, leaving 85 percent of the city under water, many wondered, would the city ever come back? And when their stadium was transformed into a make-shift refugee camp, forcing the Saints to play their entire 2005 season on the road, people questioned, would the team ever come back?
Chris Fabry (ghostwriter of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel’s The Winners Manual) will contribute. What do you think, football fans? Will Brees’ memoir be a must-read, or cheesy? The book will hit stores July 6.
I don’t read many books by celebrities, although Ashley Judd’s memoir (spring 2011 from Ballantine) looks like it could be an exception.
The story will recall both painful childhood memories and Judd’s humanitarian work as a global ambassador for PSI (Population Services International)/Youth AIDS. What caught my attention is that the book's foreword will be written by one of my favorite New York Times columnists: Nicholas Kristof, co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
In a press release, Judd commented: “I hope that this book will be a call to action as well as a memoir. . . By sharing my own story along with those of the beautiful and resilient people I’ve met in the most desperate places, I want to show how the change we seek in the world must start within us.”
Sounds like Judd will have her hands full during the upcoming months. She’s also starring in movies such as Tooth Fairy—and working toward a Mid-Career MPA at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Who is your favorite celebrity author? I’m a sucker for political memoirs, which isn’t totally unrelated; Judd will collaborate with Maryanne Vollers, who also worked with Hillary Clinton on Living History.
Related in BookPage: Ashley’s not the only Judd with a book deal. Her mom, country singer Naomi, wrote a guide to living well, complete with some Judd family dirt.