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Celebrities who Write Books

You don't get to be rich, famous, popular, infamous or otherwise notable by being shy. So it's not surprising that celebrities get into the book-writing game. Many stars use their memoirs as a way to tell their side of the story, others extend their creative tendencies by trying their hand at the great American novel. Children's books, cookbooks, self-help books - you name it, and at least one star has penned one for your pleasure. 

Home • Children's Books • Cookbooks • Essays • Fiction
Memoirs  •  Non-fiction • Self-Help  

Thursday
Jul212011

The Swim-Femme "Million Dollar Mermaid" Memoirs 

Esther Williams & Diane Sawyer, 2007Swimming superstar and Hollywood legend, Esther Williams, penned her memoirs titled, Million Dollar Mermaid. I read this book as soon as it came out - and it was nothing but dishy-delishiness! If you love the behind-the-scenes scoop on old Hollywood, officially qualify as a TCM nerd and recognize names like Fernando Lamas, Busby Berkley, Victor Mature and Johnny Weismuller, then this book is for YOU! I loved hearing how dropped acid on Cary Grant's advice, was Lorenzo Lamas' stepmother, and saw just how screwed up Joan Crawford really was. Great stories, great lady, great read indeed! 

Esther Williams, Actress & Swimmer
Million Dollar Mermaid (20XX) 

MGM swim-femme Williams delighted millions in choreographed aqua-movie-musicals during the 1940s and '50s: her unbuttoned autobiography examines both her splashy, sunny public image and the murky waters of her private life.  Williams opens by describing the LSD trip she took in 1959 (Cary Grant helped her score the acid), then dives into her traumatic early life: a brother died at 16, competing in swim meets at 15, costarred in Billy Rose's Aquacade with the drunken, exhibitionistic Johnny Weissmuller and signed with MGM in 1944. Williams's movie years constitute the colorful core of the book, displaying life inside a major studio during Hollywood's Golden Age. Williams had to deal with disastrous marriages, manipulative moguls and life-threatening water stunts. Her sparkling anecdotes alternate the scandalous, the charming and the ridiculous. Later chapters cover Williams's work for TV, her swimsuit licensing and her years with jet-setting, tyrannical third husband Fernando Lamas. Williams speaks of her own "zest for life"; she and collaborator Diehl demonstrate it many times over in this tremendously entertaining life story. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. 

Thursday
Jul212011

You call it freckleface strawberry - we call it ginger. Just remember kids, it gets better.


Oscar should-have-won actress Julianne Moore, is as gorgeous as she is talented, and she has co-written this adorable children's book, Freckleface Strawberry. Although she's a knockout now, I'm sure she suffered the neuroses known to many a fair-skinned child, born of a face full of freckles. I too can relate to this book as a strawberry blonde with absolutely no talent for "tanning." I am truly the mistress of the burn, with a talent for growing endless curly superfrizzy strawberry-colored hair. It's like this book was written for me! Geez! Only 30 years late...

Anyways, this book skews a little younger than the Judy Blume classic, Frecklejuice, and it should serve as an early-years primer for the soon-to-be-tortured gingers out there.

Julianne Moore, Actress
Freckleface Strawberry, 2007

This charmingly illustrated tale of being "different" and learning to deal with it is co-written by Julianne Moore along with Leuyen Pham. A touching tale for children to learn that each person is different in their own way, freckles or not. There are two sequels to the Freckleface saga: Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully: A Freckleface Strawberry Story (2009) and Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever (2011). All three books would make a really cute gift for your favorite little girl, towheaded, redheaded or baldheaded!

Saturday
Jun112011

Jim Breuer - he's not high. Really, he's NOT!



Comedian, radio host and sometime actor Jim Breuer, best-known for his stoner persona featured on SNL and in movies like Half Baked, has taken to the page and provided a poignant, entertaining first book. I've heard Jim speak about his book, his father, his friends in various radio interviews, and he's a little deeper than he likes to portray. I'm always interested in behind-the-scenes SNL dish, so this one is on my Audible list for sure. Plus, I have a inexplicable soft spot in my heart for Goat Boy.   Hot tip: Reviews indicate this is a good audio book, narrated by the author. 

Jim Breuer, Comedian & Actor 
I'm Not High (2010)

Funnyman Breuer, best known for his portrayals of Goat Boy and Joe Pesci on Saturday Night Live, shows that he is more than just a goofball in this engaging memoir. In incidents described with equal parts humor and solemnity, Breuer illustrates the important role that spirituality has played in his life: for example, he temporarily lost his memoir notes after daring the devil to take them; he kissed a friend the night before she died in an accident; and he felt strangely compelled to reach out to Chris Farley shortly before his death. Comedy has been another constant, and numerous SNL anecdotes will appeal to fans of the show. Breuer's memories of realizing as a child that he had the ability to entertain have a cinematic quality: "Pretty soon a crowd would gather around...cheering me on like it was a real boxing match." More interested in conveying himself as a multi-faceted man than fishing for laughs (though readers will still chuckle), Breuer succeeds in demonstrating groundedness, humility, and gratitude. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun112011

Living in Tommyland - is it rent controlled?

Manic badboy Tommy Lee of Motley Crue infamy sets his pen aflame and goes all out in his book TommyLand - telling his tales and sharing his philosophies along the way. His crazy, all-over-the-place ADD style seems evident in the excerpts I perused, but the content seemed entertaining enough. Live vicariously through this bad boy's adventures and sleep well knowing syphillis isn't transmitable via Kindle. Sweet rock-n-roll dreams!

 

Tommy Lee,
Motley Crue 
TommyLand (2004)

In Tommy's own words... I am Tommy Lee, born Thomas Lee Bass in Athens, Greece, on October 3, 1962, and raised in a suburb of California by an American father and a Greek mother. At seventeen, I joined Mötley Crüe and we became one of the baddest-ass rock bands in history. We sold over 40 million albums, we wreaked havoc, we scared parents, and we titillated too many fathers' daughters. I've been married three times: once for just a few days to a Penthouse Pet, for seven years to Heather Locklear, and then for five years to Pamela Anderson, with whom I have two beautiful sons. I've gotten into a lot of fights and I've been to jail a few times.

But this book isn't your typical journey in a straight line from day one to day now. I'm more interested in revealing what's most important about my life, like how I cook my steaks; what I think of the tabloids, the truth, my ex-wives, my ex-band, my music; and what an innocent observer might find hanging around my house any given Sunday. You'll get plenty of facts and I'll tell you a story, but my real mission here is to paint you a picture of my life. I want to show you how my memories smell.

Saturday
Jun112011

Life on the Prairie - Melissa Gilbert's Memoirs so far

Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert is Half-pint's tales of her growin' up years on the prairie and beyond. Evidently she gets dishy about drugs, Rob Lowe, Bruce Boxleitner amongst other things. I believe her successful marriage is a significant part of the book, but it has since seen it's demise. If you're a child of the 70s like I am, I'm sure you want to know the real scoop behind Nellie Olson and Melissa - who was pulling whose braids behind the scenes? I may actually read this one and find out. Signed, a closed Little House fan.

Melissa Gilbert, Actress
Prairie Tale: A Memoir 

She was a natural on camera, but behind the scenes, life was more complicated. Adopted as a baby into a legendary show business family, Melissa wrestled with questions about her identity and struggled to maintain an image of perfection her mother created and enforced. Only after years of substance abuse, dysfunctional relationships, and made-for-television movies did she begin to figure out who she really was.

With candor and humor, the cherished actress traces her complicated journey from buck-toothed Laura "Half-pint" Ingalls to Hollywood starlet, wife, and mother. She eventually realized that her career on television had earned her popularity, admiration, and love from everyone but herself.

Melissa has accepted her many different identities and learned to laugh, cry, and forgive in new ways. Women everywhere may have idolized her charming life on Little House on the Prairie, but Melissa's own unexpectedly honest, imperfect, and down-to-earth story is an inspiration.

Saturday
Jun112011

Star Jones fiction based on reality - Satan's Sisters

No doubt Star Jones pulled upon her experiences at The View to write her debut novel, Satan's Sisters. However, based on the reviews dubbing this read as "boring", "uninspired" and "just silly", maybe she didn't pull much from the show after all. With all the cat-fighting and back-stabbing experience, why not dish a little dirt... the people who would have cared might have liked to read your "fictionalized" version. Hear her thoughts on the subject in the clip from The Gayle King Show below.

 Star Jones, Lawyer & TV personality
Satan's Sisters (2011)

Set in the bright lights of daytime television, SATAN'S SISTERS is the story of The Lunch Club--a long-running, popular ladies' talk show in which alliances are forged, careers are made, and bridges are burned. The show's famous red couch is ruled by its esteemed matriarch, Maxine Robinson, the first African-American to become a network news anchor, who maintains a hidden safe of diaries chronicling others' indiscretions for posterity--and leverage as needed.  But even all-knowing Maxine is caught off-guard when now superstar former co-host Heather Hope makes a ratings-gold guest appearance only to announce a bombshell: the imminent inside scoop straight from the mouth of another ousted member of The Lunch Club's inner sanctum.