There is nothing that I love more than sitting down with a good book; there is nothing better than a good story. Sometimes we see celebrities as these flawless people, with glamorous lives; we forget that they are human, with challenges and frailties. When you read an autobiography of a celebrity, it gives you an insight in to who they truly are, not the characters they have portrayed. Everyone has a story to tell, and lessons can be learned from even the most heart wrenching stories. These are some of the best autobiographies that I have read. As you read their story, you will learn something about the authors, but more importantly, you will learn something about yourself.
Everybody’s Got Something by Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts, the well-known host of Good Morning America, in her recent memoir recounts her trials with her health and the loss of her mother. After overcoming breast cancer, just five years later, in 2012, she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, MDS (myelodyplastic syndrome). In her novel, Roberts relates how her mother has helped encourage her and has been her guiding light in what could have been a very dismal time in Robin’s life. Instead of focusing on the negative things in her life, Roberts followed some sage advice from her mother, “Make your mess your message.”
Robin begins the novel, “In Mississippi, where I’m from, there’s an understanding that hard times do not discriminate. My mother used to say, ‘Everybody’s got something.’ This is the story of my something and my road to something better. And my hope is that you will find your better, too.” This book is one of the most honest and inspirational stories I have ever read. Roberts portrays a very intimate view of her struggle with cancer and shares how she made it through with the support of her friends and family. She has used this experience to help encourage others who are going through similar circumstances and has increased the awareness of the need for blood marrow donors. She makes light of a difficult situation through her humor and encouraging words. We are all stronger than we know; you do not know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have. This book is a perfect reminder of that. It is a great story for anyone who is going through a struggle of their own. Many times we put celebrities on a pedestal, but this book is a great reminder that we are all human and we all have our own crosses to bear.
Then Again by Dianne Keaton
Keaton begins her story with her mother, “Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.” This little tidbit is so relatable to me. As soon as I read the opening line, I felt like I was reading about myself. I have notebooks filled with my favorite quotes, we have a whiteboard on the fridge in which I inscribe an inspirational quote each week, there are bible verses and encouraging words taped to most of the mirrors in my home. What makes this memoir so entertaining is that it is so heartfelt and nostalgic; it will remind you of yourself and your own relationships. As you get older, all of the things that you could never understand about your parents becomes so much clearer, why they are who they are and why you are who you are. What Dianne Keaton figured out, was the more she learned about her mother, while reading her 85 detailed journals, the more she was actually learning about herself. Dianne Keaton has always been one of my favorite actresses and it turns out, she is also a thought provoking, storyteller.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
This book is literally the funniest thing I have ever read; laugh out loud, hilarious! It will have you laughing so hard, you will cry. I have loved Tina Fey from her time on Saturday Night Live to her time on 30 Rock as Liz Lemon. What makes this book so great is Fey’s conversational tone. It is like she is there with you recounting stories from her nerdy childhood, experiences as an actress/comedian first starting out, and as a struggling parent. It is like listening to anecdotes from a good friend, the friend we all wished we had. She is not ashamed to be who she is, and makes no apologies for that. It is a great book to put women’s issues into perspective. We all get caught up trying to be the perfect wife, mother, employee, and here is this voice saying “Hey, none of us are perfect and that is okay”. She makes light of issues that we have all felt guilty about as women. She recounts her trouble with breastfeeding and how she refuses to allow the “Teat Nazis” to make her feel guilty. She discusses the very fine line women are expected to walk when it comes to weight. I, myself, spent most of my early life being told I was too skinny only to have to worry about gaining too much weight as I got older (I think there may have been about 10 minutes in my life where I actually felt good about my weight). If you are looking for a fun read to make you feel better about being you, then this is the book for you.