My favorite celebrities have substance. These autobiographies are about great people who have lived their dreams and climbed to the top of their chosen fields. Each celebrity has lived a passionate life and that, to me, is an admirable quality.
Judi Dench And furthermore
Always a lady, Dench has led an extraordinary life and her autobiography, as told to John Miller, is witty and conversational. She is kind toward her fellow actors and tells of the fun she had and the people she met on stage, TV and in the movies. She became a Dame of the British Empire in 1988 and won an Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love. I would have liked to know more about her movie career but the theatre is clearly her true love.
From Shakespeare’s Juliet to Barbara Covett in Notes on a Scandal, Dench has won over 20 awards for her acting skills and is still one of my favourite actresses.
Stephen King On writing
Instead of using his crazy childhood as an excuse, King used the eyebrow-raising stories as fodder for his writing. Later, he worked at a hospital laundry where he spent part of his day fighting off maggots. His book is funny and inspiring and full of gratitude to those who stuck with him through the hard times. He describes his autobiography as full of memories which stand like lone trees in a foggy landscape.
The greatest surprise about King’s autobiography was how much I enjoyed it. King has published over thirty bestsellers and won a multitude of literary awards.
Chinua Achebe Home and Exile
This book is made up of a series of three lectures that Achebe delivered at Harvard University in 1998. It tells how he returned to Nigeria when he was five years old and how he was educated by the community, school, the church and Sunday school. He wrote because it was in his blood and because he wanted to defend his people against the strange way European writers portrayed Nigeria.
He praises Mr Hill who took a risk in publishing African literature. Fortunately it paid off and Achebe is known today as one of the top African authors and poets. He has won many literary awards including the Man Booker International award and he advises those who have a story to tell to write from where they are about whatever they choose.