In Hollywood, it’s often hard to tell what’s real and what’s publicity. These three extremely readable autobiographies show us depths of character we never knew these women had. And did I mention they’re all super funny?
Victoria Beckham, “Learning to Fly”
I disliked Posh Spice from the moment I laid eyes on her (through the TV). And that didn’t change when she married the exceptionally good-looking David Beckham. OK, I’m still not sure if I like her, but I thoroughly enjoyed her autobiography. Despite revealing that she has NEVER read a book (how is that possible?), Mrs. Beckham has penned an extremely entertaining book. Unlike many celebrity autobiographies, which are stuffy and moralizing, Victoria writes with an unlikely humor and candor that almost reminds me of Chelsea Handler . I had always thought of Victoria Beckham as the mean girl of the Spice Girls – she seemed haughty and self-important. The fact that she wrote an autobiography years after the group’s demise (eh, I mean “hiatus”) reinforced this idea. However, in her book, Victoria is a much more sympathetic character. With a little help from a ghost writer, Victoria leads us through her bumpy childhood (bullying, practicing dancing to escape her troubles like the girl in “Fish Tank”), her eating disorder, and the audition that changed her life. There are also tons of (sometimes catty) details of the Spice Girl’s breakup. Even if this wouldn’t normally be your cup of tea, it really is interesting to see how different your perception of a celebrity can differ from the real thing.
Tina Fey, “Bossypants”
Half humor, half social commentary, the voice of Tina Fey in this autobiography reminds me of her character in “Mean Girls.” She navigates us through sometimes sad and scary situations with a dry wit and gratitude that you can’t help but love. I didn’t love the stories from her childhood- they reminded me of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” However, the whole book is a really easy read, and though I wouldn’t say there is a coherent theme, many of the stories are about making it in show business as a woman comedian. I loved the equally funny chapters “Remembrances of Being Very, Very Skinny” and “Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat,” both of which are strangely comforting anecdotes for the self-conscious. Tina Fey’s stories of humor are also stories of empowerment and learning to be yourself.
Rachel Dratch, “Girl Walks into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle”
Another (former) SNL star, Rachel Dratch, gives us an equally awesome autobiography that focuses more on her dating life and social interactions than her comedy career. This book made me realize I wanted to blow off the date I had planned, so I had plenty of time to finish this book in about a day. It’s a fun read that most single gals can relate to, bravely admitting what most of us would want to forget. Rachel Dratch details her less than perfect relationships and her misgivings about becoming a mother and eventually comes to a place of humor and excitement for the future.