Most of the year, I prefer to read biographies of historical figures or literary icons. During summer, I lighten up a bit and indulge in a celebrity bio or two. But I have three celebrity autobiographies so memorable, that I have to share these favorites.
So Bad It’s a Guilty Pleasure
I am no fan of Jenny McCarthy, and didn’t read her books Belly Laughs or Baby Laughs. I certainly had no intention of reading Louder Than Words. It’s by far one of the worst celebrity autobiographies I’ve ever read. I found it painful to get through the profanity, referring to various doctors as idiots, brain-dead or the like, and her writing. Oh, her writing is so weak, at least I knew she didn’t use a ghost writer. I don’t read tabloids, but it’s like reading a tabloid someone wrote about their own life. I don’t want to diminish the topic, and she does have a noble spirit. It’s like a train wreck for writers. If she can get that into print, then I can make it.
So Good, So Tragic
Jenni Rivera’s Unbreakable: My Story, My Way, on the other hand, took my breath away for good reasons. From the beginning of the book, with a shocking depiction of being raped, I knew this was more than celebrity fluff. After reading about all the details of divorces, ex-husbands in jail, drug trafficking, and more, I couldn’t help but wonder why I hadn’t heard more of her in the headlines. Her life was amazing; her writing superb. I assumed that she did have a ghost writer, until I saw the photos of her handwritten diary among the family photos in the book. Marissa Mateo only completed the final work after her tragic death.
A Literary Delight
Only a few pages into Autobiography, by Morrissey, I could tell this was no ordinary celebrity autobiography. This was more like reading The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce. He shattered my expectations of light summer reading with juicy celebrity details, and delivered literary pleasure. I’ve never set foot in Manchester, and yet, I now feel I know it intimately. Devoid of chapters, he manages to write so smoothly, I found myself on page 38 almost without blinking. His life isn’t broken into discrete parts, and neither is his story. He manages to create more interest in his long suffering relatives than in the glitzy celebrities he’s met. While I never paid much attention to him before, his writing reveals what an intriguing person he is. No ghostwriter here; this man has talent enough.
Most celebrity autobiographies are hardly more than a long interview with a ghostwriter. I have nothing against ghostwriters. My favorite celebrity autobiographies clearly have their own voices, whether for good or bad.