16 July 2011

Biographies...do you have any favorites?

Cash: The Autobiography

I love reading biographies/autobiographies. My favorites are of film/tv actors and popular musicians, especially those who were famous from the 40s through the 60s.

Here are some that I've read, including my rating out of 5*, in ascending order of my appreciation for them:

I'm Chevy Chase... and You're Not: Revised & Updated 
by Rena Fruchter 3*

I've always loved Chevy's acting.
After reading this book my lasting impression of him is that he always seemed to have an excuse when something turned out to be a box office failure; he never took ownership of any failings.

Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice 
by Maureen McCormick 3*

Maureen McCormick is not Marcia Brady.

Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy 
by Phyllis Diller 3*

Upon reading this I found out she became an outspoken advocate for plastic surgery. Want to see why? (here's my favorite photo of her:
http://tinyurl.com/PhyllisDillerPlayboyShoot )
(there's a hint of a nude bottom; it's more suggestive than anything)

After All 
by Mary Tyler Moore 3*

Mary's book is laid out chronologically. She doesn't sidestep any of the tough or ugly parts of her life, having come to terms with such things over the years. She has lost her niece, her son, and both of her parents, as well as having gone through two divorces. 'AfterAll' she appears to come out of it okay.

Nobody's Fool 
by Martin Gottfried 3.5*

I was disappointed by this book. Not really the book, though, as much as the subject. Danny Kaye must have been a very depressed and searching man to have behaved in the curious manner in which he did. I have to say that I am sorry that it destroyed the false vision that I had of him.

The Tom Hanks Enigma: The Biography of the World's Most Intriguing Movie Star 
by David Gardner 3.5*

The author never convinced me that he had ever spoken directly with Tom or had his permission to write the book. This is the most poorly edited book I have read in many years! The quality of book construction was also the poorest I have seen in years. Both were so severe that I contacted Amazon to give them feedback and to request the ability to send the book back for a total refund. I have to believe that my affinity for Tom Hanks must have added 1/2 to a full 1* to my review of this title.

Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me 
by Howie Mandel 3.5*

Howie Mandel has OCD; I didn't know that before reading this book. While being a talented and loving guy he admits to not thinking through the results of his actions fairly often...and he apologizes for the things he feels he should apologize for (for the most part).

Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball 
by Stefan Kanfer 4*

 I learned a lot about Lucy, Ricky and even Cuba from this book. 

A Pirate Looks at Fifty 
by Jimmy Buffett 4.5*

I enjoyed this book a lot. It gives a lot of insight into his life.

Cash...The Autobiography 
by Johnny Cash 4.5*

Cash writes in a very relaxed, conversational tone. He told truth as he saw it without it seeming as if he was gossipping. In fact, he told most stories about himself. He was frank and open about his wrongful trek into drug abuse. He was also open about his faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. I hope to meet him, one day, in Heaven.

Lucky Man 
by Michael J. Fox 4.5*

This selection has great depth. He explores his life in general as well as his battle with Parkinson Disease. I truly enjoyed the section about his role in the Back to the Future films.

1 comment:

  1. I love biographies too, but I tend to read about historical figures like John Adams, Queen Victoria, etc. I really like memoirs, too. David McCullough has written some of my favorite biographies. I also enjoyed Condolezza Rice's memoir about her family.


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