Celebrity Memoirs Read By Their Authors

I knew very little about Lowe's career before reading this; I had only seen St Elmo's Fire and The West Wing, and was constantly surprised by his unusual childhood, his early acting days, the scope of his current work, and how he seems to know everyone. My favorite stories were about JFK Jr and 9/11. Terrific on audio.
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This easy reading memoir is part comedy, part auto-biography. Fey covers a lot of ground here: from her Pennsylvania childhood to her awkward college years, her crappy job at the YMCA to the big leagues of SNL. Filled with funny and fascinating anecdotes, like what a photo shoot is really like, and how she finally nailed Sarah Palin’s precise lip color shade. Fast and fun.
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This is another I haven't read yet, but I am a big Gilmore Girls and especially Parenthood fan, so maybe it's inevitable? I keep hearing this is everything you could want from a celebrity memoir, especially if you love her work, and her reflections on love, life, and work are extremely engaging—especially if you hear her tell it in her own voice on the audiobook. (Psst—if you love Lauren Graham, definitely check out her novel Someday, Someday, Maybe.
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The Daily Show star does a masterful job of alternating the deathly serious with the laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes even combining the two, in this collection of coming-of-age essays about his South African childhood. His mischievous childhood and unconventional youth provide wonderful fodder for not-quite-polite (thus the "scandalous" part of this juicy memoir) but always entertaining stories. I highly recommend the audiobook, read by the author.
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Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe shares honestly about growing up in Bed-Stuy/Harlem with a polygamous father and subway-singing mother, dealing with depression and an eating disorder, and her path to acting. A witty, charming, and moving memoir.
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A juicy memoir. From <em>Newsweek</em>: "Delightful...Poehler is frank and funny throughout, as is her nature, but her writing unearths a wise narrator who's seen some of the worst of life and come out the other side unscathed…Can we get more from Amy Poehler? Yes, seriously, please." Add Audible narration, with a full cast narration including Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Stewart (who reads haikus), and even Amy's parents.
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When Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg from the By The Book podcast recommended this on episode 121 of What Should I Read Next, I couldn't download it fast enough. This book is an expanded commencement speech Dolly gave at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville about getting more out of life—work, relationships, all of it. There's nobody quite like Dolly Parton—good gracious, I had no idea just how much the woman has accomplished—and I LOVED hearing her tell stories about her life. I grinned like a fool the whole time I was listening. Short and sweet, and highly recommended—and please, do the audio version!
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Fair warning: I've read this, and it's pretty intense. From the publisher: "Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine."
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From the publisher: "Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family."
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This inspirational memoir's epigraph bears quotes from Maya Angelou and Christina from Grey's Anatomy, which gives you a good idea of what you'll find inside. Rhimes is the queen of Thursday night tv, creating and producing smash hits like Grey's and Scandal. This time she's telling her own story of how her sister issued her a six-word wake-up call—You never say yes to anything—and the year of YES that followed. I saw parts of myself all over this and absolutely loved the last chapter when the author discovers what her big year was really about. Heads up for audio lovers: Rhimes reads her own work for the audio version. Published November 10 2015.
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I began this earlier this year. Lakshmi isn't a natural writer, but her history makes up for it. The woman has an impressive c.v.: cookbook author, supermodel, Top Chef judge, fashion columnist, wife of Salman Rushdie. Kirkus calls this "an intimate, revealing portrait, far different from the woman blazoned in the tabloids."
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Kristin Chenoweth is known for many things: her starring role as Galinda in Wicked, her Tony Award for You're A Good Man, and any number of hit TV shows. But do you really know her? Chenoweth shares about her Oklahoma upbringing, her foray into beauty pageants, and the life-changing detour she took on her way to becoming an opera singer.
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From the publisher: "Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame."
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Calling all Broadway musical fans! Original cast member of the award-winning musical Rent, Anthony Rapp shares the many ways this experience changed his life. He details his theater experiences, his sexuality, and his mother's cancer making for a moving and memorable reading experience.
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From the publisher: "Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of "Hollywood in-breeding," come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen. Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). This is Carrie Fisher at her best. She tells her true and outrageous story of her bizarre reality with her inimitable wit, unabashed self-deprecation, and buoyant, infectious humor." Add Audible narration (read by Carrie Fisher).
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Actress Leah Remini pulls no punches in her searing account about her 30 years inside the Church of Scientology. In 2013 she publicly left the church, no longer able to hold back her questions and doubts, and she's since been declared an enemy of the church and cut off by friends and family who remain a part of it. Honest and unflinching, Remini discusses her painful path toward spiritual freedom.
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I just finished this audiobook, which I picked up because I kept hearing from other not-rabid fans that this was a great example of a memoir done right. I was a little surprised at the heavy focus on a few personal relationships ... and then I did a little research, and discovered one stipulation of his ten million (!!!) advance was that he dish on the details. I admire his career, but I'm not a devoted fan, and that made the narrative a little slow in places. However, I would have read this just for his insights into music as art: how it's made, what makes it work, that indefinable thing all great musicians have—I could listen to those segments over and over again, and probably will.
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