I've never been much of a reader. Well, I take that back. I go through phases. Some months I don't pick up a single book and some months I go on a binge and turn into a zombie from lack of sleep because I can't get enough. For example, a couple months ago I went through a phase where I was buying heaps of young adult / teen books. This may sound silly, but it was partially because they were quicker to get through. Normally I am a patient person but I guess this proves that sometimes I'm looking for a little quicker satisfaction. And I got that satisfaction from breezing through those young adult books (And hey, I still consider myself, at 30, to be YOUNG adult, so really what's the big deal? :) ) So while I do go through different phases as to what types of fiction books I'm interested in, I can always go for a good celebrity autobiography. I joke to my friends and say I'm reading them so that I know what to write about when I have to write mine when I'm famous. Haha. Don't quit your day dream right?
What I love about celebrity autobiographies (and biographies) is that you really get to know the celebrity on a different level. Sometimes when we know of actresses / actors we think of them as the characters they play or what they do, or designers as just the creator of the fashions we see. But in their autobiographies we can see their history, how they got where they are and what their personalities are like.
Here are some of the celebrity autobiographies I've read / am reading (I'm not gonna lie, I have not finished them all. I've said it before, I have a habit of buying books and not always finishing them)
Below is a little description about the books and some of the thoughts I had that got me interested in reading them.
SORRY IN ADVANCE...SOME OF THESE GOT A LITTLE LONG.
LEA MICHELE / BRUNETTE AMBITION Lea Michele’s voice is one of my faves. As a fan of Glee I always liked hearing her belt out her songs, especially Barbra Streisand’s Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl (one of my faves!) But for the longest time I always just linked Lea Michele to her Rachel Berry character and never really thought much of her beyond that. Until one day while working on some design work and listening to a Pandora station, the song “Cannonball” came on and I fell in love with it. I listened to it on repeat for weeks straight. From then on, I was a Lea Michele fan, and not just a Rachel Berry fan. In her book, Brunette Ambition, I loved learning about her start on Broadway. Hearing about her dedication to the art of acting / singing from such a young age really proved to me that she is a credible performer and has an amazing ambition (haha, pun intended) when it comes to her work. Her book also covers topics like fashion, self-care & being fit, friends and her time on Glee. It was a quick read and was written in a way where you feel like you are just sitting down and chatting with a friend. I love when books feel like that. Lea Michele has also quickly become one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. The posts she puts up about living a fit life and having a #youfirstsummer are really inspiring. Go Lea!
LENA DUNHAM / NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL I don’t have HBO and had never seen the show GIRLS before and whenever I saw Lena Dunham on an awards show I took her unique, sort of anti-Hollywood approach to runway style and made the snap judgment that her and I just wouldn’t have the same sense of humor. If we went to the same high school we would be running in different crowds. I just didn’t think I could relate to her and therefore blew off her and her show. One day however, I was at the video store trying to find a gift for my mom and when they didn’t have what I was looking for, panic set in. “Ahhh I’m in a buying mood, I MUST SPEND MONEY! Oh, there’s season one of GIRLS...$15?...Heck yeah!...I think I can afford to spend $15 and a little bit of my time and give this show a chance.” I was hooked. After finishing the last episode of season 1 a second wave of panic hit me. “OMG! Is it really over?! Is it really 2:00 AM and I can’t start season 2 until tomorrow?!? FML!” You can all breathe a sigh of relief, I made it to the video store the next day, bought the remaining seasons and peace of mind was restored. The point of this story is that I’m really glad Best Buy didn’t have Devious Maids in stock because if they had, I probably never would have bought GIRLS and I wouldn’t know how kick ass Lena Dunham is. She has an amazingly relateable sense of humor. Who’s eating crow now? Me. After watching some interviews and hearing her talk about her show, the writing of the show, the character development and such I am really excited to read her autobiography. Yes, that’s right, this is one I haven’t read yet. Slap me with a splintered ruler. So no, I do not have a review of the book yet. But check back with me later and I’ll tell you what I thought.
SOPHIA AMORUSO / #GIRLBOSS For those who don’t know her, Sophia Amoruso is the founder of Nasty Gal, which is a fashion and accessories retailer. But not just any fashion and accessories retailer. One with attitude! I love the confident attitude / sass that the brand has. Sophia’s book covers her story and how she got her start (selling vintage clothing on e-Bay) to what it takes to run a multi-million dollar fashion empire. She talks about how she’s handled the extreme rapid success of her brand and gives advice to those interested in a similar path. I find books like #GIRLBOSS to be really motivating and inspiring hearing from successful entrepreneurs how they got their start and what things they’ve learned along the way. One of the main things that I remember from the book is when she is talking about the ‘heartbeat’ of Nasty Gal. She says “The heartbeat of Nasty Gal doesn’t exist in one style, trend, or article of clothing. It’s in the way we talk, the way we carry ourselves, and the way we see the world.” I love this because that mentality is precisely why I get drawn to the brands and people I love most. It’s not the items I might be buying but rather the entire personality of the brand I’m buying into. And I love that such a ‘badass bitch’ like Sophia promotes this mentality. Go on #GIRLBOSS, read this book and get inspired :)
KELLY CUTRONE / IF YOU HAVE TO CRY, GO OUTSIDE: AND OTHER THINGS YOUR MOTHER NEVER TOLD YOU Much like Sophia Amoruso, Kelly Cutrone is a badass bitch. And I mean that in the most positive way. She founded People’s Revolution, which is one of the most successful PR agencies in the fashion industry. Basically she is a straight-forward, strong female, PR powerhouse. I think most of us first saw Kelly as Lauren Conrad’s boss on The Hills, one of my many reality show guilty pleasures. When I watched her on The Hills I remember thinking, gosh, I want to work for her so bad and at the same time, know I could I never work for her because I think I would cry everyday. But after watching her own show, Kell on Earth, and getting to see a little more of a well-rounded view of her, I think I’d cry maybe every other day. Her book is pretty much a guide to girl’s who want to learn how to succeed in the world today and how to communicate to the world who you are and what you believe in.
GIULIANA RANCIC / GOING OFF SCRIPT Haven’t read this one yet. But based off enjoying Giuliana and Bill Rancic on their reality show and watching Giuliana on E!, I’m sure it will be a great read.
JENN McALLISTER / REALLY PROFESSIONAL INTERNET PERSONALITY This is the newest book out of the bunch. I got it today actually :). On another one of those I NEED TO SPEND MONEY whims, I just grabbed it off the shelf at Target, not even realizing it was an autobiography. To be honest, I thought it was a young adult fiction book and was feeling a little silly buying it, but now I’m really happy I did. I think its so interesting that we live in an era that so many teens and other people are becoming famous through the Internet. The concept of celebrity is not limited to the traditional actor / actress / musician / model anymore. People from all walks of life are becoming famous through media outlets such as YouTube, Instagram & Twitter. Jenn McAllister is one of these people. She has over 2 million followers on You Tube and is esentially just a teen from Pennsylvania who was more comfortable in front of the camera than she was dealing with people in real life. Isn’t that ironic. Something that started as a way for her to escape reality has turned into something now where she travels around as a confident You Tube sensation meeting her fans and inspiring them. I’m excited to finish reading because I think it’s also interesting hearing from such a young person about their fame and success and to learn more about the world of social media celebri-dom.
DIANE VON FURSTENBURG / THE WOMAN I WANTED TO BE I love DVF. She has such an empowering presence. If you hadn’t notice, I have a little bit of an obsession with reality TV, and much like some of the other celebs featured in this post, I grew more familiar with them through their reality shows. DVF had a show where they were hiring a DVF brand ambassador (sort of like a Project Runway type competition). That is where I got to see a little more of Diane and see her interact with her staff. It was awesome to see her really care about the types of women these girls were becoming / presenting themselves as. Here are some of my fave quotes from the show that I think really show her personality and can give you a glimpse of the voice in which her book is written in as well... “The success of every single woman is the inspiration of another.” “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” (Might not be the exact wording, but you get the idea)
COCO CHANEL - AN INTIMATE LIFE BY LISA CHANEY Love Chanel. Dyeing for a classic flap Chanel bag. Someday I will own one. This one is obviously not an autobiography, but rather a biography. Nonetheless I enjoyed reading it and learning about how Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel grew up, her many love affairs, and how she created the fashion empire we know today. I was fascinated to read that she started as a milliner (hat maker) and that evolved into other fashions and accessories.
AMY POEHLER / YES PLEASE Who doesn’t love a good funny girl? This one I have not finished yet either. But so far, it’s been thoroughly entertaining!
MINDY KALING / IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? Mindy Kaling has such a down-to-earth realness to her comedy / writing and that’s what I loved most about reading her book. It was as though she was my BFF and we were venting about life. Loved it.
RUSSELL BRAND / MY BOOKY WOOK If I’m being honest, I didn’t get very far in this one. However, someday, maybe if Netflix ever breaks down, and I’ve lost track of every other book I own that I haven’t read yet, I’ll give it another go. I think I didn’t make it far for two reasons. I’m used to reading books from a female’s perspective. Probably because it’s more relatable? And secondly, I found the way it was written to be hard to follow. I’m thinking it’s probably because he’s British. I still like the design of the book jacket :)
CHELSEA HANDLER / CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG Another great female comedian. What I think I liked most about this book was that it was a compilation of different stories / events she was telling you about, rather than a continuous story. She’s hilarious. I've also read her other books, however I couldn't track them down in my apartment. Equally hilarious.
LAUREN CONRAD / STYLE
& LAUREN CONRAD / BEAUTY As I have mentioned in my About Me section, Lauren Conrad is one of my celeb idols. I love her style and how she’s really used her time spent in reality TV in a positive way and has established some great fashion brands and a runs a successful lifestyle website / company. So obviously I had to buy her fashion and beauty guide books, duh.
MICHELLE PHAN / MAKE-UP I love when random purchases allow you to connect some dots of things. When I bought this book, I had no idea Michelle Phan was the founder of Ipsy (a beauty subscription box service I subscribe to. $10 a month and the sample size beauty products come in a cute little tote each month). I thought this was so fun to learn. I picked up the book originally because I’m a sucker for a good cover (yes, I judge books by their covers, I can’t help it, I’m a designer). But learning that she was the entrepreneur behind Ipsy is making it so much more fun to read. The book is filled with beauty tips, style basics and tips on turning things you love into something you can succeed professionally at. And in case you are curious, the inside of the book is designed just as nicely as the outside. Which to me, is a plus and makes it much more fun to read.
Phew. That was exhausting huh?
Comment below if you've read any other celebriographies that you think I should check out.