Janet Jackson emerged from the shadows of an already famous family to become one of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential performers in the world. But at what cost?
From the age of ten, when she made her acting debut on Good Times, Janet was told by Hollywood that she needed to slim down. Her well-meaning brothers, especially fun-loving Michael, teased her relentlessly until she began to believe that who she was wasn’t good enough. It was an idea that no amount of critical acclaim in television and film or, later, international platinum success in music could change.
Janet turned to food for comfort and escape. She developed a self-destructive pattern familiar to so many of us: fear and uncertainty led to bad feelings about herself and ultimately depression. The depression led to overeating. And her yo-yoing weight was painfully obvious in the bright lights of the entertainment world.
It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. But she has finally broken free of the attitudes that brought her down and has embraced realistic goals that help her eat better, exercise better, feel better, and ultimately be better.
This book is about meeting those challenges that face all of us. With candor and courage, Janet shares her painful journey to loving herself. She addresses the crazy rumors that have swirled around her for most of her life, shines an intimate light on her family, and pulls us behind the velvet rope into her unforgettable career. She also shares lessons she has learned through contact with friends and fans and reveals the fitness secrets she has learned from her trainer. Finally, her nutritionist, David Allen, unveils the wholesome, delicious recipes and lifestyle-changing tips that helped Janet get in shape—mind and spirit, heart and soul.
True You is a call to tune in to your own fundamental wisdom, to let go of the ugly comparisons, and to understand that who you are, the true you, is more than enough.
“I’m loved, I’m valued, and I’m capable of achieving balance in my life. I can learn to eat well. I can exercise. I can express gratitude for the simple act of being able to breathe in and breathe out. I can move away from darkness and depression to light and hope. I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be.
I am me, the true me; you are you, the true you—and that’s good. That’s beautiful. That’s enough.”
After Albertina’s dear friend Mr. Mario, the owner of Mr. Mario’s Downhome Café, has a heart attack and then loses his wife to diabetes, he decides that his lifetime love of soul food is over for good. Mr. Mario vows to go healthy, both personally and professionally, and tries to get Albertina on board, but it quickly becomes clear that he may be looking for more than pastoral support. And while he is undeniably romantic, Mr. Mario believes in the power of man…not God.
The only heat isn’t in the kitchen, though. Clifford Bloom, a white DJ who has been a fan of Albertina’s since her days as a blues singer, is now a member of her church and he always seems to be there just when Albertina needs him. Could this blossoming friendship be leading somewhere romantic?
Caught between two very different men, Pastor Merci also has to battle to save her little church in the heart of Los Angeles as mega-church pastor Bishop Gold wants not only the land where her church sits, but her nephew Patrick’s loyalty, as well.
Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via "Respect" and a rapidfire string of hits. She has evolved ever since, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.
Again and again, Aretha stubbornly finds a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continue to build. Her hold on the crown is tenacious, and in RESPECT, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in all American culture.
A powerful chronicle of the sixteen weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson's death
Michael Jackson's final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost--ultimately--unable to live.
With the insight and compassion that he brought to his bestselling telling of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s final year, Tavis Smiley provides a glimpse into the superstar's life in this emotional, honest, yet celebratory book. Readers will witness Jackson's campaign to recharge his career--hiring and firing managers and advisors, turning to and away from family members, fighting depression and drug dependency--while his one goal remained: to mount the most spectacular series of shows the world had ever seen. BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME is a humanizing look at Jackson's last days.
David Ritz presents his uniquely candid and intimate account of the tumultuous life of the Prince of Soul music, Marvin Gaye.
Assembling years of conversations and interviews from his life as a close friend and lyricist to the gifted Soul sensation, Ritz tells the Marvin Gaye story with fly-on-the-wall accuracy and detail. From his early years as an abused child in the slums of Washington DC, through his rise to the very peaks of the Motown phenomenon, his fall from grace and subsequent comeback, to his untimely death at the hands of his father, Marvin's story is the stuff of legends.
The cast of characters includes the Jacksons, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and countless other icons of the world of soul music.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five fomented the musical revolution known as hip hop. Theirs was a groundbreaking union between one DJ and five rapping MCs. One of the first hip hop posses, they were responsible for such masterpieces as “The Message” and “Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.”
In the 1970s Grandmaster Flash pioneered the art of break-beat DJing—the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as musical instruments. Disco-era DJs spun records so that people could dance. The original turntablist, Flash took it a step further by cutting, rubbing, backspinning, and mixing records, focusing on “breaks”—what Flash described as “the short, climactic parts of the records that really grabbed me”—as a way of heightening musical excitement and creating something new.
Now the man who paved the way for such artists as Jay-Z, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and 50 Cent tells all—from his early days on the mean streets of the South Bronx, to the heights of hip hop stardom, losing millions at the hands of his record label, his downward spiral into cocaine addiction, and his ultimate redemption with the help and love of his family and friends. In this powerful memoir, Flash recounts how music from the streets, much like rock ’n’ roll a generation before, became the sound of an era and swept a nation with its funk, flavor, and beat.
Born in China to parents whose musical careers were interrupted by the Cultural Revolution, Lang Lang has emerged as one of the greatest pianists of our time. Yet despite his fame, few in the West know of the heart-wrenching journey from his early childhood as a prodigy in an industrial city in northern China to his difficult years in Beijing to his success today.
Journey of a Thousand Miles documents the remarkable, dramatic story of a family who sacrificed almost everything—his parents’ marriage, financial security, Lang Lang’s childhood, and their reputation in China’s insular classical music world—for the belief in a young boy’s talent. And it reveals the devastating and intense relationship between a boy and his father, who was willing to go to any length to make his son a star.
An engaging, informative cultural commentator who bridges East and West, Lang Lang has written more than an autobiography: his book opens a door to China, where Lang Lang is a cultural icon, at a time when the world’s attention will be on Beijing. Written with David Ritz, the coauthor of many bestselling autobiographies, Journey of a Thousand Miles is an inspiring story that will give readers an appreciation for the courage and sacrifice it takes to achieve greatness.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The unexpected arrival of fifteen-year-old rapper J Love hits Pastor Merci with the force of a whirlwind. When J’s mother is killed in a tragic bus accident, Albertina is named his legal guardian. The situation quickly complicates her budding romance with Mario, the owner of a thriving L.A. café.
As Albertina struggles to keep things on an even keel, J embarks on a dangerous journey of his own. Seduced by Bishop Henry Gold’s daughter Damitra, J abandons his career as a gospel rapper and joins the flashy, materialistic world of gangsta rap. Pastor Merci must draw on every ounce of faith she has to bring everyone’s voyage to a happy ending.
Dwight is Dwight Gooden. Most people know him for winning the Cy Young Award. To me, though, he’s family, an uncle, but at four years older, really a brother. I can still remember those games of catch with Dwight in the backyard: him rearing back, and me somehow getting my mitt up to stop one of his fireballs. Often the two of us would sit with Grandpa (Dwight’s dad), and he’d tell us how hard it would be to make our dream come true, how just playing our best wouldn’t be enough.
He’d talk about “inside power.”
At the time, I didn’t really understand what Grandpa was driving at. But I do now. After twenty years in the “bigs” and seven Major League teams, I understand. When I landed with my first team, Milwaukee, I thought being a ballplayer was about hitting home runs. I’ve always been good at that. It took me longer to learn that “the game” as it’s played at the Major League level with millions on the line and the cameras always turned in your direction asks far more of you.
If you’re a go-along guy, it can be great. I’ve just found that too often “going along” gets in the way of being a man. I love this game. Love the feel of the bat in my hand, the grass under my feet, the shouts of encouragement as I step into the box. I draw strength from the fans and play my heart out for them.
I just wish those who control the game had more respect for the guys doing the playing.
What I want to do in this book is show you what it’s been like taking this strange, wonderful, sometimes immensely frustrating life journey. “Malcontent” . . . “greedy” . . . “selfish” I’ve had plenty of adjectives lobbed my way, and believe me, they’ve stung. There are a lot of stories to tell from a life lived on and off the field: some sweet, others horrific. Everything from soaking up Little League glory to nearly being shot to death, from learning the startling truth of how I came by my last name to playing with and for characters like A-Rod, Jeter, Lasorda, Leyland, and Torre. And, yeah, I’ll finally set the record straight about a guy named Steinbrenner and a guy named Bonds.
It’s a story Grandpa would want me to tell. It’s a story I need to tell.
From the Hardcover edition.
The only autobiography authorized by Jenni Rivera
"I can’t get caught up in the negative because that destroys you. Perhaps trying to move away from my problems and focus on the positive is the best I can do. I am a woman like any other, and ugly things happen to me like any other woman. The number of times I have fallen down is the number of times I have gotten up."
These are the last words that beloved Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera spoke publicly before boarding the plane that would crash and cut her life short on December 9, 2012. However, they are not the final words that La Diva de la Banda had for the world. Those are found in the pages you hold in your hands, Jenni’s own account of the highs and lows of her extraordinary journey.
She became the most acclaimed Spanish-language singer in the United States and sold more than 15 million records worldwide. A single mother of five and grandmother of two, she was also an actress, a television producer, the star of her own reality show, and an entrepreneur. But for all its immense success, Jenni’s life often seemed to be a series of personal battles in which perseverance was her only weapon. As her fame grew, she made it her mission to speak about her struggles, forging an intimate connection with her fans. She became a figure of strength and a source of encouragement to women of all ages.
In Unbreakable, Jenni recounts the crucial moments in her past, revealing her experiences with domestic and sexual abuse, divorce, body image issues, making her way in a male-dominated industry, raising her children as a single mother, and learning that she could depend only on herself.
Though she is no longer with us, Jenni will always be the "Rivera rebel from Long Beach," the girl who maintained her sense of humor and fighting spirit in every circumstance. In this remarkable memoir, Jenni leaves behind a legacy of inspiration and determination that will forever live on through her precious family, friends, and fans.
Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.
That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.
Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.
But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.
Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.
Praise for Troublemaker
“An aggressively honest memoir . . . Troublemaker is the most raw and revealing Scientology memoir to date.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Leah’s story is a juicy, inside-Hollywood read, but it’s more than that. It’s a moving story about the value of questioning authority and how one woman survived a profound crisis of faith.”—People
“Remini [offers] up some juicy tidbits from her decades in the church.”—Newsweek
A spontaneous decision at age twenty-one transformed small-town Oregon girl Holly Sue Cullen into Holly Madison, Hugh Hefner’s #1 girlfriend. But like Alice’s journey into Wonderland, after Holly plunged down the rabbit hole, what seemed like a fairytale life inside the Playboy Mansion—including A-list celebrity parties and her own #1-rated television show for four years—quickly devolved into an oppressive routine of strict rules, manipulation, and battles with ambitious, backstabbing bunnies. Life inside the notorious Mansion wasn’t a dream at all—and quickly became her nightmare. After losing her identity, her sense of self-worth, and her hope for the future, Holly found herself sitting alone in a bathtub contemplating suicide.
But instead of ending her life, Holly chose to take charge of it.
In this shockingly candid and surprisingly moving memoir, this thoughtful and introspective woman opens up about life inside the Mansion, the drugs, the sex, the abuse, the infamous parties, and her real behind-the-scenes life with Bridget, Kendra, and, of course, Mr. Playboy himself.
With great courage, Holly shares the details of her subsequent troubled relationship, landing her own successful television series, and the hard work of healing, including her turn on Dancing with the Stars. A cautionary tale and a celebration of personal empowerment, Down the Rabbit Hole reminds us of the importance of fighting for our dreams—and finding the life we deserve.
From his first vlog back in 2008 to his full-length film directorial debut Not Cool, Shane Dawson has been an open book when it comes to documenting his life. But behind the music video spoofs, TMI love life details, and outrageous commentary on everything the celebrity and Internet world has the nerve to dish out is a guy who grew up in a financially challenged but loving home in Long Beach, California, and who suffered all the teasing and social limitations that arise when you’re a morbidly obese kid with a pretty face, your mom is your best friend, and you can't get a date to save your life.
In I Hate Myselfie, Shane steps away from his larger-than-life Internet persona and takes us deep into the experiences of an eccentric and introverted kid, who by observing the strange world around him developed a talent that would inspire millions of fans. Intelligent, hilarious, heartbreaking, and raw, I Hate Myselfie is a collection of eighteen personal essays about how messy life can get when you’re growing up and how rewarding it can feel when the clean-up is (pretty much) done.
Chiquis Rivera is a singer and the daughter of the late music superstar Jenni Rivera. In Forgiveness, her memoir, Chiquis bravely reveals the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father during her childhood and the difficulties she’s faced in her personal life as a result. Despite growing up marked by the wounds of abuse, she eventually conquered her fear of love andintimacy.
The story within these pages also recounts what caused the distance between her and her mother toward the end of Jenni’s life. In Forgiveness, Chiquis brings to light truths that she wishes she had been able to reveal to Jenni.
Two years after her mother’s death, Chiquis answers the most difficult questions: Was she able to make peace with Jenni? And in this story of triumph and tragedy, who is most in need of forgiveness?
It’s not where you begin that matters.
It's where you end up.
Twenty-three year old Joey Graceffa has captured the hearts of millions of teens and young adults through his playful, sweet, and inspirational YouTube presence (not to mention his sparkling eyes and perfect hair). Yet, Joey wasn’t always comfortable in his skin, and in this candid memoir, he thoughtfully looks back on his journey from pain to pride, self-doubt to self-acceptance.
To his fans, Joey is that best friend who always captures the brighter side of life but also isn’t afraid to get real. In the pages of his first book, he opens up about his years of struggling with family hardships and troubles at school, with cruel bullying and the sting of rejection. He tells of first loves and losses, embarrassing moments and surprising discoveries, loneliness, laughter, and life-changing forks in the road, showing us the incalculable value of finally finding and following your true passion in this world. Funny, warm-hearted, and inspiring, Joey Graceffa’s story is a welcome reminder that it’s not where you begin that matters, but where you end up.
In his twenty-nine years, rock idol Manson has experienced more than most people have (or would want to) in a lifetime. Now, in his shocking and candid memoir, he takes readers from backstage to gaol cells, from recording studios to emergency rooms, from the pit of despair to the top of the charts, and recounts his metamorphosis from a frightened Christian schoolboy into the most feared and revered music superstar in the country. Illustrated with dozens of exclusive photographs and featuring a behind-the-scenes account of his headline-grabbing Dead to the World tour.
*** NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ***
Maci Bookout was just a normal, slightly overachieving high school girl in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But then she got pregnant, and everything turned upside down. Even as she rose to fame on MTV's hit series Teen Mom, Maci was struggling to balance life as a single teen mom with her own hopes and dreams...all while honoring her own sense of independence.
This is the true story of how she took charge of the unexpected to build a life for herself and her son Bentley, and managed not to go crazy in the process. Because sometimes growing up is an act of will...and Maci's will is bulletproof.
Are you ready to see your fixer upper?
These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.
The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.
In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping babyJoanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their childrenWhen Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreckJoanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful homeHarrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial coupleMemories and photos from Chip and Jo’s weddingThe significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they doThe way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way
And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”
Angie Martinez is the “Voice of New York.” Now, for the first time, she candidly recounts the story of her rise to become an internationally celebrated hip hop radio icon.
In her current reign at Power 105.1 and for nearly two decades at New York’s Hot 97, Angie Martinez has had one of the highest rated radio shows in the country. After working her way up as an intern, she burst on the scene as a young female jock whose on-air “Battle of the Beats” segment broke records and became a platform for emerging artists like a young Jay Z. Angie quickly became known for intimate, high-profile interviews, mediating feuds between artists, and taking on the most controversial issues in hip hop. At age twenty-five, at the height of the East Coast/West Coast rap war, Angie was summoned by Tupac Shakur for what would be his last no-holds-barred interview—which has never aired in its entirety and which she’s never discussed in detail—until now.
Angie shares stories from behind-the-scenes of her most controversial conversations, from onetime presidential hopeful Barack Obama to superstars like Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown, and describes her emotional, bittersweet final days at Hot 97 and the highly publicized move to Power 105.1. She also opens up about her personal life—from her roots in Washington Heights and her formative years being raised by a single mom in Brooklyn to exploring the lessons that shaped her into the woman she is today.
From the Puerto Rican Day Parade to the White House—Angie is universally recognized as a powerful voice in the Latino and hip hop communities. My Voice gives an inside look at New York City’s one-of-a-kind urban radio culture, the changing faces of hip hop music, and Angie’s rise to become the Voice of New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
New York Times bestselling author Shane Dawson returns with another highly entertaining and uproariously funny essay collection, chronicling a mix of real life moments both extraordinary and mortifying, yet always full of heart.
Shane Dawson shared some of his best and worst experiences in I Hate Myselfie, the critically acclaimed book that secured his place as a gifted humorist and keen observer of millennial culture. Fans felt as though they knew him after devouring the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal bestseller. They were right… almost.
In this new collection of original personal essays, Shane goes even deeper, sharing never-before-revealed stories from his life, giving readers a no-holds-barred look at moments both bizarre and relatable, from cult-like Christian after-school activities, dressing in drag, and losing his virginity, to hiring a psychic, clashes with celebrities, and coming to terms with his bisexuality. Every step of the way, Shane maintains his signature brand of humor, proving that even the toughest breaks can be funny when you learn to laugh at yourself.
This is Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Running With Scissors for the millennial generation: an inspiring, intelligent, and brutally honest collection of true stories by a YouTube sensation-turned one of the freshest new voices out there.
With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.
And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.
Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.
Charlamagne Tha God—the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” co-host of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “hip-hop’s Howard Stern”—shares his unlikely success story as well as how embracing one’s truths is a fundamental key to success and happiness.
In his new book, Charlamagne Tha God presents his comic, often controversial, and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success. Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his headline grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, he shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.
Cissy has said little publicly about Whitney’s heart-breaking death. Now, for the first time, she opens up and shares the unbelievable story of her daughter’s life, as well as her own, and addresses Whitney’s brightest and darkest moments.
A legendary Grammy Award–winning gospel singer in her own right, Cissy Houston shows how the lessons from her own musical journey helped to shape Whitney’s career — from teaching Whitney to use her voice, to keeping her level-headed throughout her meteoric rise to fame.
With candor and respect, she sets the record straight about Whitney, exploring both her turbulent marriage and her misunderstood struggles with drug abuse. Cissy goes behind the tabloid headlines to show fans around the world the true, human side of a strong, successful — yet flawed — musical icon who died much too young.
In Every Little Step, Brown will for the first time tell the full story of his life and set the record straight, particularly about his relationship with Whitney Houston.
Bobby Brown has been one of the most compelling American artists of the past thirty years, a magnetic and talented figure who successfully crossed over many musical genres, including R&B and hip hop, as well as the mainstream. In the late 1980s, the former front man of New Edition had a wildly successful solo career—especially with the launch of Don't Be Cruel—garnering multiple hits on the Billboard top ten list, as well as several Grammy, American Music, and Soul Train awards. But Brown put his career on hold to be with the woman he loved—American music royalty Whitney Houston. The marriage between Brown and Houston was perhaps the most closely watched and talked about marriage of the 1990s—a pairing that obsessed the public and the gossip industry. Now, for the first time, the world will be able to hear the truth from the mouth of America’s “bad boy” himself. Raw and powerful, Every Little Step is the story of a man who has been on the top of the mountain and in the depths of the valley and who is now finally ready to talk about his career and family life, from the passion and the excess to his creative inspirations and massive musical success.
On the process of writing this book, Bobby says, “Right after I signed on to write my story, I went through one of the most agonizing traumas I had ever experienced with the death of my daughter. But I was surprised by how therapeutic it was to work on this project, to look at the entire arc of my life and to realize that although there has been considerable pain, I have also been incredibly blessed. I hope my fans and other readers of this book will be entertained by this trip into the crazy, exciting, fascinating world of Bobby Brown. And I hope they will feel that I have been as honest and open with them in these pages as I have tried to be my entire life.”
Fans have been waiting for Brandi’s scoop on one of the biggest divorces of the decade, since her husband of eight years abandoned her and their two sons to marry country singer LeAnn Rimes. Not only does Brandi spill the beans about her side of the split, the lovable housewife shares the incredible wild ride that took her from a life in the ghetto to Hollywood’s most elite circles. For the first time, Brandi talks about how she escaped a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Sacramento and stumbled into a successful modeling career that swept her into a world of Paris Fashion Weeks, private jets, and uncircumcised penises. Before she knew it, Brandi was the perfect Hollywood trophy wife—at least until her marriage exploded.
Today, the refreshingly filter-free housewife and unapologetic mom is the newest full-time cast member of Bravo’s juggernaut franchise, where she often elicits raised eyebrows and gossip from her costars for her refusal to be the scorned ex-wife, to be bullied, to change her sarcastic sense of humor, or—on most occasions—to wear a bra. Sassy, raunchy, and compulsively readable, Drinking and Tweeting perfectly captures Brandi’s open-book attitude, as she dishes about everything from her DUI, her cheating ex, her one-night stands, and the secret plastic surgery that made her “seventeen” again. You’re sure to enjoy every page of this funny, upbeat, honest tale. Clear your schedule for an afternoon and grab your favorite cocktail, a comfy seat . . . and maybe a Xanax. But that’s for later.
Whether it's people's rude behavior in restaurants and malls, the many indignities of air travel, eye-searingly terrible fashion choices, dangerously clueless drivers, and—most of all—the sorry state of much modern music, Taylor's humor and insight cover civil society's seeming decline—sparing no one along the way, least of all himself.
Holding nothing back and delivered in Taylor's inimitable voice, You're Making Me Hate You is a cathartic critique of the strange world in which we find ourselves.
In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).
In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.
Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).
Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.
How did two troublemaking kids from the trailer park make it through the storm of family dysfunction, teen pregnancy, and adoption without letting go of each other? What gave them the strength to conquer the chaos of their lives and go on to become people their children could be proud of? And what really happened when the cameras weren't there?
Now, in their debut book, Catelynn and Tyler tell the story in their own words...and they leave nothing out. From the wild behavior that went down before MTV to their experiences learning and teaching about adoption, Catelynn and Tyler lay it all out on the table. Open, honest, raw, and real, Conquering Chaos is an incredible look at two young people who beat the odds and used their victories to give hope to others.
But there is more to her story than what has been seen on television. In a moving effort to finally put the past behind her, Kailyn shares her troubled, often painful story and, for the first time, reveals the dark secrets she has so closely guarded. Guided by the single principle of helping other young girls like her, she takes the reader behind the scenes, writing candidly about her desperate stay at a homeless shelter to qualify for a program that would provide a safe home for her son, breaking her silence on the question of her sexuality, and sharing the traumatic sexual experiences that have left her deeply scarred.
Pride Over Pity is a raw, brutally honest, and ultimately inspiring account of a young woman’s resolve not only to survive but to succeed.
While Braxton appears to be living a gilded life—selling 60 million records, appearing in sold-out Las Vegas performances and hit shows like Dancing with the Stars, and starring in her own reality series—hers is in fact a tumultuous story, a tale of triumph over a life filled with obstacles, including two bankruptcy filings. The mother of an autistic child, Braxton long feared that her son’s condition might be karmic retribution for earlier life choices, some of which will shock fans. But when heart ailments began plaguing her at the age of 41 and she was diagnosed with Lupus, Braxton knew she had to move beyond the self-recrimination and take charge of her own healing. Intensely honest and deeply inspirational, Unbreak My Heart is the never-before-told story of the measures Braxton took to make herself and her family whole again.
From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie’s many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself. But more than just a riotously funny story about cinematic hubris, “The Disaster Artist is one of the most honest books about friendship I’ve read in years” (Los Angeles Times).
He was born in England but reared in L.A., surrounded by the leading artists of the day amidst the vibrant hotbed of music and culture that was the early seventies. Slash spent his adolescence on the streets of Hollywood, discovering drugs, drinking, rock music, and girls, all while achieving notable status as a BMX rider. But everything changed in his world the day he first held the beat-up one-string guitar his grandmother had discarded in a closet.
The instrument became his voice and it triggered a lifelong passion that made everything else irrelevant. As soon as he could string chords and a solo together, Slash wanted to be in a band and sought out friends with similar interests. His closest friend, Steven Adler, proved to be a conspirator for the long haul. As hairmetal bands exploded onto the L.A. scene and topped the charts, Slash sought his niche and a band that suited his raw and gritty sensibility.
He found salvation in the form of four young men of equal mind: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, and Duff McKagan. Together they became Guns N' Roses, one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. Dirty, volatile, and as authentic as the streets that weaned them, they fought their way to the top with groundbreaking albums such as the iconic Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion I and II.
Here, for the first time ever, Slash tells the tale that has yet to be told from the inside: how the band came together, how they wrote the music that defined an era, how they survived insane, never-ending tours, how they survived themselves, and, ultimately, how it all fell apart. This is a window onto the world of the notoriously private guitarist and a seat on the roller-coaster ride that was one of history's greatest rock 'n' roll machines, always on the edge of self-destruction, even at the pinnacle of its success. This is a candid recollection and reflection of Slash's friendships past and present, from easygoing Izzy to ever-steady Duff to wild-child Steven and complicated Axl.
It is also an intensely personal account of struggle and triumph: as Guns N' Roses journeyed to the top, Slash battled his demons, escaping the overwhelming reality with women, heroin, coke, crack, vodka, and whatever else came along.
He survived it all: lawsuits, rehab, riots, notoriety, debauchery, and destruction, and ultimately found his creative evolution. From Slash's Snakepit to his current band, the massively successful Velvet Revolver,Slash found an even keel by sticking to his guns.
Slash is everything the man, the myth, the legend, inspires: it's funny, honest, inspiring, jaw-dropping . . . and, in a word, excessive.
In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursue music but mainly to get away from a host of heroin overdoses then decimating his closest group of friends in the local punk scene. In LA only a few weeks and still living in his car, he answered a want ad for a bass player placed by someone who identified himself only as “Slash.” Soon after, the most dangerous band in the world was born. Guns N’ Roses went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.
In It’s So Easy, Duff recounts Guns’ unlikely trajectory to a string of multiplatinum albums, sold-out stadium concerts, and global acclaim. But that kind of glory can take its toll, and it did—ultimately—on Duff, as well as on the band itself. As Guns began to splinter, Duff felt that he himself was done, too. But his near death as a direct result of alcoholism proved to be his watershed, the turning point that sent him on a unique path to sobriety and the unexpected choices he has made for himself since.
In a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own, Duff—one of rock’s smartest and most articulate personalities—takes readers on a harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock-and-roll history and out the other side.
In her very first tell-all memoir, Teresa comes clean on all things Giudice: growing up as an Italian-American, starting a family, dealing with chaos on national television, and coming to terms with the reality of life in prison. Featuring scans from her coveted prison diary, Turning the Tables captures some of the most memorable moments of her stay, including the fights she witnessed, the awkward conundrum of being trapped when a fellow inmate had a…guest…over, and the strength she found while confined between four concrete walls.
Now with an exclusive bonus chapter, Teresa reflects on the days following her December 2015 release, and the heart-wrenching weeks leading up to the night she had to say good-bye to her husband, Joe…who has left to serve his own prison sentence.
Even at her lowest of lows, Teresa was able to live la bella vita by staying positive and realizing her purpose. Friends, foes, and fans have speculated about Teresa’s life off-camera, but nothing will prepare you for the revelations she makes in this entertaining and ultimately heartwarming memoir.
With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including Katherine, the NASA mathematician, Yvette, Queenie, Shug, and the iconic Cookie from Empire, Taraji P. Henson writes of her family, the one she was born into and the one she created. She shares stories of her father, a Vietnam vet who was bowed but never broken by life’s challenges, and of her mother who survived violence both at home and on DC’s volatile streets. Here, too, she opens up about her experiences as a single mother, a journey some saw as a burden but which she saw as a gift.
Around the Way Girl is also a classic actor’s memoir in which Taraji reflects on the world-class instruction she received at Howard University and how she chipped away, with one small role after another, at Hollywood's resistance to give women, particularly women of color, meaty significant roles. With laugh-out-loud humor and candor, she shares the challenges and disappointments of the actor’s journey and shows us that behind the red carpet moments, she is ever authentic. She is at heart just a girl in pursuit of her dreams in this “inspiring account of overcoming adversity and a quest for self-discovery, written with vitality and enthusiasm” (Shelf Awareness).
From her struggles with anxiety, depression and addiction to her brutal onscreen fights with her boyfriend, Amber seemed a troubled young woman destined to destroy herself. And that was all before she shocked everyone by sending herself to prison for seventeen months!
But behind Amber Portwood’s shocking behavior is a story the cameras never captured. It’s a story of hardship and hope, of relationships torn apart by tragedy and addiction and put back together with strength, love and determination. After years of losing herself in a daze of sex, drugs and depression, Amber made the decision to stand up and do whatever it took to save her life, her family, and herself.
With her trademark honesty and dry sense of humor, Amber tells the real story of how she learned to deal with the demons that nearly destroyed her. Never Too Late sends a powerful message that no matter how far down a person might fall, it’s never too late to get back up and change the future.
Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well. Organized by the myriad "dumps" Carolla called home—through the flophouse apartments he rented in his twenties, up to the homes he personally renovated after achieving success in Hollywood—the anecdotes here follow Adam's journey and the hilarious pitfalls along the way.
Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over fifteen years, yet he never lost his underdog demeanor. He's still connected to the working class guy he once was, and delivers a raw and edgy, fish-out-of-water take on the world he lives in (but mostly disagrees with), telling all the stories, no matter who he offends—family, friends or the famous.
World Wrestling Entertainment has named Chris Jericho as one of the top ten wrestlers—and one of the top five talkers—of all time. Certainly, the past six years have been spectacular for Jericho. After a sluggish return from his 2005 sabbatical, Jericho found new inspiration in watching No Country for Old Men and completely reinvented his character—ultimately going on to capture three world WWE titles.
The Best in the World chronicles some of the incredible and often preposterous highlights of Jericho’s recent career, including:How Mickey Rourke challenged Jericho to a match, then backed outJericho’s award-winning feud with Shawn Michaels, which culminated in Jericho knocking out Michael’s wife in the ring . . . for realHis escape from the 2010 Icelandic volcanoes in a broken-down, European rental-car shuttleHis encounters with Bob Barker, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Al Sharpton, and Mike Tyson; and his on-again-off-again relationship with WWE chief Vince McMahonJericho has a one-of-a-kind comedic voice and a knack for getting himself into screwball situations—both in and out of the ring. See for yourself why he is the best in the world.
Jodie Sweetin melted our hearts and made us laugh for eight years as cherub-faced, goody-two-shoes middle child Stephanie Tanner. Her ups and downs seemed not so different from our own, but more than a decade after the popular television show ended, the star publicly revealed her shocking recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Even then, she kept a painful secret—one that could not be solved in thirty minutes with a hug, a stern talking-to, or a bowl of ice cream around the family table. The harrowing battle she swore she had won was really just beginning.
In this deeply personal, utterly raw, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Jodie comes clean about the double life she led—the crippling identity crisis, the hidden anguish of juggling a regular childhood with her Hollywood life, and the vicious cycle of abuse and recovery that led to a relapse even as she wrote this book. Finally, becoming a mother gave her the determination and the courage to get sober. With resilience, charm, and humor, she writes candidly about taking each day at a time. Hers is not a story of success or defeat, but of facing your demons, finding yourself, and telling the whole truth—unSweetined.
Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years. It includes tales of living on her own at 14 (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck in a gas station overhang on a cross country road trip, saying goodbye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today. It is the first book Drew has written about her life since the age of 14.
Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman—who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking—he runs his own woodshop—Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman’s childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois—“I grew up literally in the middle of a cornfield”—to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally. It also offers hard-bitten battle strategies in the arenas of manliness, love, style, religion, woodworking, and outdoor recreation, among many other savory entrees.
A mix of amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants, sprinkled with offbeat gaiety, Paddle Your Own Canoe will not only tickle readers pink but may also rouse them to put down their smart phones, study a few sycamore leaves, and maybe even hand craft (and paddle) their own canoes.
As a child, Baby Lyssa’s parents divorced and left her neglected. Things only got worse from there. Walking on Eggshells reveals Lyssa’s nightmare journey from mental and physical abuse to removal from school and confinement at home, flight from protective services, and teen pregnancy. Despite it all, and against incredible odds, Lyssa found her faith. She also found her way out of the spiral of bad decisions and even worse luck to build a healthy relationship with her mother and father and forge a rewarding, positive life with God.
An astonishing true story of one young woman’s trek from poverty and abuse to fulfillment and stardom, Walking on Eggshells is heartrending, powerful, and inspiring.
From one of the stars of A&E’s hit reality show Dog the Bounty Hunter comes an empowering memoir that can inspire others to break the cycle of abuse and forge happiness out of extreme adversity.
When most little girls play house, they might imagine two happy parents with several well-behaved children, pretty rooms, flowers in the yard, and a white picket fence near the sidewalk. Me? I just wanted parents who could stand to be in the same room with each other. . . . From my youngest days I always knew that God had something better in store for me, that He had a better life waiting for me. —from the Introduction
The ninth child of bounty hunter Duane Chapman, twenty-five-year-old Lyssa Chapman has overcome an upbringing that can only be called tragic. In her piercing memoir, she shares the details of her harrowing life and her faith journey and offers advice and solutions for readers who feel overwhelmed by their own dysfunctional circumstances.
"An incredible read." —Richard Donner, Director
"People always ask me about life after childhood stardom. What would I say to parents of children in the industry? My only advice, honestly, is to get these kids out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives." —Corey Feldman
The New York Times Bestseller
A deeply personal and revealing Hollywood-survival story.
Lovable child star by age ten, international teen idol by fifteen, and to this day a perennial pop-culture staple, Corey Feldman has not only spent the entirety of his life in the spotlight, he's become just as famous for his off-screen exploits as for his roles in such classic films as Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me. He's been linked to a slew of Hollywood starlets (including Drew Barrymore, Vanessa Marcil, and adult entertainer Ginger Lynn), shared a highly publicized friendship with Michael Jackson, and with his frequent costar Corey Haim enjoyed immeasurable success as one half of the wildly popular duo "The Two Coreys," spawning seven films, a 1-900 number, and "Coreymania" in the process. What child of the eighties didn't have a Corey Feldman poster hanging in her bedroom, or a pile of Tiger Beats stashed in his closet?
Now, in this brave and moving memoir, Corey is revealing the truth about what his life was like behind the scenes: His is a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office.
While Corey has managed to overcome the traps that ensnared so many other entertainers of his generation—he's still acting, is a touring musician, and is a proud father to his son, Zen—many of those closest to him haven't been so lucky. In the span of one year, he mourned the passing of seven friends and family members, including Corey Haim and Michael Jackson. In the wake of those tragedies, he's spoken publicly about the dark side of fame, lobbied for legislation affording greater protections for children in the entertainment industry, and lifted the lid off of what he calls Hollywood's biggest secret.
Coreyography is his surprising account of survival and redemption.
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.
A beloved star of stage, television, and film—“one of the most fun people in show business” (Time magazine)—Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father—a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.
When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.
With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father’s Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”
At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”
Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).
After a five-day trial, he was acquitted on March 5, 2013.
In Dark Days, Blythe tells the story of his incarceration and the wild life that led up to it. As he explains, “Most substance abuse books end with the author getting sober. My book starts there.”
But sometimes, I still find myself thinking about Big being rushed the hospital, and I break down in tears.
It's not just because we hung up on each other during what would be our last telephone conversation. And it's not because I am raising our son, a young man who has never known his father.
It's partly all of those things. But mainly it's because he wasn't ready to go. His debut album was called Ready to Die. But in the end, he wasn't. Big never got a chance to tell his story. It's been left to others to tell it for him. In making the decision to tell my own story, it means that I've become one of those who can give insight to who Big really was. But I can only speak on what he meant to me.
Yet I also want people to understand that although he was a large part of my life, my story doesn't actually begin or end with Big's death. My journey has been complicated on many levels. And since I am always linked to Big, there are a lot of misconceptions about who I really am.
I hope that in reading my words, there is inspiration to be found. Perhaps you can duplicate my success or achieve where I have failed. Maybe you can skip over the mistakes I've made. Use my life as an example-of what to do and in some cases, what not to do.
It's not easy putting your life out there for the masses. But I've decided I'll tell my own story. For Big. For my children. And for myself.
So begins beloved Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts's new memoir in which she recounts the incredible journey that's been her life so far, and the lessons she's learned along the way. With grace, heart, and humor, she writes about overcoming breast cancer only to learn five years later that she will need a bone marrow transplant to combat a rare blood disorder, the grief and heartbreak she suffered when her mother passed away, her triumphant return to GMA after her medical leave, and the tremendous support and love of her family and friends that saw her through her difficult times.
Following her mother's advice to "make your mess your message," Robin taught a nation of viewers that while it is true that we've all got something -- a medical crisis to face, aging parents to care for, heartbreak in all its many forms --- we've also all got something to give: hope, encouragement, a life-saving transplant or a spirit-saving embrace. As Robin has learned, and what readers of her remarkable story will come to believe as well, it's all about faith, family and friends. And finding out that you are stronger, much stronger, than you think.
From rap superstar Lil Wayne comes the long-awaited Gone ’Til November, a deeply personal and revealing account of his time spent incarcerated on Rikers Island for eight months in 2010.
In 2010, recording artist Lil Wayne was at the height of his career. A fixture in the rap game for more than a decade, Lil Wayne (aka Weezy) had established himself as both a prolific musician and a savvy businessman, smashing long-held industry records, winning multiple Grammy Awards, and signing up-and-coming talent like Drake and Nicki Minaj to his Young Money label. All of this momentum came to a halt when he was convicted of possession of a firearm and sentenced to a yearlong stay at Rikers Island. Suddenly, the artist at the top of his game was now an inmate at the mercy of the American penal system. At long last, Gone ’Til November reveals the true story of what really happened while Wayne was behind bars, exploring everything from his daily rituals to his interactions with other inmates to how he was able to keep himself motivated and grateful. Taken directly from Wayne’s own journal, this intimate, personal account of his incarceration is an utterly humane look at the man behind the artist.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in Total Recall.
He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star.
By the age of twenty-one, he was living in Los Angeles and had been crowned Mr. Universe.
Within five years, he had learned English and become the greatest bodybuilder in the world.
Within ten years, he had earned his college degree and was a millionaire from his business enterprises in real estate, construction, and bodybuilding. He was also the winner of a Golden Globe Award for his debut as a dramatic actor in Stay Hungry.
Within twenty years, he was the world’s biggest movie star, the husband of Maria Shriver, and an emerging Republican leader who was part of the Kennedy family.
Thirty-six years after coming to America, the man once known by fellow bodybuilders as the Austrian Oak was elected governor of California, the seventh largest economy in the world.
He led the state through a budget crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, working across party lines for a better environment, election reforms, new infrastructure to rebuild California, and bipartisan solutions.
Until now, he has never told the full story of his life, including his greatest successes and his biggest failures, in his own voice.
Here is Arnold, with total recall.
"Unvarnished. Funny. Leaving no stone unturned."
. . . So say the publishers about this book I've written.
What I say is that this is the story of my life, told as clear as a Texas sky and in the same rhythm that I lived it.
It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold.
It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and barrooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it.
My life gets lived on the road, at home, and on the road again, tried and true, and I've written it all down from my heart to yours.
Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.
Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s.
More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.