Top Ten Celebrity Autobiographies
Recently I was asked why I read celebrity autobiographies, and honestly they’re my version of trashy magazines. I would much rather had a celebrity’s life story from them, over a journalist’s second-hand interpretation.
I tend to listen to autobiographies as audiobooks rather than purchase them in hardback and ebook. It’s easy background listening with the odd anecdote that’s worth concentrating on.
Here are my Top Ten Celebrity autobiographies I would recommend for various reasons:
Spectacles was one of the first autobiographies I ever read as an adult, and I’ll be honest I selected it because of the cover. And because I love Sue Perkins. Mel and Sue were hosting the Great British Bake Off when her book came out, and I love GBBO. It’s a really moving and hilarious autobiography. Very British and very easy-going. I particularly loved the letter Sue wrote to her dog after she was put down, it made me cry, laugh and call my mother.
If I enjoy an autobiography it’s generally because it’s a warts and all kind of book. Elton John’s autobiography certainly was a no-holds barred kind of book. There were facts in this story that I’m pretty people would have preferred not to have come out, but he’s also private on the things that need to remain private – like his brief marriage to German music producer Renata.
Billy Crystal makes me laugh. His movies in the eighties, like When Harry Met Sally and his memorable cameo in A Princess Bride always leave me in tears, no matter how many times I watch them. His autobiography focuses a lot on his life in Hollywood, particularly his time hosting the Oscars.
This the definition of a warts and all autobiography and I loved it. I know from having spoken to his editor that if Phil had had his way there would have be a TON more revelations in this book – but they didn’t pass legal. He is not drawing himself as a saint, in fact far from it, and he definitely shares his guilt about his relationships with his numerous wives and his children.
Lily Allen is an interesting character, and a great singer who has sadly beginning to get lost to London obscurity. She has skeletons in her closet and ghosts in her head, and it’s a minor miracle I think she’s still around to tell her story. But I have great respect for her because of that.
I love Queer Eye, so of course when Karamo released his autobiography I bought it instantly. I’ll happily admit to being very curious when he brought up his sons on the show, and how one was biologically his and the other was his biological son’s brother who we had adopted, and both were teenagers… his is a very unique autobiography and one I enjoyed.
Debbie Reynolds was a character. I had no idea how much until I started to read about her and her daughter, after their tragic deaths a few years back. This autobiography was ghost-written but features a selection of Debbie’s many anecdotes of her time in the Golden Years of Hollywood. It did make me laugh.
Anna Kendrick’s career seemed to appear out of nowhere. One day she was a cameo actress in Twilight and next she was a main character in Pitch Perfect and had a number one and was singing at the Oscars and…yeah she managed a lot. Her autobiography is very sweet and self-deprecating with the typical Anna Kendrick sarcasm we’ve all grown to love.
This was the first autobiography I ever read. It is the story of Jacqueline Wilson’s early years, growing up as an only child with her mum and dad. Of course, she never mentions her sexuality – which she only recently revealed publicly – but looking back at the book now there is an obvious subtext and I feel for her. A lovely read for children.
And lastly, a ridiculously raw autobiography of one of TV’s most beloved stars. Jonathan Van Ness has done wonders for the term self-care and is a star. I love him. His autobiography is rich with sad details though, about his bullying, drug-addiction, mindless partying, sex addiction and later HIV diagnosis. The person you read about in the book is clearly not the person that we saw on TV today, and for that I feel proud of him. He’s a star. I just want to give him a hug.
So there we have it. My Top Ten Celebrity autobiographies. What celebrities lives have you enjoyed learning more about? Let me know in the comments below.