Book Thoughts: End of 2019 Celebri-Reads

My Celebri-Reads Book Club has a LOT of exciting new books ahead of us now that 2020 has finally arrived. Here’s our list for the year:

If those covers are a bit hard to read, here’s the list:

  • Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters
  • Karamo by Karamo Brown
  • The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer
  • American Like Me by America Ferrera (and others)
  • From Scratch by Tembi Locke
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  • As You Wish by Cary Elwes
  • Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
  • Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
  • Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelson
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  • I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer

But before we can dive into those, here are my thoughts on the books we ended 2019 with! (If you want to read my thoughts on our July, August, and September books, click here.)

October 2019: Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of the chapters I really loved. Some were very scattered and hard to follow. At times I felt like she came off as a bit defensive (as I said in our book club meeting, it felt like she was writing things she should’ve been working through with a therapist, and I was not equipped to deal with it on her behalf).

One thing this book brought up for me – and it comes up a lot when reading celebrity memoirs – is how books are often, to borrow from Jimmy Buffett, a “permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.” Much of this book is a love letter to her then-husband and his family. They divorced after it was published. I often wonder how writers of memoirs feel when that happens – when they present a slice of their life as it is in the present as they’re writing, when it ends up being drastically different years later. Do they write a “do-over”? A sequel? A clarification? Or just say to themselves (and any readers who may ask), “Hey. That’s how it was then.”

November 2019: Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

This is a cookbook and decorating guide, not a memoir. I wasn’t aware of that when it ended up on our list for the book club, but there were some stories sprinkled throughout, though they lacked the depth and details a regular memoir usually provides. Some of the recipes seemed like they might be okay to try. A handful of the entertaining tips came off as reasonable or worth trying. Most of the decorating/”life” advice was presented in a way that I found incredibly off-putting, mostly because it assumed a level of wealth/privilege that – to me – made it feel unattainable and out-of-touch.

December 2019 – Bossypants by Tina Fey

I’d read this one before, but I reread it for Book Club. I absolutely loved it, but I’m a terrible judge because I love Tina Fey. When I first saw her on Weekend Update, I said “I want to be her when I grow up” and that hasn’t really changed. So, my thoughts on this book are that it’s amazing and awesome and hilarious and brilliant and everyone should read it and also don’t trust my opinion at all because I’m way too biased to give you a real review.

Now I’ve got to request Audition from the library so I can get that one read by the end of the month! I’m also reading my first book from my Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge (The Red Tent by Anita Diamant), as well as another “celebrity book,” though NOT a memoir (One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak).

What are you reading this month? Have you read any of these celebri-reads? What’d you think? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @ThatColette.