Here are some celebrity memoirs you may not have heard about yet, plus a few bestsellers.
Fans of comedy, podcasting or Marc Maron take note: Marc Maron: Attempting Normal is priced at $1.99 in Kindle format as of this writing (on 3/9/16). Scroll to the bottom of this post for a full description of the book.
‘For a lot of years, I’ve answered a lot of questions, but have never told my story before.’
Across six decades, Sir Tom Jones has maintained a vital career in a risky, unstable business notorious for the short lives of its artists. With a drive that comes from nothing but the love for what he does, he breaks through and then wrestles with the vagaries of the music industry, the nature of success and its inevitable consequences. Having recorded an expansive body of work and performed with fellow artists from across the spectrum and across every popular music genre, from rock, pop and dance to country, blues and soul, the one constant throughout has been his unique musical gifts and unmistakable voice.
But how did a boy from a Welsh coal-mining family attain success across the globe? And how has he survived the twists and turns of fame and fortune to not only stay exciting, but actually become more credible and interesting with age? In this, his first ever autobiography, Tom revisits his past and tells the tale of his journey from wartime Pontypridd to LA and beyond. He reveals the stories behind the ups and downs of his fascinating and remarkable life, from the early heydays to the subsequent fallow years to his later period of artistic renaissance.
It’s the story nobody else knows or understands, told by the man who lived it, and written the only way he knows how: simply and from the heart. Raw, honest, funny and powerful, this is a memoir like no other from one of the world’s greatest ever singing talents.
This is Tom Jones and Over the Top and Back is his story.
Wildflower (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $13.99)
Award-winning actress Drew Barrymore shares funny, insightful, and profound stories from her past and present told from the place of happiness she’s achieved today.
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.
Simon’s memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster, her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters performing folk songs with her sister Lucy in Greenwich Village, to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the #1 song “You’re So Vain.” She was the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, for her song “Let the River Run” from the movie Working Girl.
The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing “Anticipation” and “We Have No Secrets” among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics, as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.
A hilarious and biting memoir from the actor, comedian and Saturday Night Live alumni David Spade.
David Spade is best known for his harsh “Hollywood” Minute Sketches on SNL, his starring roles in movies like Joe Dirt and Tommy Boy, and his seven-year stint as Dennis Finch on the series Just Shoot Me. Now, with a wit as dry as the weather in his home state of Arizona, the “comic brat extraordinaire” tells his story in Almost Interesting.
First Taking fans back to his childhood as a wannabe cool younger brother and recounting his excruciating road-tour to fame—when he was regularly mistaken for a ten year-old, Spade then dishes about his time crisscrossing the country as a comedian, for low-paying gigs and dragging along his mother’s old suitcase full of props. He also covers his years on SNL during the beloved Rock/Sandler/Farley era of the 1990s, including his close working relationship and friendship with Chris Farley and brags about the ridiculous perks that fame has brought into his life, including the constant fear of being fired, a crazy ex-assistant who attacked him while he was sleeping, a run-in with Eddie Murphy on the mean streets of Beverly Hills, and of course an endless supply of hot chicks.
Sometimes dirty, always funny, and as sharp as a tack, Almost Interesting reminds you why David Spade is one of our generation’s favorite funny guys.
Marc Maron was a parent-scarred, angst-filled, drug-dabbling, love-starved comedian who dreamed of a simple life: a wife, a home, a sitcom to call his own. But instead he woke up one day to find himself fired from his radio job, surrounded by feral cats, and emotionally and financially annihilated by a divorce from a woman he thought he loved. He tried to heal his broken heart through whatever means he could find—minor-league hoarding, Viagra addiction, accidental racial profiling, cat fancying, flying airplanes with his mind—but nothing seemed to work. It was only when he was stripped down to nothing that he found his way back.
Attempting Normal is Marc Maron’s journey through the wilderness of his own mind, a collection of explosively, painfully, addictively funny stories that add up to a moving tale of hope and hopelessness, of failing, flailing, and finding a way. From standup to television to his outrageously popular podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, Marc has always been a genuine original, a disarmingly honest, intensely smart, brutally open comic who finds wisdom in the strangest places. This is his story of the winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, the thrillingly comic journey of a sympathetic f***up who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess. Most of us will relate.
Praise for Attempting Normal
“I laughed so hard reading this book.”—David Sedaris
“Funny . . . surprisingly deep . . . laced with revelatory insights.”—Los Angeles Times
“Superb . . . A reason that [it] is a superior example of an overcrowded genre—–the comedian memoir–—is Mr. Maron’s hardheaded approach to his history, the wisdom of experience.”—The New York Times