Entertaining yet substantial, briskly paced yet informative, these celebrity memoirs and biographies are perfect for the busy month of December.
In Inside Out, actor Demi Moore comes to terms with her troubled past. As the daughter of alcoholic parents, Moore had an unstable and traumatic childhood, and her early career as a model left her feeling insecure about her appearance. Although she went on to achieve success in Hollywood, starring in such films as St. Elmo’s Fire and Ghost, she struggled for years with drug addiction. Throughout this candid, accomplished memoir, Moore is upfront about her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, and she provides fascinating insight into the movie business.
Esteemed actor Sally Field shares her personal story in her memoir, In Pieces. Born in Pasadena, California, in 1946, Field opens up about her solitary childhood, her alcoholic mother and the stepfather who abused her. She began acting as a teen, going on to star in blockbusters including Norma Rae and Forrest Gump. With sensitivity and a wonderful command of narrative, she reflects on important past relationships, including her romance with Burt Reynolds, and on the impulses that drive her acting. The result is a well-rounded, well-written portrait of an artist that will appeal to anyone who loves a good celebrity memoir.
Written by bestselling biographer Sheila Weller, Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge is an illuminating study of an American icon. Carrie Fisher, perhaps best known for portraying Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actor Debbie Reynolds. In this well-researched biography, Weller chronicles Fisher’s Hollywood up-bringing, her rise as an actor, her marriages and her experiences with bipolar disorder and drugs. Fisher’s intelligence and strength shine through in this lively narrative, which is rich with movie history and personal anecdotes, as well as themes of family and feminism.
Illustrator and author Edward Sorel revisits the golden age of Hollywood in Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936. Sorel explores the life of actor Mary Astor, star of The Maltese Falcon and other classics, who kept a diary of her sexual affairs. In the 1930s, her ex-husband discovered the diary and used it against her during his legal battle for custody of their daughter. Sorel digs in to weighty topics including public image, the power of journalism and the female experience in show business, and his nifty illustrations add to the book’s appeal.