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Staff Reviews: Celebrities

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of books for all ages! (For reviews of books of all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


'The Princess Diarist' by Carrie Fisher

"The Princess Diarist" by Carrie Fisher

★★★ Nearly everyone knows Carrie Fisher for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the "Star Wars" film series. Being so strongly associated with this iconic character is something Fisher has struggled with virtually from the beginning of her career until she learned to embrace her alter ego later in life. The double-edged sword of a dilemma is the basis...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Celebrities

'Why Not Me?' by Mindy Kaling

"Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling

★★★ As someone who was thoroughly entertained by actress Mindy Kaling's first memoir "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" I really looked forward to what she had to say in this follow-up. While this book didn’t quite match the humor and substance of its predecessor, it was still enjoyable to read. Known as the star of TV's "The Mindy Project" and for...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Humor, Celebrities

'The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo' by Amy Schumer

"The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo" by Amy Schumer

★★★★ Celebrity memoirs almost always seem to promise to "bare it all" and give the reader an uncensored look at the star's life, but most only half-heartedly keep that promise. Amy Schumer, however, is not one of those stars. In her debut book, Schumer (perhaps best known for her Comedy Central sketch series or her semi-autobiographical comedy film "...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Celebrities, Humor

'Steve McQueen: The Actor and His Films' by Andrew Antoniades, Mike Siegel

"Steve McQueen: The Actor and His Films" by Andrew Antoniades, Mike Siegel

A complex and enigmatic individual, Steve McQueen became a screen legend playing anti-authoritarian loners.  Authors Antoniades and Siegel combine talents to produce this weighty and wonderful account of the life and film career of McQueen. The book is an entertaining tribute to the King of Cool, featuring over 1,000 color and black and white...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities

'Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures' by Yann-Brice Dherbier

"Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures" by Yann-Brice Dherbier

Few actors ever equaled Cary Grant’s elegance, sex appeal and versatility on screen. Yann-Brice Dherbier’s book offers up 170 pages of black and white photographs of Grant at work, at home and at play. It’s an entertaining photographic tribute that reminds us that Grant truly was one-of-a-kind.  

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, Photography

'Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumors' by Zoë Howe

"Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumors" by Zoë Howe

★★★ As a Stevie Nicks fan, I enjoyed this new biography from British journalist Zoe Howe, but recommend it with some reservations. I was a bit disappointed that most of the material is sourced from published interviews and books, so I would not recommend this book for fans looking for "new" insights about Nicks, especially fans who have already read one of the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Celebrities

'Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography' by Neil Patrick Harris, David Javerbaum, Antony Hare

"Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography" by Neil Patrick Harris, David Javerbaum, Antony Hare

★★★★★ Whether your favorite Neil Patrick Harris character is Barney Stinson, Doogie Howser, or Hedwig, this book is highly recommended. NPH models his autobiography after the "Choose Your Own Adventure" children's series, where readers make a choice at the end of each chapter that will change the outcome of the story. This book is full of humor and quirky details...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Celebrities

'What I Know For Sure' by Oprah Winfrey

"What I Know For Sure" by Oprah Winfrey

★★★★★ This was a profound read for me. While I started this somewhat with trepidation, as I'm not one to usually read something like this, it struck me from the very beginning. As someone who has had a scary and difficult year, I found a lot of truth and connection to the stories told in this that deeply struck a cord with me. Oprah recounts some of her biggest...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities

'A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey' by Jessica Fellowes

"A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey" by Jessica Fellowes

★★★★★ Full of gorgeous photographs, behind-the-scenes information about the show, and fascinating historical details, this book is a must-read for any Downton Abbey fan! The author breaks the chapters into months of the year, describing events that occurred each month and interviewing cast members and crew. She also focuses on a unique aspect of production on the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Television, Celebrities

'There Was a Little Girl' by Brooke Shields

"There Was a Little Girl" by Brooke Shields

★★★ Brooke Shields opens up about her sometimes tumultuous relationship with her mother and manager, Teri Shields. She reveals heartbreaking details about her mother's life-long struggle with alcoholism, and how her relationship with her mother affected her life. A constant theme throughout the book is Brooke defending her mother to critics, despite the pain...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Celebrities

'Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life' by Sophia Loren

"Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life" by Sophia Loren

★★★★ Sophia Loren's memoir details her incredible life; full of beauty, love, success, but also tragedy and pain. The daughter of a single mother, Loren grew up in poverty during World War II in Italy and never had much contact with her father. She received her start in beauty pageants, and soon transitioned to film after she was noticed by her future husband,...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir, Celebrities

'Movie Icons, 365 Day-By-Day' by Taschen

"Movie Icons, 365 Day-By-Day" by Taschen

★★★★ Movie buffs will enjoy this Silver Screen daily calendar book, presenting, as it does, color photographs of hundreds of movie notables. Among the actors and actresses included are Tyrone Power, Tom Cruise, Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo, Joe Pesci, Claire Bloom, Kate Winslet, Jean Reno, Anita Ekberg, Peter Lorre, Nicole Kidman, Lee Marvin, Ralph Fiennes,...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities

'The $11 Billion Year' by Anne Thompson

"The $11 Billion Year" by Anne Thompson

★★★★★ In 2013, Hollywood had its best year ever, profits totaling 11 billion dollars! Hollywood expert Anne Thompson provides an insider look at how all that money was made, taking the reader through a year-long trip through film sets, movie studios, executive backrooms,  PR firms, film festivals, etc. as stars, producers and assorted talent wheel-and-deal....

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities

'When Lightning Strikes: Four Decades of Jerry Bruckheimer' by Michael Singer

"When Lightning Strikes: Four Decades of Jerry Bruckheimer" by Michael Singer

★★★★★ If you've been enjoyed movies such as BEVERLY HILLS COP, TOPGUN, PEARL HARBOR, NATIONAL TREASURE and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, you'll want to check out Michael Singer's super-sized, color-filled tribute to the man who produced all those flicks, Jerry Bruckheimer. In the past 40 years, Bruckheimer has helped create all those films and more, not to mention...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Movies, Celebrities

'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' by Juliette Michaud

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" by Juliette Michaud

★★★★ Movie buffs will be delighted with ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Juliette Michaud's coffee-table book is an affectionate, wonderfully-illustrated chronicle of the silver screen. Bursting with hundreds of photographs of movie actors, actresses, directors and producers from the early 1900s to the late 1980s, the book offers up both a history of Hollywood and...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, History

'1939: The Greatest Year in Film History' by Mark A. Vieira

"1939: The Greatest Year in Film History" by Mark A. Vieira

★★★★★ To all those who love motion pictures, 1939 will always be THE year. During 1939, so many, many classic films were produced. Mark Vieira reviews those films in this wonderfully-illustrated, insightful and affectionate guide to  that magical time and place. Vieira's book arranges the films in order of release. Most of the films is described in a two-to-...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities

'The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time!' by Martin Gitlin

"The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time!" by Martin Gitlin

★★★★★ Everyone has a favorite sitcom. In THE GREATEST SITCOMS OF ALL TIME, Martin Gitlin has undertaken the daunting task of ranking the top 50 sitcoms of all time. The results make for entertaining and informative reading. Gitlin evaluated hundreds of shows based on factors such as its longevity, ratings, the awards it won, its impact on society and so on. From...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, Television

'LIFE Unseen: Johnny Cash' by LIFE Magazine

"LIFE Unseen: Johnny Cash" by LIFE Magazine

★★★★ The life and time of country music legend Johnny Cash are covered in this nicely-illustrated biography from Life Books. Over 190 black-and-white and color photographs of Cash, his family, friends and fellow musicians compliment an honest yet affectionate narrative that traces Cash's rags to riches story.  The book includes reminiscences by Rosanne Cash...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, Biography And Memoir

'The Beatle Invasion!' by Bob Spitz

"The Beatle Invasion!" by Bob Spitz

★★★★ In February 1964, four talented, cheeky, mop-topped English musicians landed in America, set to undertake a two-week tour and perform on the Ed Sullivan TV show. The Beatles had arrived and America - and the world - would never be the same. THE BEATLE INVASION is an entertaining, nicely-illustrated account of how John, Paul, George and Ringo conquered the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, Music

'The Beatles in 100 Objects' by Brian Southall

"The Beatles in 100 Objects" by Brian Southall

★★★★ Take a Magical Mystery Tour back to the heady days of Beatlemania when John, Paul, George and Ringo were front-page news around the world. Brian Southall's appealing book traces the Fab Four's history by describing and illustrating 100 objects - guitars, drum kits, suits, lyric sheets, audition tapes, film scripts, show posters, gold records, cars, etc. -...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, History