It’s certainly been quite a year; and thankfully, aside from binge-watching Netflix, there’s another way to mentally “escape” and clear your mind of stress—reading!
We all vow to read more, or be more active in virtual bookclubs, and the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer gives us the perfect excuse to pick up (or download!) a memorable, newly-released book. And what better way to let your mind wander than to read about celebrities; especially while chilling poolside or on a beach?
Add these celeb-inspired literary gems to your book arsenal:
Hollywood: Her Story, An Illustrated History of Women and the Movies By Jill Tietjen and Barbara Bridges
This beautiful coffee-table book features more than 1,200 women who are, or were, Hollywood legends dating back from the inception and golden age of Tinseltown through the year 2018.
Although they initially didn’t get much PR, women were very active in the film industry in its early days; working as directors, producers, writers, actresses (most doing their own stunts), cinematographers, and more. Driven, inspirational women helped the industry get on its feet, but when unions were established in the 1920s, the behind the scenes—and on-screen–roles of women in Hollywood did diminish. Thankfully, you can read about these trailblazers in this must-pwn book, and gush over its beautiful photography as well. Makes a nice gift for any cinema buff! (Available in Hardcover and Kindle)
LIVING IN COLOR: What’s Funny About Me
By Tommy Davidson, with Tom Teicholz
The classic, hilarious, sketch-comedy show In Living Color just passed its 30th anniversary, and if you’re a longtime fan of this iconic show, check out this book by Tommy Davidson, one of the original cast members of the Emmy Award-winning show—which also starred Jim Carrey (then known as James!), rising star Jamie Foxx, and a then-unknown hip-hop dancer named Jennifer Lopez! (Yes, THAT JLo.) In this candid memoir, Davidson opens up about his life story, from being literally discarded in a garbage bin, and later raised by his adoptive mother, to being ‘discovered’ at The Apollo Theatre, which opened the door to becoming a pop-culture icon on such a famous show. He, of course, also talks about auditioning for In Living Color, and the show’s cast members, including notables Keenan Ivory Wayans, David Allen Grier, plus Carrey, Lopez, Foxx, (of course) and more. Davidson also shares his perspective on making it in Hollywood, fame and family, his struggles with addiction, and the power of positivity, and more.
By Ben Bryant
Actor/singer/writer/producer Ben Bryant (a close friend of the late, great Law&Order and Dirty Dancing actor Jerry Orbach) brings readers behind-the-scenes and screens of Hollywood’s biggest names. As someone in “the biz,” Ben worked with (or met!) Clint Eastwood, Christopher Walken, Alfred Hitchcock, Ricardo Montalban, and many other stars, and wrote behind-the-scenes stories (all very honest!) about them; including Orbach. Originally from Tennessee, Ben lived in Hollywood and New York, where he had the chance to work with, and meet, numerous celebs and directors. His book is also biographical, as he dives into his own life journey; for example, to date, Bryant’s produced, directed, and edited nearly 100 half-hour TV shows and some four dozen theatrical shows (dramatic and musical), live concerts and documentaries. Never has a book been written that offers an insider’s backstage view of the inner workings of the entertainment industry—till now. Soak it up on a sunny day, and enjoy.
Bret Michaels: Auto-Scrap-Ography
Even though he could write a whole book just about his experiences in reality TV, Poison rocker Bret Michael proves with this book that he is much more than the former star of VH1’s “Rock of Love,” (Come on, you know it was your one-time guilty pleasure reality show!) and one time winner of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Featuring short stories written by Michaels himself, his newly-released autobiography is available in Hardcopy Digital and Digital E-Book—and a never-before-seen Audio/Visual Biopic read by Michaels, with both still and moving images. Here’s what you’ll learn about: Michaels’s longtime battle with diabetes, which he was diagnosed with at a young age, and the impact Coronavirus has had on him as someone hi-risk; his extremely humble beginnings in small-town Pennsylvania, his impressive success as a solo artist, and with his band, Poison; his charity work and philanthropic pursuits, his entrepreneurial spirit, and yes, his time on reality TV. Numerous photos included, of course! Available in hardcover and as an eBook.
The Beautiful Ones By Prince Rogers Martin, Dan Piepenbring
Prince was, argumentatively, a musical genius. In his own words—featuring original, never-previously released photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets—this one-of-a-kind memoir is one he started before his tragic death in 2016. Best known for his hit album Purple Rain, this is Prince’s story of how he became Prince—his life, pre fame and fortune, told in 4-parts. The first is the memoir Prince was writing before his tragic death, we delve into his childhood via prose. The second part takes us through Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album was released; this section is chock-full of pics. The third part features Prince’s musical evolution, and section 4 his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain. Friend and editor Dan Piepenbring’s introduction about his collaboration with Prince in his final months jump-starts the impactful biography you will cherish about a beloved and dearly missed icon. Summarizes one online reviewer: “The vision [Prince] had for everything was on a whole other level than us mere mortals and I wished we had been able to see the finished product. Any lover of music, creativity, or Prince will love this book.” Available in hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook.
Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope
by Karamo Brown
When hit makeover series “Queer Eye”…was revised via Netflix, longtime fans of the makeover show—which first debuted in 2003—were thrilled. With a new crop of talent, Brown is Queer Eye’s current culture expert; and in this book he shares the ways his own life challenges inspired him to help others. Readers will learn about his audition process for the show, his specific definition of “culture,” and what culture means to you, the readers, and those whose lives the reader touches. Brown also outlines his unique family life; he ‘s Cuban and Jamaican and was raised in the south in mostly white neighborhoods. Brown, who was trained as a social worker initially, endured emotional and even physical abuse, drug addiction, and other life roadbumps that, although tough at times, made him the man he is today. Additionally, he opens up about life as a father, while also providing basic grooming and style tips, impactful ways you can change your life for the better, and more. It’s all about the power of the mind and motivational Brown will lead the way. A quick, interesting read for big fans of “Queer Eye.”
THE LAST BLACK UNICORN By Tiffany Haddish
Nobody does funny life actress/comedian Tiffany Haddish! In this New York Times bestseller, which Tiffany hilariously and heavily promoted on talk-shows, of course, the Girls Trip star, who was raised on some of Los Angeles’s poorest neighborhoods, shares her collection of honest, raw, and of course, funny personal essays; with the focus on being how Tiffany learned early on how to rely on humor to get through the tough times, and of course, make others laugh. She explains how making others laugh and smile saved her from being bullied in school and in foster homes and how she wondered if being a comedian would land her a boyfriend. Readers learn about the various jobs she’s had over the years, including an employee for a major airline, as a Bar Mitzvah hype woman, and a mascot. She also shares how comedy helped her navigate her overnight fame and how she’s learned to achieve her dreams while staying humble. Fans of the book noted that she writes exactly how she speaks in interviews; bawdy, bold, and full of moxie. She is open, honest, and raw, but just note there’s a lot of cuss-words in the book, which some may not love.
Note: Prices of these books may change by press time.