Uncompromisingly personal, with an occasional dollop of gossip, and a whole lot of confessions, a well-written memoir can range from being a spicy beach read to a thought-provoking story that speaks of hardships, emotional highs and lows, love, and joy. A celebrity autobiography is typically a coming-of-age tale that is both intriguing and enlightening. It is a window into the lives of the rich and the famous, that allows readers to catch a glimpse of the “real” person who often hides behind bright lights and a public facade.
The host of Top Chef and notable author of cookbooks, Padma Lakshmi, gives us an intimate look into her life through Love, Loss, and What We Ate. Whether it is learning about the intricacies of cooking from her grandmother, her turbulent marriage with Salman Rushdie, or her lifelong struggle with Endometriosis, Lakshmi opens up to her readers, sharing some of her deepest thoughts and most troubling life moments. In the book, she talks about the men she dated, her medical issues, the drama around the birth of her child, and her career successes, in a pleasingly genuine manner that makes her celebrity persona all the more alluring. Lakshmi's writing is a reflection of her confident nature, as the book is a celebration of a strong and determined woman who faces numerous setbacks, but continues to make a name for herself through her passionate attitude towards life. An uplifting autobiography, it is one amongst the few must-read celebrity memoirs to have released in recent years.
Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires reads like a feel-good rom-com, filled with endearing moments and a lust for life. It’s the type where Anne Hathaway plays the lead, however, the romance in this case, is with food. The book focuses on a specific period in Ruth’s life, the time when she ruled over culinary New York as The New York Times’ food critic. Garlic and Sapphires isn’t just about reviews and restaurants, two things anyone associated with food would appreciate. It is, instead, a homage to Ruth’s culinary heritage and education, a reminder that food has always been an indispensable part of her life. The exciting bits in the book, though, are undoubtedly Ruth changing her appearance every few months to sneak into restaurants without being identified. These different characters, both personal and a play on fantasy, add to her gastronomic adventures, making for excellent reading material that leaves food lovers salivating and amused at the same time. Partly a memoir, brimming with situational comedy, hints of introspection, and oodles of love for gastronomy, Garlic and Sapphires is essential reading for anyone who feels deeply about good food and honest writing.
In Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick talks about everything under the sun. She speaks of endearing moments from her childhood, the time when she started to act on Broadway, intimate experiences, and of course, how it felt to finally become world-famous. The beautiful part about the book, and the reason why it’s such an enjoyable read, is that Anna comes across as a regular American girl-next-door with a “normal” upbringing. What makes the book, and consequently Anna, all the more endearing is her modesty and quirkiness, and the confidence she showcases by not flinching away from topics like sex and her thoughts on men and relationships. Scrappy Little Nobody is a witty, heart-warming, and delightful memoir. More importantly, it is the story of a young celebrity who is proud of who she has become, eager to take on the world, but on her own terms.
While Millennials might be unfamiliar with Demi Moore, she was one of the most talked-about and highest-paid American actresses in the 90s. In contrast to Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody, Inside Out showcases a different side of fame. Through her words, Moore talks about the turbulent relationship she shared with her mother, and how self-doubt accompanied her even when she was one of the top actresses in the world. The book is full of revelations, about the controversies that engulfed her, addictions that carried on till late in her life, and her marriages. Then there is the obligatory talk about Moore’s famous films, something her fans will especially find interesting. Still, while the book is an eye-opening account of life behind the curtains of a beloved celebrity, Inside Out is an autobiography of a person who grows to be a loving mother and an all-around inspirational figure.