I’ve always told my writer friends that they’re not allowed to write a memoir about their life until they’ve actually learned something from their mistakes. These kinds of things take time. A lot more than, say, 16 years. Which is precisely why Justin Bieber should not be writing a memoir. He hasn’t fallen into hard times or had to clean up a crack habit — heck, he’s not even old enough to drink yet. And still, HarperCollins plans on publishing his book. What? Keep reading »
A chat with Roxana Shirazi is a delight. She’s thoughtful, articulate and you just want to steal that lovely, soft-spoken British accent out of her throat and run off with it. So it’s pretty easy to forget this London-based Iranian author has written the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll memoir about insatiable sex drives, peeing on rock stars, and cunnilingus with groupies.
The Last Living Slut: Born In Iran, Bred Backstage is one of the craziest memoirs I’ve ever read and not just for the stunning narrative arc. Although she writes about childhood growing up in Tehran, Iran, during the Iranian Revolution, and the sexual and physical abuse she suffers from her friends and family, Roxana also gives us a peek into a balls-out, X-rated life most of us couldn’t imagine. Co-published by Neil Strauss, author of The Game, and Anthony Bozza, her book is also about becoming a teenage belly dancer at underground London clubs, then a rock ‘n’ roll scenester who beds her rock star idols — guys from Guns N’ Roses and Buckcherry, to name just a few.
It’s funny. It’s gross. And it’s unlike any memoir I’ve ever read. So I called up the woman who carries around a vibrator in her purse and asked Roxana Shirazi to talk about growing up in a fundamentalist Islamic culture, her abortion, female jealousy, and the meaning of the word “slut.” Keep reading »
Cop Without A Badge is the book that launched a thousand table-flips on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The true-crime tome, which the Smoking Gun has confirmed for authenticity, claims that in the mid-’80s, Danielle Staub was going by the alias Angela Minelli and working as an escort. It also says that she was a drug mule who was involved in a kidnapping, and was busted in an apartment alone with six kilos of cocaine. Now, the book may be becoming a television show. “Nothing is ever a done deal until the ink is dry on the contract, but there’s such a tremendous amount of interest that I think it’s as close as you can come to saying it’s a done deal,” says author Charles Kipps. Keep reading »
I have a favorite independent bookstore near my office. There are tables full of new fiction and non-fiction, shelves filled with New York Times bestsellers, and one particular bookshelf full of pastel pink and purple books. These pink and purple books, of course, are in the “chick lit” section. Even without searching for titles like Confessions of a Shopaholic, you can tell from the rose- and lavender-colored hues that this bookshelf is where you will find the fluffier books which are primarily written for women, by women.
But one book critic has had enough of this “flouncy frivolity.” Imogen Russell Williams from the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper finds it “almost impossible” to pick up a pink, “candy coated” book. Particularly when the book in question is being marketed to teen girls, Williams writes, “This kind of packaging often does a disservice to thought-provoking content, because knee-jerk anti-pinkers like me assume whatever’s inside must match the cover for ersatz, grinning emptiness.” Keep reading »
We asked last week for you to share with us the most memorable book you read in your high school English classes for a chance to win a special 50th anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The Frisky had no idea we had such bookworms reading our site. We’ll reveal our winner, after the jump: Keep reading »
“Ramona and Beezus” opens today, and even though I loved the Ramona books, I’m feeling apprehensive. Ramona came in second only to Nancy Drew
for me when I was a kid, and I tore through all seven books in the series in rapid succession. (An eighth book was released in 1999, but I’ve never checked that one out.) I loved Ramona for being a tomboy who tells it like it is, who isn’t afraid to get dirty, and who regularly exercises her out-there imagination. I loved that she butted heads with her too-sensible, too popularity-focused big sister, Beezus. And I guess that’s what has me nervous here. From the previews, it looks like these two get along way, way too well. Aren’t they supposed to be at odds until those special moments when (a) they realize the other is truly hurting and come together or (b) are trying to pull a fast one on their parents?
I guess the other issue here is that I loved the television version of “Ramona,” starring a very young Sarah Polley. Keep reading »
The draft cover for Meghan McCain‘s forthcoming book, Dirty Sexy Politics, starring an elephant named Thai, is a lot less dirty and sexy than we expected. But I guess she is a senator’s daughter with an image to uphold … [Hyperion Books] Keep reading »
Earlier this week marked the 50th anniversary of the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. In the past half-century, Scout, Jem, Atticus and, of course, Boo Radley have charmed millions of readers (if not necessarily high school English classes) with their tale about coming of age, family, and racism in the South. I can’t be the only one who was inspired as a kid by spunky Scout and her wild imagination! This summer, libraries and book clubs around the U.S. and Canada are celebrating the 50th anniversary, so be sure to check out events in your area.
WIN THIS! We’re giving away one copy of the special 50th anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird, plus a new companion book, Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of 50 Years of To Kill A Mockingbird, a collection of interviews with famous authors on how Harper Lee’s novel influenced their own work. But you have to work if you want them! In the comments, tell us which was the most memorable book you read in high school English class and why by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, July 22. We’ll pick our favorite response and announce the winner Friday, July 23. You must live in the U.S. or Canada to win. Good luck!
[Images: Barnes&Noble/Harper Collins] Keep reading »