I barely knew that there was a civil war in Sierra Leone until it was declared over in 2002. I remember seeing an episode of “Oprah” about the horrors women were suffering there: rape, murder, AIDS, extreme poverty. I knew as horrific as it was, I needed to know more. So I will definitely be reading the new memoir Bite of the Mango that tells the excruciating details of Sierra Leone survivor, Mariatu Kamara, who was 11 when her village was raided by rebel forces who took her prisoner. Her story is so unbelievable that you would swear it was fiction.
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Hulk Hogan‘s autobiography, My Life Outside the Ring, came out yesterday and, well, it’s pretty depressing. The Hulk says that after his divorce from Linda, he was suicidal and downed a bunch of Xanax with a bottle of rum, while holding a gun in his hand. Of the experience, he wrote, “I could feel the life draining out of me. It had me curling my index finger on the trigger of a loaded handgun and putting it in my mouth. Obviously I didn’t kill myself, but I came damn close.” Sad face. [People]
It’s startling how many celebrities have tried to kill themselves. After the jump, who’s tried and what changed their mind. Keep reading »
In what has to be one of the worst-named books of all time, former star-turned-husband-of-Rebecca Romijn and stay-at-home-dad, Jerry O’Connell, will be penning a parenting memoir called Cry, Feed, (Make Love to Wife), Burp. You may remember the celebrity couple are parents to twin babies, born late last year. Here’s a blurb about the book: “O’Connell will describe life as a very 21st century father in a land of celebrity, the sterile California suburbs, and two-for-one diaper changing — everything from the moment he was told it was time for him to be a father, through the trials and tribulations of conception and childbirth, to the joys and disasters and joys again of staying home to raise two new babies.” Anyone else wonder what it means to be a “very” 21st century father”? Is that code for “he lets the wife wear the pants, while he wears the burp cloths”? [via Media Bistro] Keep reading »
Emily Gould should know about women writers and criticism. In the spring of 2008, the former editor at Gawker published an article in the prestigious New York Times Magazine about nastiness in the blogosphere—to a certain extent, it was her own nastiness towards Gawker’s victims that she was referencing. Plenty of other writers responded in kind, mostly critical, and some of the critics were women annoyed with both Gould’s gossip-blog past as well as her sexily-reclining-on-her-back cover photo, saying: Emily Gould does not represent us.
Recently in an article called “What Are Women Fighting About?” for More Intelligent Life, Gould tackles the issue of how “women are often the cruelest critics of other female writers” for not accurately portraying women’s lives. Gendered critiques of women writers are a problem that’s dragged on for a long time (Anna Clark wrote about their “ambition condition” for Bitch magazine over a year ago). But Gould’s analysis is at least refreshing because, by her essay’s end, she has pledged to be more aware of her overly-critical-towards-women ways. Keep reading »
When Anna Sam, a literature student in France, graduated from college, she couldn’t for the life of her find a job in her field. So she kept the part-time job she had in school—as a supermarket cashier asking if patrons wanted paper or plastic. After years of observing the best and the worst of grocery store anthropology, Anna began blogging about her experiences on a site that quickly drew in 600,000 visitors. It wasn’t long before there was a bidding war between publishers to put a book deal in her hands and designer glass slippers on her feet. Voilà! Her memoir, Checkout: A Life on the Tills, became a best seller in France and has now been translated into 16 languages, including English. Now Anna has handed in her resignation for a life as an author — we hope she’ll live happily ever after. [NPR] Keep reading »
Another day, another celebrity confesses to once being a meth head. Earlier this week, it was Jodie Sweetin of “Full House” who came clean about her drug use. Now tennis legend Andre Agassi is confessing that, back in the late ’90s, he used meth, too. In his autobiography (out Nov. 9), Agassi explains that he was stressed over not playing well and his rocky relationship with Brooke Shields. He was sitting on the couch with his assistant, who asked Andre if he wanted to get high.
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So I just killed two minutes taking Mental Floss’ Judy Blume quiz and scored a respectable 82 percent — although I think I would have scored higher had there not been any questions about the slightly younger skewing books like Blubber and the Fudge series. I was more of a Deenie, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Forever fan, you know, because of the masturbation and scoliosis themes. Anyhoo, how’d you do? [Mental Floss] Keep reading »
Alan Wieder is not embarrassed to talk about his wang. In fact, he’s written an entire memoir about getting to know his … er … penis better. Year of the Cock: The Remarkable True Account of a Man Who Left His Wife and Paid the Price chronicles the year (ironically, the year of the rooster—hee hee) that Alan decided to follow his little head on a destructive journey. He packed up his things and moved out of his home, ready to pursue his fantasy of becoming a hardcore bachelor. During this premature mid-life crisis, he buys a vintage Porsche, bangs lot o’ chicks, and becomes obsessed with the size of his member. I know what you’re thinking. What a jerk! Why would I want to spend 300 pages reading about penile insecurity? Because Alan’s hilarious and, somehow, his year of cockiness is refreshing. Trust me, you’ll laugh too hard to judge him. Keep reading »
You can tell a lot about a book by the first sentence. And the first sentence of Jodie Sweetin’s memoir is pretty telling: “F**k it” (only without the astericks). You probably remember Jodie as Stephanie Tanner on “Full House,” the middle sister with blonde hair who had perfected the art of wearing a scrunchie. So when she popped out of obscurity in 2006 and appeared on “Good Morning America” to reveal that she was a recovering coke and meth addict, it was pretty shocking. Turns out, it was only half true—she was an addict, but she was hardly recovered. She had a serious relapse, even as she began touring the country and warning college students about the dangers of drugs. Next Tuesday, Jodie’s memoir Unsweetined comes out, and finally she’s ready to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And it’s pretty gritty. Read an excerpt after the jump. Keep reading »
I read a lot of trashy books this year. There, I said it. Keep reading »