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The best celebrity memoirs | Gallery – Wonderwall

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It’s always a treat to pick up a good, juicy book. Some of our favorite celebs have penned some pretty entertaining memoirs about their glamorous or drama- and tragedy-filled lives. Wonderwall.com has rounded up some of the best books written by pop singers, movie and TV stars, reality TV staples and more. Let’s start with this actor’s deeply personal new release… In “Will,” which came out on Nov. 9, 2021, Will Smith opens up about his childhood in West Philadelphia and his incredible career, but he also lays bare the ups and downs of his relationship with wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Will details in part how he and Jada endured a temporary split after the three-day extravaganza he planned for her 40th birthday blew up in his face, with her ordering him to cancel it after one day and branding it, he writes, according to the New York Post, “the most disgusting display of ego I have ever seen in my life.” He then told his wife, “I retire. I retire from trying to make you happy … I quit — you go do you, and I’m-a go do me.” During that time apart, he shares, he met with a counselor specializing in tantric sexuality and sought out a shaman who arranged for him to take a psychotropic ayahuasca tea (14 times!) that gave him visions that at one point saw him “floating deep in outer space … I was trillions of light years away from earth,” he writes, and made him sense an “unseeable woman” he called “Mother” behind him. “I can tell she’ll never leave me,” he writes.
Now keep reading for more great celebrity memoirs…
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In “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music,” which was released on Oct. 4, 2021, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Grohl opens up about, in his words, “what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…” Dave also shares deeply personal stories about late bandmate and onetime roommate Kurt Cobain (according to the New York Post, Dave’s writings include anecdotes about their Olympia, Washington, one-bedroom apartment that looked like “Whitney Houston’s bathroom turned upside down”) including the Nirvana frontman’s drug use, heartbreaking overdose and devastating death.
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In her moving new memoir “You Got Anything Stronger,” which hit shelves on Sept. 14, 2021, actress Gabrielle Union publicly shares for the first time how she coped after learning her now-husband, Dwyane Wade, fathered a child with another woman when they were on a break, and how and why she forgave the retired NBA star. “To say I was devastated is to pick a word on a low shelf for convenience. There are people — strangers who I will never meet — who have been upset that I have not previously talked about that trauma. I have not had words, and even after untold amounts of therapy I am not sure I have them now. But truth matters,” she writes. The actress further details how she faced heartbreaking infertility, multiple miscarriages and, finally, made a fragile peace after pursuing surrogacy. “The experience of Dwyane having a baby so easily while I was unable to left my soul not just broken into pieces, but shattered into fine dust scattering in the wind,” she writes. (Learn more about Gabrielle’s earlier memoir, which came out in 2017, further back…)
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This actor and former teen-movie heartthrob’s book is a must-read for fans of 1980s cinema… In his memoir “Brat: An ’80s Story,” which was released in May 2021, Andrew McCarthy opens up about his debauched youth as a member of Hollywood’s famed Brat Pack. He reveals everything from the cocaine habit that nearly gave him a heart attack on the set of “Less Than Zero” to falling for an adult dancer named Glitter after co-star James Spader took him to a strip club, the New York Post reported. Andrew also confesses he was rejected by Courteney Cox and Elisabeth Shue early in their careers and shares why he never grew close to “Pretty in Pink” co-stars Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer or writer-filmmaker John Hughes. The “St. Elmo’s Fire” actor further opens up about quitting drinking cold turkey before shooting 1989’s “Weekend at Bernie’s,” but says it wasn’t until 1992 that he finally got sober for good.

In October 2020, Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey released “Greenlights,” which is chock-full of fresh revelations about his life — including how he was sexually abused during his teenage years. However, Matthew writes, “I’ve never felt like a victim. I have a lot of proof that the world is conspiring to make me happy.” He further details his parents’ roller coaster relationship (“My Mom and Dad were married three times and divorced twice — to each other,” he explains), his time as a hand model and an exchange student in Australia, his early career and rom-com king run, an eight-year rift with mom Kay that was complicated by fame, his marriage to Camila Alves, his drastic weight-loss for his “Dallas Buyers Club” role, his personal philosophy, how “the only thing I ever knew I wanted to be was a father” and much more.

In “The Great Peace: A Memoir,” which came out in July 2021, “American Beauty” and “American Pie” star Mena Suvari opens up about her path to healing after years of sexual abuse and, later, drug addiction that saw her using everything from meth, mescaline and marijuana to acid and ecstasy. Among her many stories, she also details an “eerie” encounter with “American Beauty” co-star Kevin Spacey during production.

In May 2021, “Vanderpump Rules” star Lala Kent released “Give Them Lala” — a book of personal essays about everything from her road to reality TV fame to her sobriety to her up-and-down relationship with her fiancé, movie and TV producer Randall Emmett. One of the revelations from her book that made headlines involves something terrible she did to the man she loves: Lala wrote about how she once stuck Randall’s toothbrush up where the sun don’t shine during a period when she was trying to rope him into arguments, before she got sober, Page Six reported. Lala wrote that she engaged in the disgusting behavior during a trip to Miami while in an “alcoholic fog” and that right before she abused his toothbrush, she threw Randall’s clothing, shoes and toiletries into a pool. She then laughed at him when she saw him brushing his teeth with it later. “I’m sad to say that was not my lowest point,” she wrote.

In her March 2021 memoir “The Beauty of Living Twice,” Sharon Stone opens up about everything from predatory directors and exploitative #MeToo moments she’s experienced during her long Hollywood career — she details how a producer once told her to sleep with a male co-star so they’d have more chemistry — to surviving a 2001 stroke, being branded a “difficult” woman and the truth about how that infamous leg-uncrossing scene in “Basic Instinct” went down. (Vanity Fair published an exclusive excerpt.) There’s much more: Sharon also details how a doctor took it upon himself to give her bigger breast implants than she consented to during reconstructive surgery and revealed that she paid “The Quick and the Dead” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio’s salary herself because the studio didn’t want to cast him!
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You might think you know a lot about Jessica Simpson, since she rose to fame on MTV’s “Newlyweds” in the early 2000s, but now we pretty much know everything thanks to her juicy tell-all “Open Book,” which came out in 2020. The memoir chronicles her childhood, the beginnings of her career, her heartbreaking experience with sexual abuse and also some incredibly juicy details about her celebrity romances (from Nick Lachey to John Mayer to a story about Justin Timberlake!). You’re not going to want to put this one down!

In May 2021, Julianna Margulies released the memoir “Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life,” in which she reflects on everything from her unconventional childhood growing up in Paris, England, New York and New Hampshire to how she was supposed to die in the first episode of “ER” — the show that made her famous — to how the crushes she and co-star George Clooney had on each other while making the hit NBC show affected their work. “I have gotten to play two of the richest, I think, female characters on television,” Julianna told Entertainment Weekly of nurse Carol Hathaway on “ER” and Alicia Florrick on “The Good Wife” (she won Emmys and SAG Awards for playing both) while promoting the book. 

Nearly 30 years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at 29, “Family Ties” star Michael J. Fox released a new book, “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” in November 2020. The memoir — his fourth — covers the highs and lows the Emmy winner has endured in recent years amid his health struggle, his second retirement from acting, his musings on being pushed around in a wheelchair and treated as “luggage,” his enduring love and gratitude for wife Tracy Pollan and much more as he faces an uncertain future. “Absent a chemical intervention, Parkinson’s will render me frozen, immobile, stone-faced, and mute — entirely of the mercy of my environment,” the “Back to the Future” franchise star writes in his book, in which he doesn’t pretend it’s easy to stay positive. “For someone for whom motion equals emotion, vibrance and relevance, it’s a lesson in humility.”
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For a front row seat into the life of Demi Moore, pick up “Inside Out.” The actress’s memoir goes chronicles her life from her rough childhood to her transition to a Hollywood heavyweight, sparing no details from her famous marriages, her addiction issues and her struggle to raise a family in the spotlight. This 2019 book is a must read for those interested in what it’s really like to be a massive movie star.
In December 2020, Kathie Lee Gifford released “It’s Never Too Late: Make the Next Act of Your Life the Best Act of Your Life,” a memoir in which she opens up about many significant moments and relationships in her life that have led her to where she is today. She writes about everything from her long friendships with co-anchors Regis Philbin and Hoda Kotb to what happened when then-friend Bill Cosby unexpectedly tried to kiss her to what a therapist said that helped her forgive late husband Frank Gifford’s infidelity and much more.

In “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” — the elusive chanteuse’s memoir that came out in September 2020 — the pop legend chronicles “the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams that contributed to the person I am today.” From her toxic first marriage and brief affair with Derek Jeter to her surprise second marriage to Nick Cannon and motherhood — as well her experiences growing up in poverty in a violent household and struggling with her biracial identity and diva reputation — the book is the definition of juicy.
Did you know Rob Lowe spilled all in an autobiography? Yep, his book “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” came out back in 2011, and comes packed with juicy tales from his life on the A-list. From his child star roots to his time on “The West Wing” to tales of his wild life in the ’80s, this book packs it all in and provides plenty of entertainment in the process.
Want to know the scoop behind a successful Hollywood couple? Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman share their insights in “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.” Their sweet story, which originally hit shelves in 2018, follows their real life love story and shows how they make it work with the odds stacked against them.
2017’s “The Secrets of My Life” let Caitlyn Jenner take pen to paper and share her unique journey. The star sheds even more light than she has on her previous reality shows, opening up about what life was really like with the Kardashians and sharing her biggest regrets in life while reminiscing on her life as the world’s most famous transgender woman.
One celebrity memoir that people consistently rave about? Patti Smith’s “Just Kids,” which came out back in 2010. It delves into the arts world in New York City in the ’70s, covering the musician’s life and her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Many tote this tale, which was a New York Times Best Seller, as one of the most beautifully written memoirs of all time.
Reese Witherspoon’s “Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, & Baking Biscuits” came out in 2018. Among the wisdom the movie star shares? Her go-to hot-roller hairstyle technique, recipes from her mom and some of her favorite southern traditions for a fun look inside the famous star’s heritage.
Mindy Kaling has not only one book to keep you entertained — but two! The hilarious star put out her first book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” in 2011. It chronicled all kinds of things through Mindy’s unique perspective, from love to friendship to dieting. She was back with another book a few years later, when “Why Not Me” hit shelves. This book was filled with an equal amount of laughs, and covered humorous essays based on her life.
If you’ve been re-watching “Gilmore Girls,” might we suggest Lauren Graham’s book, “Talking As Fast As I Can.” Lorelai Gilmore herself dishes all in this 2016 memoir, which talks about her time on the sets of both of her fan favorite TV shows — “Gilmore Girls” and “Parenthood.”
Elton John published his autobiography in 2019, titled simply “Me.” The book gives a unique perspective into the superstar’s life, chronicling his trajectory from a young boy to a major pop star. And it doesn’t shy away from any of the drama!
Julie Andrews fans will be happy to know that the legendary actress published a memoir in 2019. “Home Work: A Memoir of my Hollywood Years” is the star’s second memoir, as her first, “Home,” focused on her tough childhood. In her most recent offering, Julie focuses on some of her most iconic roles, from “Mary Poppins” to “The Sound of Music.” Making this book even sweeter? Julie wrote it alongside her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.
Gabrielle Union’s 2017 memoir “We’re Going to Need More Wine” is filled with essays by the beloved actress. There’s a wide range of topics, from being bullied to impossible beauty standards to her parents’ divorce, and through it all Gabrielle remains upbeat and positive. Of the book, Gabrielle told People magazine, “I want there to be a general message of ‘You’re not alone; this type of crazy s*** happens to everybody.”
If you follow Busy Philipps on social media, you know she’s an open book. So it’s no surprise that her 2018 memoir “This Will Only Hurt a Little” is candid and conversational, walking readers through her childhood and life as a working mom. She also opens up about her very famous bestie — Michelle Williams — and makes you feel like you’re BFFs too in the process.
If you’ve run out of Bravo shows to binge, it might be time to pick up “The Andy Cohen Diaries.” The Bravo head honcho reveals some seriously juicy tidbits about the stars who’ve stopped by his “Watch What Happens Live” show, and also discusses his real life romances and dating life.
In need of a good laugh? Look no further than Tina Fey’s “Bossypants.” The book topped the New York Times Best Seller list upon its release in 2011, and for good reason. It chronicles her life as a young girl dreaming of being a comedian on television, with hilarious anecdotes along the way. From her nerdy roots to her triumph on “Saturday Night Live,” she also tackles the double standards against women while weaving in plenty of laughs.
For the music lovers — and particularly fans of The Red Hot Chili Peppers — Anthony Kiedis’s “Scar Tissue” gives a peek behind the rock star curtain. His autobiography came out in 2004 and hit number one on The New York Times Best Seller List, thanks to the way it chronicled his childhood all the way up until the ’00s. Chili Peppers fans will appreciate all the insider info, including the real meanings behind some of their songs, while also getting a surprisingly emotional first-hand account of his life.
Reality stars pen some pretty great memoirs. Take Brandi Glanville’s “Drinking & Tweeting,” for instance. The former “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star released her book in 2013, and filled it with just as much drama as her Bravo appearances. She tells all about her very public divorce, in which her former husband Eddie Cibrian left her for LeAnn Rimes, and continues to chronicle her life as a newly single mother-of-two.
Anna Kendrick threw her hat into the memoir ring in 2016 with her offering “Scrappy Little Nobody.” The actress’s book features numerous autobiographical essays, which show off her hilarious side, and covers her crazy rise to fame from “Twilight” to “Pitch Perfect.”
For a guaranteed good time, grab “The Last Black Unicorn” by Tiffany Haddish. It’s just as hilarious as its lovable author, as the actress seems to find the humor in everything — including dark times in her early life while growing up in foster homes. This one’s another great memoir to also listen to as an audiobook, as Tiffany herself walks you through her stories.
Want to know more about Scientology? Leah Remini’s “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology,” which was first released in 2015, covers not only her life and successful acting career, but her experience as a member of the Church of Scientology. Leah’s unique perspective is enlightening, as she joined at a young age and famously split from the church as an adult. And after you’re done with this book, you can dive into the A&E television she developed as a result of the memoir’s success — “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”
Ever wondered what it was like to bite the head off a bat? Ozzy Osbourne can give you some insight in his 2010 memoir, “I Am Ozzy.” The tales from his life as a rock star include that infamous moment onstage, which he explains led to “the worst aftertaste you could ever imagine.”
We all benefit from Ali Wong’s letters to her two daughters in the comedian’s book “Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life.” The hilarious star covers all the important bases of being a woman — from dating to being a working mom — in a memoir we could all learn something from (while also having a good laugh!).
For those of us that miss having Yolanda Hadid on their television screens, “Believe Me” infuses a dose of the former “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star back in your life. Her 2017 memoir tackles her struggle with Lyme disease — which was covered during her time on the Bravo show — and how she survived a split from former husband David Foster while dealing with seemingly insurmountable health problems.
Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” first hit shelves in 2014 filled with plenty of Amy’s signature comedy. For a surefire laugh, settle in with this memoir that tackles everything from self-image to relationships to career. And if you don’t feel like reading, the audio version of the book earned a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album, so that’s a great option, too!
You can always count on Chelsea Handler to bring the laughs, so her book “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” will make you chuckle out loud while devouring it. The comedian just focuses on funny stories from her real life that will leave you in stitches, from childhood tales to tidbits about her family and relationships. This one was originally published in 2007 but still holds up.
Another funny lady who has penned an equally funny book? Amy Schumer, who released her book “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo” in 2016. This funny memoir features plenty of hilarious and very personal essays, ranging from her childhood to her time in Hollywood, all with her signature humor.
Though Lily Collins’s life might seem charmed, the actress peeled back the curtain and let readers in on a myriad of hardships she’s dealt with over the years. The star touches on her struggle with an eating disorder, abusive ex-boyfriends and growing up without her famous father, Phil Collins, around very much in her 2017 book “Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me.”
Former “Saved by the Bell” star and host Mario Lopez opened up about his life in 2014’s “Just Between Us.” The book goes over his first 40 years, from his quick rise to fame as A.C. Slater on the popular ’90s series to his current life as a happy family man.
If you like your celebrity memoirs with a dash of self-help thrown in, check out Vivica A. Fox’s book “Everyday I’m Hustling.” The actress’s 2018 memoir includes plenty of success strategies and life advice, while also touching on one especially juicy part of her real life — her relationship with rapper 50 Cent.
Anna Faris got real in her 2017 memoir “Unqualified.” The actress gives plenty of advice from her life lessons, while also adding in plenty of funny asides in her signature quirky style. She touches on some seriously personal moments — like giving birth to her son and tidbits about her marriage to Chris Pratt — though there was a chapter that was later taken out in the wake of the famous’s couples split just months before the books release. Despite their split, the two proved they were still on good terms as Chris wrote a foreword for the memoir.
If you’d like to hear about a troubled child star overcoming her obstacles, check out Jodie Sweetin’s “unSweetined.” This 2009 memoir tackles her rise to fame as a kid on “Full House” and her subsequent drug struggles, and chronicles how she came out on the other side.
In 2018, “This Is Us” star Chrissy Metz released her memoir, “This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today.” This uplifting read shows Chrissy embracing both her successes and failures, and shares how she stayed positive even during dark times. It also includes asides called “Bee Mindful” to help improve your daily life.
Get ready for the new season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” in April by devouring Erika Jayne’s 2018 memoir, “Pretty Mess.” In the book, the reality star dishes on her family life, her rise to fame as a dance music star and her time on the Bravo reality series with some impressive candor — giving even more insight to the pretty blonde we see on the small screen.
Lea Michelle’s “Brunette Ambition” not only gives us stories of her life experience, but also infuses some fun lifestyle tidbits as well. The actress weaved in recipes, relationship advice and even yoga poses in this light book that was first released in 2014.
“Little House on the Prairie” fans, listen up! Alison Arngrim, who famously played the snobby Nellie Oleson on the beloved NBC series in the ’70s and ’80s, penned an autobiography back in 2010. “Confessions of a Prairie B—-: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated” focuses on the actress’s childhood and experience as a young star, and book critics applauded the way she mixed humor and tragedy in the process.
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