Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book review: Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty

If we go way back - and I hope we do! - you might remember that I once reviewed Diane Keaton's autobiography, "Then Again." And you might also remember that I haaaaaated this book. I listened to it, and it didn't translate well to audiobook. It was hard to keep track of what was what.

But, I'm nothing if not a saint. So, I gave Diane another chance. I recently listened to her new book.

"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" is kind of a series of meditations on beauty. Written by someone who has been called both a style icon and someone who has "let herself go" by Hollywood standards, this should be a pretty good read, right?

Well ... kind of?

I found it comforting to read that she both stands by her style and beauty choices (Turtlenecks! No plastic surgery - at least not yet!) and feels conflicted by them. Movie stars - they're just like you and me!

But reading an entire book that jumps from confidence to "oh, shucks, I don't know" over and over again can be ... exhausting.

Listening to this audio book, I enjoyed the author reading her own work. So many times it doesn't work, but here it totally did. Diane Keaton is someone I'd love to sit near in a restaurant so I could eavesdrop. I'm not so sure, however, that I'd actually like to be at the same table. I don't think my little introverted heart could take a multi-course meal with her. I'd be exhausted.

So, the book. I loved her talking about how Victoria's Secret is so great because it encourages young women to love their shapes and have fun. I didn't love the in-depth description of shopping there with her daughter, complete with a rundown of what her daughter purchased with a gift card. This "yes, but I could have done without ..." theme kind of sums up my feelings on the book as a whole.

Make no mistake: I love Diane Keaton on screen. I'm so thankful she's (gasp!) aging like a normal human, even though she's in Hollywood. Here, she makes some great points and has some interesting stories. But this book? I found it to be a mixed bag.

I give it two mixed bags of dogs. Dogs that don't necessarily match.
Have you read either of Keaton's books? What did you think?

6 comments:

Becky said...

While I do have a fondness for a good Hollywood (or rock star) memoir, I haven't read any of her books. Probably mostly because they haven't been on the 'new' shelf when I walk into the library.

Cha Cha said...

Ooh - I, too, love a good Hollywood/rocker memoir! What are your favorites?

Becky said...

I just finished the Kim Gordon "Girl in a Band" and LOVED it (but I'm a huge Sonic Youth and Kim Gordon fan). I found the Rob Lowe books fun, Patti Smith's I could not put down. I walked away from Nikki Sixx's (of Motley Crue) Heroin Diaries with a new appreciation for him. I absolutely loved Billy Idol's book too - it was like him, part cheesy, part poetic and filled with great little punk rock history nuggets. Norman Lear's book was interesting, but I walked away from the Pete Townsend book much less of a fan. Melissa Gilbert just put out a 'prairie' cookbook that is part Hollywood memoir and totally cashes in on being half pint (having just read Pioneer Girl, I plan on doing a blog post about them both soon). Up next is the Joe Perry book, which I'm ridiculously excited about. Oh, I also read the Rick Springfield novel, which I found highly entertaining. Of course, Keith Richards is one of the best of the whole genre.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I didn't and don't plan to, but I really enjoyed your review. It sounded very honest, I think celebrity books rely more on the author's reputation than what they actually have to SAY.

Cha Cha said...

Thank you thank you thank you! Keith has been on my list for a while. Loved Patti Smith and looking forward to her new one. I trust you've read Duff McKagan - his book is amazing!

Cha Cha said...

Oh - thank you!!!