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?


  1. 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.

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

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. 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.