Tuesday, October 20, 2009

REVIEW: Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, by Kathy Griffin

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, by Kathy Griffin. Published 2009 by Ballantine Books. Nonfiction. Memoir.

Click here to buy Official Book Club Selection via IndieBound.org. I am an IndieBound affiliate and receive a percentage of the proceeds of sales.

You gotta love Kathy Griffin. Okay, you don't have to, but it's really easy if you try.

I've been a fan of hers for a while but it wasn't until I started watching her Bravo reality show, My Life on the D-List, that I really learned to love her. Then I read her tell-all memoir, Official Book Club Selection, and now I just love her more.

I started reading it basically as soon as I got it home the day it was published and blew through it in under a week. I'm not a fast reader like some of you- I don't read 10 books a day (or even a month!)- so that's saying a lot. And what it's saying is, I really enjoyed the book.

She talks about everything- or just about, from her childhood in an Irish Catholic family in Chicago, her early days in Hollywood, her marriage, her plastic surgery and liposuction (including photos), her relationship with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and more. And it's not all laughs. There's some serious stuff here, about her late brother Kenny, about sexism and body-dysmorphic Hollywood, about her relationship with her ex-husband. I was actually surprised at how little of the funny there was. Which is not to say it's not entertaining- it's just not exactly the book I was expecting.

My favorite Kathy-being-Kathy anecdote was the story of her now-infamous acceptance speech the year she first won an Emmy for D-List, when she said something about a certain beloved-by-millions religious figure. As she approached the podium to give her acceptance speech, she says,
I felt an anticipation like 'Uh-oh, what's she gonna say'? Which I loved. I took a second to recover a little bit because I wanted to do Eric's speech justice. I didn't want to dishonor it by screwing it up. I said it verbatim, and it got a big laugh, and I thought it was awesome.
I love this story because I think it shows some of her best qualities- her professionalism and her loyalty and affection for her friends. And her sense of humor.

And that's what you'll see in the pages of Official Book Club Selection- a woman who's worked hard to make something of herself and who's not afraid to take risks. I love that she shows us the photos from her liposuction and I love how honest she is about the pressures she's faced as a woman trying to make it in Hollywood. I was frankly surprised by her candor with respect to her late brother and her husband, both subjects that must be incredibly personal and painful. If you're a fan of hers, you really need to read her book- it's a quick, fun read and you'll enjoy it. If you're not, you just might be by the time you're finished.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review from the publisher.