Sunday, November 8, 2015

3 More Memoirs I Like

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I loved Mindy's first book so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one! She shares her beauty secrets and how she's not a hugger and says that in NYC that is perfectly acceptable way to be there. She talks about how friendships change after weddings and that best friends become just friends saying "we will never again have each others undivided attention. That version of our friendship is over." She wonders if she will never have a husband and all her female acquaintances will. She talks about her figure, "I physically resemble most women in this country, 5'4 and a size 10, yet somehow when I'm on the screen it's shocking to people." She goes on to say, "I'm not big like them, I can buy my clothes at regular stores! I can still fit into one economy seat on a plane." Obama's daughters read her book so she was invited to White House events. She said, "I was somehow expecting that I would be escorted directly to the President, who would appoint me diplomat to some cool little country like French Zaire (I'm assuming that's a place)." One part of the book is a fictional account of her adventures if she became a Latin teacher in NYC where she throws a party where the dress code is "Upscale Autumn." lol When you finish her book you wished was a friend of yours. Favorite quote from the book:


"I have never once refrained from eating a Gril Scout Tagalong cookie if someone brings in a box to work. The very idea of not taking one (OK, nine) seems crazy to me." 


Wildflower - Drew Barrymore

I read this short book in three days, then listened to the last few chapters on my phone as Drew was the narrator. It is not a memoir per se but a collection of personal stories of her life that she calls love letters to the people she loves. She's lived an interesting life to say the least. She tells stories about her friends, dogs, husband and daughters, and gives the reader a peek into her life throughout the years. It isn't in chronological order and she does gloss over the troubled times so don't expect some tell all book. You can find that in the memoir she wrote when she was 14.

A little backstory, she was raised by a single mom in West Hollywood leading an unconventional life. Starting off as a child address Drew was smoking and drinking by the time she was 11 and on drugs by 13. After a suicide attempt at 14 her mother dropped her off at a psych facility for 18 months. Upon her release she petitioned the court for her emancipation and moved into her own apt.

Then she went through another wild period so in the book she talks about how since the birth of her children she grown much more conservative. Because of her lonely childhood, Drew says she treasures her friendships more than ever. She doesn't speak to her mother now, but financially supports her. She writes about how her friends like Cameron Diaz and Steven Spielberg have loved and encouraged her along the way. Drew has her own movie production company, which produced the movie Charlie's Angels. Did you know she's worked on 49 movies! The book made me smile and laugh a lot and her determined optimism and gratefulness shines through this collection of stories. She's on the cover of the November issue of InStyle magazine. At the age of 37 she married her 3rd husband Will Kopelman, son of former Chanel CEO with whom she has 2 daughters. She's since started her own beauty line called Flower Beauty. Over the past 10 years she's actively worked in supporting educational charities in Kenya. Favorite quote from the book:

"It's ironic that we rush through being "single" as if it's some disease or malady to get rid of or overcome. The truth is, most likely, one day you will meet someone and it will be gone. And once it's gone, it's really gone! Why does no one tell us how important it is to enjoy being single and being by yourself? That time is defining and amazing and nothing to "sure". It is being alone that will actually set you up the best for being with someone else."

Solo: A Memoir of Hope by Hope Solo 
Hope Solo is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a World Cup gold medalist. She has been goalkeeping for the United States Women's National Soccer team since 2000. And she is regarded as one of the top female goalkeepers in the world. She says, "a goal keeper cannot win a game. A goalkeeper saves it." And that "goalkeeping isn't glamorous, it's touch and stressful and thankless."

Her life is defined by drama and chaos and she doesn't believe in happy endings. Her mother became pregnant with her during a conjugal visit while her father was in prison. She grew up a latchkey to an alcoholic mother and a tomboy from a broken home. Her father was philanderer and con man, was convicted of embezzlement and later ended up homeless through most of Hope's life. Hope book is full of painful memories and personal problems.

She's independent, outspoken and honest, self described as not the outgoing and bubbly type like the rest of her teammates. She was famously benched in the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup after criticizing to the press her coach's decision to bench her causing the team to lose. Her punishment was to carry the team equipment at practice. And she wasn't allowed to suit up or be on the field for the national anthem, eat with the team, sign autographs, plus her teammates refused to ride the elevator with her. The Mean Girls of the team even sat her down and went around the room to say why they didn't like her because they felt there was no justification to put down a teammate. Yet if it happened on a men's team it would have been quite a different situation. Her coach even suggested she give back her tour money and bronze medal. However contractually it was her right to be on the tour even thought the team didn't want her there. So she put herself through hell to be there. Fans yelled FREE HOPE SOLO to support her during the team's petty backlash against her. 


I learned some interesting things about women's soccer. When she first started playing for the Women's United Soccer Association in 2001 crowds were dismal, television ratings were abysmal, and her salary was $30K. Now she plays for the Seattle Reign and her salary is somewhere between $22K and $65K. But her net worth is estimated at $2.5 Million from endorsement deals with Seiko, Simple Skincare, Nike, BlackBerry, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Gatorade which she may have lost due to recent personal drama. In 2012 her boyfriend was arrested on investigation of assault following an altercation that left Hope injured. The following day, he was released after a judge determined there was not enough evidence to hold him. They got married the next day. In 2014 she was arrested for assault on her half-sister and nephew. Charges were dismissed due to lack of corporation from both alleged victims. Hope claimed she was defending herself from an attack by her nephew, who is 6'9" tall. 

  Hope was a contestant on my favorite show Dancing with the Stars in 2011. She revealed that it wasn't really a competition but an "orchestrated reality show as there was a secret memo that said who was going home each week". When her book was finished she was told there was a possibility that she would be excluded from the Olympic team because of the book so she had to postpone the release which she thought was a double standard since plenty of male athletes release books whenever they want. She's also been the victim of death threats mailed to her house and her iphone pictures were hacked.


This book was a fascinating read for me, as someone who doesn't even watch soccer. I learned about the game, the industry, how while trying to be the fittest player on the team she didn't drink for 5 months even on her days off. I could not put this book down, it was so good. 

Check out my other book posts: 3-fascinating-memoirs and 3-must-read-memoirs.

   


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