Why does it seem like biographies are always really popular this time of year? Is it because people get more reflective as fall fades into winter? Do falling leaves make people more contemplative of their own mortality? Wait – is this my own biography? No…I don’t think so. *shakes head* You can tell it’s not my biography because although there is a mention of Joss Whedon, there is not enough glitter. Ok. Whew. Dodged that bullet.
So I really don’t have any answers to the questions above, but I have noticed a significant increase in the number of biographies of people I think are cool. Let’s kick it off with the king, shall we?
By Amy Pascale
Amy Pascale packs A TON of information in her recent release about Mr. Whedon. There were things in there that even I didn’t know, and I could run the category on Jeopardy if anyone ever wrote one about Joss. Pop quiz hotshot: did you know he wrote most of the dialogue in Speed? I didn’t, but it totally makes sense because it’s the best part of the movie. I did know he wrote comics, but I didn’t realize how many I hadn’t read. Looks like ILL will be busy in my future. This book also made me want to watch A Cabin in the Woods – and I HATE horror movies. But in typical Joss fashion, the description in the book made it sound like so much more than just a gorefest. (I still might need a buddy to watch though.)
This book is a little bit of commitment because it is dense and chock full of fun Joss tidbits. While it did take me a little time to make it through, I enjoyed every last minute of it and was sad to pass on the book to the next patron. I hope you, whoever you are, will enjoy it as much as I did.
I’m still looking for my “Joss is my King” t-shirt though – just if anyone needs any Christmas present ideas for me.
By Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler was on Saturday Night Live back when I actually used to watch it. And while she was more Robin to my favorite Batman, Tina Fey, I did think some of Amy’s characters were funny. I’ll be honest – I picked up this book to learn more details why she and Will Arnett got divorced, but I – sigh – was totally denied. She mentions the divorce and how hard it was, but doesn’t give us any details. Sure, Amy, take the classy road the one time I want you to be your usually irreverent self. Curses *shakes fist* foiled again.
While I completely don’t identify with Amy’s somewhat manic, drug-taking, up all night partying personality, I do respect her work ethic. Most of us just saw her once she was on Conan or SNL, but she had years at Second City and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade to hone her craft. They had to hussle it to make a name for themselves – which they did. It also sounds like her parents are a hoot and a half. Apparently the funny doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Didn’t love this one as much as Tina Fey’s, but it was a pretty good effort for Robin.
Choose Your Own Autobiography
By Neil Patrick Harris
To read what I thought about NPH’s tell-all (well tell-most) bio, skip the next sentence and continue here. To learn how to do a card trick – go to NPH’s fabulous new book.
I heart NPH almost as much as Joss Whedon. From Doogie to Rent to Dr. Horrible – what’s not to love? But I have to say initially I wasn’t in love with his Choose Your Own format. If anyone else would have tried it, I would have deemed it a cop out and mocked him to my friends (and/or blog readers). But for some reason, as you dig in, with NPH it just works. I haven’t actually skipped around in the book as offerred, choosing instead to read straight through like a regular book. But hey – he told me I could choose my own autobiography, and this is what I chose.
It’s funny. It’s snarky. It’s honest. And there is a disturbing amount of magic in it. (I dislike magic. Sorry, I just do.) But I wish I could have been in his head while he was writing because I’m sure it was a fun place to be. Still love NPH, in spite of all the magic weirdness.
So if your life has hit a rut and you want to see how some other really cool people live check these out. Maybe they will inspire you to dance and sing – maybe at the same time!
PS Even though it didn’t come out this year, I also just finished listening to Jane Lynch’s Happy Accidents on audio, read by the author herself. Also a great biography -maybe for a holiday road trip. The fourth quarter really is a BIOGRAPHY BONANZA!!!!