mini-reviews: life in parts, wishful drinking, i know i am

Following up on yesterday’s post, here are three more memoirs by funny people!

Bryan Cranston‘s A Life in Parts shows that he’s much more than his roles Walter White from Breaking Bad or Hal from Malcolm in the Middle. He does cover his time playing these parts, and I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpse at these shows, but I think I might have enjoyed his ruminations on the craft of acting even better. Cranston has many memorable stories in this memoir, formatted as different “parts” he’s embodied in his life: as a son, brother, husband, father, employee, and finally actor. It’s not the deepest, most revelatory memoir ever, but it is equally funny, touching, sad, and interesting. It’s specially good on audio with Cranston himself narrating. [Listened to audiobook in December 2016.]

I had Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking in my iBooks app for a few months when she died last December. I decided (a couple months later) that it was time to finally get to it—and I read almost the whole thing while standing in line for a concert. Wishful Drinking was a fun, quick read! It rambles and goes off on tangents at times (reading like her HBO special on which the book is based, I suppose), and I think I was expecting more depth and reflection regarding her mental health and addictions. But I did enjoy this irreverent, funny collection of anecdotal pieces from a Hollywood lifer. I’m sure this is way better on audio! [Read ebook in February 2017.]

Samantha Bee’s I Know I Am, But What Are You is hilarious! And delightful, snarky, relatable, a little raunchy, and everything I could ever hope for from a Samantha Bee memoir. I loved the audio—I was laughing and looking like a fool anytime I listened out in public. It’s not inspirational like Amy Poehler or Tina Fey’s memoirs, if that’s what you’re into. This is purely autobiographical full of meandering musings about her own life and times. I Know I Am was published in 2010; I hope she writes another one in the future! [Listened to audiobook in October 2017.]

2 thoughts on “mini-reviews: life in parts, wishful drinking, i know i am

  1. Samantha Bee…. I have a complicated relationship with her. I really like her, and her politics, but something about her just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t know what it is, exactly. Jesse and I watched her show for a while but I eventually lost interest (he still watches it). Anyhow, the book sounds great. And I really liked Wishful Drinking but I agree with what you say. It reads the way she thinks (or used to…sigh…), which is not necessarily in a traditionally linear way.

    • I can understand that re: Samantha Bee. She can get angry and it comes through in her monologues during her show. But, I think maybe in these times anger is called for. But yes I loved the book! It’s short and easy to take in small doses. I was so sad about Carrie Fisher, I love her. I just cried during the last season of Catastrophe knowing it was her last role.

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