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To millions of people across the world, from the millennials who watched “Friends” every week when it first aired on network TV throughout the ’90s, to a whole new generation only recently introduced to the Central Perk gang on Netflix, Matthew Perry is known as Chandler Bing — the endearing, always sarcastic, very lovable jester of the group. But while Perry was making the world laugh through the screen, he was fighting a torturous battle with addiction privately (and oftentimes, lacking the anonymity granted to people who aren’t one of the most famous actors on TV, very publicly).
Perry hasn’t necessarily been silent about his addiction struggles. Alcohol and prescription pills have been a part of his life since he was as young as 14, and he’s been in and out of treatment centers for much of his adult life. Now, with his upcoming memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” he gets more candid than he ever has before about his relationship with drugs and alcohol.
Perry doesn’t hold back from revealing some of his bleakest moments in the book, which he wrote entirely on his own without a ghostwriter, a rarity for celebrity memoirs. From his alcohol-induced erectile disfunction to the time all of his teeth (“yes, all of them,” he writes) fell out after biting into peanut butter toast.
At one point in the prologue, he writes: “Please note: for the next few paragraphs, this book will be a biography rather than a memoir because I was no longer there.”
Also in the prologu, his former co-star Lisa Kudrow admits that the first question she’s often asked when someone meets her is, “How’s Matthew Perry doing?”
The memoir officially comes out on Nov. 1. but is available top pre-order on Amazon, where it’s already a No. 1 bestseller. Perry’s book follows a long list of best-selling celebrity memoirs that have come out recently, such as Constance Wu’s “Making a Scene,” Jennette McCurdy’s “I’m Glad My Mom Died” and Molly Shannon’s “Hello, Molly!” Below, check out more of the most captivating, top-selling celebrity memoirs to read this year.
‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ by Matthew Perry
In Perry’s upcoming memoir, out Nov. 1 from Flatiron, the “Friends” actor gets candid about his decades-long struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. From his alcohol-induced erectile disfunction to the one time all of his teeth fell out of his mouth after biting into peanut butter toast, Perry doesn’t hold back from revealing some of his bleakest moments in his first book, which he wrote entirely on his own without a ghostwriter (a rarity for celebrity memoirs).
‘Making a Scene’ by Constance Wu
In this candid collection of essays, Constance Wu shares private stories from her childhood in Richmond, Virginia, a string of unhealthy romantic relationship throughout her 20s, her experience with sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood and an honest look at the impact that her breakthrough role on “Fresh Off the Boat” had on her mental health.
‘I’m Glad My Mom Died’ by Jennette McCurdy
In her first book, Jennette McCurdy best known for her starring role in the show “ICarly,” the 30 year-old actor gets candid about the struggles she faced as a child actor on the Nickelodeon show, such as eating disorders, OCD and her infamously strained relationship with her mother Debra McCurdy who died in 2013. For McCurdy, this is her first body of work that feels like is wholly her own.
‘Hello Molly’ by Molly Shannon
Molly Shannon is perhaps best known for her tenure on “Saturday Night Live,” during which she starred alongside Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Cheri Oteri, Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Fallon. But her bestselling memoir, written with Sean Wilsey, dives much deeper than her illustrious comedy career. In its pages she also opens up about the tragic experience of losing her mom, baby sister and cousin in a car accident when she was only four years old, and forging a new relationship with her father.
‘Finding Me’ by Viola Davis
Although Viola Davis’ first memoir doesn’t come out until April 26, it shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list since becoming available for pre-order. Much of the book focuses on the racism the award-winning actor has experienced within Hollywood, recalling the racist incidents she endured throughout her childhood in Rhode Island. Of course, the book also takes readers through Davis’s illustrious career, benchmarked by defining moments like when she was first cast for ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” that catapulted the actor to another level of fame.
‘Will’ by Will Smith
Part autobiography, part self-help book, Will Smith’s first memoir is more than just a chronicling of his own inspiring journey from West Philadelphia to rap stardom to Hollywood fame. With the help of Mark Manson, the author of the multi-million-copy bestseller “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” Smith paints a candid portrait of his life in the public eye, along with the genuine wisdom and profound self-knowledge he’s learned on the way.
‘You Can’t Be Serious’ by Kal Penn
Kal Penn is famous for his starring role in the buddy stoner comedy “Harold & Kumar” and has also become a household name during his tenure as a staffer in Barack Obama’s White House. But it’s more personal details that make his brand new best-selling memoir so buzzy online. Most notably, he reveals his eleven-year engagement to his partner Josh and, in doing so, comes out publicly first the first time in the books’ pages. In addition to recounting in heartwarming detail his and Josh’s first dates, he also writes about growing up in suburban New Jersey, his journey to Hollywood and his relationship with politics.
‘Unprotected’ by Billy Porter
Before snagging a Tony and Grammy for his groundbreaking role in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots,” and an Emmy for his inimitable performance in Fox’s “Pose,” Billy Porter was just a young boy in Pittsburgh struggling to fit in. In his first-ever memoir “Unprotected,” already a #1 bestseller on Amazon, Porter unpacks his formative teenage years, during which he tapped into his craft, voice and creativity amidst deep trauma.
‘Taste: My Life Through Food’ by Stanley Tucci
The award-winning actor may be most well known for his roles on the screen but he’s also spent much of his life as an avid lover of food, a journey he chronicles in his debut memoir. The story, written with Tucci’s signature wit, includes anecdotes from his time growing up in Westchester, New York, shooting for foodie films such as “Julie & Julia” and “Big Night” and teaming up with his wife for their huge family meals. Plus, it includes one-of-a-kind recipes passed down to him from his Italian-American family.
‘The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music’ by Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl has lived through some of the most extraordinary experiences as one of the most famous rock-and-roll drummers in the world, and now he’s chronicled his story in his own words. This #1 best-selling memoir details Grohl’s most formative years as a musician, from going on tour with Scream at 18 to his time with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.
‘Yearbook’ by Seth Rogen
From the beloved comedian known for his iconic roles on “Superbad” and “Freaks and Geeks” comes the New York Times Bestseller “Yearbook.” In the hilarious page-turner, Rogen recounts his wildest and funniest stories, from doing stand-up as a teenager to making awkward conversation with A-listers at star-studded Hollywood parties.
‘Broken Horses’ by Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile’s insightful autobiography has been heralded as one of the best music memoirs ever written since it came out earlier this year. In “Broken Horses” the Grammy-winning musician tell the stories from her life that helped shape the raw music that continues to resonate with millions of fans around the word. She shares her experience of coming out as gay in her very small, religious town and finding salvation through the music of heroes that have become collaborators, like Elton John and Dolly Parton. In a Variety review, Chris Willman wrote, “The best-written, most engaging rock autobiography since her childhood hero, Elton John, published ‘Me.'”
‘Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood’ by Danny Trejo
Trejo’s remarkable story became an instant best-seller since hitting the shelves earlier this year. The captivating memoir tells the actor’s remarkable story of growing up in an abusive and drug-addicted home and landing in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons before going onto become a recognizable face in some of Hollywood’s biggest shows and movies.
‘Make it Nice’ by Dorinda Medley
Dorinda’s memeable one-liner came out of an episode of “Real Housewives of New York” when she invited the rest of the housewives for a visit at her storied Berkshires estate. When they made a mess of the weekend (as always), she yelled: “Make it nice!” It’s a motto she’s lived by her entire life, journeying through not-so-glitzy experiences before landing the glamorous reality show life we all know and love.
‘All In’ by Billie Jean King
In her first memoir, the tennis champion chronicles her experience as one of the best female athletes in the world, boasting six years as the top-ranked woman in the world, 20 Wimbledon championships and 39 grand slam titles. In her spirited account, she describes making her way to the top in the male-dominated sport and her watershed moment defeating Bobby Riggs as portrayed in the 2017 film “Battle of the Sexes.”
‘Unfinished’ by Priyanka Chopra Jonas
From her childhood in India, growing up as a teenager in the states and then moving back to her home country as a beauty pageant tar, Jonas’s rise to fame has been far from ordinary. In her best-selling memoir, the actress reflects on her challenges and triumphs as she doggedly pursued her calling, while sharing honest stories about her father’s death, her marriage with Nick Jonas and her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
‘Greenlights’ by Matthew McConaughey
A #1 New York Times Bestseller, McConaughey’s memoir and self-proclaimed “approach book” is filled with raucous stories and one-of-a-kind bits of wisdom from the actor’s less-than-average life. His approach to living life is captured in the book’s motto: catching greenlights, or learning how to deal with, and even thrive amidst life’s challenges. You might also enjoy the audiobook version, read aloud by the actor himself and his distinct Southern-style drawl.
‘Just As I Am’ by Cicely Tyson
Tyson died at 96 just months after her memoir was released at the beginning of the year. In the 400-page chronicle, co-written by Michelle Burford, the iconic actress recounts her very full life, from being brought up by immigrant parents in Harlem throughout the 1920s and ’30s, getting pregnant at 17 and eventually making her way to Hollywood as a model and actress. Weaved through all her stories is Tyson’s strength and resilience as she finds success against a backdrop of racism and sexism, serving to inspiring to countless Black creatives that came after her, and also one of the many reasons former President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
‘The Beauty of Living Twice’ by Sharon Stone
Stone gets brutally honest in this New York Times Bestseller as she opens up about her near-death experience after suffering a massive stroke and losing her career, family and fortune in the process. In the candid pages, she chronicles her efforts to rebuild her life and regain her health, while also taking readers back to a childhood of trauma before making her way in an industry filled with their own types of demons
‘Letters to America’ by Willie Nelson
Following his best-selling memoir “It’s a Long Story,” the beloved country musician and activist is back with “Letters to America” in which he writes patriotic and heartfelt letters to a younger generation, in addition to important figures in his life such as family members, his hero Gene Autry and his guitar “Trigger.”