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Among the many things we’ve been deprived of while sheltering in place during coronavirus is celebrity gossip. Celebs are just like us — they’ve been spending a lot more time cooped up at home, making it much harder to track their goings on and whereabouts. Since we’ve all been doing less socializing, that leaves more time for leisure activities, like reading. So why not put those two together and pick up one of the best celeb memoirs? Many of them are filled with juicy gossip, so you’ll scratch that itch while adding to your reading pile.
The best celeb memoirs are a great escape into the glamorous lives of movie stars, comedians and chart toppers. Sure, they can sometimes be guilty pleasures, but the tales of gossip, scandal, sex and drugs (cough, cough, Elton John) will keep you turning the pages. Others are incredibly inspiring — we’re looking at you, Michelle Obama. Either way, they’re an inside look at intriguing public personas, so curl up with one of these best celeb memoirs. Variety editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, PMC may earn an affiliate commission.
1. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
As one of the most famous first ladies of all time, Michelle Obama has made a deep impact on America that goes far beyond our borders. In one of the top-selling memoirs ever published, she shares her full story, from growing up in the South Side of Chicago to working her way to Princeton to becoming a successful lawyer, a mother and the president’s wife. She shares her deepest thoughts at every stage, even revealing her marriage struggles. The tome is a deep dive into a true American icon. $11.89, amazon.com
2. “Me” by Elton John
Just like when he performs his music, Elton John doesn’t hold anything back in his autobiography. Born Reginald Dwight, he tells of growing up as a shy boy in the London suburbs to early music struggles with his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin to becoming a global superstar. Truly living the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, he spills it all, from his suicide attempt to befriending Princess Diana to finally conquering his addiction. It’s easy to see why the living legend has always attracted the spotlight. $14.99, amazon.com
3. “Wishful Drinking” by Carrie Fisher
The sharp humor that Carrie Fisher was known for both on and off the screen comes to life in the pages of her first memoir. Inspired by her hit one-woman Broadway show, she shares the pressures of growing up as Hollywood royalty, dating (and briefly marrying) Paul Simon and what being Princess Leia was really like. Filled with wit and wisdom, it’s certainly a worthy read. $11.99, amazon.com
4. “Just Kids” by Patti Smith
Any fan of her poetry knows that Patti Smith has a way with words, which is on full display in her first memoir. Unlike many books written by stars, this one was a huge hit with critics, even earning her the National Book Award in 2010, truly earning its ranking in the best celeb memoirs. Her relationship with famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe takes center-stage in the book, recounting its course over 20 years as Smith finds her path in New York City’s exploding 1970s punk scene. $3.99, amazon.com
5. “Life” by Keith Richards
The guitarist, singer and songwriter of the Rolling Stones practically invented the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. “Life” tells the story of Richards’ groundbreaking band, from humble beginnings in a cheap London apartment where he lived with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, leading up to their global rock god status, and everything in between. From his relationships with Anita Pallenberg and Patti Hansen, to drama with his bandmates to the death of Brian Jones, Richards shares it all with searing honesty. $5.99, amazon.com
6. “Bossypants” by Tina Fey
Long before “girlboss” was even a thing, Tina Fey was defining that role at NBC. The writer and comedian stretches back to her childhood and improv comedy past before dishing on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock.” She muses on breaking glass ceilings, women in comedy, motherhood and what went on when the camera wasn’t rolling. Of course, she’ll also make you laugh — a lot. $8.99, amazon.com
7. “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” by Issa Rae
Issa Rae isn’t the first person to become famous from YouTube, but she might be one of the funniest. Launched in 2011, her “Awkward Black Girl” web series caught lots of attention for its cringe-inducing but knee-slapping take on everyday real life. Her 2015 memoir, which was published before her HBO series “Insecure” premiered, shares the same title as her show and riffs on what is was like growing up a little too weird and not quite feeling black enough. $29.81, amazon.com
8. “In Pieces” by Sally Field
Sally Field famously spent seven years writing her memoir, all without a ghostwriter, and that effort shows. In her incredibly vulnerable and deep-reaching book, she opens up about a childhood marred by sexual abuse from a family member, her lifelong feelings of loneliness, her roller coaster relationship with Burt Reynolds and her illustrious career, including the scoop on her famous Oscar acceptance speech. The emotional depths of her book match the ones she is famous for portraying on the silver screen. $8.98, amazon.com
9. “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Nora Ephron
Since Nora Ephron is so well loved as a film director and screenwriter — with beloved movies such as “You’ve Got Mail,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally” under her belt — it’s easy to forget she was also a journalist. Her laser-sharp writing appeared in venerated publications like Esquire magazine. This 2006 tome, a blend of essays and memoir, includes that infamous essay about aging, her career and New York City. Just like the author, the approach is a little quirky and very unique. $1.99, amazon.com
10. “They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott
and Harmony Becker
This New York Times bestseller isn’t your average celebrity memoir. Best known for playing Lt. Sulu on “Star Trek” in the 1960s, this graphic memoir tells the story of George Takei’s childhood when he was imprisoned in an internment camp for those of Japanese descent in the United States during World War II. When he was four, his entire family was forced from their home into a concentration camp, where they were held for years. The book explores the courage he and his family showed as well as their hope in democracy. $9.99, amazon.com