Over the last few years, I have been reading a variety of memoirs. I have learned about some fascinating people — Dick Van Dyke, Lisa Welchel, Sir Elton John, Robin Roberts, Lauren Graham, Trevor Noah, Alan Cumming, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, and a biography about Dean Martin written by his daughter.
I am looking forward to a few more that I will be reading soon. I have two books that Robert Wagner has written and a memoir by Ricky Martin. I also want to read one about Amy Silverstein and her recent battle with cancer. I will have to buy that one.
All of these people I have enjoyed and have been entertained by. They all meant something to me and I watched them or listened to them growing up or more recently have found out about them. I liked learning about the real person behind the public persona.
Each book was unique, as is each person. Each one had a slightly different take on life and what was discussed. Some were funny, some were inspiring, and some were sad. I laughed, I cried, and through each, I have learned more about people.
People do intrigue and fascinate me. I enjoy learning what makes them tick, what they are passionate about, where they come from, what they believe, and about their childhood and own family life. I like hearing how others deal with life’s ups and downs, and joys and sorrows.
Here are a few thoughts on everyone who I have mentioned.
- Dick Van Dyke — So funny and so positive. I smiled while reading this book and have always liked him. From Mary Poppins to Diagnosis Murder, and many other projects, I have enjoyed watching him sing, dance, and act. He makes me happy. I hope that when I grow up, I can have as positive an outlook on life as his is.
- Lisa Welchel — I loved her as Blair on the Facts of Life. She was great at that part and I enjoyed the entire run of the show. Finding out about her own family and her Christianity was interesting and full of fun stories and her memories. I like that she is still acting and enjoyed a recent Hallmark movie that she starred in with Kim Fields.
- Elton John — Love his music and his generosity and all he has done for the fight against AIDS and HIV. It was a real and very ugly battle and I thank people like Sir Elton John for helping those suffering from it and their families and friends. His friendship with Ryan White was very touching. Honestly, I cried several times while reading this one.
- Robin Roberts — I have watched her on Good Morning America each morning for years and years. I remember her battle with breast cancer and then the blood disorder she had. She is so strong and a role model. She showed grace and class through these battles and taught us so much about the suffering she and others go through. I love her idea of turning your mess into a message.
- Lauren Graham — She is funny, my age, and will always be remembered as Lorelai Gilmore. Her book mentioned filming the original series as well as the recent reboot, which I still haven’t seen. Darn not having Netflix. Can someone please let me know what happened? Or how I could watch it? It was fun to read about how much this character and all of the characters on that show meant to her. And to read about the other parts of her career and personal life.
- Trevor Noah — I was intrigued by the title, “Born A Crime” and was so glad that I read this book. It is quite a look into growing up as a mixed race child and young person. He was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Can you imagine? He paints a very colorful picture of growing up in South Africa. He is now a comedian and hosts a popular show.
- Alan Cumming — His memoir called “Not My Father’s Son” was one of the most well-written books I have read in a while. It had a mystery, happiness, and sadness. All emotions were on display as he talked about his abusive childhood at the hands of his father and how it has affected his entire life. I was touched profoundly by all that he shared. I have liked him on television (The Good Wife and the voice on Masterpiece Mysteries), movies (among them Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion), and knew he was on Broadway in Cabaret.
- Julie Andrews — Amazing voice, amazing talent, and pure class. I loved her as Maria in The Sound of Music, as Mary Poppins in that movie, and in the Princess Diaries. I cannot count the times I have been singing at full voice along with her. When she could no longer sing, I was heartbroken but happy that she is still doing other items. She has written books with her daughter and is working on other projects.
- Carol Burnett — The funniest woman around and a trailblazer. I used to love watching her variety show. The funniest ever was the sketch when she was Scarlet from Gone With The Wind wearing the curtain and curtain rod. “I saw it in a window and just had to have it.” Cracks me up every time I see it or think about it. Along with the laughter, she talks about the death of her daughter Carrie Hamilton.
- Dean Martin — Amazing songs, movies, and a part of the Rat Pack. He had major issues that he dealt with such as drinking and other things but still worked hard and entertained many, many people. His daughter writes a glowing but real book about her dad. Favorite songs of his are “That’s Amore,” “Ain’t That A Kick in the Head,” and “Sway.”
- Robert Wagner — When I was younger, I thought he was the most handsome man and every girl’s dream. As Darling Jonathan on Hart to Hart, he showed what a happy marriage was, what a loving hubby could be, and how to solve mysteries. I have liked him for years, for all the things he has worked on in Hollywood, and his most recent stint as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. Kirk and I watch reruns of Hart to Hart and I enjoy them as much as I did as a child.
- Ricky Martin — Heart throb and such a great singer and dancer. I remember when he played Miguel on General Hospital. He did a great job on that show in the 1990s. Before that, he a member of Menudo. I always have to dance when I hear “Livin the Vida Loca” and many of his other songs. I look forward to finding out more about him, his partner and their kids.
- Amy Silverstein — I know the least about this women. She wrote a book about her relationship with nine friends who helped her through a battle of brain cancer. Amazingly this is the second cancer that she has had. Personally knowing someone who passed away from brain cancer will make this book extra poignant.
If you made it to the end, thank you. I probably should have made this two blogs, but did want to share my thoughts. Please share who you have read about and who you still want to.
I wonder if I will continue to be fascinated by people — both famous and not. I have a feeling I will.