This was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated.
Celebrities—sometimes they’re just like us and sometimes...they really aren’t. We compiled the best books written by your fave celebs. They’re spilling the tea, getting confessional, and opening up in a way that might make you think differently.
Read this next. Kaling, who wrote and starred in the “The Office,” published her first essay collection back in 2011. There are the funny parts (the time she was in a play about a fictional Ben Affleck) and the personal bits (growing up as the daughter of immigrants in Massachusetts, her experience on the hit NBC sitcom) Kaling mixes intimate moments with pop culture and reading it feels like a glimpse into her diary slash Twitter feed. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Give them this in return. The TV host opens up about his childhood growing up half-White, half-Black, in South Africa under apartheid. He writes about the complications and tumult that came from walking around as “a light-skinned child” with his Black mother. It’s haunting and unforgettable. And you should read it now because it’s being turned into a film, with Lupita Nyong’o set to play his mom. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Pack your knives and go get this book. Lakshmi’s 2016 memoir chronicles, yep, her loves, losses, and adventures with food. The book tells her story—everything from being a young girl traveling between India and America, to how she became a model, to her battle with endometriosis, the paternity of her daughter, and more. As soon as you start reading, you’ll be hungry for more. Bon appétit. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Seth Rogen hive, assemble. His brand-new collection of LOL-filled essays cover everything you’d want from one of Hollywood’s funniest actors. He spills the tea on making it in the comedy world, his time at Jewish summer camp, some of his wild celebrity encounters, and more. You can feel his voice come through with each and every chapter. You’ll be smiling the entire time, promise. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Get your pens ready. Written in the form of letters to the men in her life, Parker reflects on her childhood, love life, and motherhood in this breathtaking epistolary memoir of sorts. The format lets her voice shine through and is one of the most digestible books on our shelves. (Amazon, Bookshop)
For the person who spends too much time scrolling through Insta…
Flip through these pics instead. Eilish juuuust dropped her photo book where she’s sharing pics and commentary from her life onstage and off. She pubbed never-before-seen snaps and gives her fans a real look at life on the road, her childhood, and some of her biggest career highs. It also makes for a great gift for any Gen Z friends in your life. Double tap. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Time (and this book) will heal all. The “Riverdale” star’s debut poetry collection feels like a mashup of Insta-famous poets, Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav, plus a raw voice that’s all her own. The short collection might make you a bit emotional (grab your tissues), as she covers everything from heartbreak to mental health, and more. We’re not crying, you’re crying. (Amazon, Bookshop)
MC’s got you covered. The Queen of Xmas chronicles her turbulent childhood, toxic marriage, relationship with Derek Jeter, and yes, of course, her ups and downs in the music industry. For anyone who wants the scoop on what happened with that New Year’s Eve performance or what she’s like as a mom, this one’s for you. (Amazon, Bookshop)
This book gives you the real truth. Moore’s 2019 memoir is divided into three parts: survival, success, and surrender—and chronicles her rocky childhood, fame, battle with addiction and body image, and life in the public eye. As soon as you start reading, you’ll want Moore. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Yes, that Steve Madden. In his new book, the shoe designer shares his past. Think: how he majorly messed up, landed himself in jail, and persevered through it all. If you want an honest, no-holds-barred memoir, this one’s for you.*
Gabrielle Union has you covered. Her 2017 collection of essays tackle her experiencing growing up in a predominantly white town, her struggles with infertility, supporting an ex that doesn’t deserve her, and so much more. Is there anything she can’t do? Our answer: no. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Open this book. In her first memoir, Simpson gets real about her “Newlyweds” days (yes, the chicken v tuna debate too), her relationship with her body and fame, and how she launched her billion-dollar business (yes, that’s billion with a b). PS: if you’re an audiobook fan, we highly rec listening to this one. She narrates it herself, and it makes the stories feel all the more intimate. (Amazon, Bookshop)
You guys. The "Dawson's Creek" alum and our favorite Instagram follow gets into everything from what it's like working as an actress, to her friendship with Michelle Williams, to dealing with postpartum anxiety, and more. Spoiler: she's not afraid to call people out along the way. Get busy. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Get to know one of the women behind it. Mock, one of the most prominent trans activists in the country, documents her life growing up as a multiracial, transgender, underprivileged young girl in America. She writes honestly about the abuse she suffered, her experience with sex work, and genital reconstruction surgery. It’s raw, real, and inspiring. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Try reading for laughs instead. Wong’s first book—a collection of essays written to her daughters—covers everything from motherhood to making it in the comedy world. Warning: you'll laugh in public while reading. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Enter Jane Fonda’s 2005 book. It’s everything you want from a celebrity memoir: Hollywood confessions, insight into her childhood, and some BTS moments that’ll have you glued to the page. She also gets candid about her entry into political activism and feminism, her longtime struggle with bulimia and body image, and more. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Liz Phair is the perfect place to start. “Horror Stories” is told through 17 essays that shine a bright light on some of her life’s biggest pain points. Think: her 32-hour labor, her extramarital affair, and her experiences with the #MeToo movement. It’s no shock the world fell in love with her songwriting, because the prose is as powerful as the stories themselves. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Get Chelsea in the mix. She’s back dropping some more of her truths. This one’s all about her year of reflection as she goes through therapy, grapples with politics, and takes a stab at domestic life. Are you there, vodka? It’s another Chelsea gem. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Just Kids is just brilliant. The legendary musician published her National Book Award Winning-memoir in 2010, recapping her time in NYC during the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s a window into the old days of the city when rock, sex, art, and politics were colliding. It jumps from Smith’s innocent start in NYC to her not-so-innocent nights at the Hotel Chelsea and beyond. For any fan of music, counter culture, and old NY this one’s a must-read. (Amazon, Bookshop)
FLOTUS to the rescue. Michelle Obama’s memoir charts her life from her childhood in the South Side of Chicago, to going to Princeton, meeting Barack, and becoming the first African-American First Lady of the US. Divided into three parts–Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More–the book is a mesmerizing story of pressure and power. She made history. And this book is here to take you along for the journey. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Try reading this. The "Shrill" author is here with some cultural criticism. It is all about what it’s like to live in the US as a woman, covering everything from the #MeToo movement and cancel culture, to Goop and HGTV. The essays are just as bingeable as her show. Best read with a glass of wine (or two). (Amazon, Bookshop)
Elton John will do the trick. The “Tiny Dancer” singer’s first and only autobiography, “Me” dropped last year. The legendary singer covers his career and famous friendships with Freddie Mercury and John Lennon He also touches on his struggle with addiction and his collaboration with his longtime song-writing partner. PS: this one’s also great on audio. John narrates his stories along with Taron Egerton, the actor who played him in the movie “Rocketman.” Rock on. (Amazon, Bookshop)
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Skimm'd by: Lindsay Schneider and Avery Carpenter Forrey
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