It’s Memoir Time! Yes, every single one of these books is a memoir. I love a good memoir. Here are three memoirs that I read recently. (How many times can I can use the word memoir in a paragraph? Five, apparently.)
Note: Quick Pick books are always recommendations. (If I don’t recommend the book, it’s not a Quick Pick!)
Book: As You Wish
Author: Cary Elwes
My Thoughts: As a huge fan of The Princess Bride movie, I found this book fascinating. On top of that, I work in independent film, so in some ways, this book felt like research… really fun research. It is chock full of great behind-the-scenes stories. I actually “read” this book as an audio book, which was performed by Cary Elwes himself. Bonus! And in addition to his own memories, the book includes the memories (in their own voices) of many of the other actors, including Rob Reiner, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, etc. I especially laughed (out loud!) at the stories involving Wallace Shawn. The stories of Andre the Giant were also very interesting. And the story about missing ROUS actor for a key scene of filming! When the book came to the end, Elwes discusses the sadness of wrapping the movie. And this translates to the reader not wanting this book to end.
Book: This Time Together
Author: Carol Burnett
My Thoughts: This too was an audio book read for me. Carol Burnett does her own reading, which is amazing. She has such a distinctive voice. For this memoir, she has gathered together some delightful stories from her life in show biz. Some of the anecdotes are as funny as her comedy sketches. Some are just beautifully insightful, even poignant. Burnett is a born storyteller. One of my favourite stories is of how she met Jimmy Stewart (both times). And the Cary Grant story is also pretty fun. And I particularly enjoyed the stories about her involvement in the movie Annie (probably because that is how I first “met” Carol Burnett… on the TV screen as Miss Hannigan!)
Book: Tuesdays with Morrie
Author: Mitch Albom
My Thoughts: This is a very touching account of the last days of a dying man. Morrie had a lot of wisdom, and Albom here is at his best. He captures that wisdom and actually succeeds in making these talks an interesting read. I love the dynamic between the young man and the old, dying man.
I’m not exactly sure if this is a re-read for me or not. I know I’ve known about this book for a long time, and I think I may have read it… but did I? If so, then I know I got something new out of it this time around. It certainly brought back memories of when I cared for my own grandmother. (She died in 2011.) She had Parkinson’s, which is different than ALS, but has some similarities. (Like Morrie, she was one of the wisest people I ever knew.)
Book: Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures
Author: Robert K. Wittman
My Thoughts: The book starts with detailing the 1990 theft of some great works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including a painting by Vermeer. Wittman then tells of his rise within the ranks of the FBI, to finally establishing and running the Art Crime Division. He goes on to recount some of his greatest achievements. I enjoyed his “undercover spy” stories. Particularly memorable is his work regarding some shady dealing with the hit TV show, Antique Roadshow. The end of the book brings us back to his work on retrieving the Garner Museum artwork. But I promise not to spoil the end for you 😉