In 2015 Oprah announced that she and Flatiron Books had started a new imprint that would focus on publishing nonfiction stories called “An Oprah Book,” and nearly four years later, back in March, we got the name of their first imprint title: More Myself by none other than Alicia Keys!
If you recall, the announcement itself was something special. It came out in a YouTube video where Alicia Keys unveiled the cover of her new book, describing it as “part autobiography, part narrative documentary.”
Check out the video below!
Back then, Oprah Magazine noted that “[w]ith this announcement, 2019 seems to be yet another breakout year for Keys” and ABC News quoted Flatiron as saying “the memoir [is] a ‘360-degree perspective’ on [Alicia’s] life, from her childhood in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan to her spectacular, Grammy-winning rise.”
It’s an awesome story, especially considering that Alicia Keys has made great strides in the past few years.
IMAGE VIA USA TODAY
In 2007, her third album, As I Am, had a Hot 100’s number one single “No One” and sold 5 million copies worldwide, according to MTV. Later that year, the album earned three Grammy Awards. That same year she portrayed Georgia Sykes in the hit film Smokin’ Aces, a film which also starred Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Ryan Reynolds, and Chris Pine.
And now this Oprah-approved Alicia Keys’ memoir has hit a bookshelf near you just yesterday!
IMAGE VIA AMAZON
Amazon describes it as “[a]n intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression.”
When Camre Curto started to lose her memory, her husband wanted a way for her to remember their ten-year relationship together. Now, Steve Curto, 38, has written and self-published But I Know I Love You, a book about everything from their first date to the birth of their son. But Camre, 31, has no memory of any of the book’s events.
image via amazon
Camre suffered a seizure and stroke on the day she gave birth to the couple’s son, Gavin. Though her pregnancy was fairly normal, she began to experience frequent vomiting in the third trimester. 33 weeks into the pregnancy, she had to be rushed to the hospital, where she went into a grand mal seizure.
The doctors conducted a c-section to save the couple’s baby, but after the seizure, Camre also suffered a stroke that wiped out her short and long-term memory.
“She couldn’t recall memories prior to her brain injury and she can’t remember short-term memories now,” said Jessica Smith, Camre’s occupational therapist. “What happened to her is extremely rare.”
“When I met Camre, she made me want to be a better person and that’s what I loved about her,” Steve Curto said. “Then this happened and I just wasn’t going to give up hope that we could regain what we had. This girl, she has no idea who I am but she loves me and we’re going to make this work.”
image via mycitymag
Camre spent more than a month in the hospital after the birth, beginning to recover from the trauma of her stroke. Steve wrote But I Know I Love You in part to help Camre regain her memory during recovery. The title comes from something Camre said when she first came home and she and Steve were sitting on the couch.
“We were sitting on the couch and she told me, ‘I don’t who you are but I know I love you,'” said Steve. “That has always stuck with me. That has been the driving force behind everything.”
We have reached that point in the season where your decision to go out is dependent on whether or not you want to throw on your jacket, search for a semi-warm place to loiter with your peeps, and take thirty to fifty minutes to figure out what to eat.
If that was as unappealing for you to read as it was for me to type, then let us boycott the outside world, and dive into the tales that the writers of today have worked so diligently to craft.
Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!
Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.
Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
Whether we love the idea of love, or love to love, or love a good love story, even the crankiest of us root for love to prevail. The feels are strong with New York Times bestselling authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. Their latest release, Twice in a Blue Moon, captures all the emotions of dealing with the unpredictable adventure and rollercoaster—there are undoubtedly many downs here and there—that is your first love. Shondaland reviews, “This emotional, sweet, and surprising novel about first loves and second chances will leave a tender spot in your heart.”
In the sweltering summer of 1915, Pin, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller, dresses as a boy and joins a teenage gang that roams the famous Riverview amusement park, looking for trouble.
Unbeknownst to the well-heeled city-dwellers and visitors who come to enjoy the midway, the park is also host to a ruthless killer who uses the shadows of the dark carnival attractions to conduct his crimes. When Pin sees a man enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and emerge alone, she knows that something horrific has occurred.
The crime will lead her to the iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man. Together, the two navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer few even know to look for.
Time to move over, True Grit. A new unlikely buddy-cop duo has arrived. Elizabeth Hand’s Curious Toys is a transportative, historical thriller, providing a protagonist with a knack for action and initiative, against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century Chicago. In an age without Google Maps or the internet, Pin will use nothing but her wits and her brilliance to root out the city’s elusive murderer. Take this thriller to your next coffee stop—just in case the caffeine doesn’t do enough to get you pumped.
In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.
In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage.
With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.
Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.
If anyone deserves a sequel to their memoir, it’s Julie Andrews (there’s a reason why The Sound of Music is always getting re-released in theaters). Andrews recounts the larger-than-life journey that is her Hollywood fame and success, while also opening up about her personal turmoils across the years. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the legendary icon behind the legendary voice, Home Work will make an ultimate fan out of you.
Fun fact—Julie Andrews voiced the giant ancient sea monster in Aquaman. Let that “sink” in.
This isn’t Andrews’ first venture into the world of writing. Previously, the actress published Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, a work that explores her difficult upbringing and earliest experiences with performing.
Home Work picks up where Home left off, in the 60’s, when Andrews was cast by Walt Disney as the “world’s most famous nanny.”
And who better to tell her story of success than Andrews herself? Among her other talents, Andrews is often recognized by her voice. Her soothing lilt, and posh accent, is a sound that many have come to associate with childhood comfort. Children who grew up on Mary Poppins, as well as children who grew up on The Princess Diaries, all think of Andrews with the same kind of childlike love. Her career has endured for so long, she’s earned her status as Hollywood’s doting mother.
Image via The Irish Times
Home Work provides a behind-the-scenes look at the career that thrusted Andrews into icon status. The actress shares anecdotes from the sets of her most iconic works, details you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Entertainment Weekly shared one snippet about how, on a rainy day, Andrews was forced to ride in the back of an ox-drawn cart full of camera equipment to get up the muddy Alps.
In her classic, Julie Andrews charm, the actress writes:
“I happened to be wearing a fur coat. It was the 1960s after all, and the humor in the contrast between my attire and the mode of transport wasn’t lost on any of us.”
Andrews’ memoir will hit shelves on October 15th, and the audiobook will be available the same day!
If you’ve spent a lot of time binging on Netflix, you might recognize Ali Wong and her boisterous brand of comedy. She received mainstream acclaim with a pair of comedy specials she recorded in a mini-dress while pregnant: Baby Cobra (2016) and Hard Knock Wife (2018). She also wrote and starred in a wildly popular Netflix original movie, Always Be My Maybe, last year. Wong’s never been reluctant to share the details of her life onstage (or overshare, depending on how you look at it) and in her first book – Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life – Wong’s bringing her swaggering comedic style to the page.
Image via Amazon
Dear Girls is another irreverent and downright filthy piece of comedic writing from Wong. It features gross-out vignettes from her time studying abroad in Vietnam, in which she recounts having to bust out of her comfort zone when presented with a delicacy of fertilized duck embryos.
Wong also recounts her struggle to mainstream success and bombing in front of Eddie Murphy:
I knew Eddie Murphy specifically wasn’t laughing,” Wong writes, “because everyone knows when Eddie Murphy is or isn’t laughing. You could recognize his signature ‘HANH-HANH-HANH’ goose honk anywhere. And that night, there were no geese.
Dear Girlsis meant to be somewhat crude and flippant, mainly because that’s just what Wong finds funny. But in between stories about gross Vietnamese breakfasts and teaching readers how to hold a fart in during yoga, Wong also reflects on her position in the public eye. As an Asia American comedian who’s also mom, there are a lot of eyes on her for a lot of reasons.
Image via The Ringer
Convincing an audience that a person who looks like me could be funny and proving to them that I belonged onstage, was a steep uphill battle.
Fans of Wong will welcome this new and, of course, hilarious look into her life. As a comedian who’s never shied away from oversharing, Dear Girls is as boisterous and brash as its author.