For me, there’s no better beach read than a juicy celebrity biography…and lord knows I’ve read my fair share. My brain seems to be packed with useless information about Russell Brand’s childhood, Carol Burnett’s seriously amazing friendship squad, and amazing life advice from Nick Offerman. I don’t know what it is, but taking a look behind the curtain and seeing what these stars are like IRL just gives me a sense of comfort…especially since I will only read bios on the people I actually like!
Over the years I’ve read bios by and about everyone from Sammy Davis, Jr. to Bryan Cranston…and I’ve collected 25 of my favorites right here. Need a new beach read this summer? This is the perfect place to start!
25 of the Best Celeb-ographies I’ve Read So Far
In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.
An intimate look at a man who defined entertainment, this biography is one of the first I remember reading and thoroughly enjoying. Sammy Davis, Jr. was a man who lived and breathed music and dance, and In Black and White is an amazing testament to the legacy he’s left behind.
Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography
It should come as no surprise that Charles Schulz, the man behind Charlie Brown and friends, was a bit of a loner. A raw and emotional story about the man who gave the world one of the best comic strips ever written, Schulz and Peanuts is also peppered with cartoons and illustrations to help his story come to life.
The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee
Any fan of Sarah Silverman will love this book. Told in her voice with her raw sense of humor, The Bedwetter is an inspirational story about following your dreams, standing up for yourself, and conquering your fears.
Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
Portia De Rossi
In Unbearable Lightness, Portia De Rossi opens up about her struggles with anorexia and body image issues, as well as her journey to acceptance and love. This one is emotional, guys…but very uplifting.
Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant
A short and sweet book packed with personal stories and family photos, Good Stuff gives readers a look at a man the world rarely got to see. Though Cary Grant was one of the most famous actors of his generation, he was actually quite reserved…and this story of his life at home will have you loving him all the more.
My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up
I gotta say, I loved this more than I thought I would. Packed with hilarious stories of growing up in the U.K., My Booky Wook is everything you expect it to be and nothing more. A quick read that’s perfect for summer, My Booky Wook might help explain, just a little, the insanity that is Russell Brand.
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
A mesmerizing look into the world of the culinary arts, Kitchen Confidential will open your eyes to the seedy, dirty, and terrifying world of restaurant chefs. Where they eat, how they eat, and what really happens when you send your food back…it’s all here in black and white…and will forever change the way you order food next time you dine out.
Love, love, love this book. Ellen is everything you want her to be and this book is like having her right there in your living room with you. An inspirational story about a woman who helped fuel the LGBT movement, Seriously…I’m Kidding will have you laughing, crying, and dancing for joy.
Choose Your Own Autobiography
Neil Patrick Harris
Written in a fun choose your own adventure format, NPH’s autobiography is a fun and comic take on NPH’s rise to fame. Filled with hilarious stories, cute drawings, and plenty of twists and turns, Choose Your Own Autobiography is everything you want in a beach read.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
I think Mindy and I are destined to be BFF’s. A book for girls who love eating, laughing, drinking, and then eating again, reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? also requires a glass of wine, a platter of cheese fries, and a Netflix subscription…because you’re gonna want to start watching The Office all over again.
The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy
And if Mindy’s book doesn’t convince you to revisit Dunder Mifflin, The Bassoon King surely will. With a forward by Dwight Schrute himself, The Bassoon King will make you fall in love with Rainn Wilson all the more.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
OK so this isn’t a BIOGRAPHY so to speak, but I couldn’t leave it off this list! A MUST for anyone who loves the movie, As You Wish takes readers behind the scenes, giving them a glimpse into the making of the most romantic story of all time. There are also personal stories from Fred Savage, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal and many more about filming, production, and casting.
It’s a Long Story: My Life
I didn’t know much about Willie before reading this book, but I just found it so enjoyable and warm. I actually listened to this book on tape, so there were moments when I heard Willie playing in the background, which I think made me like this book even more. A very personal look into a life that was torn, rebuilt, and torn again, It’s a Long Story makes it easy to understand just how much Willie Nelson has influenced the music industry.
Is You Okay?
Glozell, a self-proclaimed internet-tainer, has taken YouTube by storm with her various “challenge” videos. She rose to amazing success after posting her “Cinnamon Challenge” video and has created many more since then. She comes across as a bit of a loon online, but in reality, she’s quite the go-getter…and this book was surprisingly inspirational and motivating, especially for young girls just starting on their career paths.
Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars
Hahahahahaha, I can’t think of this book without laughing. So insanely ridiculous in nature, Full Service is a story about the sex lives of the Hollywood stars we know and love. While some of these stories seem absolutely insane, others could be quite plausible…and as Bowers says himself, there’s really no way to know, as most of the celebrities in this book are now dead. Even if it’s all fake, Full Service certainly is the ultimate beach read and is attune to reading a long, juicy, trashy magazine.
A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages
You might know her from Wicked, Pushing Daisies, Glee, or just from her work on Broadway…but this little pint-sized star packs a serious punch…and the stories of her rise to fame are so inspiring that you may find yourself singing “Defying Gravity” as you read it.
Jimmy Stewart: A Biography
The thing I love most about Jimmy Stewart is that he is everything you want him to be. Kind, good-hearted, genuine, classy…he was all of those things and more. A sweet book to give to dad or grandpa for Father’s Day, Stewart’s biography truly showcases a wonderful life.
If you were to take The Magic Schoolbus into the mind of Amy Poehler, it would look like the pages of Yes Please. A book you could easily read in a few hours, Yes Please is like a scrapbook of Poehler’s life, told with her wit and sarcasm, and the genuine care and attention to detail of her foil, Leslie Knope.
Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living
If Nick Offerman had his choice, this book would probably be hand-written and bound with leather and glue. A story about growing up in rural Illinois and making a future literally by hand, Paddle Your Own Canoe is a life-lesson in creativity, romance, and manliness. It’s most likely Ron Swanson’s favorite book, TBH.
A Life in Parts
Any lover of Bryan Cranston’s work will enjoy this book. Told in several small vignettes of characters Cranston has played in his lifetime (both personally and professionally), this book really is a life in parts.
How to Make Love Like a Porn Star
This was another book that was a total surprise. Juicy gossip, sexy pictures, and lots (LOTS) of tips and tricks of the trade fill this beast of an autobiography. Word to the wise…many libraries have stopped carrying this book for…reasons…so if you’re interested, invest in your own copy.
This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection
If you loved her then, you’ll love her now. A sweet celebration of love and friendship, This Time Together is humorous, genuine, and – like Carol – a true treat.
My Father’s Daughter: A Memoir
Almost everyone in the world knows who Frank Sinatra was…but not many knew him the way his kids knew him. A very emotional, raw, and empowering book about a father and a daughter, My Father’s Daughter holds no bars…opening the door to her father’s friendships, love affairs, and struggles…all told from the perspective of one of the girls who truly loved him the most.
Let’s be honest, you’ve read this, right? Everyone has to have read this by now…so there’s really no use explaining how amazing this is.
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years
This woman is practically perfect in every way. An amazing singer, actor, and writer, Home is a look into the very early years of Andrews’ career…starting from childhood and ending with her boarding the plane to star in this little Disney movie called Mary Poppins.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.