Shelf Life: Rachael Mason
You have to admit that the lives of rock stars and other celebrities seem pretty interesting. But as I see it, writing about them is probably even more exciting. So of course, I wanted to read "But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous" by Jancee Dunn (HarperCollins, $24.95).
As a writer for Rolling Stone, Dunn has talked to lots of famous people, from Madonna to the cast of "Friends." In her memoir, she combines stories from her own life with scenes from her celebrity interviews.
Though the book came out last year, I didn't pick up a copy of it until recently. I was pretty excited when I found the book at a Goodwill store for the low, low price of $1.99. I love bargains about as much as I love good stories.
I definitely got my money's worth from "But Enough About Me." Dunn is a funny and honest writer who isn't afraid to admit that she was somewhat awkward as a child, and maybe even as an adult. In fact, the only disappointing thing about the book was that it wasn't long enough. At the end, it feels like Dunn's story is just getting started.
I really liked Dunn's celebrity stories, especially when she talked about making fudge with Loretta Lynn and checking out Dolly Parton's apartment. She also gives excellent advice for interviewing the rich and famous. Dunn probably wasn't counting on people actually using her tips, but I might try them out the next time I sit down with a movie star.
In general, I am as equally entertained by fictional celebrities as I am by real ones. I picked up "Gone for Good" by Mark Childress (Knopf, $25) at a used book sale a few weeks ago. This 1998 book, which I think was $1, was also well worth what I paid for it.
In "Gone for Good," a rock superstar named Superman ends up on a remote island after a plane crash. It takes him a while to recover from his injuries, but when he gets better, he discovers the island is home to lots of deceased famous people who aren't really dead. After meeting Amelia Earhart, Marilyn Monroe and Jimmy Hoffa, Superman decides to stay on the island.
Though the story seemed a little off balance at times, I liked the concept of "Gone for Good." It helped that I was reading it just before the season finale of "Lost." Now, I think the island on the show may be a hideout for Hollywood stars. I'm sure that will be revealed next season. And while I wait for the new episodes of the show, I'll be reading - a little about celebrities and a lot about regular people.
If you'd like to recommend a book or writer, e-mail Rachael Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org.