12.08.2015

Book Review

Last Tuesday I had jury duty and decided to grab Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends off the bookshelf to help me pass the day. BFF loaned it to me ages ago but I have really dragged ass in the reading department. I take a lot of pleasure in autobiographies and nonfiction because I feel like at the end of those books I can walk away thinking "This really happened." You read about successes, failures, good and bad and all the way in between and you can generally take some kind of moral or lesson away from it. Sometimes it's easier to learn from others rather than have to experience it yourself.
Rob Lowe is an actor I have really liked for basically my whole life because of his fame in The Brat Pack when I was an impressionable youth. As an adult, he has given me great joy in both Parks & Recreation and his most recent show, The Grinder. If you're not watching either of those, you are really missing out. We first found out Rob Lowe was a comedic genius in Wayne's World, then Tommy Boy, and he still has the awesome combo of being incredibly good looking and insanely funny. Lucky guy.
His story begins by describing his modest childhood in the Midwest and how his dysfunctional family brought him out to Malibu so he could pursue his one true love of acting. Can you believe he thought he was an awkward dork? Wha!? You can't help but admire his tenacity in auditioning and the processes he went through. In addition to his hard work, he also had so many serendipitous encounters with so many of the "big names" in entertainment  over decades in the business that kind of blow your mind. His writing style is pretty conversational but is sprinkled with almost poetic language. He really has a way with words and can spin a yarn with the best of them.
For days after reading this book, I would tell Husband bits and pieces of his stories and we'd laugh together. At breakfast this weekend, we were talking about our family and how much we love our kids and I once again deferred to the writings of Rob Lowe. His childhood was less than stable with his father and stepfathers coming and going so when he had children of his own he felt complete. One day, while talking to former President Bill Clinton, he expressed concern that his days of cuddling his young son were numbered. Clinton showed Lowe a photo of himself cuddling a grown Chelsea and told him if he did it right, it didn't need to end. Reading Lowe talking about his own grown children cuddling them and "doing it right" brought a tear to my eye simply in the retelling of the tale days later. I highly recommend this read not only for an insight into the inner workings of entertainment, but for the laughs, history, and tons of emotion. You won't regret it.

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