Tag Archives: best celebrity books

Can copying celebrity lifestyles make you happier?

Ever look at the celebrities in Us magazine and find yourself wishing you could have those legs, that dress, that career, that vacation, maybe even that husband?  I’ll admit to a little star envy, and I know I’m not alone.

Paparazzi photos and Vanity Fair spreads make that life look so appealing. Author Rachel Bertsche is willing to admit to coveting celebrity lifestyles, and couldn’t help but wonder if adopting their habits wouldn’t make her as happy as the toned, glowing glamor gals she was ogling seemed to be.

Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me book cover on carpoolcandy.com

In Bertsche’s new book, Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me, she chooses her favorite traits of 8 celebrities and adapts them into her own life. She tries to exercise like Jennifer Aniston, eat and cook like Gwyneth Paltrow, dress like Sarah Jessica Parker, and work like Tina Fey.

She also aims to model her marriage after Jennifer Garner, meditate like Julia Roberts, and balance professional and personal success like Beyonce.

Here’s an excerpt on how it went:

There may be some readers who find the idea of taking life advice from celebrities questionable, but Berstche — a journalist and former editor at Oprah Winfrey’s magazine — creates a voice that is self-deprecating and relatable. She knows her target female audience, and her research and writing skills make it an easy read.

Throughout the book, Bertsche asks why women (including herself) are fascinated by celebrities and often see them as role models. Each of the eight chapters focuses on one celebrity’s particular assets and expertise, in an area the author would like to tackle to lift her self-esteem.

Jennifer Aniston Glamour magazine-cover on carpoolcandy.com

Who hasn’t envied Jen’s arms and legs?

“A complete overhaul is too overwhelming. You don’t always know where to start. Comparing yourself to others isn’t necessarily the healthiest method of self-improvement but if it’s impetus to get started, is that so wrong?” Bertsche asks.

Bertsche is thoughtful about her goals in the project, honest about her successes and failures, and reflective about the results. 

Taking cues from stars’ lifestyles posed challenges. It’s easy to complain that stars have more money and access, but Bertsche gets creative by bartering babysitting and copy writing for a gym membership, and modifying recipes and clothing choices to save money.

Bertsche’s experiment also suggests that even the fabulous are flawed. When trying to follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s food rules and cooking techniques, Bertsche points out the unrealistic amount of time and money the actress’ habits require, and fails her seven-day detox cleanse after two days of drinking a smoothie that tastes like “sweet earwax.”

Gwyneth Paltrow PEOPLE cover on carpoolcandy.com

Some love to hate her but you can’t deny her beauty!

Bertsche offers some valuable tips — from how to create a signature style to how to nail Tina Fey’s work ethic (hint: boycott social media and always carry a notebook). But the chapters on simulating the spark in Jennifer Garner’s marriage to Ben Affleck, and following Julia Roberts’ way of meditating to get more Zen, seem like guesswork.

You can read the rest of the review here.

I don’t think I would ever do what Bertsche did, especially in the pursuit of personal happiness. And Wilson would never have gone for it. Her husband is a saint to put up with 8 months of those celebrity shenanigans.

But I like Bertsche being the guinea pig and reporting back about it. Her thoughts on our obsession with celebrity culture throughout the book are interesting and worth a read.

That’s if you can admit to yourself that you might have once wished you had Sarah Jessica’s closet, or Aniston’s abs.

Tell me what you think about Bertsche’s celebrity emulating in the comments.

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Rob Lowe inspires readers to take chances in Love Life

Skeptics stay with me. I recently reviewed actor Rob Lowe’s new book, Love Life, and guess what? That pretty boy can write.

I chose the book because I’d heard from fellow pop culturites that his first book, an autobiography called Stories I Only Tell My Friends was terrific.

stories i only tell my friends cover on carpoolcandy.com

The critically acclaimed bestseller traced his life from insecure theater nerd living in Ohio to young movie star and 80’s it-boy. He’s candid about his alcohol abuse and the rehab stint in 1990 that changed the course of his life, and led to his continued success in plum TV roles on many hit shows including The West Wing, Californication, and Parks and Recreation. 

I thought it made sense to read both books to compare the second one to the first. I was not disappointed. I’d even read a third!

Lowe is a gifted storyteller who uses humor and self-deprecation to draw readers in, and keeps their attention with fun tales of Hollywood behind-the-scenes.

Love Life is a collection of essays that reveal more about Lowe’s family life and personal philosophy, while still dishing details on show biz. Here’s an excerpt from my review:

Fans who fear he gave up all the good stuff in the first book will be pleasantly surprised.

“Love Life” is catnip for pop culture addicts. Lowe names some names (his torturous kissing scene with singer Jewel, and actor Tom Sizemore’s personal meltdown are two examples) but is coy about other famous “friends” — tantalizing readers with only hints of the players in some juicy stories.

Lowe talks about the craft of acting, offering tips on how to eat, use props, and ad lib on camera. He often reminds readers entertainment is a business, and success is fleeting. That’s driven home in the failure of two shows he produced and starred in, even turning down the part Patrick Dempsey made into McDreamy in “Grey’s Anatomy,” for a series that never got past a few episodes. But every experience helps him grow. “The only time you flop is when you don’t learn something,” Lowe writes.

A contender in movies, TV, and politics, Lowe meets Prince William and Kate, exchanges notes with Bill Clinton, and pals around with scores of A-list celebrities. But instead of just name-dropping, he has a way of making the reader feel like he snuck us in his shirt pocket and took us along for the ride.

As he stares at Warren Beatty’s Oscar at the legend’s home; or turns down Madonna for a dance at the Palladium; or is in the room with Arnold Schwarzenegger as he won the California gubernatorial election, he’s looking over at us whispering, “Can you believe this?!”  

 He manages to make being Rob Lowe somehow seem normal.

To read the rest of the review click here.

Love Life cover on carpoolcandy.com

If you grew up in the 80’s, if you like insider stories about how Hollywood works, if you enjoy smart, funny yarns, you’ll enjoy Love Life.

Both books have several pages of photos of Lowe through the years with his family and notable celebs. That bastard has barely aged a bit.

But don’t hold that handsome face against him.

Would you read the book? Tell me why/why not in the comments.