REVIEW: Neil Patrick Harris Choose your own Autobiography

While attending BEA this year, I went to the breakfast featuring Neil Patrick Harris talking about his forthcoming autobiography, which is in a “choose your own adventure” format. I just love NPH and I couldn’t wait until this book came out. Lucky for me, it surfaced on Blogging for Books and I was able to snag a review copy.

If you know/remember the “Choose your own Adventure” books from the 90’s, you will remember that they are written in the second person. After a short vignette, you can then decide which way to go. NPH has set his book up in this format. You experience his family life, his early experiences in theater, his love of magic, his journey to discover his sexuality, his Broadway experiences, and more. Along the way, you choose what pages to go to next “If you’d like to hear more about your Broadway adventures, turn to page 96. If you want to learn a magic trick, turn to page 105.” etc.

I absolutely loved this book. I laughed so hard in places, that I was nearly crying. NPH has this rather cynical humor that is at times really ridiculous. I think my favorite part was when he has the altercation with Scott Caan outside of an LA nightclub. I also loved the parts when he talked about his twins. And it comes with pictures!

That said, there is definitely a strong sexual component in this book, so it’s not one I’ll be passing on to my fifth grader. Also, I had a print copy of this book, which I really recommend as I’m not sure how you would navigate it in e-book format, or through audio channels.

If you love NPH then you shouldn’t miss getting to know him even better through his new book. Thank you, Blogging for Books, for my copy!

Enjoy the book trailer:

Giveaway!! (Oct. 1-4) A TASTE FOR INTENSITY by Dominique Perregaux

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I’m excited today to be hosting another giveaway!!

Jennifer at Smith Publicity has offered a copy of A TASTE FOR INTENSITY to one lucky reader of my blog! Here’s some info on the book (thanks, Jennifer!):

A Taste for Intensity
by Dominique Perregaux
 
DISCOVERING RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
–International art dealer explores life, love, and the depth of our inner strength in provocative new novel based on real events
 
         Life, it’s been said, is somewhat like a blank canvas waiting to be painted with the brushstrokes of experience, emotion, heartbreak, and love. In the end, each life is a piece of art that tells a unique story, and each has the potential to be a masterpiece. How we fill our blank canvas is entirely up to us and the choices we make.
         Sometimes it takes something extraordinary to get us painting.
         Such was the case with stockbroker turned international art dealer and gallery owner, Dominique Perregaux. After years of international study and travel, as well as a life-changing career switch, it took looking extreme adversity straight in the eye for Perregaux to discover one of the keys to life: resilience. In his captivating new novel based on real-life events, A Taste for Intensity, he explores this theme as he pulls us into one man’s transformational journey.
            When Swiss art dealer, Hector, meets American Midwestern Elizabeth Bennett in Hong Kong, he senses there is a unique emotional bond between them. The beginning of their relationship is intense and “Romanesque.” Yet, unbeknown to each other, behind the infatuation and anticipations, they are both holding secrets. The weight of these secrets and their high expectations are the grounds for a formidable adventure to the depth of the human soul. 
Readers follow Hector on a reminiscent and nostalgic trip through Europe. During this journey he opens up about his adolescence, about his passion for art, about his early professional achievements as a successful stockbroker and about opening the first international contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong. We then glimpse at Hector back in Hong Kong, three years after settling down in the city, as he shares the excitement and doubts he feels about building a relationship with Elizabeth while, at the same time, fighting the battle of his life. When havoc eventually strikes, Hector uncompromisingly immerses us into his inner-self and shares his battle for life and love.
         “Telling this story,” says Perregaux, “was my ‘real life’ solution for resilience and the best way to overcome an incredibly difficult and transformational time in my life. It is brutally honest and beautifully emotional, but at it’s core, it’s a story of optimism.” 
         In his riveting work of autobiographical fiction, Perregaux explores such themes as:
·  Resilience: when, why, and how it is discovered and its life-altering power
·  How optimism can help us through life’s toughest challenges
·  The difficulty and beauty of building a genuine and lasting relationship (and exploring the emotional differences between men and women)
·  What it means to be “Romanesque” and how one can provoke exciting experiences in their life
·  The insights and revelations that surviving near-death situations can bring
         In a universal story of loss, love, and life, Perregaux takes us on a global
adventure, uncovering deep secrets and exploring the intricacies of the human soul.    
 
Dominique Perregaux began his career as a stockbroker and was consistently ranked “best stockbroker” in the Asian Markets in Switzerland. After leaving finance, Perregaux relocated to Hong Kong and opened the first contemporary art gallery there, representing well-known international artists. Six years later, he opened another gallery branch in Tokyo.
 
Perregaux was inspired to write his first novel (which is largely based on events from his own life), A Taste for Intensity, after overcoming a difficult situation and having his eyes opened to some of the most important aspects of life. Studied and lived abroad for over ten years, Perregaux is currently based in Hong Kong.
 
 

Sounds interesting, yes?? While I haven’t read it, I am intrigued by the idea of autobiographical fiction.

Here are the rules:

1) You MUST be a follower of my blog to enter. You can follow my blog itself, or follow me on Twitter (@BethsBookBlog), or be one of my personal friends/family members who connect through Facebook.

2) Leave a comment and say “hey!” and tell me how you follow me (honor system here, folks!).

3) ONE entry per person.

4) Open to US and INT’L!!

5) I will use random.org to generate the winning entry number. I will post who the winner is by Sunday, October 6. You can contact me with your mailing info, which I will send in to the publicist for your copy.

Review: “Love, Lucy” by Lucille Ball

So — last week Lucille Ball would have turned 100. I love Lucy. Seriously. Some of my early memories involve watching “I Love Lucy” in black and white on the television in my parents’ room while my dad watched the news on the color tv (the news used to scare me as a kid). I loved the crazy antics of Lucy and Ethel. I loved how they got into the most ridiculous scrapes. And I loved that I could always count on a happy ending.

After watching as much of the “I Love Lucy” marathon on tv last weekend that my family could stand, I remembered that I had a book somewhere about Lucille Ball: a hardcover, library book sale $1.00 find. I found it and started to read it. And what a find! “Love, Lucy” is an autobiography of Lucille Ball that was done many years before her death (mostly taped remembrances set down on paper by a writer), that had been tucked away in a drawer and found by her daughter, Lucie Arnaz, after Lucille Ball’s death. What I loved about this book is that it was truly in Lucy’s voice. As I read it, I felt like I was listening to her talking. I just loved it.

“Love, Lucy” traces Lucille Ball’s life from her earliest days to her marriage with Gary Morton. It has great pictures in it, too! I never knew the hardship that Lucille Ball came from. I never realized how much “luck” played in to her career. I didn’t even realize that Desi Arnaz was several years younger than her. Lucille’s telling of her story, never apologizing, never seeking sympathy, was just so intimate and honest, I felt that I was sitting down and learning new things about an old friend.

I haven’t read other biographies on Lucille Ball, but I would have to assume that having someone else analyze your life is different from when you analyze it yourself. Lucie Arnaz does write that Lucille Ball was careful to not write things that would “hurt” Desi.

I think Lucy fans would enjoy my book sale find!