100% Mariah, unburdened by filler material and written with pure heart and soul for both die-hard and casual fans.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Rolling Stone & Kirkus' Best Music Books of 2020

THE MEANING OF MARIAH CAREY

The mega-selling singer chronicles her life via the “moments that matter.”

Carey begins with her early childhood on Long Island in the 1970s, when she used music as a form of escapism and distraction. The fearful youngest daughter of a Black father and an Irish Catholic, opera singer mother, Carey and her two siblings braved physical violence, racial prejudice, and emotional trauma within a turbulent household “weighed down with yelling and chaos.” In the late 1980s, her music career began to blossom, especially after she met and fell in love with Tommy Mottola, who was the head of Columbia Records at the time. Carey openly shares the lurid details of her controlling and emotionally abusive marriage to Mottola in the 1990s. Through her notes on the multifaceted recording process, readers will see the author’s undeniable passion and work ethic as well as her burgeoning self-confidence. Some of the most entertaining moments are encapsulated in dishy free-form anecdotes sandwiched between tales of music career honors, personal triumphs and hardships, and health problems. Carey is at her best when her outspoken personality shines through, as when describing numerous “diva” moments or her harsh regrets about the “collision of bad luck, bad timing, and sabotage” that characterized the making of her disastrous film Glitter. The author also offers appreciative commentary on Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, and Aretha Franklin (“my high bar and North Star, a masterful musician and mind-bogglingly gifted singer who wouldn’t let one genre confine or define her”). Carey frankly reveals the many conflicting emotions she has experienced as a mixed-race woman both energized by and dismayed at the music industry’s cutthroat, often prejudicial landscape. “Lambs,” as her fans call themselves, will find plenty of juicy gems, including the revelation that she recorded a never-released “breezy-grunge, punk-light” album. These intimate ruminations are impressively detailed without being overly concerned with industry gossip or petty squabbles, creating a refreshingly candid celebrity self-portrait. One of Kirkus and Rolling Stone’s Best Music Books of 2020.

100% Mariah, unburdened by filler material and written with pure heart and soul for both die-hard and casual fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-16468-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Andy Cohen Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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A refreshing celebrity memoir focused not strictly on the self but on a much larger horizon.

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WILL

One of Hollywood’s biggest stars delivers a memoir of success won through endless, relentless work and self-reckoning.

“My imagination is my gift, and when it merges with my work ethic, I can make money rain from the heavens.” So writes Smith, whose imagination is indeed a thing of wonder—a means of coping with fear, an abusive father with the heart of a drill instructor, and all manner of inner yearnings. The author’s imagination took him from a job bagging ice in Philadelphia to initial success as a partner in the Grammy-winning rap act DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Smith was propelled into stardom thanks to the ministrations of Quincy Jones, who arranged an audition in the middle of his own birthday party, bellowing “No paralysis through analysis!” when Smith begged for time to prepare. The mantra—which Jones intoned 50-odd times during the two hours it took for the Hollywood suits to draw up a contract for the hit comedy series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—is telling, for hidden within this memoir lies a powerful self-help book. For Smith, all of life is a challenge in which one’s feelings are largely immaterial. “I watched my father’s negative emotions seize control of his ample intellect and cause him over and over again to destroy beautiful parts of our family,” he writes, good reason for him to sublimate negativity in the drive to get what he wanted—money, at first, and lots of it, which got him in trouble with the IRS in the early 1990s. Smith, having developed a self-image that cast him as a coward, opines that one’s best life is lived by facing up to the things that hold us back. “I’ve been making a conscious effort to attack all the things that I’m scared of,” he writes, adding, “And this is scary.” It’s a good lesson for any aspiring creative to ponder—though it helps to have Smith’s abundant talent, too.

A refreshing celebrity memoir focused not strictly on the self but on a much larger horizon.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984877-92-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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A sharp, entertaining view of the news media from one of its star players.

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GOING THERE

The veteran newscaster reflects on her triumphs and hardships, both professional and private.

In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Couric (b. 1957) transforms the events of her long, illustrious career into an immensely readable story—a legacy-preserving exercise, for sure, yet judiciously polished and insightful, several notches above the fray of typical celebrity memoirs. The narrative unfolds through a series of lean chapters as she recounts the many career ascendency steps that led to her massively successful run on the Today Show and comparably disappointing stints as CBS Evening News anchor, talk show host, and Yahoo’s Global News Anchor. On the personal front, the author is candid in her recollections about her midlife adventures in the dating scene and deeply sorrowful and affecting regarding the experience of losing her husband to colon cancer as well as the deaths of other beloved family members, including her sister and parents. Throughout, Couric maintains a sharp yet cool-headed perspective on the broadcast news industry and its many outsized personalities and even how her celebrated role has diminished in recent years. “It’s AN ADJUSTMENT when the white-hot spotlight moves on,” she writes. “The ego gratification of being the It girl is intoxicating (toxic being the root of the word). When that starts to fade, it takes some getting used to—at least it did for me.” Readers who can recall when network news coverage and morning shows were not only relevant, but powerfully influential forces will be particularly drawn to Couric’s insights as she tracks how the media has evolved over recent decades and reflects on the negative effects of the increasing shift away from reliable sources of informed news coverage. The author also discusses recent important cultural and social revolutions, casting light on issues of race and sexual orientation, sexism, and the predatory behavior that led to the #MeToo movement. In that vein, she expresses her disillusionment with former co-host and friend Matt Lauer.

A sharp, entertaining view of the news media from one of its star players.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-53586-1

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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