On the shelves

Celebrities just want to write books

 

Wondering what’s new out there in book land? Here are a few offerings from celebrities, who tapped into their literary sides:

Lauren Graham

She has a day job as Sarah Braverman on the NBC drama Parenthood, but Lauren Graham decided to fill up her free time by writing a novel.

Someday, Someday, Maybe (Ballantine) follows a 20-something aspiring actress named Franny Banks who is living in NYC in the 1990s. The story isn’t autobiographical, but obviously Graham could relate to Franny’s struggle to break into show biz.

“I was more interested in [the] waiting, auditioning … and that feeling when you’re on the outside of something looking in. So many people in general and young actors specifically spend so much time there, and many people never get beyond that, I just thought that’s what I wanted to focus on.”

Graham, 46, illustrates the book with pages of a calendar showing Franny’s erratic schedule with multiple auditions one day and, for some weeks at a time, none at all. “In the ’90s, the way you kept your calendar was to write it down, and I well remember at the end of a year you could look back and see literally, physically your year. … So much of being an actor at any level is waiting. Especially when you’re starting out, the waves are even more dramatic of nothing versus something.”

Graham’s publisher has already asked her for a second; she thinks Franny’s story will continue in L.A.

Marc Maron

Working through stuff is the modus operandi for Marc Maron. Though he started out as a stand-up known for bitterness and anger, Maron — after a lot of struggle and a bout with drugs — began funneling all of his anxieties, frustrations and demons into his comedy. For him, working through “stuff” with a microphone is a way of life.

Attempting Normal (Random) is dedicated to “anyone who is successfully defying their wiring.” He once concluded a speech at the Just for Laughs comedy festival with the summation: “There are few things more important than comedy, but they aren’t funny.”

After more than two decades in comedy — and watching contemporaries like Louis C.K. and Jon Stewart ascend in the industry — Maron is finally having a well-deserved moment. The book comes around the same time long as a Netflix special and an IFC series, Maron.

Attempting Normal, with stories about fights with his girlfriend over having babies and his lone encounter with Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels (who’s something of an inscrutable villain to Maron), captures Maron’s voice authentically.

Maron writes that he got into comedy not to be an entertainer, but “to finish the construction of myself.”

George Lopez

Mick Jagger said it best: What a drag it is getting old. George Lopez agrees. In I’m Not Gonna Lie: And Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50 (Celebra), the comedian and former late night host talks about the hallmarks of his first half-century. After living through years of doing stand-up gigs on the road, a bitter divorce and kidney disease, he was ready to leave it all behind and begin a new chapter. Literally.

Lopez learns that when you hit the big 5-0, it’s a different scene. “You just say ‘fifty’ and people react like a bad smell just blew in,” he writes. The avid golfer (52), also shares stories about his relationship with a younger woman, visiting a pet psychic, his health struggles and behind-the-scenes antics at Lopez Tonight.

Up next for Lopez is an FX Network comedy, Saint George, about a recently divorced Mexican-American entrepreneur.

Meet the man in the flesh at 4 p.m. Saturday at Books & Books, Coral Gables.

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