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.

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity birthdays on July 12

    Actor-comedian Bill Cosby is 77. Singer Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac is 71. Actress Denise Nicholas (“In the Heat of the Night”) is 70. Actress Cheryl Ladd is 63. Actress Mel Harris (“thirtysomething”) is 58. Gospel singer Sandi Patty is 58. Actress Lisa Nicole Carson (“Ally McBeal”) is 45. Rapper Magoo is 41. Actress Anna Friel (“Pushing Daisies”) is 38. Singer Tracie Spencer is 38. Actor Topher Grace (“That ’70s Show”) is 36. Actress Michelle Rodriguez (“Lost”) is 36. Actress Natalie Martinez (“Under the Dome”) is 30. Actor Erik Per Sullivan (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 23.

  • The style scene

    Lauren Conrad does cocktails in Miami

    Lauren Conrad’s new craze is fresh mint.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Amber Valletta comes clean: I’m a raging addict

    Amber Valletta isn’t playing the blame game. The model-actress (Hitch, Revenge, Transporter 2) talked candidly in a video for MindBodyGreen.com and takes full responsibility for her addiction to drugs and alcohol. In the clip, Valletta says she started young, sniffing markers while growing up in Oklahoma, then graduated to the hard stuff when she began posing for magazines. Even though she has been sober for 25 years, the self proclaimed raging addict still has moments when she wants to “distract herself” because she’s “uncomfortable being a human being.” The 40-year-old mother of one, who is married to volleyball player Chip McCaw, credits looking inward constantly to stay healthy.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category