Beach Blanket Bios

Courtesy Henry Holt & Co.

Summer reading from the celebrity set.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends
by Rob Lowe (Henry Holt)

This book raises the age-old question: How much should a celeb confess in a memoir? Some say Lowe avoided the messy (no sex tape) for a saccharine take. We're with those who call it wry and engaging. He's a great storyteller, smarter and more insightful than his pretty-boy caricature. It's proof that TMI isn't the only way to build a good memoir. A winner.  

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business
by Dick Van Dyke (Crown)

Lucky is how the sunny Van Dyke describes most of his showbiz breaks: "The right place at the right time, just going with the flow," he writes. He deals with the hits (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins) and the misses (a CBS morning show in the '50s, his recent stuff). Along the way, he also writes about his failed first marriage and his alcoholism.

If You Ask Me
by Betty White (Putnam)

This is the book equivalent of a pleasant alfresco lunch: breezy, light, not deep but not uninteresting, either. It covers White's career revival over the past decade and her love of animals, why she kept saying no to SNL and getting old. Entertaining, but those looking for more substance should stay away.

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me
by Hilary Winston (Sterling)

When TV writer Winston (My Name Is Earl, Community) found out an ex-boyfriend described her as a "fat-assed girlfriend" in his novel (Chad Kultgen's boorish The Average American Male), she decided to get even with her own book. Instead of a novel, Winston has penned a laugh-out-loud dating memoir. The boyfriend comes in for some well-deserved skewering (as do other men: the shy pooper, the horny mailman, the Texas titty twister), but the book is about more than revenge -- it's a heartfelt (and hilarious) look at single life in L.A.          

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