Monday, June 20, 2011

Reading Lists Continued ... Does it Take a Celebrity?

So, I have written about the top picks in young adult novels and in general adult fiction. Let's take a look at one of those categories -- books written by celebrities. Hey ... the books sell, so they deserve mention. I found an article Stranger Than Fiction -- Top Celebrity Novelists that focuses on eight celebrities from actors to musicians to spouses of actors or musicians. Some of the work is actually considered "good", good enough to at least consider adding to your reading list. I will touch on a few and let you check out the rest in more detail. And mind you, these are novels, not autobiographies!

1) Gene Hackman: Payback at Morning Peak -- western fiction. Consider his background and experience which might add credibility to the content. And the fact that this is not his first effort. He coauthored a couple of others previously.

2) James Franko (General Hospital): Palo Alto -- a short story collection meant to be taken seriously, but SERIOUSLY? At least that's what the author of this article implies.

3) Lauren Conrad: L. A. Candy -- fictional account with way too many parallels to Conrad's life, which many authors will do when they write fiction, so we will let this slide. Okay, I have to add a personal sidebar -- in my Lang. Arts class, one of my students did a report on this book. Not my bag, but really popular with teens. Go figure. And popular enough to follow it up with Sweet Little Lies and Sugar and Spice.

4) Hillary Duff: Elixer -- a supernatural mystery that's been on the bestseller list.

5) Ethan Hawke: The Hottest State -- a brooding tale from a brooding character, or something like that. Hawke must enjoy writing stories so he can turn them into movies. Ash Wednesday is another.

You'll find three more and many more details about all of them if you click on the article link. I do have some parting observations. So here goes ... artistic people can be artistic in many areas. It makes sense if someone who plays an instrument well can also do well at writing. There is no reason why we can't have more than one talent, though being a celebrity who writes a book shouldn't automatically insure bestseller status. I think most would agree with me on that ... unless he/she was a celebrity!


Krista M said...

I completely agree. Just because they are a celebrity doesn't mean that they should be published. For instance, there's an autobiography of Justin Beiber's life. He's young and probably didn't even write it. It's probably a ghost writer. I don't think it should be a bestseller. Maybe it could be good, but it's not as likely. They don't have the author platform. Good post!

Christine Murray said...

I'm on the fence, to be honest. While it is irritating that celebrities who can't write get contracts, some of them can write. Also, Lauren Conrad might appeal to a teen who doesn't read, and who may read other YA books afterwards. It makes reading 'cooler' for kids, in an age when the number of people reading for pleasure is declining.

teacherwriter said...

I totally agree ... with both of you! I guess, bottom line, is that being a celebrity should not be the only criteria to launch him/her to the top. But I like what you said, Christine, about getting kids to read. If that's what it takes, then I hope more celebrities will write :-)
Thanks for the comments, ladies.

My Inner Chick said...

---I don't know why, but I have not read a celebrity book yet. I just don't trust the publishers who have Snookie & Paris & Super Models on their list of authors. Ya know?
But I hear Chelsea Handler's book is great & that Steve Martin is fab. So who knows....

teacherwriter said...

I guess it's a slippery slope to clump all of them into one view. And it's deceiving sometimes to go along with the reviews. I've made that mistake with movies, ignoring ones that get less than 4 stars, but later might see it and think it was great!

If I'm to be honest, being an author, I sometimes get a bit annoyed that some stars get "in the door" so easily, while I sit here struggling to get published! Oh well, happens in almost any job field. And we trudge along!

Thanks for commenting!