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Christmas Crackers: (Auto)Biographies of 2012

The first Christmas trees are starting to spring horridly in corners of supermarkets everywhere; turkeys all over the world are being fattened for the kill; pubs are instructing everyone to book their office parties NOW to avoid disappointment;  there’s a chill in the air and it’s raining in earnest; and mince pies have gone on sale. Yes, Christmas approaches, and with this festive season so, too, to we begin to see the race for top biography (celeb memoir) in the publishing charts. Start your engines…

Jessie J - proving a stupid name can go a long wayFrom Simon & Schuster we have the Jessie J biography Nice to Meet You (which I guess is what we’re supposed to say to her when we read the book) subtitle – my story. I don’t know who Jessie J is or why she’s famous enough to merit having a book about her life, but then I don’t own a functioning television or listen to the radio so I doubt I’m the target market. Not your typical ‘this is my life’, this is a book with a message: ‘never shy away from Who You Are.’ I Definitely Won’t, Even If That’s Sort Of Annoying For Some People.

S&S also have the Arnold Schwarzenegger biography titled Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life StorySadly, Arnie will not be doing an unbelievably international tour for the book, leaving precious few moments for us Brits to be able to legitimately yell Get to the chopper! this holiday season. Unless you actually own a chopper, in which case the joke’s probably already run its course. God, I hope that book has a lot of puns.

Tulisa's Honest: My Story So Far
Headline are offering Tulisa Honest: My Story So Farthe cinderella-esque story of Tulisa’s rise to fame from a council estate. This cover was semi-crowdsourced – the publisher ran a poll where you could vote for different background colours a while ago. I think I chose the teal. I can’t really remember. I know one was pink, but this one is nicer. So there’s that.

Pan Macmillan have a biography by Denise Welch, her second, called Starting Over. The cover looks a bit like a Jenny Craig advert, so I predict this will do better in the new year when people might take it for a diet book.

Rod
Random House have a classic for the ages in Rod Stewart’s autobiography called simply Rod: The Autobiography. Britain’s appetite for knowing every gritty detail of the lives of celebrities will surely be satisfied with this one, which promises to ‘no knickers under the bed’. Raunchy.

And Little, Brown have the John Taylor autobiography In The Pleasure Groove (love, death and Duran Duran), which happens to be my favourite book title for the season (yes, beating even this guy) because it opened up the floor for the YouTube comment: ‘I got your “Pleasure Groove” right here!’ Thank you, internet.

Unfortunately, my woeful knowledge of British pop cultural heritage and total lack of engagement with current trends mean it’s pretty difficult for me to judge which of these will come out on top. But I suppose we’re all winners, really. Merry Christmas (in October)!

 

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Felice Howden

Felice Howden had opinions before she knew what the word 'opinion' meant. She wrote for the publishing and ideas blog Socratic Ignorance Is Bliss, and has had short stories published around the place. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2008 with a degree in English and Philosophy, and now spends her time typing code and hatching brain eggs for the future of publishing in a major publishing house.

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