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Streisand and Winkler Among the Celebs With Big Memoirs Out This Fall

Top Hollywood stars and music legends describe love, pain and dreams dashed and fulfilled on their roads to fame

spinner image celebrity memoirs from left to right my name is barbra by barbra streisand then worthy by jada pinkett smith then being henry the fonz and beyond by henry winkler
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Entertainment lovers are in for a treat this fall, with an unusually tall stack of celebrity memoirs scheduled for release. Among the most anticipated are those from Barbra Streisand, Melissa Etheridge, Kerry Washington, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sir Patrick Stewart.

Arnold Schwarzenegger offers stories from his life that reveal the secrets of his success, Willie Nelson discusses the inspiration behind his classic tunes, and Bernie Taupin unspools tales of his decades-long friendship and musical collaboration with Elton John. Read on for more.

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spinner image hollywood star memoirs from left to right thicker than water by kerry washington then be useful by arnold schwarzenegger then making it so by patrick stewart
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Hollywood stars

Thicker Than Water by Kerry Washington

Sept. 26

The actress, 46, takes readers from the Bronx to acting success (Scandal, Ray, Django Unchained), with hardships along the way. In an excerpt in Oprah Daily, she describes her longtime struggles with panic attacks, which were first triggered in childhood by her parents’ fighting. “My mind and body became the enemy; I was trapped within them,” Washington writes. “I tucked away the fear and started to develop a role, a character that would stay with me: The good girl. The perfect child. The solution.” She launches a book tour in big cities across the country at the end of September, plus a live virtual event with Reese Witherspoon on Oct. 24.

Making it So by Patrick Stewart   

Oct. 3

The beknighted Star Trek actor, 83, tells of growing up poor with an abusive father in a gritty area of northeast England where the family struggled to pay rent. Yet that was where he discovered a love for acting, which led to his impressive career onstage — where he’s famed for his Shakespeare productions — in film and, of course, on TV as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard.

Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Oct. 10

This book is less a memoir than a self-help guide (his big memoir was 2012’s Total Recall), though he does explain how these seven mental “tools” — and his father’s adage to “be useful” — helped him move from rural Austria and eventually become a bodybuilding champ, movie star and governor of California. One tough-talking tidbit from the book: “It’s no harder to think big than it is to think small. The only hard part is giving yourself permission to think that way. Well, I don’t just give you permission, I demand it of you.”   

Worthy by Jada Pinkett Smith

Oct. 17

The actress (The Nutty Professor, Set It Off) unspools her life story, including her marriage to actor Will Smith, and, well, everything (Everything? People asked her, pointedly, in an interview about the book. “Everything,” she said, which presumably includes the Oscar slap). The emphasis is on her search for love and self-worth, which, she told People, “has been a real struggle … I think that that will be the part that will be most surprising to the reader.”

If You Would Have Told Me by John Stamos

Oct. 24

Written with coauthor Daphne Young, this is the 60-year-old actor’s story of his upbringing within a Greek American family, roles on General Hospital (remember Blackie? Great hair.) and Full House, as well as his period of alcohol abuse and close friendship with Bob Saget. In a short foreword, his pal Jamie Lee Curtis praises the actor’s “deep goodness, born from his exquisite relationship with his mother and his father.”

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Being Henry: The Fonz … and Beyond by Henry Winkler

Oct. 31

Yes, he’ll always be most famous as the Fonz — Arther “Fonzie” Fonzarelli — the cool guy on Happy Days, but Winkler has had a rich life before and after his decade starring on the sitcom (1974-84). Born in New York City to Jewish parents who’d fled Nazi Germany, he struggled in school, unaware until later that he had severe dyslexia — a condition that has affected him profoundly throughout his life, as detailed here. The famously likable actor, who’s recently been lauded for his Emmy-winning role on Barry, begins a six-week book tour on Halloween in New York City.

spinner image celebrity musician memoirs from left to right energy follows thought by willie nelson then behind the seams by dolly parton then talking to my angles by melissa ethridge
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Music legends

Talking to My Angels by Melissa Etheridge

Sept. 5

More than two decades after the rocker’s 2001 memoir, The Truth Is … My Life in Love and Music, Etheridge is back with a book that her publisher bills as “a profoundly honest look into her inner life as a woman, an artist, a mother, and a survivor.” Etheridge has been through a lot, including heartbreak, a breast cancer diagnosis and the death of her son from opioid addiction. She talks about how she found strength in the face of these multiple crises while creating award-winning music. The release comes as she’s gearing up to kick off her Broadway show, Melissa Etheridge: My Window.

Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton & Me by Bernie Taupin

Sept. 12

The Grammy-winning songwriter, 73, describes meeting the young Reg Dwight before he became Elton John. Their famous longtime collaboration and friendship began after they each responded to a record company’s newspaper ad looking for songwriters. Decades later, they were inducted as a pair into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Taupin revisits their early years — Taupin wrote the lyrics to “Your Song” when he was just 18 — through John’s megastardom, including plenty of wild times along the way.  

Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones by Dolly Parton

Oct. 17

This is the second book in the planned trilogy Dolly kicked off with Songteller: My Life in Lyrics in 2020. Her photo-heavy latest, whose pink-and-gold cover features Dolly in a glittering gown, is “a look at my life in costume and hair,” she writes. It takes fans from her youth — her “Coat of Many Colors” — to the head-turning outfits and wigs that helped make her a musical icon.   

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by Sly Stone

Oct. 17

Stone, 80, the musical genius behind Sly and the Family Stone (“Everyday People”) offers a nostalgia trip to a funkier era in this memoir (written with Ben Greenman) whose title echoes the band’s 1969 hit song. It dives into his years growing up as Sylvester Stewart in Northern California, creating groundbreaking psychedelic funk hits, abusing drugs — he was homeless, reportedly living in a van, for a period — and more.

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Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs by Willie Nelson

Oct. 31

The country music great reveals the origins of 160 of his classic tunes — including “Crazy,” which he wrote and Patsy Cline recorded and made her own. Cowritten with David Ritz, the book is timed to celebrate Willie’s 90th birthday earlier this year and his upcoming induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Nov. 3.    

My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand 

Nov. 7

The long-awaited memoir from Streisand, 81, finally arrives this fall, and the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner opens up about, among other things, her early hopes to become an actress, famous friendships (including Marlon Brando), 25-year marriage with James Brolin, and spectacular career as not only a singer but an actress on stage and screen.

10 more fall memoirs by entertainers

Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere by comedian Maria Bamford, 52 (Sept. 5)

Tell It Like It Is: My Story by R&B singer Aaron Neville, 82 (Sept. 5)

Leslie F* Jones by comedian Leslie Jones, 55 (Sept. 19)

In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life by Jeopardy! star Amy Schneider, 44 (Oct. 3)

Every Man for Himself and God Against All by filmmaker Werner Herzog, 80 (Oct. 10)

Great Falls, MT: Fast Times, Post-Punk Weirdos, and a Tale of Coming Home Again by comedian and musician Reggie Watts, 51 (Oct. 17)

Sonic Life by former Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, 65 (Oct. 24)

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears, 41 (Oct. 24)

World Within a Song: Music That Changed My Life and Life That Changed My Music by Jeff Tweedy, 55, the Wilco singer and guitarist (Nov. 7)

My Effin’ Life by Rush bassist Geddy Lee, 70 (Nov. 14)

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