Taking a break from running, I have a BlogHer Book Club book review for you: You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)by Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams.
OK, true confession. If given the choice between People and just about any other non-celebrity magazine, I'm going to pick up People. I know. I blame my grandmother. She always read Star magazine and whenever I was at her house I would read it too. Now, of course, I read Runner's World and Outsidebut, still, sometimes celebrity stories are fun.
Which was totally the case with Vanessa Williams' memoir that she wrote with her mother. I enjoyed reading her story because I knew basically nothing about her: I've never (gasp!) seen Desperate Housewives or Ugly Betty. But I did, way back in that part of my brain that I don't access all that often, remember a little about the whole nude pictures fiasco when she was Miss America.
In the book, Vanessa explains that whole thing -- how and why it happened -- and how she bounced back from it. She comes across as an intelligent, hard-working working woman who made a few mistakes along the way -- but always rose up and owned them. She also shows the downside of the celebrity world and explains how her love of performing has kept her in that world.
And her mom? One tough cookie. The book alternates Vanessa's stories with her mother's take on things. To me, it was interesting to read what she, as a non-celebrity, thought of Vanessa's choices, stardom and everything that goes along with being a celebrity.
You Have No Idea was a fun, interesting book to read. I feel like I know Vanessa now, like we could probably meet for lunch and chat it up about our kids and have a great time laughing and swapping stories. If you'd like to get to know Vanessa -- and her mom -- pick up a copy of the book. Or maybe an issue of People.
Review disclaimer: This is a compensated review for the BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are entirely my own.