Recently, I was the winner of a Goodreads giveaway. If you aren’t familiar with Goodreads, it’s like a digital bookshelf and oh so much more. You can keep track of your reading — what you’ve read, plan to read, hated, and loved — and share your thoughts with like minded readers. It’s a place to leave reviews for your favorite books — help an author out, we love reader feedback — or recommend a book to a friend. You can even set reading goals and keep track of how much you’ve read all year. Add in the giveaways, and what’s not to love about Goodreads? [check it out]
I am not a memoir reader. Honestly, they never really capture my interest. When it comes to reading, I reach for the fiction more often than not. Though — and I guess this is another confession — I haven’t been reading much beyond my research for Once Upon a Time in Iowa.
Now, I’m also not one of those people who enters every Goodreads giveaway just because I can. That would be unfair. I enter only for those whose blurb or description catches my interest. Something about this memoir did just that. Probably “…imagine I Love Lucy mixed with a modern lifestyle guru.”
I’ve never been all that interested in learning who is who in Hollywood. If you mention an actor or actress to me, chances are I will have to Google their photo before I have any clue who you are talking about.
So, there I was, entered in a Goodreads giveaway for a memoir written by an actress I hadn’t looked up, yet, and wasn’t sure if I knew. Somehow, I won, and a short while later an advanced reader copy of Busy Phillips‘ This Will Only Hurt a Little arrived in my mail box.
I’ll just read a little bit…
I began reading This Will Only Hurt a Little around noon on Friday, shortly after my husband had left for work. Almost immediately, I was enthralled. I didn’t want to stop. The obligations of life — namely the laundry (I don’t have to put it away, right?), motherhood, and dinner (ribs slow cooked in the oven for hours) –kept drawing me away. I’d tend to those necessary evils as quickly as I could and rush back into Busy’s riveting tale. Just like that, all my own writing plans for the day slipped right out the window.
My husband worked a 12 hour day that day. I won’t lie to you. I spent pretty much the entire day reading Busy’s memoir. By the time he arrived home, I had only 32 pages left to read of the just over 300 page book.
I waited for hours…
So, husband gets home, and we ate dinner. After dinner we spent a couple of hours talking. He talked about his day at work, and I talked about Busy’s memoir. Every time there was a lull in the conversation, I picked up the book, ready to finish those last few pages.
Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for bed, and I was resigned to having to wait until morning to finish those last 32 pages. I was so excited when hubby announced he was going to grab a quick shower before bed. I got myself ready for bed, grabbed my copy of This Will Only Hurt a Little, and happily settled in to read those last pages.
She held me emotionally hostage…
By now, you may be wondering how a memoir set in Hollywood could grab and hold onto the interest of someone who admits that they couldn’t care less about the stars and their private lives. I found myself wondering the same thing.
It’s true, I needed to locate a photo of Busy to even know who had written the story. I did, indeed, require a photographic reminder of who was who as I flipped through the pages. But the who wasn’t really as important as the what.
Busy starts with her childhood. It’s not an I was born and by two I had accomplished this and by four I was already doing that… type of opening. It was those moments in time she couldn’t leave out. Those pieces of herself that shaped her and pushed her and created her. That’s where she began.
She was young when she landed on Freaks and Geeks — she’s still young, by the way — and began her career in Hollywood. She talks about life and love and heartache. Her story takes you on an emotional roller coaster of joy and sorrow. There were times when I found myself laughing out loud at her whimsy. In other chapters, I’d feel the tears rolling down my cheeks and my heart would ache for her.
This Will Only Hurt a Little
Mostly what I found is that her story is relatable. I’m not a Hollywood star. I’ve never been to California. Still, I found myself saying, “I’ve been there” more than a few times. I’m not just talking the obvious things — like the Impostor Syndrome I think we all suffer from — but also some of the oddest of things like PT for a knee in middle school or having a sister who is four years older and so very different from me. We were even both born in a suburb of Chicago in the same year.
Guess what. Busy Phillips is a real person with real life experiences that are so very human. She bares her soul in This Will Only Hurt a Little. She lays it all out there for us to see. She reminds us that we are not alone. I can’t tell you her stories. You’ll have to buy the book for yourself. What I can tell you is that it is worth it. I devoured the book in one day. I cannot remember the last book I read in a day. Busy grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go.
You can preorder This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips, now, for the October release.