Here are some of the hottest, most buzzed-about books this week. Download them on your Kindle, read them on your iPad, or go to a bookstore if you like to keep things old-school.
Just four months after her husband John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy found the strength to sit down and record seven interviews about her time in the White House and her life with her famous husband. The eight-and-a-half hours of material (recorded on CD and in a book) see Kennedy reflect on her time with her husband and discuss her often blunt opinions of the famous people who surrounded her. The controversial and honest material is being released by her daughter Caroline Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s presidency.
In keeping with the political theme, another scandalous and controversial book about ‘rogue’ former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is being released this week. Author Joe McGinniss actually moved into the house next door to the Palins in Wasilla, Alaska, for part of his time investigating the life and history of Palin. McGinniss paints a picture of a political fraud who has led a very different life than many might think. The book raises claims that Palin had a one-night stand with basketball player Glen Rice in the 80s, snorted cocaine off an oil-drum, and had an affair while married to her husband Todd. These claims have been denied by the Palin camp, but the book will be an interesting read no matter which side of the fence you’re on.
While many from my own generation may only know Hal Holbrook from his moving role in Into the Wild, most of the world knows him as the voice and face of Mark Twain. This memoir recounts Holbrook’s troubled childhood, which started with his parents abandoning him and his siblings at age two, as well as his tough journey to make it as an actor with his one-man Mark Twain show that started in 1954. Because his role as Twain was so remarkable (and their stories so similar), many people never learned about the man behind the show. This book serves as a window into the true struggles of the man who everyone knew as Mark Twain.
If you’re looking to add to your movie collection, we’ve selected a few of the best titles coming out this week on DVD and Blu-ray.
Easily one of the funniest movies of the year, Bridesmaids finds SNL-alum Kristen Wiig playing a down-and-out 30-something who’s recruited into being a bridesmaid by her closest friend (played by Maya Rudolph). Hilarity ensues when the reluctant Annie (Wiig) gets thrown together with the assortment of other chosen bridesmaids. A great cast including Wiig, Rudolph, and supporting players Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne, all contribute significantly to the film, which has both crude and explicit humor as well as sentimental heart.
If you’re not a fan of Modern Family yet, but love a good 30-minute comedy, now’s your chance to get onboard with the Emmy-winning show. There’s no bizarre premise here, but the relatable humor of families proves universal in this comedy about three different family units who are all connected somehow by blood. Claire and Phil Dunphy are parents to a girly, boy-crazy teenager, a brainy tween, and the hilariously dim Luke. Claire’s brother Mitchell is partners with the flamboyant and Midwestern Cam, and Claire and Mitchell’s father is married to a loud and crazy Columbian (Sofia Vergara) with a son named Manny, who prefers dinner jackets to baseball jerseys.
Yet another look into the life of what is often called America’s ‘royal family,’ this eight-part miniseries (starring Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear) takes a look at the famous lives of a President and his family, spanning from before World War II to 1968. The miniseries was aired on The History Channel after many members of the historical family objected to its release thanks to controversies including election-fixing, drug habits, involvement with mobsters, Marilyn Monroe, and plenty of philandering. The miniseries features standout performances and takes a melodramatic look at the triumphs and tragedies of the famous family.