Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taking a look at Celebrity Authors

I haven't had a chance to blog recently, but I have been working on a series of reading lists that deal with celebrity authors. I think that, with our preconceived notion of celebrities, it's easy to judge what they write before we actually read their work.

For me, it was eye-opening to see that these celebrities can write more than just a memoir on their life, but have the ability to touch on the same concerns, topics or area of interest that we also have. Many of their works reinforce that celebrities are, in fact, just people who go through the same trials and have the same concerns as the rest of us.

In dealing with these reading lists, which will soon be appearing in our main catalogue as well as our kids' catalogue, Cheryl Stone, a colleague here at Halifax Public Libraries, has been incredibly helpful. Here's what she has to say on celebrity authors and their books:

"Occasionally I come across a familiar name while working with books. They aren't famous authors, award winners, or people I personally know, they are famous people turned author. I am surprised to find actors, singers, comedians, sports celebrities, and more, in the role of author. I suppose I shouldn't be as it's all under the category of creative people.

As I work with children, and have two of my own, I have read far more children's books than adult books. Some of my favorite celebrity authors have included Madonna, Billy Crystal, Julie Andrews, and Will Smith.

Madonna's Mr. Peabody's Apples is about a town and one particular young boy learning a valuable lesson about rumors in a surprisingly metaphoric way.

Billy Crystal's sentimental I Already Know I Love You touches the hearts of every parent more than the children and has wonderful, soft-toned pictures.

Julie Andrews has children's storybooks such as the Dumpy series as well as the touching tale Thanks to You about lessons learned as a mother and is accompanied by beautiful photographs.

The comedic and dramatic actor, Will Smith, surprises me with his sentimental book Just the Two of Us. In his book he reveals how a father's love for his son motivates him to be the best dad ever, to protect him, to teach him powerful life lessons, and to have fun.

These gem stories, speak to me more than books by other authors because of my media-promoted, pre-conceived understanding of these people, these entertainers. I have learned and continue to learn that we all have something in common no matter how famous or unfamous we are. We all love our children and want to do what's best for them including teaching them life lessons and keeping them safe from harm."

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