The celeb gossip world was already boring af for a variety of reasons before the holiday season commenced. And now, it’s basically slowed to a trickle. You might find yourself desperate for deets as every celeb hibernates in the Maldives, laying in wait for awards season to start.
But there is a largely untapped resource of dramz you can turn to in this time of need. No, I’m not talking about BlindGossip.com, although that’ll do in a pinch.
I’m talking about celeb memoirs and biographies, baybay, with a sprinkling of trashy fiction too. If you love drama and intrigue and are bored to tears this holiday break, check out these books. You can download them to your phone with the Kindle app, so you really have no excuse. I promise you won’t be able to put these down, partially because of how dishy they are and partially because they’re all written at, like, a second-grade reading level.
1. “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” by Leah Remini
You might know Leah Remini as the co-star of “King of Queens.” I’ve never seen that garb show, but have been in love with Leah since a ridic VH1 reality TV special about her wedding that looked like it was shot and edited on someone’s PalmPilot in 2003.
Leah is a ballsy, take-no-prisoners kind of person. She was raised in Brooklyn, her dad was a dick, and her stepdad was a creepy hippie who got her entire family into scientology.
Leah and her sister were members of the church since childhood, which is insane to think about. But as she would soon find out, her personality was not suited to the cult lyfe. I don’t want to say too much more, but suffice it to say, there are plenty of creepy deets about Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Suri Cruise in this book.
I listened to the audiobook on Audible last spring, which Leah reads herself. It is completely batshit and I highly recommend it.
2. Valley of the Dolls
This book cover alone has a chic-er aesthetic than most fashion mags, which is why Jeremy Scott took inspo from VOTD for his latest Moschino collection.
And the book’s storyline is just as bitchy as you’d think. It’s about three friends who want to be famous and get there in various sordid ways. The dolls, by the way, are pills, because these bb’s are really into uppers and downers. They’re also into betrayal, infidelity, and booze.
“Valley of the Dolls” is iconic and you need to read it. It also has a movie that was so bad, people laughed at the sad parts at its freaking premiere, while everyone involved in filming was sitting in the audience and could hear them. The pettiness flies at you from every direction when it comes to VOTD.
3. William and Kate: A Love Story
Don’t let the cheesy cover and upper-crust subject matter fool you. The British Royal Family is so full of scandal and WTF antics, they make most reality shows look not only fake, but boring.
If you think you already know everything about this couple because of news coverage, trust me: you couldn’t possibly know as much as I did before reading this. It doesn’t matter anyway, because reading it all from start to finish is so. effing. juicy.
Read this book if you want to learn just how much of a make-out slut Wills was during the couple’s college years. You’ll also learn how long he hid Kate not only from the public, but from his pals — socialites with ridiculously British names like Oliver Hicks and Davina Duckworth-Chad. There’s also coverage of a ridiculous “Out of Africa”-themed birthday party for Will’s 21st birthday with major culturally appropriative undertones that would NEVER fly in 2017.
4. The Diana Chronicles
You didn’t think Will and Kate would be the only royals on this list, did ya?
The royal family thought Princess Di was going to be sweet and innocent, but she ended up damn near destroying the monarchy with her penchant for drama. I say that with great love and respect. She was the first royal consort in British history to say “fuck this” to her husband’s infidelity and divorce the bastard — a true feminist icon of the 80s and 90s, although the establishment feminists were never all that into her.
In “The Diana Chronicles,” tabloid mudslinger extraordinaire Tina Brown dishes the dirt as usual, but she does it in a fair way. I’ve read a few other Diana bios and this one is by far the most fair to the princess, and seems the most accurate as well.
Need more proof that this book is dramatic af? You will not believe how Di allegedly got back at a nanny who she felt was getting too close to Will and Harry after she separated from Charles. It rhymes with “shma-shmor-tion rumor.”
5. “No Lifeguard on Duty” by Janice Dickinson
Janice Dickinson likes to refer to herself as the world’s first supermodel. While I can’t vouch for whether she was, in fact, the first, one thing is for sure: the gal does not give a fuck.
In “No Lifeguard on Duty,” Janice spills the tea on everything from who has the biggest dick in Hollywood (to her knowledge) to the truth behind the ruthless world of fashion in the 80s. She also explains how she escaped living her sexually abusive dad in Florida, which is insane in and of itself.
She also details the one time she mistakenly thought Sylvester Stallone was her baby daddy — don’t you hate when that happens? — and a time when she narrowly escaped Bill Cosby’s clutches. Yes, Janice was publicly blowing the whistle on Cosby’s creepiness years ago, but no one listened.
“No Lifeguard on Duty” is weird af (like, what is with that pelican on the cover…), but it’s worth it.
6. “Thing of Beauty” by Stephen Fried
This books is all about Gia Carangi, the tragic figure who most fashion insiders agree was the actual world’s first supermodel.
Gia rose from a hard-scrabble life in Philadelphia to the ranks of fashion’s elite in the late 1970s. But as the title of this book would suggest, she was never really given the respect she deserved. She was also a serious heroin addict, and would end up becoming one of the first women to die from AIDS due to her intravenous drug use.
“Thing of Beauty” gives you a look at the modeling world of the 70s, back when shit was really cray, and it will definitely make you obsessed with Gia Carangi, who was iconic and taken long before her time. This was a woman who wouldn’t let anyone stand in her way — she was even openly gay at a time when that was pretty rare.
Pssst, and if you’re lazy, there’s a so-bad-it’s-good movie about Gia starring none other than a young Angelina Jolie in one of her first roles. Get the fuck ON IT.
7. “Down the Rabbit Hole” by Holly Madison
This is another one that’s great on Audible, because Holly herself reads it. Her “Stepford Wives” fake voice makes it all the more WTF, and her Hef impression cannot be missed. She does a full Hef act-out when recalling how he offered her Quaaludes on their first night out together and you will never be able to un-hear it.
Anyway, in case you don’t know who Holly is, she was Hugh Hefner’s main girlfriend and basically helped put Playboy back on the map in the 2000s, along with fellow girlfriends Kendra Wilkinson and Bridget Marquardt. The whole paid-polygamy thing is not exactly girl power, but Holly has still been a boss since day one.
The juiciest dirt in this book has to do with Hef’s disgusting dating rituals and the drama between his girlfriends. But Holly also raises some good points about how she never got the credit she deserved for reviving the Playboy brand. You will be seething when you learn how horribly both Playboy and E! treated her, Kendra, and Bridget — not to mention just how little they were paid.
You’ll also kinda-sorta wonder WTF Holly was thinking throughout all of this. The moral of the story: dating an old fart is never worth it.
8. “Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion” by Izabella St. James
I’ve never actually read this one because I can’t bring myself to ever since I read a description of it on Jezebel’s list of must-read celeb memoirs from 2010 in which the description of sex with Hef was too disgusting for me to stomach. If you really want to have nightmares and give yourself about 100 good reasons never to rely on male approval for a living, read this.