Summer’s hottest reads

Gabourey Sidibe
Gabourey Sidibe
Book review

When I think of Gabourey Sidibe, I think of some of the amazing roles she has played since we first got to see this talented gal hit our screens in her Oscar nominated role in Precious. From the hardworking and no-nonsense Becky on Empire to my own personal favorite role of hers, “Queenie” on both American Horror Story-Coven as well as Hotel, Sidibe has always played roles where we could see behind the character to get to the true humanity of who she was playing.

In keeping with the theme of letting us look behind the person, Sidibe’s autobiography This Is Just My Face-Try Not To Stare (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) does exactly that. Sidibe’s introduction to what it’s like navigating the (almost) cover of Vogue, and discussing her sexuality and her weight in detail, she holds nothing back. Sidibe’s acting has always been fearless, where she has taken on roles and made herself identifiable with them immediately.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner’s “Secrets of my Life”

Hearing her tell her own story in her no-holds barred signature way shows that while the girl from Bed-Stuy may have gone Hollywood, her feet remain planted firmly on the ground.

In the two years since Caitlyn Jenner emerged from her cocoon, she has received both accolades and criticisms from both inside and outside the LGBT community. For everyone that called her a “hero” or an “advocate” for the community, others have criticized everything from her politics to her fashion choices. One thing Jenner has not done is back down; she has proudly stood in her own truth; which at almost 70 years old, she continues to do in the appropriately titled The Secrets Of My Life (Grand Central Publishing). As the father/stepfather to some of the most polarizing women in America right now, you would think that there is not that much else that we don’t know about the newest Ms. Jenner, but that could not be farther from the truth. Yes, in the pages of Secrets Jenner feels compelled to answer questions on gender reassignment that people in the public have been unnaturally curious about since she announced her transition. There is so much more to this story. From foreshadowing stories like childhood tales of dressing as her true self, to how each of her three ex-wives dealt with the revelation that the man they married was not being his truest self, Jenner covers many of the aspects of what the self discovery journey of a trans person looks like.

Kelly Osbourne's autobiography
Kelly Osbourne’s autobiography

While the book does veer into the area of tabloid when it comes to speaking about the Kardashian’s and their mixed reactions to the emergence and existence of Caitlyn, the most interesting parts are how Jenner took steps to emerge, and then take the proverbial “two steps back” throughout her life. Now that Caitlyn is officially here, living out loud, we can pay homage to the iconic person that Bruce was, as well as the intriguing and multi-layered person that Caitlyn has become.

Kelly Osbourne has not ever had a time when she was not in the public eye. Born into rock and roll royalty, the daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne has lead a life that many could only manage to get through half of. Her autobiography There Is No F*cking Secret-Letters From A Badass Bitch (G.P. Putnam’s Sons). Osbourne has gone from her reality show debut on The Osbournes, all the way to sitting at the side of the iconic Joan Rivers on Fashion Police and she shares everything in between. Osborne talks openly about being a caretaker for her parents during her mother’s battle with cancer, and her father’s detoxing, and her own personal battles with sobriety. Nothing is off limits here, our favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race guest judge shows us quite simply, how far she has come.