{Gift Guide} 7 books to wrap up this holiday season

Can’t get a read on what your friends and family want for the holidays? Here’s the ultimate list of books to GIVE this holiday season brought to you by FOF book critic Linda Wolfe, the award-winning author of 10 books and a 12-year veteran of the National Book Critics Circle.

Then comment below for a chance to RECEIVE one of Linda’s top picks–“Then Again,” Diane Keaton’s new memoir. (Three FOFs will win.)

FOR CELEBRITY MEMOIR BUFFS:


“Then Again” by Diane Keaton.  Random House.  291 pages

Keaton’s memoir, “Then Again,” is not just her story, it’s her mother’s as well.  Dorothy Keaton Hall, who died at the age of eighty-six, left behind her eighty-five journals and scrapbooks that Keaton never bothered to read while her mother was alive.  But in 2008, after her mother’s death, she began ploughing through them, in the process discovering things about her mother she never knew – among them her mother’s thwarted ambitions and her early fear of memory loss.

Keaton uses Dorothy’s diaries as a scaffolding from which to explore and recount her own life: her girlhood insecurities and her adult strengths, her stunning career, her love affairs with Woody Allen, Al Pacino and Warren Beatty, and her late-in-life realization that despite the persona she’d cultivated as a woman who, like Garbo, preferred being alone, her life felt empty without children.  At the age of 50, she adopted two of them, and became as engaged a mother as her own had been.

The book is a bit scattered – as one might expect a book of Keaton’s to be – with hasty entries and more thoughtful ones, reflections that are to the point, and others that are vague and puzzling.  It’s really rather like a scrapbook itself, a collection of observations, reflections, and images, rather than a straightforward memoir.  But it’s charming, just like its author.   We learn that this famous beauty was so critical of her body that she became bulimic, stuffing herself with favorite foods only to void them right after consumption.  It’s also poignant.  We learn how sad it makes Keaton feel to consider the difference between her own life and that of her mother:  starting in her fifties, after her children grew up and left her with an empty nest,  Dorothy endured years of loneliness, whereas Keaton in her fifties has been able to come “out of isolation into a kind of family-of-man scenario, complete with an extended family, new friends and much needed ordinary activities.”
The book is an homage to her mother, a tribute to her own children, and an affirmation of woman’s ability to keep growing throughout life.

 

“Bossypants” by Tina Fey.  Little Brown, 277 pp.

Tina Fey, creator and star of TV’s “30 Rock” and former head writer and occasional star on “Saturday Night Live,” has written not a memoir, exactly, but a collection of chronological essays about important periods of her life – including the one where she gets her first period.  Her mother gives her a starter’s kit: some sanitary napkins, panty liners, and two pamphlets, one for a girl to read, the other for her mother to read and discuss with her.  That 10-year-old Fey’s mother hasn’t bothered to read her pamphlet but just turned it over to her daughter isn’t half the fun here; what’s funnier is that Fey remains totally unprepared for her first bleed, and doesn’t even recognize what is happening to her when her underthings turn red.  “I knew from commercials that one’s menstrual period was a blue liquid you poured like laundry detergent onto maxi pads to test their absorbency,” she writes. This wasn’t blue, so…I ignored it for a few hours.”

If you don’t find this funny, you’d best stop reading.  Period. (Pun intended.)
The book contains Nora Ephron-like tips for women entering the male-controlled work world: “No pigtails.  No tube tops.”  And “You’re not in competition with other women; you’re in competition with everyone.”  Of interviewing for a job on “Saturday Night Live,” Fey writes, “Only in comedy does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity.”  Of going to college at the University of Virginia, “I spent four years attempting to charm the uninterested.”  Of turning forty, “I need to take my pants off as soon as I get home.  I didn’t used to have to do that. But now I do.”  Of doing a photo shoot, “The makeup artist will work methodically on your eyelids with a series of tickly little brushes for a hundred minutes,” and “at really fancy shoots, a celebrity fecalist will study your bowel movements and adjust your humours.”

If you don’t love Fey, I’d say you don’t have a sense of humor, let alone good bodily semifluids.

FOR FICTION LOVERS:

 

“The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides. FSG, 406 pp.

Like a Jane Austen novel written for our own times, the plot of Eugenides’ engaging new book, “The Marriage Plot,” concerns a young woman, her suitors, and her quest for a lifelong partner.  But our world is a far more confusing one than the marriage-means-happy-ending society inhabited by Emma and Elizabeth and Austen’s other heroines. Finding one’s way in it is far from simple, and Eugenides’ heroine, Madeleine, as well as her two suitors, Leonard and Mitchell, are having a hard time when the book begins and the three of them, students at Brown in 1982, are about to graduate.

Madeleine, a  literature student who’s pretty, rich, and sexually-inquisitive, is desperately in love with Leonard, a brilliant but bipolar science student who initiates her into physical intimacy but can’t quite commit to their relationship.  And Mitchell, fascinated by religion and philosophy, is in love with Madeleine, who couldn’t care less.

After they graduate, Madeleine, unsure of what kind of career to pursue, flounders. Leonard learns that brilliance isn’t enough, and Mitchell, searching for life’s deeper meanings by working with Mother Teresa in India, loses his youthful idealism.  I won’t tell you who Madeleine ends up with, but, without giving away too much, I want to say that despite having known a few manic-depressives and read a great deal about that illness, the way Eugenides shows us the awful progression of the disease beats any rendition I’ve ever read in fiction. Equally special is his satirical take on the absurd literary theories in vogue in the eighties.

Witty and moving, this book about love, sex, and coming of age, gets being young in the eighties altogether right.  And I suspect it’s pretty accurate about the pleasures and problems of being young in any decade.

 

“State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett.  Harper/HarperCollins.  353 pages.

I reviewed this book at length earlier this year, so I’ll be brief and just say here that if I had to tell you my choice for the “Number One Best Book of 2011,” it’d be “Age of Wonder.”  With more than a touch of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” this book is a stirring evocation of a primitive world, a mystery tale, and a deft exploration of the character of two brilliant women.  In the depths of the Amazon, the heroine, self-effacing Dr. Marina Singh, must discover the secrets that the imposing Dr. Annick Swenson, a one-time mentor of hers, is hiding from the rest of the world. She also must learn how to live and even thrive in barbarous surroundings, and become psychologically strong enough to defy her teacher.

You’ll be with Marina, learning her thoughts as if inside her head and experiencing her alien surroundings with her distinctive eyes and ears, throughout this stunning tale.

 

11/22/63 by Stephen King. Scribner.  849 pp.

I’m not a fan of horror stories, don’t like reading about cars with minds of their own, killer viruses or crazed fans, so I rarely read King.  But this book is about horror of a different sort–and it’s terrific. The horror in “11/22/63” is time, an adversary that each of us must do battle with, and which always, whatever our circumstances, defeats us, taking away our abilities, our strengths, and all that we most prize.

A science fiction tale with that hoary old subject, time travel, “11/22/63” recounts the experiences of a Maine schoolteacher, Jake Epping, who goes back into the world of the late nineteen-fifties bent on a mission: to stop Oswald from assassinating John F. Kennedy. King recreates that world with meticulous and delightful detail, from the vibrant preservative-free taste of root beer, to 19.9 cents-a-gallon gasoline, to music you could really dance to.  But the past has its drawbacks.  “It’s a time,” King points out, “for which a lot of people felt nostalgic.  Possibly because they had forgotten how bad the past smelled.”
Not only does the past smell bad, it’s rife with poverty and racial strife.  Yet the good-natured Epping begins to prefer the past, with all its unsavoriness, to his actual present.  He takes a job as teacher in a small Texas town, gets to know the Oswald family and–this will delight conspiracy theorists–tries to determine if Oswald was the only person responsible for Kennedy’s death.  He also falls passionately in love with the school librarian.

King has bigger fish to fry in this work than in most of his other novels.  The book has a gripping plot and a likeable hero in pursuit of an ominous killer, but the author is also in pursuit of the answers to the Big Questions:  Would today’s world be different if Kennedy had not been killed?  Is there any way to slow time’s indifference to human life?   Is love the only thing that makes life worth living?  And, is loss always our inevitable fate?

FOR HISTORY FANS:

 

“Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman” by Robert K. Massie, Random House, 625 pages

Despite its heft, this doorstopper of a biography goes down as smooth as fine Beluga caviar.  It’s the story of Catherine the Great, an obscure German princess who deposed her ineffectual alcoholic husband, Czar Peter III,  in 1762, seized the throne of Russia, and ended up ruling that vast turbulent country for more than thirty years.

In Massie’s hands, the start of the story has all the elements of a fairy tale: a child scorned by her mother, plucked from obscurity by a kindly aunt (who just happened to be the daughter of the czar of Russia), decked out by that fairy godmother of a relative in furs and jewels, and married amid wild celebration to the future czar.  “An adolescent girl,” Massie tells us, “was launched on a great adventure.”

But of course, Catherine was no fairy tale princess.  And her story becomes ever more interesting as she learns to be a ruler, finding her way to gain and hold onto power despite constant threats.  A quick study, she had taught herself at an early age was always to appear courteous and humble, to be a good listener, and to mask her considerable brains.  But as she matured, her brilliance became evident to all who knew her, evoking respect even from such luminaries as Voltaire and Diderot.  “I would say about myself,” she wrote in “A Secret Confession,” a private account of her life and loves, “that I was a true gentleman with a mind more male than female.”

Catherine reformed and reorganized Russia, she encouraged the arts, education and medical care, put down powerful rebellions, survived innumerable political crises and–somewhat ruthlessly–accomplished several land grabs that greatly extended Russia’s territory.  But, aside from being an astute monarch, she was above all a woman, endlessly looking for the love she had been denied by her mother and lacked in her marriage–her husband had refused to make love to her during their nine years together. She said she was “Loath to be without love for even a single hour,” took numerous lovers, and wrote to one of them, “If you want to keep me forever, then show me as much friendship as love.”
Massie’s Catherine is not only a political genius, but a flesh-and-blood woman who at times sounds just like one’s BFF.

 

“1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created” by Charles C. Mann. Knopf 535 pp.

Charles C. Mann’s best-selling “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” was a sweeping examination of life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus.  His “1493” takes up the story of what followed: the vast spread of plants and peoples that is known as the “Columbian Exchange.”  “After 1492,” Mann explains, “the world’s ecosystems collided and mixed as European vessels carried thousands of species to new homes across the oceans. The Columbian Exchange…is why there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Swtizerland, and chili peppers in Turkey and Thailand.  To ecologists [it] is arguably the most important event since the death of the dinosaurs.”

Indeed, Mann tells us, it has created an altogether new ecological era, the “Homogenocene” or the Age of Homogeneity, the era in which we live, although most of us just call it “Globalization.”  Undeniably, we have become One World, where what happens in Greece affects our stock market, what happens in China  effects our manufacturing, what happens in Africa affects our hospitals.  But the process, so recent-seeming, started ‘way back then, immediately after Columbus’s history-altering discovery.

The Columbian Exchange has vastly benefited mankind, spreading foods that not only delighted, like those tomatoes and oranges, but foods that filled hungry bellies, like wheat and corn. Nevertheless, benefit and detriment are the two faces of the Exchange’s coin. Take the exchange of plants: along with its beneficence it brought pests never before known in the West and mighty difficult to eliminate. Or take the spread of peoples: the European settlers who descended on the ancient native populations destroyed them both actively and inadvertently–inadvertently because they brought with them diseases for which these populations had no resistance. Today, it is Western society that is threatened by diseases for which we have no resistance, viruses transferred from monkeys to man in Africa and then brought–by plane–to new shores.

Mann, an extremely lively writer, gives us fascinating portraits of some of the little known figures responsible for the spread of specific plants, animals, people and germs.  And he warns us about the most frightening consequences of the Columbian Exchange–not just the spread of diseases, but climate change and the destruction of ancient species.  “On the one hand,” he writes of our Age of Homgeneity, “people want the wash of goods and services that the worldwide market provides.”  But on the other hand, “Things feel changed and scary.”

You can say that again!

Enter to win Then Again, Diane Keaton’s new memoir by leaving a comment below.

Three FOFs will win.
(See all our past winners, here.)
(See official rules, here.)
Contest closes December 15, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.

  • peggyvan

    If you are looking for something on the lighter side, check out ‘Other People’s Rejections Letters’ edited by Bill Shapiro. I especially like the letter of a London publisher to a G. Stein: ‘ I am one, only one, only one… And another from a Cleveland Councilman to a drug dealer constitutent: …’You are as dumb as mud… Good reading and a LOL. pvb

  • Judy J

    I love Diane Keaton. I have loved her since the early Woody Allen flicks ..Annie Hall…especially. I loved “The Good Mother”. Actually, I would be hard pressed to find a movie with her that I dislike. She is a wonderful actress and when I have heard her in interviews she is enchanting. I will be sure to read her book.

  • VJ

    I have not read the Diane Keaton book but my husband and I just finished “listening” to 11-22-63. Wow! Very long but well worth it. Makes you really realize that when we think, I wish I could go back and change that” would have some drastic repercussions. I highly recommend this book!
    Not your typical Steven King book.

  • Nursesing

    I love the books you pick out! Diane Keaton has always been a favorite, actress, yes..but, intelligent, forthcoming, no-holds-barred, true FOF lady! I can’t wait to read about her real life. Been a fan since “Annie Hall” and loved her in the Steve Martin versions of “Father of the Bride”…

  • sccoed09

    I love Diane Keaton and this should be a fascinating read, it seems that true stories are sometimes much more interesting than fiction.

  • cathych

    I love Diane Keaton. She seems to be one of the few women in Hollywood who embraces getting older. She looks great, and I look forward to reading about her life.

  • Joanna

    All of these books look great! Hope I win!

  • Vicki Wurgler

    love to read Diane Keaton’s new memoir

  • Diane F

    Calling all Jane Austen fans! P.D. James’ “Death Comes to Pemberly” is a fabulous read. I am not usually fond of imitative “sequels”, but I doubt
    Jane herself would be disappointed by Baroness James effort. It is nice to once again be acquainted with Elizabeth and Darcy.

  • Agnes Zelgert

    I am facinated by the story of motherhood after 50 and her re-connection to her mother through her journals. We all see our mothers so passively in life and how it changes when we lose them.

  • ralaspazza

    My mom has requested the Diane keaton book. It sounds like a great read.

  • lorraine

    All of the book choices sound interesting. I don’t read much lately because I have eye problems and spending most of the day on the computer at work takes its toll, but I hope to retire very soon to take care of my ailing parents and would love to curl up for a good read with any of them!

  • Rhonda

    Love, love, love Diane Keaton. Can’t wait to read her book!

  • KAREN COGBURN

    Love Diane’s quirkiness & style.

  • Kathy

    I don’t know too much about Diane Keaton (except I like her movies – particulary “Something’s Got to Give”) so I would enjoy reading this book to find out more about her. Thanks for the chance!

  • Kristine P

    so many good book choices

  • Hofken

    I would love to learn more about the fascinating Diane Keaton

    Cynthia.Richardson@azbar.org

  • melissabrown

    I love Diane Keaton and would love to read her book. I am raising a granddaughter so became almost a ‘new’ mother again after age 50. I love reading about women who have re-invented themselves!!

  • Yvonnegt

    I have always loved Diane Keaton’s acting. I love to see her in interviews as she has always been her own person! I would be interested in her story of wanting children so late in life. I had my son at age 49. It would be great to read her story!

  • Ivy

    I love Diane Keaton, so it would be a real kudo to win Then Again!

  • tessy12

    sounds good

  • KAREN COGBURN

    I love Diane’s independent style & thinking.

  • Wendy

    I adore Diane Keaton, ever since I first saw her in Annie Hall. I would love to read her memoir and learn about her life with her mother and family. So what if the book is a bit scattered, her character in the movie was and that part was what I liked about her.

  • Nancy Murray

    This book looks like a really good read. I don’t normally go for the celebrity memoirs, but this one I would read.

  • Chris Carlson

    This book list comes at the perfect moment – I’m between books and just wondering what sounds good – and all 7 of these sound intriguing! Thank you!

  • km756

    I would love to read this book!

  • Jane Immel

    Would love to receive any of these books! They are all on my “to read” list..

  • Barbara

    Love Diane Keaton. Annie Hall reminds me of my youth;> Would love to read her book.

  • KAREN COGBURN

    I love to read. Cold days inside with a book are perfect.

  • paulette akins

    would love to read this book

  • Susan Navidad

    Outstanding set of books!

  • sharon

    I love reading and receiving free books is something I would love.

  • Annmarie W.

    I can imagine I would really enjoy this book, as I love Diane Keaton…she has always exemplified a woman who truly is her own person!

  • Kathryn Newhouse

    Sadly…the only book that really interests me is Diane Keaton’s…so I would love to win it.

  • Katie Murphy

    I am 55 and have 4 adopted children, ages 6 – 9. I would love to get her take on parenting at this point in her life. I have always found Diane Keaton to have something about her that I admire and relate to.

  • Kay

    Diane Keaton, the FOF’s inspiration!

  • Linda

    Would love to read about Miss Keaton and her Mom. What a great actress!

  • karen cole

    I LOVE Diane Keaton and can’t wait to get the chance to read her new book!

  • JO Cavins

    I would love to read Keaton’s book. I heard her talking about her hyper-critical mother the other day and it rang lots of bells.

  • rroth24

    Have been a Diane Keaton fan for ages, and look forward very much to reading her memoir.

  • Ann Fuller

    I have always love Diane’s wardrobe. We are close in age and I love the fact she is still beautiful and a spokesperson.

  • tfanmom@aol.com

    Love this list of books! I am currently reading two of them The Marriage Plot and 1493, one in print and one on my Nook, and they are both brilliant. I will definitely put the others on my list of reads for 2012. If Diane Keaton’s memoir were to turn up in my mailbox, I would be overwhelmed and delighted. I have always thought that she was my identical twin separated at birth.

  • Kathi

    I Love Diane Keaton, I think she is one of the Greatest actress’s ever and I would Love to win this book because I adore her!

  • Ron

    This is one classy lady,she has started fads,and they stayed in style . She can say so much with less,I’ll be glad to adopt her.. !!!!!..love to read this book,one for the whole family..

  • Susan C

    Big fan of Diane Keaton. Would love to win

  • susan fernandez

    AS AN AVID READER AND A DIANE KEATON FAN THIS WOULD BE A GLORIOUS HOLIDAY SURPRISE, I’D LIKE TO SNUGGLE UP WITH CUP OF COCOA AND COZY UP WITH THIS NEW BOOK!

  • Joanne

    I have been a fan of Diane Keaton for over 30 years. I am from the era when college girls dressed like Annie Hall…vests, menswear pants, hats, and maybe a flower on our lapels. Brings back found memories.

  • KAREN COGBURN

    I would love to win this. Diane is so interesting.

  • Nursesing

    I have been reading over the review written here about these books..I am amazed that I haven’t read even one of them! They all sound so interesting. If I don’t get one..I will be haunting the local library to find them to read!! WOW!

  • ROBYN E

    I have always loved Diane Keatons !

    I adore her and she is so so wonderful !

    kapumaka@hotmail.com

  • Holly

    I have loved Diane Keaton ever since Annie Hall, and I would love to read her book, she is an amazing actress and an intriguing person.

  • ambianz@earthlink.net

    Keaton’s book is decidedly my next read. I’m getting it one way or the other, but would love to receive it this way.

  • Carol Ahuja

    Excellent list of books; good variety!

  • Tina Arkoff

    As a woman of Keaton’s age, I am fascinated by her continued metamorphysis. I’d love to get to know her better. I also appreciate the excellent reviews of the other selections.

  • Carol Godette

    I have read 4 books on this list and have to agree they are top shelf. However, I haven’t read Diane Keaton’s memoir. I can only imagine that it must be riveting to be in the company of such page turners. i’d love to have the chance to read it.

  • gmc

    Books are such a great gift! Wonderful idea.

  • Lauren

    this would be an interesting book to read! thanks for the chance to win!!

  • elizabeth

    The Stephen King book sound interesting.

  • Sue Zinger

    Please put me on the list for a chance to win the Diane Keaton book. I would love to read a book written by her.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one.

    Sue

  • Kai W.

    Not much of Diane Keaton’s personal life is known. She keeps herself very low key.

  • jan

    I am an avid reader and I think Diane Keaton is so interesting. She reminds me a lot of Katherine Hepburn since she too seem to be her own women.

  • Becky Beer

    She’s a very interesting woman. I’d love to read more.

  • Karen Maguire

    Diane Keaton seems like such a centered and present woman for our time. I can’t wait to read this book.

  • Nina

    I just received a Kindle Touch and have downloaded all the FREE books I can so that I can budget accordingly. I trul enjoy Diane Keaton’s body of work so this memoir intrigues me.

  • ogden kruger

    I need a good book!

  • Carol Mardis

    I recently read another review on Diane Keaton’s book- she is quite the gal, and now an author too. She reminds me of me. My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease also. But, I just kept all my thoughts inside. I’d love to get my hands on her book and probably devour it in one to two evenings.
    Send it my way, please.

  • Beth Lowe

    Would love to read Catherine the Great, love books from that time period.

  • Barb

    I love Diane Keaton. Would love a copy of her new book.

  • Linda Meyer

    How amazing! After having seen part of an interview of Diane Keaton on television very recently, I wrote the name of her memoir on my “Books to Read” list. She is so winsome. Actually, I think I will add all your featured books to that very list. Thank you!

  • Zenaida

    “1493″ is on my reading list along with “Then Again.”

  • Wendy May

    Love Diane-can’t wait to read her book!!

  • Ginny Ricken

    Looking forward to your emails.

  • mhicks

    Interesting site and recommendations….looking forward to some good reads

  • Darlene

    Looks interesting– I hope I win!

  • Susan Lockwood

    I Love Diane Keaton!!!

  • fancynancygordon@yahoo.com

    I read all kinds of books – mostly fiction. I would love to read this book because people tell me that I remind them of her.

  • margaracantu

    <i d like to read all about it! Thank you for this chance!

  • Fay Swenson

    love to read – that is one thing I look forward to doing between Christmas and New Year’s is settling in to read.

  • hrbeck_98

    She’s a bit of a kook and this book should be delightful. Please include me in the draw. Thanks.

  • Franni

    I would so love to win! I’ll wait before I download to my KINDLE.

  • Beth Weatherford

    I love Diane Keaton and the parts she has played. I am anxious to read this book!

  • starsmom

    I’m reading 11/22/63 right now, and I was planning to purchase Diane Keaton’s new book next, so I’d love to win it! Thanks for the list of great reads!

  • Susan S.

    Have always enjoyed Diane Keaton’s films! Her book sounds very good too.

  • marilyn

    i have always loved Diane Keaton! Her looks..her acting….her voice..her style…everything is worth admiring!

  • Amanda

    I want to read all of these amazing books, but especially Diane Keaton’s and Stephen king’s! Thank you for this great giveaway!

  • cobrateacher

    I’ve long thought Diane Keaton is the ideal woman, and I admire her tremendously. I really want to read every book on the list, but especially this one. She’s so free and confident and talented, I do want to know all about her.

  • joan

    thanks for this list! very helpful for Xmas and Hannukah gifting

  • Susan

    My favorite indulgence- reading a really good book.

  • colleen gilgenbach

    I would love to win her book. She has won me as a fan.

  • Pattie Medeiros

    I am a bookworm!! Please pick me!!!

  • Margarida

    All of these books seem engaging and must-reads; they are rather like my book “My Edelweiss Boys” which will come out in 2012.

  • Debbie

    The world seems to be shrinking. Everything and everyone is closer and bigger than before!

  • Libbie

    LOVE the list. This is the time of year I can catch up on a bit of reading. I’ll check them out.

    🙂

  • deltadawn

    I would love to read all of these books!

  • Ruth Cederstrom

    Wow Adding most but not all to my list. Thanks for a great list on big variety of reading choices!

  • Carpl Rogers

    I enjoy Diane Keaton as as actress but I would enjoy reading Stephen Kings’s novel about “11.23.63”. I worked at the telephone company the day of Kennedy’s assassignation and experienced first hand the inability to complete a phone call within the telephone system. I have read everything that was printed of this event.

  • Mary G

    the Vanity Fair excerpt made me want to read the book

  • Susan

    Diane Keaton is such a fascinating woman. Would love to find out more about her personal life.

  • Janyth Sheldon

    I was just sent this websight by a friend and am delighted to have it. At first glace, have found information that is very important to me and list of books that will be my winter reading. Thank you!
    (And thanks to my friend!!) Diane Keeton has always been an enigma to me and I will find out why when I read her book.

  • vclark500

    I wish I could take life as zany as Diane Keaton does. It appears I am way to serious.

  • Terrie

    I have read some good reviews of her book and am looking forward to adding it to my library

  • mamavalveeta03

    I love Ann Patchett’s writing; Bel Canto remains one of my favorite novels, and Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, brought me to tears many times. And how did you know that I love Diane Keaton? I guess everyone does! My husband teases me when I use my Wisconsinese (“La di da!”) and calls me Annie Hall!!

  • shoney

    I love the zaney Diane Keaton and would love to win.

  • Marcy

    Diane Keaton…always “timeless”…would love to read her book!

  • Christy

    I LOVE to read and would REALLY like to read Diane’s memoir

  • RarnChild

    Diane Keaton is all-time favorite actress of mine. I would love this peek into her private world, and find out what really makes her tick – and why.

  • Laura Abshier

    What a great selection. Good luck

  • Pam Norwood

    Would love to win! Love to read!

  • Jolie Misek

    I’ve been a Diane Keaton fan for years – loved her in all the Woody Allen films. Her memoir sounds fascinating!

  • kittywhiskers

    Then Again, the chronicle of an interesting woman. Read the great book State of Wonder and am in Bossy parts with Catherine to follow, the dressmakers of Kandahar was good too, Great recommendations.

  • Karen De Fiore

    I barely have time to read your emails but I see myself reading Diane Keaton’s book on my next vacation. I enjoy her in every movie.”The Marriage Plot” will be the perfect Christmas gift for my friend. Thanks!

  • Gaye

    I’ve been so anxious to read Catherine The Great and after reading this article I want to read The Marriage Plot and State of Wonder.

  • cboza

    I read an excerpt from Then, Again in a recent issue of Vogue and was delighted but it. Keaton’s voice shines through. The entries that describe her mother make it quite clear where she got her drive and her wonder at life. I’m keeping all fingers crossed for the give-away!

  • Barbara

    Diane Keaton did it her way. Don’t we wish we all did!

  • Judith Pierce

    Diane Keaton has always been a mystery. You see her on the surface but just know there’s something, more interesting, lurking beneath. I look forward to reading her book and discovering the woman inside the famous facade.

  • Debbie Chaney

    Do we get to choose which one we want to win? Because that would be a tough decision!

  • Jo

    Diane Keaton’s Memoir, what an interesting life story to delve into , I’d love to read it by the fire

  • Shanni

    Any of the books sound great. I want to read them all.

  • eddyrobey

    While waiting to see if I win Diane Keaton’s book, I’m going to download 1493 to my Kindle.

  • Debbie W.

    I would love this book by Diane Keaton. She is such a lovely and unique person.

  • Karen

    Love to read – so many books, so little time! Almost all of these are on my to be read list, but especially Diane Keaton’s. She’s an amazing woman.

  • ouida stokes

    i love diane keaton on the screen so i know i will love her in writing.

  • Teri Brajewski

    Hello All! I have always loved Diane Keaton and would really welcome learning more about her and her life. One our era’s great ladies.

  • debbie dewhurst

    Everyone in my Family LOVES to read…..I would LOVE to win this book!!! Diane Keaton is a wonderful actress and very witty person….I’m sure this book is fantastic!!!

    Debbie

  • deestea

    I adore Diane Keaton! She’s the kind of gal that I would love to have as a best friend. Quirky and endearing!

  • Gloria Luongo

    I saw her promoting her book on the view. Love to win. Love her.

  • makeupgirl21@comcast.net

    Great list of books to read! I have many of them already on my list to read. The list gets longer each year. Maybe I’m on the computer too long? Thanks for the opportunity to win this. Love Diane Keaton & am interested in reading about her & her Mother’s diaries.

  • labsrme

    Looking forward to reading books written by Diane.

  • Jeanne T

    The Tina Fey Book looks hysterical! (pun intended)

  • Nancy

    Looks great!

  • Art by Karena

    I would love to have Diane Keaton’s book!! I know it will be great! Terrific selections.

    Come and enter my new exciting Holiday Event Giveaway! Tis the Season!

    Xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  • Rhea

    Always a pleasure to watch in her performances and to see or hear interviewed, Diane Keaton is a bit of my personal hero! I love that she has lived life on her terms and her vivacious laugh!! I didn’t know she had a memoir out, but now must read it!

  • katie

    I haven’t read any of these books yet,thanks for the suggestions

  • NancyG

    I’d love to read all of these.

  • Tina Ashton

    Diane Keaton is one of my three favorite actresses ( Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet also on the list). Would love to read Then Again chronicling her journey. She’s had such a full and interesting life.

  • Stacey

    Love , love Diane. She is my heroine on a number of fronts. First, she had a relationship with Woody who is also one of my heroes. And, I loved her in Annie Hall. Finally, she adopted in her forties and never settled for marriage.

  • Deborah Barnes

    Books are still the perfect gift. In this crazy immediate gratification world, holding a book in your hand, turning the pages in anticipation of the next page is priceless.

  • Patricia N

    I saw an interview with her about this book and would love to read it!

  • cheryl huber

    I would love to read Diane Keaton’s book. Afterall, I’ve seen everything she has ever acted in!

  • Sara Jones

    Would love to read this book! Great way to gain insight on an interesting personality.

  • sandy haber

    wow — these all sound great! several are already on my [too long] to-be-read list.

  • jeanne nelson

    Diane Keaton is one of my heroes, direct, funny and a little kooky in a good way. Can’t wait to read her book.

  • cheryl huber

    I would love to read diane keaton’s book since I of course have seen everything she has ever acted in.

  • jude

    Have always been a fan of her movies and when I saw the interview about Diane’s book tv, was even more inspired to get a copy – can’t wait to dive in!

  • Patti Swartzel

    Diane Keaton’s life is an interesting one. Along with her mom’s journals< I am sure we can all relate to it. Sounds like a great read.

  • Linda White

    I love Diane Keaton, did not realize that she didnt become a mother until age 50! Wow she must have SOME energy!

  • Judy

    I’ve seen all Diane Keaton’s movies,loved each one,and she ages beautifully..if I could meet any actress ,it would be her…love to read this book about her.Send my way,please & thank you.

  • Kelly Campbell

    Books are such a gift for the soul of the people who are disabled, especially in the winter months.

  • Murphy

    I have always loved Diane Keaton in any role she plays. I think it would be an awesome read.

  • Diane Vogel

    I have always loved Diane Keaton as an actress. I have seen most of her movies. I did not know she adopted children at age 50. I think that is marvelous. I would really like to read her book and also a few others that you recommend which also sound like very interesting reading. I would really like to win this book.

  • JIGGYDOT@AOL.COM

    AS A MEMBER OF TWO BOOK STYDY GROUPS AND A VORACIOUS READER, I’D LOVE TO WIN DIANE KEATON’S MEMOIR. WHAT A TREAT!!!

  • Shirley

    I can’t wait to read this book! Diane Keaton is my idol.

  • CindyL

    Diane Keaton is a rare individual who has inspired many of us fof’s!

  • cathywithac

    I have always admired her and her body of work.

  • BlueBear

    I have so much admiration for Diane Keaton! She’s lived her entire life according to her rules and she listened to nobody. She admits to her mistakes, learns from them and then moves on. What a woman!

  • Barbara

    This book is perfect for my book club selection. All the women are over 50 and can certainly talk about Diane with some knowledge during their lifetime. Excited to read it! Happy Holiday to all!

  • Sharon

    I love Diane Keaton! She is such a wonderful actor and has such a refined style!! I can’t wait to read her memoir.

  • Diana Prewitt

    Love Diane Keaton

  • Marie

    I saw a wonderful interview on the Daily Show with Diane Keaton. She was so candid about her life and gave a wonderful description of her relationship with her mother. I think this book will make a great read!

  • Betty

    A well respected actress with a varied selection of roles has always intrigued me. Her hard work as labeled her as a winner in my book! I’d love to take a peek into the life of a mother who created such a talented person. This is a great opportunity learn what makes up the real Diane Keaton!

  • Susan A. Smith

    Diane Keaton is a comforting light burning in my mind to keep enjoying and appreciating the wisdom of aging gracefully and embracing the process.

  • Sharon

    I enjoy reading about women that are in my age range and have succeeded in their careers. I love Diane Keaton!

  • Kathleen

    Thoughtful reviews….I’m now planning to read the biography of Catherine the Great, an ideal winter read.

  • Barbara

    I have been a fan of Diane Keaton since the 70’s. I can’t wait to read about her fascinating life.

  • Diane

    The energy and the quietness of Diane Keaton always fascinated me. My own mother was a lot like hers. I think this book would be wonderful reading on a cold winter’s day by the fire.

  • Eileen Davis

    These are brilliant choices! Every single book is one that will be worth our attention in the year ahead — challenging, informative in ways that are culturally literate. Congratulations to your editorial staff.

  • Skye Wentworth

    What style! Who doesn’t love Diane Keaton?

    The memoir, Then Again, sounds intriguing. I’d love a copy.

  • SusanMaria Detterman

    I love autobiographies, biographies, and just about every other kind of published material! I read about 5 books a week, and I would read more if I could!!

    Reading keeps me sane!!

  • Kim Marie

    Who doesn’t LOVE everything about Diane Keaton?? I would totally enjoy reading her new book “Then Again” and learning about her life. The icing: having a signed copy of her book for my book shelf!! Thanks for the opportunity FOF!

  • Helen

    I haven’t read a good book in a while so this excites me!

  • Mary E K

    I have always been a fan of Diane Keaton and would love to read her book!

  • Loesje Shema

    I would like to know Ms. Keaton better because I was never sure if she was really ditsy or if that was a facade. There must have been something about her that attracted such interesting men in her life. I also love hearing about relationships between a mother and a daughter, since my own mother died earlier this year. She, too, was deeply important to whom I am as a person.

  • vicki holtzman

    She always catches my attention! My son thinks I look just like her and Im 10 younger. I’ve watched her movies and seen some interviews and find her very REAL.

    I’ve be happy to have the book and would enjoy reading it. Thank you.

  • Victoria

    Once again kudos for giving me more books to gift my Mom and sister with as well as myself. Diane Keaton has always been a bit different than the typical Hollywood leading lady, more of aura of the 30’s but that is what makes her so refreshingly different, also I love how she has embraced her aging with grace, quirkiness and her usual aplomb! Would love the book, but then again so would my Mom!

  • J. Langdon

    Would love to read a book by Diane Keaton…she is a very interesting person.

  • pattib

    “Then Again” sounds like a wonderful read. And then I would donate it to our small town library. Her life has long fascinated me and this would be the icing on the cake.

  • Cathy Ross

    I think Diane Keaton is a fascinating woman so I’d love to read her memoir.

  • Debra Stewart

    I love to read. Diane Keaton is an inspsiration and I imagine this is a good book. Some of the above books are on my Christmas lists.
    Another good book for 2011 is “Before I Go To Sleep”.

  • nascarblue3

    This book Diane Keaton wrote and as stated a bit scattered, I can totally relate too, for the past year I have been trying to write a book about my family, growing up in a violent alcoholic family with one sister, we took our anger out on each other and for the past 30 plus years we hardly talk, strange or funny however you want to explain, I never wanted to blame my parents and when my sister left for good with her baby when she was 16 she left and moved to Fla. I stayed to make sure my parents were going to be alright, my problems in writing is the same, scattered not sure where to write what happened and how things happened, I can relate to Diane Keaton in so many ways, to have a chance to read her book could somehow put things in perpective for me, I am not sure, although reading her book I know would open my eyes and who knows help me to focus and continue and finish, unless you have lived in a world of scattered pieces it is hard to understand why you are the way you are, I will be 57 in April and want to continue to write what is my life, I know she can fill in some of the holes that I may be afraid to enter. Thank you for this opportunity. And Thank you Diane for having the courage to write this and most importantly fnish it.

  • KAREN COGBURN

    I love that Diane Keaton has her own sense of style. Love to win her book.

  • Sheila Chaffins

    Love, love Diane Keaton. She is really someone to look up to.

  • Gaye Galluccio

    Would love to read her book! Always Annie Hall in my heart

  • Debe

    All of these books look great for Christmas and good reading for a cold January nite with a warm cup of something by your side!

    Diane Keaton is a great actress and down to earth! Would love to read her book!!

    Thank you!

  • Judy

    I absolutely adore Diane Keaton! Her strong female roles and her ‘live life by her own rules’ philosophy give every woman a shining star to reach! Can’t wait to read more!

  • smfsprout

    Diane Keaton has always fascinated me. I would love to read her book.

  • Bobbie Gillette

    I would love to win Diane Keaton’s book…I have been told I look like her sister….she is close to my age. I would enjoy reading this. Thank you for you giveaways and this post.

  • Mary Beth Haley

    Some of these books sound really good!!

  • suri40

    I always enjoy a good read. I hope I win!

  • dbande7th

    Always looking for the next book to read. Will look at all the ones on the list. Hoping to wiin!

    Darla

  • Sandy B

    With my own mother slowly shrinking in a nursing home with frontal temporal lobe encephalitis, I’d love to read what Keaton’s mother’s thoughts were, since I can no longer learn my own mother’s thoughts.

  • Kristin Gilbert

    Diane Keaton has always been mysterious.

  • Linda Arzoumanian

    I will enjoy reading the entire book. I have always considered Keaton as a woman who can reinvent herself at any age.

  • Nancy Medogrol

    I always love to get a good book as a gift and several of these sound great.

  • Louise O’Keefe

    Ever since I heard Diane Keaton’s interview on NPR I have wanted to read the book and now more interestingly – my 18 year old daughter has asked for the book for Christmas

  • debbiekaya@aol.com

    Every movie with Diane Keaton usually leaves me smiling, even when she was a drug dealer to put food on the table for her kids. She is zany and scattered and I at 65 identify with her, little like clones except I’m not an actress nor do I have as much money as she has. XOXOx

  • MaryK

    I did not know Diane Keaton became a mother at 50. I also adopted an infant shortly before I turned 50. I’m very curious about this aspect of her life.