From Publishers Weekly
When actor and TV commentator Grodin (It Would Be So Nice if You Weren't Here
) asked Shirley MacLaine about her biggest mistake, she suggested he go ask President Bush about his. Others of the 82 celebrity contributors to this collection who look back at lessons learned the hard way squirmed to evade Grodin's truth or dare, while many have risen to the challenge with painful memories of nervousness, humiliation, social embarrassments, shame, regret, denial and guilt. Recalling an incident when she was 13, Mary Steenburgen can still feel my face burn with shame at my own snobbery. After Leonard Nimoy ignored a publisher's warning, fans wrongly interpreted the title of his memoir, I Am Not Spock,
to mean he was rejecting the character and all things connected with Star Trek
. Walter Cronkite's biggest mistake was retiring too soon. The standout piece is by Pete Hamill, who compresses his entire life into five pages as he reflects on the aftermath of his decision to drop out of high school. (Grodin will donate his royalties to HELP USA, which serves the homeless.) (Nov. 1)
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About the Author
is a recipient of the William Kuntsler Award for Racial Justice and has been honored by Habitat for Humanity for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the homeless. He is best known for his starring roles in The Heartbreak Kid
, Midnight Run
and the Beethoven
movies, among dozens of others. He has written six books including the bestseller It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here
. Charles Grodin was a commentator for 60 Minutes II and is currently a commentator for CBS News. He also writes a weekly op-ed column for the New York Daily News website.