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Not what her first book should be about!


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Initial post: May 18, 2010 12:28:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2010 6:47:03 PM PDT
Steve Reed says:
For me, the first book Streisand writes should be about her professional career. Those achievements and talents are what earned her those riches, honors, and worldwide renown. Not her intricate tastes, well-financed purchasing, and world-historic obstinacy in interior and exterior decorating!

This book comes from the far more vain portion of her personality, and the one I have come to not like. I admit readily to being a fan, often fervent, of Streisand's art and performance for nearly 40 years.

That is NOT, however, at all the same as being a "Streisand fan," as such, of her broader persona, which I haven't been for at least half of that time. This is from disappointment with many of her choices and attitudes outside the film set, concert hall, and recording studio. (Not just political matters, either, for this libertarian.)

I know that I'm far from the only one with this divided appraisal of her. I bought the "Yentl" two-disc DVD set the day it was released. I paid the top $300 price for a ticket to hear her sing over 15 years ago. Yet I wouldn't buy this $60 tome for even $37.80 (as of today). Perhaps when Amazon Marketplace has it for $10, used, if even then - which won't take long.

Thousands of struggling and young artists in several fields could get inspiration from some written insights into Streisand's own history and choices over her 50 years in music, theater, and film. They won't benefit from reading how she made her bathroom towels' colors match the upholstery and flower beds - and, no, this hardly exaggerates the scope of her obsessions.

This is bound to be nearly 300 pages of misapplied documentary effort about what, in the context of her enduring achievements, is a trivial part of her life. I don't deny her perceptions, but I do decry the waste. Jefferson didn't strive to be remembered mainly for reworking his Monticello.

Posted on May 26, 2010 2:35:03 AM PDT
Tommywood says:
I couldnt disagree more with your assessment of the book! First Off, it is very arrogant of you to suggest and Tell Ms Streisand what to write about. Who do you think you are? Talk about being vain!

I find it Refreshing that Ms Streisand has Chosen to discuss her passion for Design as opposed to her life. Lets face it, tons of books have already been written about Barbra over and over again and she probably wouldnt be able to add anything new that she hasnt already told us in Interviews.
Yes, Barbra is known for her Singing/Acting but she is also know for her Excellent Taste in Homes, Design and art, and this is actually one area of her life that hasnt been picked apart in detail so I am looking forward to reading about her insights and discoveries in the world of design.

I am actually the proud owner of a few of Barbra's Personal items that I picked up at an auction of hers back in 1994, one being a beautiful art deco vase. Barbra has Excellent taste and I find it very generous of her that she is willing to share her insights in the world of Interrior Design!

I have already placed my order!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2010 4:36:05 PM PDT
M.Ely says:
I agree. Barbra may have wonderful taste in design, but this books sounds about as exciting to me as a recipe book. There is soooo much more I want to know about her personal life and her career (in her own words). I don't care if she plants roses outside of her window to match the color of her couch inside.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 9:20:52 AM PDT
PAPA says:
the don't buy it. what makes anyone feel they have the right to decide for anyone else what they should do. maybe it will inspire her to write her autobio-testing the waters with this one.
she seems to have made the right decisions for herself without consulting her fans so far.
this is another talent she wants to share.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 9:21:14 AM PDT
PAPA says:
then don't buy it. what makes anyone feel they have the right to decide for anyone else what they should do. maybe it will inspire her to write her autobio-testing the waters with this one.
she seems to have made the right decisions for herself without consulting her fans so far.
this is another talent she wants to share.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 10:19:12 AM PDT
Mark C. Hawk says:
At least ten or more books have been written on her career. I don't need (or want) another one until SHE'S ready to write her own story - and she intends to, as she has mentioned many times. She has every right to work on whatever project she feels is right for her. And design, architecture, decorating, antiques, and art have been interests of hers (and yes, a passion) since the earliest days of her career. So what subject would be better? Who she's had sex with? (That's been written about, too.) How many stars have written the obligitory "Children's Book?" (Bette, Jamie Lee, Steve, Madonna, Brooke, and about 4 dozen more) or the oft-seen "Cookbook" containing all the star's favorite meals? (Right...) I only wish there were sections on her Central Park West apartment, her Carolwood Drive estate, the Ramirez Canyon compound, in addition to the latest buildings. They were all beautiful and stunning in their own right.

Posted on Nov 3, 2010 1:37:11 PM PDT
bsomers says:
This book is going to be so over the top. In this economy who wants to read about the 96 houses designed by a woman so vain that her cover pic [not taken for the book but an outtake from her last album] includes her airbrushed face and that damned dog. Fans and others have a right to their opinions. My opinion is she should have written a memoir BUT would it be a book where she admits "you know what? sometimes I have been a real b*tch and I apologize to all those who beared the brunt of my ire" or whines "I am a woman with opinions and Hollywood doesn't want that from a woman."? Lord knows how she will be on Oprah but I am sure it will be butt kissing of the high order. Come back to the Five and Dime, Barbra Streisand, Barbra Streisand. . .

Posted on Nov 5, 2010 9:01:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2010 9:01:45 AM PDT
Really looking forward to this book. Interesting in reading some of the posts here and wondering why there is such negativity towards a total and complete stranger.

Like you Steve R, I bought the "Yentl" dvd the day it came out, and have all her cds & dvds. I've traveled all over the US & the globe to hear her perform in concert.

I love the fact that Barbra can use her celebrity to her advantage and speak out about the causes of today's world, and talk common sense about climate change, the economy, human rights, AIDS awareness, women's health issues and the like. Many people - for whatever reason, don't like when a woman speaks her mind. If a man does it, he's a go getter and admired for speaking his mind.....if a woman does it, she's opinionated and a pain in the ass.......and the double standard goes on and on.

The book looks great, and I'm very excited about. Yes, the pic on the front cover is photoshopped/air brushed. So many pics that we see in today's ads of Madonna and other famous ladies are all air brushed - same with the fellas, too. Have you seen the pics of James Franco and Matthew Mc for their men's fragance ads?

Barbra's Foundation has given away tens of millions of dollars throughout the years to her favorite charities. Just recently she donated $5 million to women's health issues. A class act all the way!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2010 8:53:35 AM PST
bsomers says:
Please stop speaking in cliches re "a woman speaks her mind." Barbra is a pompous and sometimes bitchy woman who speaks her mind. And her foundation has given away much money over the years which is commendable; but there is something to be said for the human touch of grace and warmth to raise funds, raise awareness, etc. And in person she comes across as aloof and snotty. Sure, I pre-ordered the book but as a fan I am very disappointed in the direction her career and overall persona seems to have taken over the years, especially since her marriage.

Posted on Nov 9, 2010 11:38:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 9, 2010 11:41:54 AM PST
I've had the pleasure of working with Barbra on several of her concerts, and she couldn't have been more professional and appreciative. She didn't come across as aloof or cold or anything like that. Quite the opposite.

I'm not speaking in cliches when it comes to double standards between men and women. That's the way it is.

It seems as if her marriage is her #1 priority - as well it should be. When you've accomplished what she's done in her life, slowing down to enjoy life with her husband, seems to make her happy.

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 4:24:35 AM PST
Musiclover says:
I am SO looking forward to my copy of this book. This will take pride of place on my coffee table. If people don't want this book, then don't buy it!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2010 7:02:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2010 7:09:51 AM PST
Kowabunga says:
Ditto! Couldn't have said it better myself! As usual, Barbra has her head up her ass when it comes to understanding what her fans really want. She has ripped us off time and again and our money has built her many a compound. We most definitely are not welcome to any sincere appreciation or good grace from her.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2010 7:05:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2010 10:05:46 AM PST
Kowabunga says:
I love your comments, bsomers! I fell off my chair when I got to the part about that damned dog! Love you!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2010 10:28:50 AM PST
How has Barbra ripped you off, time and time again? Do tell.

Posted on Nov 21, 2010 1:31:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2010 1:41:46 AM PST
Tom says:
just a small anecdote. i have a friend who worked in a shop in los angeles. he said that barbra came into the store to do some christmas shopping several years ago. at the height of her fame, actually. he said that all the sales people recoiled and backed off when she came in. he felt they were intimidated about waiting on her. so he jumped in and went up to her and helped her with her shopping. i remember, he said that she could not have been nicer. very appreciative and kind. and after she bought a lot of things, he helped her carry it to her car. he said she ended up hugging him and kissing him on the cheek. and that she was fantastic. so that just goes to show you how things get so misconstrued and crazy and the gossip machine will always be the gossip machine. i have never forgotten that story. my friend is not one to make up things or sugar coat them at all. but of course, even as i write this, i am sure this story will probably get flamed. just human nature i guess. when people are highly highly successful, it creates an anger or jealousy inside others and they feel compelled to put that person down. just the way people are. i am not saying that she hasn't been all kinds of ways with people. but this story is a side glimpse into a complex personality that takes so many hits. some deserved, some not. it just is meant to show you that there are many sides to a person. and that barbra is a very very gifted talented and powerful individual. i am sure she has had a lot to deal with inside of herself, in accepting all the well deserved acclaim that has been showered on her over the years.
when i first came to los angeles, i took a job as a delivery person just to get the lay of the land. it was a lot of fun and i used to have to deliver to the homes of lots of celebrities. i used to go to barbra streisand's house at least once a week in holmby hills. of all the celebrity houses, i was most impressed with hers. jerry lewis' house for instance was formal and scary. with a scary dog to greet you and a big industrial kitchen. cold and off putting. but barbra's kitchen was so easy going and great. she had a bulletin board with a picture tacked onto it of ....i don't want to give away her privacy....but it was so charming and not what you'd expect. it was a very welcoming home. i delivered some things from the bakery and they always just told me to put them in the refrigerator myself. no other house in hollywood ever ever did that. only hers. little things like that make an impression. they did on me. so before we all become so quick to judge, remember, we do not know her. i suggest that we be very careful before we just point fingers at others. it shows an ugliness in the person pointing the finger if you ask me. but who asked me, right? :) just some anecdotal information i have never ever talked about and thought it would be fun to add to this thread. hope somebody found it interesting. happy holidays to all!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2010 10:17:54 AM PST
M.Ely says:
Thank you, Tom, for your nice stories about Barbra. I myself had an encounter with her and she was very gracious and friendly. This is exactly why I am disappointed that her first book is about interior design. Like I said in a previous post, I was hoping for a book about her personal life and her career (in her own words). So many books have been written about her, books that portray her as this horrible egomaniac, books that I don't believe. I want to hear about the real Barbra from Barbra herself. I want to hear more stories about her childhood, what it was like singing in small nightclubs, what it was like singing with Judy Garland, what it was like behind the scenes filming her TV specials, what it was like backstage starring in Funny Girl at the age of 21, what it was like filming her movies and in the recording studios, what was the true nature of her relationships with friends and partners, what it was like being a career mother, everything that went into turning Barbara Streisand into Barbra Streisand, a legend and an icon. Again, I am just not that interested in a book about how she decorates her home. However, I can understand why others might find it interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2010 3:56:43 AM PST
Derek. says:
Be patient its coming.

>>>I was hoping for a book about her personal life and her career (in her own words)

Posted on Nov 26, 2010 7:08:28 PM PST
Judy Brown says:
Ms Streisand has spent her whole life giving of herself to her fans. Her movies, albums and appearances will forever stand the test of time. I have grown old with her....and admire her more today than ever. I am so happy she has found a good mate, a beautiful home and is content for perhaps the first time in her life. I have this book on my Christmas list because I love her decorating style and will enjoy seeing the home she has spent so much time building and creating. She owes us nothing.....she does not owe us a tell-all book. She should be allowed to share what she wants, when she wants. If decorating is not your thing, keep your money and buy something that is inspirational to you. But....please let the rest of us anticipate and enjoy our book with Barbra. I thank God there was a Barbra Streisand, a unique and special human being who has given me hours and hours of entertainment and pleasure. In her words "Don't rain on my parade."

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 2:32:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2010 2:37:05 AM PST
When I watched Barbra as a guest on Oprah and she talked about completing a book of her passion of home decor/design, I had to order the book. I love "Evergreen" and "Yentl", Barbra is a great singer/actress. I'm not too keen on reading biographys about her (in fact never read one), but I know I will most definitely enjoy this book because I love home decor & design shows, magazines, and the like.

Reading in this discussion that she matches her bathtowels with fabric on the furniture, or plants flowers in certain colors on the outside viewable to rooms on the inside? That just makes me even more anxious to get my hands on this book! Sounds like she's able to take home design/remodeling/decorating to a whole new level, leaving no stone unturned--literally.

In regards to the comment (more or less) "Barbra SHOULD be able to decorate like that with all her money"? Well folks, all wealthy people DO NOT have good taste--you've either got it or you don't--money can't buy everything. The fact that Barbra is able to create & oversee all her own home projects AND feels confident enough to put out a book for all the world to see? I don't think she'd risk embarrassing herself if she didn't know that she was really good at it!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2010 9:41:33 PM PST
June Wilson says:
I love how Barbra has eloquently written about her passion for design. She is a true artist. She does open up a bit about her personal life in this book. You can actually see how her some of her life experiences have affected her aesthetics. Her attention to detail is amazing. No wonder it took her so long to film Yentl.

Not sure why there is such negativity from some of the people on this discussion thread. If you don't want to read about roses or design, don't buy the book. If you don't like the picture of her with her adorable dog, don't buy the book. At least she isn't out there peddling perfume like others.

No wonder she hasn't written about her life. Why should she have to write a book to apologize to some in Hollywood. She was robbed of many awards because she is a woman. Is she a "bitch" because she is a woman? Should some of the men in Hollywood apologize for their behavior? Have any of you who are against her for what-ever reason, ever met her? I was at her rehearsal in Vegas in 2000 and let me tell you she was more than gracious with the band. The security guard said she was one of the best to work with.

She is an intelligent, creative woman with clear passions. Kudos to her for sharing her passion for design with us. It is a book worth reading. There is so much more in this book than pictures of her design. I am loving this book!

Posted on Dec 10, 2010 2:00:14 AM PST
Lovely book. I've had mine about a week. The DVD gives additional depth and flow to the printed photos. I'm happy she's got a nice couple of houses to live in, making her corner of the world a better place. There's almost a sense of pride that the money I've spent over the years is so beautifully (and thoughtfully) used. Good on ya Barbra, write another one and I'll get that too.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 9:02:49 PM PST
A.S. in NYC says:
"Fans" such as the original poster are EXACTLY the reason Barbra didn't perform for so many years and are also the reason she is so incredibly private. I LOVED the book (still reading it) and I was never really a huge fan. I owned one album growing up and saw her perform NYE 2000 at the MGM in Las Vegas (a gift to my mother who adored her). It was the most amazing performance I've EVER seen and I've seen many, many concerts. She is the most "real" performer. She gives everything she has in every word of every song. Amazing to witness in person.

Barbra Streisand is a person and a citizen of the world (her own words) before she is a singer, actress, director, composer, lyricist and now...writer. She has made it VERY CLEAR in a couple of different interviews that writing a biography is something she isn't ready to do yet, because as in EVERY OTHER ASPECT of her creativity; she throws herself in with the utmost passion and dedication. I'm sure almost NO ONE knows half of what she went through as a child...and all of us know our childhood forms us for life, affects our sense of self-worth, etc. I for one want to say, I HOPE SHE HAS A HEALTHY SENSE OF VANITY. She is THE MOST accomplished artist of our time (50 years and counting), the top-selling female recording artist of all time, in the WORLD and was the FIRST woman to ever direct, produce, write and star in a major motion picture. No one else in the world has EVER accomplished what she has accomplished.

So, she can write whatever the heck she wants to write. I pray one day she is able to personally find the strength to write her autobiography, but if she doesn't, she's given enough. ANYTHING she does now is icing on the cake. There will never be another human being like her....evah. OH, AND BY THE WAY (original poster), it's now what...nine months later? The book is still going strong and STILL OVER $30 on Amazon. Probably will be for awhile as word of mouth always causes book sales to remain steady. 4.5 stars out of 5 overall. Sorry, you were WAY OFF.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 11:25:09 PM PDT
Magic says:
Boy, that rerun of Barbra on Oprah last November that was aired today 03/22/11 sure did help the sales of the book again, it shot to #20! Way to go Barbra I love the book bought it right before Christmas right here on Amazon it was a present to myself. The photos are amazing. Some folks will bitch no matter what one does it sounds as if some posters on here are just plain jealous!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2011 6:22:40 AM PDT
So love this wonderful book. Many of us rather rich or not collect over the years and are passionate about what we love as she is. It's wonderful to be able to display and explain what went into her homes. I've always thought had I even 10 rooms one would be for music, dolls, books, etc., so I totally get it. Guess this isn't for everyone. Someday I'm sure she will write about herself but she isn't ready for she has much more yet to do and of course that is her decision. Can't you just enjoy what she gave us and not be so critical? Why would you purchase it if you weren't interested in it. This book isn't just for her fans but for designers and I'm sure will be viewed that way.

Thank you Barbra for a personal look into what you love with such detail and yes passion. Not every one who enjoys a private life would do this so I feel we are forunate to see all that she has done.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 10:16:32 AM PDT
Joyce in NM says:
I agree with your first paragraph, just what I was thinking!
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Participants:  19
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  May 18, 2010
Latest post:  Jun 23, 2011

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My Passion for Design by Barbra Streisand (Hardcover - November 16, 2010)
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