I have to admit, that ever since I saw her on Pushing Daisies, I’ve been a little bit fascinated by Kristin Chenoweth. She’s such a teeny-tiny lady, with a very quirky speaking voice and a crazy powerful singing voice. Her character on Pushing Daisies, Olive Snook, was adorable. I just recently read and fell in love with Wicked by Gregory Maguire, so of course I started looking up stuff about the play and guess who played Glinda the Good Witch on Broadway? You guessed it. Anyways, that reminded me of how much I liked Kristin on Pushing Daisies, so then I did an internet search on her to see what else she’s been in, and then I saw that she had written a book. I promptly went the my library and checked out the book AND the audiobook, which she reads herself.
Yup, I adore her. This memoir is informative, funny, and thought-provoking, which is a lot for a 232 page book. She’s one of those stereotypical perfectly sweet Southern women, and from her book seems like such a genuinely nice person. Now, I really liked learning about Chenoweth’s life – her family, her introduction to music and the entertainment business, and the different projects she’s done. I was a little disappointed that there was only a short section on Pushing Daisies, but oh well. She mentioned The West Wing a lot, which I’ve never seen and now I’m thinking I should check out because it seems everyone has seen it but me. I have to say that oddly enough, the parts I liked most about her memoir were about her Christian faith.
I’m not religious. I went to a Catholic school as a kid, was baptized, did my First Communion, my Confirmation, etc… but by the time I left middle school, I was agnostic at the least and uneasy with organized religion. Since then my spiritual beliefs have become more atheist, and I’ve grown sort of a big aversion to organized religions – they irk me. I have friends of different religions, and I can respect anyone’s beliefs, and even study some when the mood strikes. But it’s more from an intellectual / curious approach, rather than a spiritual quest approach. I just can’t get behind the idea of religion. A nice concept, but not for me.
ANYWAYS, Kristin was raised as a Christian in Oklahoma, and she mentions God and her belief in him quite a lot throughout the book. Normally this would annoy me, but somehow she made it work. She’s the kind of Christian that makes me wish I believed in some sort of religion, that I had those sort of beliefs and faith in a higher power. She’s honest about her beliefs, and doesn’t apologize for them. She looks to her religion in times of sadness and joy. She actually studies her religion and thinks about her beliefs, instead of just prescribing to what her church or religion tells her. She embraces her own religion, respects the religion of others’, and tries not to pass judgement on other people. She actually puts a list in the book of the question she would ask God if she could, which includes some serious ones that we’ve all thought at one time or another, plus some funny ones, such as:
“What if you made it so that hate would cause hemorrhoids? Just an idea.”
Basically, if more people took Kristin’s approach to their religions… well I think the world would be such a nicer place.
I enjoyed this book. I switched between the paper version and the audiobook, but I really enjoyed listening to Kristin read it. She has such a distinctive voice, and she occasionally sang little bits here and there. Also, the book includes fun stuff like recipes. Some parts definitely made me laugh out loud, such as when she realized that her Ambien was making her unknowingly eat while she slept. And then there were some of the profound moments, such as when she’s giving advice to young actors and one piece of advice was:
“… let your ambition be about who you want to be, not what you want to get.”
And that quote right there pretty much sums up what a cool person she is.
I highly recommend this for anyone really, especially women. It’s a great memoir – it’s interesting and fun to read, but doesn’t reach for anything too profound – as Kristin herself says in the book, this is a recollection of some times in her life, not a tell-all autobiography. But I’ll definitely read that when she writes it.
Sarah Says: 4 stars