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A Deep Look at a Shallow Year

Narrated by Andy Cohen

In case you missed my review of Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, I  love Andy Cohen. I am a Bravo junkie and never miss an episode of Top Chef (in all its incantations,) the The Real Housewives of New Jersey (and occasionally other Housewives) and Watch What Happens Live, hosted by Andy Cohen.

I knew after reading his first book and then listening to it that I had to listen to the new one – Andy reads it himself, which really does add a whole new dimension. I love his little asides to us listeners, especially the part of the book where he discusses how he spent the afternoon recording the audiobook and how much he hated doing it, which he called “meta meta” for us listeners.

Andy was completely enthralled with The Andy Warhol Diaries, and this book is an homage to that one. He mentions another possible title, “Namedropping,” which certainly would have been appropriate as well. Andy kept a journal for 2013, and kept track of everyone he ran into, dined with (and where), topics discussed, guests on his show, shows where he was the guest, parties attended,  events that he emceed, and so forth. The names flow like water, from the aforementioned New Jersey Housewives, his oldest and dearest friends (see Most Talkative) and of course, the real celebrities: Oprah, Cher, Barbra Streisand, Lady GaGa, Beyoncé, as well as the celebrities he calls friends: Anderson Cooper, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos, and Sarah Jessica Parker (affectionately called “SJP” or even “SJ” throughout the book) and her hubby Matthew Broderick, the late great Joan Rivers and tons more.

Cohen obsesses with his weight, his workouts, his friends, and gossip, and his self deprecating sense of humor is always at the forefront. But the star of the book, besides Andy himself, is his dog Wacha, who as of 11/21/14 has over 200 pictures and 93,000 followers on Instagram, and Wacha is often the subject of his daily journal. Andy discusses how and why he came to adopt a dog, the vet he sees at the “Barbara Walters Animal Hospital” and the famous people who love Wacha and do Instagram photo shoots with him, like John Mayer. Wacha has become the love of his life and the antidote to loneliness. Andy dates a lot, mostly younger men, and claims he wants a husband (and his mother reminds him to find a husband) but no one promising is on the horizon yet.

One of the things I like best about listening to the book (besides the fact it entertained me on my long flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles and back again) was that I could share it. My husband listened to whatever part I was up to while driving around L.A., and my daughter listened to some while driving around Boca, and everyone laughed and enjoyed the bits they heard. Very few books work that way.

The best memoirs are entertaining, informative and ring true, and once again Cohen meets all those criteria plus he is laugh out loud funny.  If you are the least bit obsessed with pop culture, celebrities and/or television, you do not want to miss this book.

11/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE ANDY COHEN DIARIES by Andy Cohen. Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (November 11, 2014). ISBN 978-1627792288. 352p.

Audible Audio Edition: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (November 11, 2014). ISBN: 978-1427259318. Listening Length: 13 hours and 30 minutes.


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