Troublemaker by Leah Remini

Entertainment, Expose, Gossip, Memoir, Tell-all, Uncategorized

One of the things that most surprised me when I read this book was that Leah Remini was a scientologist from childhood. For some reason, I thought she became one after she became an actress. Remini starts of the book with an interesting backstory and although I relate to some of her childhood tales of not having the nicest toys or the luxury of some of her neighbors, I just couldn’t buy the conclusion that her mom brought them into scientology as the only escape from Brooklyn life. Although not a luxurious neighborhood, Bensonhurst is a pretty nice diverse family area. I thought it was pretty clear from the beginning her mom garnered an interest in scientology after the man she was dating introduced her to it. It is easy to see why, since she thought he was a well spoken man who communicated well. I could see how a religion that promoted that much communication in a relationship would be appealing to a woman. Does she mean that her mom was hoping scientology would offer a chance at social climbing? I feel like people should just be clear about these things instead of dramatisizing their backgrounds.  And if her mom was so concerned about them living the Brooklyn life why would she be leaving them home along the whole time before they expressed interest in Scientology.

So it seemed plausible to me that her mom would be interested in bringing her daughters to a religion that would focus on strengthening relationships. Even Leah’s descriptions at first made Scientology sound appealing. Then of course she got to the nitty gritty and you start to see scientology as a pyramid scheme. She did a good job of introducing it as a newcomer and slowly progressing into the mess someone would find themselves in.

Some of the things she uses to reference Tom’s craziness doesn’t seem that crazy to me. For example, she criticizes his wanting to play hide and seek because he is an adult. I don’t think that’s so strange, unless it is followed up by something strange. Why is it normal for adults to play beer pong or some other party game but not hide n seek? Then she called up the church annoyed when Tom jumped on the couch on the Oprah show. I didn’t think that was so strange! Sorry but he is an artist. They are loud and spontaneous and not at all as self conscious as the rest of us about the space around them. That is what makes a good performer, especially in comedy. I have many performer friends who do random things. That’s what makes them the life of the party. Of course she did get to some weird parts about him like when he insulted his assistant but I felt the other incidents were nitpicking on someone she just didn’t like overall. I thought her description of Sharon Osborne sounded realistic and impartial enough. She seemed hurt by her attitude but let it go and moved on from it.

When she finally left scientology, her therapist sounded great and I loved the advice she got to just keep the good things of Scientology with her. It is a shame that there is so much corruption and that some people use religion to manipulate others.

I do recommend the book if you are looking for a tell all and behind the curtain look at scientology. I did enjoy it, I just had an opinion about some of her descriptions.


Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling


I read Mindy’s first book years ago and found it very funny so I was excited to read this one. Her humor is still alive. I love her books but I don’t actually watch The Mindy Project. I saw an episode but it wasn’t really my style.

Sections that I found funny and refreshing:

When she enlightens us on the prison emails she received and the moment she mocks the pop star mom for not wanting to vaccinate her kid.

When she admits to kissing her fellow actors the wrong way because she didn’t realize you weren’t supposed to use tongue. I mean if no one tells you not to kiss your regular way how would you know?

Her relationship with BJ Novak. I loved every second of her description. It was both entertaining and touching.

Attributing her confidence to hard work. Hard work is seriously underrated.

The fears that keep her up at night. Many were funny, many I can relate to and the one about fearing that she’ll forget the sound of her mom’s voice since she passed away is just heart breaking.

Things that were off:

The Obamas basically. I’m glad he is a huge fan of hers but my opinion of him went down after she brought up all the celebrities he had at his White House dinners. Just why? They aren’t diplomats. Maybe this is common for Presidents but it makes me think he is too concerned with the press.

Her description of Will was a little confusing. I didn’t think it was a problem that he moved slow to kiss her. Isn’t it normal not to kiss on the first date? Of course he sounded very busy after that, which would be a turn off. She says she went against her judgment in continuing to see Will, despite his unavailability because his job is honorable and she doesn’t know many people whose jobs she’d describe as honorable, which makes me wonder what she considers honorable? She said she goes to McDonalds to eat all the time. Don’t these people have honorable jobs? Are all her writers money launderers on the side? She might have been intrigued by his job but it seems a little off to pen him as one of the few with an honorable job.

Mindy confesses she has a hard time meeting the right guy. She doesn’t understand why it is so hard to meet a nice guy at a bar. Well, because you are looking in a bar. Didn’t she ever watch Coming to America? Ladies and gentlemen, please watch Coming to America and learn once and for all that you will not meet the one at a bar. Take some classes of your interest, do some volunteer work, meet friends of friends, but don’t expect the right one to be at a bar.

Her alternate life/day dream. Mindy wonders about her life if she hadn’t pursued her career as a writer in LA and had stayed in New York to teach. I don’t understand this so much because if I remember correctly Mindy got scouted as a writer for her work in New York during the Fringe festival and lots of working comedy writers live in New York. For example, Tina Fey.  So I don’t really see why her alternate life there is as a non-writer. I also believe that she could still very much teach Latin if she wants, and should. Spike Lee teaches at NYU. I think students would be lucky to have Mindy teach to them. Maybe not now but in the future, when she is done with her show and just wants to focus on movies.

Being offended by white men asking her where she gets her confidence. Um what? She thinks they only ask about her confidence because she assumes that since she is not thin, male and white they must be insinuating she shouldn’t be confident. Has it ever occurred to her they might not mean that at all. Being a writer is intimidating as you are constantly being criticized. I’m sure there are white male writers, insecure about their writing.

It is a very short and fast read but worth every minute. I didn’t find it the least bit forced, unlike Yes Please! which unfortunately I did find seemed forced despite loving Amy Poehler’s shows. I guess my interest only goes one way. I enjoy Mindy’s book, but not so much her show. Enjoyed Parks and Recreation but didn’t really like Yes Please. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

A career minded woman finds romance and scandal in the music industry

A career minded woman finds romance and scandal in the music industry