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What We’re Reading: Up Till Now

Post by Leslie Gardner
Posted April 28, 2014 in NoveList Bookshelf

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Up Till Now: The Autobiography of William Shatner

What is it about?
I've been watching Star Trek reruns lately so I thought I would read William Shatner's autobiography, Up Till Now.  I wanted to find out if he is the eccentric man I picture him as based on the things I've seen on TV and read about in the tabloids.  Mr. Shatner is indeed different from the average man, but I think it is due to his thirst for life and the risks he is willing to take.  The story of his life from childhood to adult is interspersed with amusing tongue-in-cheek tales of his acting career and reflective tales of his family and marriages.  He was candid about his mistakes and what he learned from them.

Why I like it: 
I was pleased with William Shatner's autobiography because it was upbeat and packed with interesting trivia.  It was also very open and introspective.  I feel that I really caught a glimpse of the man behind the ego.  I smiled several times as that ego peeked out during Shatner's humorous stories and empathized when he reflected about his past mistakes and how he has changed over the years.

Interesting tidbit: 
His autobiography dances about like a man with too much energy and drive.  He will be telling a wonderful story about one of his adventures, then pause to list the many forms of Star Trek memorabilia available and then go back to the story.  He inserts quotes from other people like Leonard Nimoy or his daughter Lisabeth.  

"I'd recommend this book to…"
After finishing Shatner's book, I looked for more books with an upbeat tone and a candid conversational writing style and found two autobiographies: There are worse things I could do by Adrienne Barbeau and A man's got to have a hobby: long summers with my dad by William McInnes. I loved both of these funny books about living life to the fullest as well.  Shatner's book came from a Canadian point-of-view, and I particularly enjoyed the differences between his experiences and those of Barbeau (Armenian-American) and McInnes (Australian).

Memorable quote:

William Shatner: "It struck me then how grief and laughter fit so easily side by side, and I never forgot it."

Adrienne Barbeau: "I believe in my power to manifest the things I want in life."

William McInnes: "Never be afraid to let the world know you are alive."

Recommended by Leslie Gardner, Senior Cataloger at NoveList.